Movie Review: The Gospel (2005)

What happens when you take the story of the prodigal son and place it in an African American church?  Well what you don’t get is the Christian Gospel.

David the young son of the pastor of an African American church leaves the church and the ministry that his father was grooming him for when his mother suddenly dies and his father arrives at the hospital after she passes away.  David bitter because God didn’t answer his prayer to keep his mother alive and he projects that on his father because he was with the church instead with his mother.  Fast forward to the future David is a successful R&B singer with a hit song and a low set of morals.  When he gets a call telling him that his father is sick and needs to come home.  David has obviously mellowed in the years between because he agrees to come home and see his father.

At home David’s best friend has become the new pastor of the church, his father reveals that he has prostrate cancer and won’t be around long.  David is confused and at that point I quit caring.

The best thing I can say about this movie is that the Gospel songs were great.  But there wasn’t the “Gospel” presented at any point.  In fact this movie could have been produced by TD Jakes or Creflo Dollar because the message proclaimed by the “sermons” preached in this movie was that blessings and prosperity are yours if you just follow Jesus and give your money to the church.  Frankly having heard sermons by a great African American preacher like Voddie Baucham or by Thabiti Anyabwile of First Baptist Church of Grand Cayman where the gospel is clearly proclaimed I am embarrassed to see something proclaimed as “The Gospel” that doesn’t contain the actual gospel in any way at all.

The Gospel gets a negative three stars it would have gotten more but the singing actually saved it from that.