Film depicting Nickel Mines shootings questioned (Cindy Stauffer, Lancaster Intelligencer Journal, 03/01/2010) ran frontpage in south central PA the day after Donald Kraybill, one of the authors of Amish Grace: How Forgiveness Transcended Tragedy, spoke for the Emerging Scholars Network in partnership with Elizabethtown Brethren in Christ (click here). If you are unfamiliar with the Amish and you are interested in learning more, I encourage you to begin by
- reading a copy of Amish Grace: How Forgiveness Transcended Tragedy — available in hardback, paperback, Kindle. Note: the Amish Grace web site is a rich resource and All author royalties are going to Mennonite Central Committee for their ministries to children.
- visiting the Amish Studies web site — maintained by the Young Center for Anabaptist & Pietist Studies, Elizabethtown College (PA). Note: Donald Kraybill is Distinguished College Professor and Senior Fellow in the Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies at Elizabethtown College (PA). He received his Ph.D. in Sociology from Temple University.
- watching The Amish (American Experience) and exploring the materials available the website.
How should followers of Christ respond to this popular culture depiction of the Gospel, academic research, and a minority group which desires as a people of God to be separate from popular culture?
- contend that certain forms of media can never do justice to events/material such as what is found in Amish Grace: How Forgiveness Transcended Tragedy
- post comments on the film’s website and other locations which encourage dialogue
- stand up against what appears to be a misuse of film rights to the title of a well researched book, it’s content, and those whom it represents
- turn the other cheek by neither entering the public fray nor watching the film
- watch/discuss the film
- watch/discuss the film only after we’ve read up on the Amish or are led in consideration of the film by someone who can provide insights regarding the Amish
- seek to produce more films/documentaries closer to the facts/truth, e.g., The Amish: Back Roads to Heaven (which ends with a brief summary on the Nickel Mines tragedy), The Amish: How They Survive, The Amish: A People of Preservation, The Amish (American Experience)
Note 1: InterVarsity’s work with Christian scholars in South Central PA did sponsor a showing and discussion of The Amish (American Experience) in partnership with the Elizabethtown Public Library. It was our privilege to have Donald Kraybill, who served as an adviser to the PBS program, take questions regarding not only film production and content, but also others regarding the Amish and the Nickel Mines shootings. Thank-you Donald!
Note 2: Amish Grace on IMDB.
Revised: 11/11/2013, 10/23/2014, 8/6/2016
About the author:
Tom enjoys daily conversations regarding living out the Biblical Story with his wife Theresa and their four girls, around the block, at Elizabethtown Brethren in Christ Church (where he teaches adult electives and co-leads a small group), among healthcare professionals as the Northeast Regional Director for the Christian Medical & Dental Associations (CMDA), and in higher ed as a volunteer with the Emerging Scholars Network (ESN). For a number of years, the Christian Medical Society / CMDA at Penn State College of Medicine was the hub of his ministry with CMDA. Note: Tom served with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship / USA for 20+ years, including 6+ years as the Associate Director of ESN. He has written for the ESN blog from its launch in August 2008. He has studied Biology (B.S.), Higher Education (M.A.), Spiritual Direction (Certificate), Spiritual Formation (M.A.R.), Ministry to Emerging Generations (D.Min.). To God be the glory!