by Bernie Lutchman, Jr.

(Official Movie Trailer Below)
The first brand new Christian movie to be released in 2017 is guaranteed to wash your winter blues away. W.W.E. Studios (yes, World Wrestling Entertainment) produced one of the most humorous, and clearly impactful, Christian films I have ever seen. The RESURRECTION OF GAVIN STONE (R.O.G.S.) is due to be released nationwide on Friday January 20, 2017, starring Brett Dalton, as Gavin Stone. Wrestling fans will also recognize the Heartbreak Kid, Shawn Michaels, as one of the main characters in the movie. Shawn is a born-again believer in real life.

R.O.G.S.' swiftly-flowing storyline revolves around the former child-actor Gavin Stone (TV Actor Brett Dalton, AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. ABC TV etc.) who later became a troubled young adult, and typical of Hollywood child actors, made it too big too fast. Like most child actors, he hailed from either the Midwest, or the South, and Gavin Stone’s hometown was Masonville, Illinois. Masonville looked eerily like Mason City, an actual small Central-Illinois town, where the main attraction is a circa-1920’s theater, with authentic-era seating, called "The Arlee". Unfortunately Midwestern values went out-the-window once Gavin moved to Hollywood to become the great child actor, with catchy phrases, merchandizing, and more. That is, until it all went south; and like most child actors, Stone ended up on the wrong side of the law.

To work out his drug addiction rehab, Stone was sentenced to 200 hours of Community Service at the local mega-church, as a janitor. His displeasure at this required responsibility is obvious until he notices that the church's Passion Play is about to get going. His ego causes him to desire the lead role of, you guessed it - Jesus Christ. There is only one problem: the Bible-preaching pastor (played by TV/Movie actor D.B. Sweeney) mentions to Stone that the role is only open to someone who is a Christian.  Naturally the self-absorbed actor suddenly declared that he, indeed was a "Christian" and did what any self-professing "Christian" does - he mouthed words about Jesus.
This sudden conversion began a series of humorous incidents throughout the movie, which flowed effortlessly into the well-crafted, and directed narrative, written by  Andrea Gyertson Nasfel. She may not sound familiar, but some of the most powerful Christian movies were written by Ms. Nasfel, with an increasingly-impressive portfolio, including "Mom's Night Out", "WHAT IF", "Christmas with a Capitol C", and others.
Without giving away most of the plot, the expert weaving of holy humor, and complex human relationships, speaks to regular people who simply "do" life! As there is a notion that Christians have to have a great life of health, wealth, and great relationships. This is about 180 degrees out-of-phase with life, where wayward teens walk out on their parents, and have rough-and-tough relationships with them, as with Gavin Stone and his movie father (played by former Second City actor Neil Flynn). We also see imperfect people seek goals they can never attain, in this movie. Yet they can come together worshiping the same God, staying true to the Bible, all under the banner of grace.
Grace is a huge theme of R.O.G.S. We see a lot of grace with the former Hollywood "bad boy" Stone, being welcome back by his formerly estranged father (Flynn). We see grace in a church, with a group of regular people, welcoming a stranger, who is doing community service, in their midst. We see the doctrine of the "second chance", which God has given to each and every one of us, whom He has saved by that same grace. 
We see grace in an ex-con named Doug, who now runs a well-stocked automotive shop, full of custom choppers and equipment. This former ex-con is now a sold-out man for Jesus, who loves to do anonymous good deeds, like repairing cars for single moms, and using the word "crush" a lot! This was a perfect role for the former World Wrestling Entertainment long time crowd favorite Shawn Michaels, the  Heartbreak Kid (HBK), who is still a favorite with a lot of folks, and is a real follower of Christ himself. 

For a serious student of the Bible, or even a casual one, the best illustration of this grace, which caused God to come down from Heaven, and be born as a man to save-the-world, was the same grace shown by the main-female cast member of this movie. Wonderfully played by Angelah Johnson-Reyes (as Kelly Richardson, the pastor's daughter) is the personification of poise, and the character who gets double-crossed again by Gavin Stone, just after she trusted him as a close, possible-romantic interest.
Stone had gone briefly back to his old life (another illustration of the attraction of the devil just before real breakthrough)  when he felt the tug-on-his-heart, which all of us feel B.C. (Before Christ) before conversion.  As Stone is about to make a mistake, which could have permanently ruined him, he decides to return from Hollywood to Illinois, only to be welcomed back with open arms, by those he almost betrayed.

To read more about this Christian-theme film, and many others, visit Bernie's blog “The Write Stuff” at http://bernielutchman.blogspot.com/2016/12/new-movie-review-resurrection-of-gavin.html 

Also see Bernie's review of "God's NOT Dead 2" for Twinas!

More about Bernie Lutchman:

Bernie Lutchman's Family Ministry - be a part of his outreach ministry Businessmen in Christ, and watch his weekly Christian TV program Plumbline.

Pick up a copy of his book "
Danger Zone", then follow +BernieLutchman on Google+, on Facebook he's Bernie Lutchman Jr., and on Twitter you can find him @BernieLutchman