Religulous: A Movie To Be Taken Seriously...Or Not?

A couple of nights ago, the wife and I sat down to watch Bill Maher's latest film titled "Religulous". The movie was thought-provoking in a number of ways and was quite humorous at points. The style and presentation made the movie engaging and watchful. Yet, it was Maher's tact that made me take "Religulous" with a grain of salt.

What I mean is, Maher basically fed his anti-theist presuppositions or better yet, frustrations with Christianity (the movie does question Judaism and Islam at points as well!) by interviewing certain types of people in certain types of places. There were billions of places and millions of people he could have went to for better information but he didn't! For example, Maher found it necesarry to go looking for answers at truck stop chapels and amusement parks, word of faith churches and other such places. In other words, he went to places where he knew he wouldn't get sound answers and people would most likely look silly when sharing their thoughts.

It all made me think of Lee Strobel's attempts to disprove Christianity a number of years ago. However, Strobel didn't go to the least educated and the biblically illiterate, no, he went to people who had devoted their lives to studying, interpreting and acknowledging the scope and implications of Scripture. To be sure, Strobel didn't want to settle for the typical, run-of-the-mill answer, instead, he thought that if he could knock Christianity's top scholars off of their feet, he could then destroy the heart (and mind!) of Christianity.

Yet, Maher did not do this. Again, he only went to places where he could make a mockery of Christianity and some of its tenets. I wonder if he had taken an approach similar to Strobel's, if he would have come to a similar conclusion? As you may know, after interviewing Christianity's top scholars, Strobel no longer demeaned the faith, instead, he embraced it. Today, Strobel is a scholar in his own right and heavily promotes sound Christian thinking.

So, while Maher's film had some good critiques and good humor, in the end, I only find myself laughing at his shallow approach and I have to say, "Too bad for him; what a waste of a search and what a waste of a film!"

**UPDATE** I was asked on Facebook, shortly after I wrote thist post, who, in terms of scholars, Strobel interviewed. So, below I've added a list of persons he's interviewed in his books. He's interviewed countless more people on-air and on TV. Notice how this list makes Maher's interviews at truck stops and amusement parks just look totally foolish!!!

* Dr. Robert J. Stein
* Dr. Alexander Metherell
* Dr. William Lane Craig
* Dr. Gary Habermas
* Dr. Craig Blomberg
* Dr. Bruce Metzger
* Dr. Edwin Yamauchi
* Dr. John McRay
* Dr. Greg Boyd
* Dr. Ben Witherington, III
* Dr. Gary Collins
* Dr. Douglas A. Carson
* Dr. J. P. Moreland
* Dr. Jonathan Wells
* Dr. Stephen C. Meyer
* Dr. Robin Collins
* Dr. Jay W. Richards
* Dr. Michael J. Behe
* Louis Lapides, MDiv, ThM


  1. Thanks Michael for your review. I found it very insightful to compare his "research" and that of Strobel's. Maher is very open about how he views Christians and it is obvious he looked specifically for those that would help make his point (and offer brevity) and not to challenge his belief system (unlike Strobel who sought the truth and nothing but the truth). It is a common point of humor in Hollywood to make Christians look dumb and un-intelligent. I recently had someone say to me when I was discussing my faith that they were surprised I had "bought into Christianity because [they] thought I was smart." I do realize that one of Maher's primary objectives was to entertain but his true feelings and mockery sure came out loud and clear!

    -Cindy Jansen Gustafason

  2. Cindy,
    You certainly seem correct to say that Maher "looked" for those who would "help make his point". To be sure, the Strobel comparison / contrast seems like a good one in many ways and you are right, Strobel's agenda was find out the truth whereas Maher's was making fun of Christians who don't know their stuff, who don't have an informed faith! Thanks again.

  3. reckon i'll watch the film and write a review too. unless that will steal your thunder.

  4. The worst part is that Maher starts to quote from "Zeitgeist" at the end of the movie. I think he thinks that Jesus wasn't even a person.

  5. Chris, yeah, you should do that.

    Brad, it seemed quite clear to me that, indeed, Maher believes that Jesus (of Nazareth) never existed but was merely a type of mythological creature!