Before You Watch American Gospel: Christ Crucified … Read This

There is a growing trend of people walking away from the faith in favor of an alternative gospel. Exvangelicals, post-Christians, deconstructionists, and nones are on the rise. In response to this great faith crisis, Brandon Kimber set out to make the timely documentary American Gospel: Christ Crucified, which engages with the claims of the progressive Christian movement, while also countering them with a sound, biblical declaration of Jesus’ saving work on the cross.

As our thanks for your gift to Haven Ministries, we want to send you a copy of American Gospel: Christ Crucified. But before you watch, we also want you to be prepared with two things.

First, we want you to have the free study guide that was made for churches and small groups to print and distribute. It’s not a necessary part of the viewing experience, but many will find it helpful to take notes and respond thoughtfully to the questions raised by the film. You can download your free study guide here >>

Second, we believe it is important you become acquainted with the individuals from the progressive and humanist side of the conversation featured in the documentary. This film allows each of them to express their opinions about Scripture, even though we disagree with what they believe.

The film’s position (and Haven’s for that matter) is that their views about Christianity—particularly the atonement—are outside the bounds of historic Christianity. The filmmaker writes:

We are thankful that these men participated and cooperated in making this film possible. We believe that their involvement is valuable in making this film a helpful apologetic tool for Christians to understand the thinking of those who identify as progressive Christians. Pray for them, and if you interact with them on social media, thank them for their help in making this film possible.

Here is a brief introduction to each of the men presenting opposing viewpoints throughout the film.

  1. Bart Campolo, American Gospel: Christ CrucifiedOur first subject is Bart Campolo (son of Tony Campolo), who, in his very first lines in the film, explains how he lost his faith; the film follows his journey from progressive Christianity to secular humanism (atheism) and compares it to the journey of Russell Berger, who journeys from atheism to Christianity. Bart is always titled “secular humanist” and his perspective on God’s sovereignty, homosexuality, hell, the exclusivity of Jesus Christ in salvation, penal substitution, and the resurrection, are all countered with the opposite (biblical) perspective through Russell Berger, etc.
  2. Tony Jones, American Gospel: Christ CrucifiedTony Jones is labeled as “co-founder of the Emergent Church movement,” and author of “Did God Kill Jesus?” Throughout the film Tony explains his problems with the doctrine of penal substitutionary atonement, and argues that God doesn’t need be to be just in order to forgive sin. All of Tony’s arguments are met with a biblical response, which we believe makes our film’s position clear.
  3. Deconstructionists, American Gospel: Christ CrucifiedFinally, John Williamson and Adam Narloch of The Deconstructionist Podcast are featured. As the film progresses, we see that they are influenced by and share many of the same beliefs as Richard Rohr and other progressive leaders.

American Gospel: Christ Crucified

The gospel message of “Christ crucified” has always been offensive.

In our culture it is common for preachers to soften the offense of the cross, and the attributes of God that are displayed in the person and work of Jesus Christ. American Gospel: Christ Crucified explores how the paths of post-modernism and progressive Christianity lead to a different gospel, and a god created in our own image.

“But we preach Christ Crucified, to Jews a stumbling block and to Gentiles foolishness…” (1 Cor. 1:23)      

The sequel to American Gospel: Christ Alone, this equally-stirring continuation examines some of the following hot topics in Christian discussion today:

  1. We often hear the phrase, “Jesus died for our sins.” What does that mean?
  2. Is the God of the Old Testament the same as the God in the New Testament?
  3. Did God the Father kill Jesus?
  4. Can a loving God also express wrath?
  5. Why is hell necessary?


  • Daniel Claudio says:

    Id like to say thank you both Charles Morris and David Wollen for your sermons and this current series. I saw the trailer and got hooked immediately. I look forward to watching this DVD.

    I listen to Moody Radio daily and this is where i learned of your broadcast. Now, I ensure I am up to hear you broadcast as before i would be asleep but I make it a point to get up and start my day with your broadcast. 5:30AM is not so bad. Excellent topics and very educational. I appreciate the fine work you both do.

    May God Bless You both, your team and your family.

    • Corum says:

      What an encouraging comment, Daniel! I’ve passed your note along to David and Charles, who I know will feel blessed to read it.

  • Dear Charles & Welcome David!
    Our church has 45 min. discipleship classes between our Classical and Modern Services. They change every 8 weeks. So I want to get this information to the director, so we can have one of our 8 week sessions be about exvangelicals, nones, post Christians, etc.
    Your series this week on deconstructionists is extremely timely and needs to be heard by every christian now.
    I listen every weekday morning at 5:30 am on WKZM 104.3 fm.
    Thank you for making my weekday morning start full of Godly praise, educational, worshipful, and interesting.
    May God continue to bless Haven Today as you honor Him!

    • Corum says:

      Thanks so much for the encouraging note, Cindy! I am passing your note along to Charles and David who I know will love to see it. And that sounds like a great discipleship class at your church. I hope these resources will be useful to help facilitate a future session. Let us know if you need anything further to help!

  • Charles W. Trujillo says:

    Hi Charles and David,
    This weeks series is an eye opener, and as always interesting to hear the other side. By no means do I want to be in their shoes. Keep up the good work as I enjoy all the topics that are explored and discussed. Thank you gentleman for your work.

  • Tom Kearney says:

    I’ve heard it said we are in “the last of the last days.” I sure hope so. Satan & his demons are running wild barely unchecked. Come Lord Jesus.

  • Matthew says:

    Your blog post provides a valuable prelude to viewing American Gospel: Christ Crucified, offering essential context and resources for a deeper understanding of the issues at hand.

    I appreciate how you not only promote the documentary but also encourage viewers to engage thoughtfully with the material by providing a free study guide. This proactive approach to viewing ensures that audiences can fully digest and respond to the film’s content.

    Furthermore, your introduction to the individuals presenting opposing viewpoints within the documentary demonstrates a commitment to fairness and understanding. By acknowledging their perspectives and providing insight into their backgrounds, you facilitate a more nuanced dialogue surrounding the issues explored in the film.

    The emphasis on the gospel message of “Christ crucified” and its inherent offense in contemporary culture sets the stage for an exploration of critical topics in Christian discourse today. Your inclusion of questions such as the meaning of Jesus’ sacrifice, the nature of God’s wrath, and the necessity of hell reflects a willingness to grapple with complex theological concepts.

    Overall, your blog post serves as an excellent companion piece to American Gospel: Christ Crucified, preparing viewers to engage with the documentary’s content in a thoughtful and informed manner. Thank you for providing these valuable resources and insights.

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