leans strongly toward a biblical worldview
|Faith and/or Biblical Relevance|
|Faith-compatible Depiction of Characters and Character Relationships|
|Faith-compatible Depiction of Situations|
|Family Viewing Suitability|
|view our criteria|
With God’s design for the family under intense attack, the one-night-only release of IRREPLACEABLE in theaters nationwide on May 6th offers moviegoers an unparalleled opportunity to consider the impact of efforts to undermine sexuality, marriage, parenting and fatherhood from a perspective that secular commentators largely ignore. As the first movie in a series of feature documentaries intended to generate conversation about the family unit as the fundamental building block of society, IRREPLACEABLE makes the case that addressing a host of social ills starts with a correct understanding of God’s love, forgiveness and created intent for sexuality, marriage and family. Accompanying IRREPLACEABLE are church-specific resources including The Family Project, a 12-session, DVD-based small group experience that digs deeper into the themes found in the documentary.
Developed by Pine Creek Entertainment in association with Focus on the Family, IRREPLACEABLE is written by Glenn Stanton and Leon Wirth and directed and narrated by Tim Sisarich, former Executive Director of Focus on the Family New Zealand. IRREPLACEABLE follows Sisarich on his journey through Greece, England and America to interview a wide range of leading experts on the issues leading to the breakdown of the family worldwide. Along the way, what begins as an academic quest for answers turns personal for Sisarich – ultimately focusing on the universally applicable biblical story of The Prodigal and God’s fatherly love and forgiveness.
Overall Faith and/or Biblical Relevance
In our hyper-sexualized culture in which pornography is rampant, gender is questioned, marriage is being redefined, divorce and cohabitation are prevalent, abortion is common, and children are increasingly born out of wedlock and raised in single-parent and/or fatherless homes, a film like IRREPLACEABLE is long overdue and highly relevant. Indeed, the arrival of a documentary like IRREPLACEBLE on the scene in 2014 – more than 50 years after the onset of the sexual revolution – speaks volumes about the failure of the church to lovingly, clearly and consistently share God’s truth on gender, sexuality, marriage and family to an increasingly confused culture.
And while IRREPLACEABLE gamely and logically moves through the topics of sexuality, marriage, parenthood and fatherlessness in its treatment of the key threats facing the family today, it ultimately fails to connect the dots and link each topic to the core biblical issue of how humans bear God’s image as male and female. This is somewhat surprising given the writers’ deep grounding in the Imago Dei as the scriptural foundation for human relations with God, each other and the rest of creation. Perhaps the Imago Dei theme will be developed as the documentary series unfolds.
Faith-compatible Depiction of Characters and Character Relationships
IRREPLACEABLE consistently presents a view of the family unit that is biblical. It makes the case that built into every human is the desire for significance and belonging and that God designed the family as the place where these deepest longings are fulfilled. Here, well-known commentator Eric Metaxis argues that the family is the building block for civilization and points to two competing worldviews – a family-centric understanding based on God versus a state-centric view which says that the family can be deconstructed and redefined to suit ourselves. When God’s plan for the family is highly esteemed by a society, the state thrives. However, when the statist view prevails the family unit is destroyed and then ultimately the state along with it.
Throughout IRREPLACEABLE, heart-warming and hope-filled images of the family unit are presented. And Sisarich’s own family is highlighted, including a realistic portrayal of how the biblical “sins of the fathers” are passed from one generation to the next. Here, IRREPLACEABLE concludes that while fathers are the key to solving societal ills, it is ultimately a restored relationship with God as our Heavenly Father that transforms human hearts and brings hope and healing to our broken world.
Faith-compatible Depiction of Situations
IRREPLACEABLE focuses on challenging topics in an engaging and respectful manner that yields insights that are largely ignored by the media and secular commentators. Here, Sisarich interviews a broad range of secular and Christian experts including Eric Metaxis, Roger Scruton, John Stonestreet, Elizabeth Marquardt, Ashley McGuire, Joanna Hyatt, Michael Medved, Nicky and Sila Lee, Helen Alvaré, Dr. Anne Moir, Jonathan V. Last, Frederica Matthews-Green, Dr. Linda Malone-Colón, Carey Casey, and Jack Cowley.
Family Viewing Suitability
With its PG 15+ rating, IRREPLACEABLE deals with some adult themes that call for caution and discernment on the part of parents. Sensitive topics like gender and sexuality, abortion, sexually transmitted infections, the hook-up culture and the consumerism of sexuality are unavoidable in any honest and healthy conversation about the state of the family. While IRREPLACEABLE does a good job of navigating this challenge, there are some frank discussions with people on the street and in prison that involve adult sexual content.
IRREPLACEABLE is a well-made film with high production values that encourages moviegoers to think about family and related issues in ways that ultimately point to God and His design for humanity. Tim Sisarich is engaging and effective in his role as narrator searching for the answers to deep questions that impact this generation and those to come.
While the writers are to be commended in their attempt to take the subject from the head to the heart, the clear and systematic exploration of sexuality, marriage, parenting and fatherhood ultimately loses focus and becomes less coherent when Sisarich shifts from talking to people “because of their titles” to talking to people “because of their stories.” Here, Sisarich contemplates Rembrandt’s “Return of the Prodigal” but then rather abruptly looks inward to his own relationship with his father – prompting an examination of his perfectionism and parenting abilities.
For some, this shift from a specific treatment of the state of the family to a generalized – yet personal – call to redemption, forgiveness and restoration unto God the Father will seem disconnected and perhaps even confusing. While Evangelical Christians will understand this call to make personal application from a generalized starting point, others may find themselves wondering exactly what is irreplaceable – family, fathers or God the Father.
Despite this limitation, IRREPLACEABLE comes highly recommended as an entertaining and thought-provoking film worth seeing and supporting during its one-night run in theaters.