I just took my boys to see the latest rendition of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. I admit being skeptical about Jim "Ace Ventura" Carrey providing the character and voice for Scrooge.
The movie was done so well! Carrey was terrific. It was very true to the book and Disney spared us of their modernizing shenanigans.
I love this classic by Charles Dickens. I quibble with it's lack of Christocentricity and a potentially misleading premise about what makes a person right with God -by good deeds (works). Dickens was a waffling Anglican, it's difficult to pinpoint his theology. A Christmas Carol considered theologically or doctrinally is deficient. A Christmas Carol as a lesson in the danger of idolizing money, the importance of compassion, generosity, and benevolence it is excellent. Further, A Christmas Carol provides a vivid wake up call about the brevity of life.
To be clear, a person cannot be right with God by showing kindness to people or simply being "good". We can only be made right with God by faith in Christ (and His finished work on the Cross in our stead). When we are brought in to union with Christ by faith, we are new creatures and good works will certainly follow, but the order of this transformation is important to note. In the character of Ebenezer Scrooge one might be left to think God will judge us by how many good deeds we do then determine if we get in to heaven or are doomed to wander in a tortrous eternity like Jacob Marley. If that's how it works, we're all scrooged (pardon the play on words!). None of us have done more good deeds than bad, none of us. Only the righteousness of Christ, which is ours by faith, meets the requirements of our Holy God. I'll even say it's unrealistic to think someone as vile, selfish, and heartless as Scrooge could experience such an apparently lifelong turn around without the regneration of the Holy Spirit that comes with a vital relationship to Christ. (read Titus 3:5-7 and Galatians 1-2 for clarity on this important point)
A Christmas Carol is valuable and classic, but don't miss it's deficiencies.
Go see it. It's worth it. It provided excellent fodder for discussion between my boys and I.
Warning: it is an intense movie dealing bluntly and graphically with the coldness and finality of death. I probably shouldn't have taken my 7 year old son Jordan, the images were pretty vivid and scary to him.