THE STORY OF DINI
There are many countries in the world today who are all but closed to the preaching of Christianity. Most are Muslim. In recent years there have been numerous reports about Muslims in such “closed countries” seeing visions or dreams about Jesus, and then converting to Christianity. More Than Dreams is a dramatic recounting of five such stories. Here, I’d like to review one of them. I plan on reviewing the rest of the movie in the future.
Dini, an Indonesian woman of about 30, tells her story of how she changed from being a Muslim to being a follower of Jesus.
The story is well told in Indonesian with English subtitles. The acting is far more than I expected.
In terms of doctrinal clarity, Dini’s story has a number of strengths and weaknesses. Let’s begin with the weaknesses.
Only one passage of Scripture is quoted, and that is 1 Cor 13:4-7, dealing with love. In an evangelistic movie, this is quite puzzling. Why not John 3:14-16; Eph 2:8-9; 1 Cor 15:3-4; and other texts that deal with the gospel and everlasting life?
We are told nothing about Jesus other than His name. We are not told where He was born, that He died on the cross and rose bodily from the dead, that He appeared to people after His resurrection, that He is coming again to establish His kingdom, or even that He promises everlasting life to those who believe in Him.
Possibly this is because Muslims do not believe that Jesus died on the cross or that He rose from the dead. Hence the makers of this film may be trying to avoid offending Muslim sensibilities. This is a shame, since these facts explain why Jesus can give everlasting life to those who believe in Him.
That brings up the question of the condition of becoming a Christian, which is repeatedly stated as following Jesus, e.g., Dini became a follower of Jesus. Again, this is unfortunate because it obscures the fact that, while all believers are called to follow Jesus, the only condition for becoming regenerate is faith in Jesus, not following Him.
Dini had a vision of Jesus during Ramadan and later in the movie, when the evangelist gives his appeal, he says something like You may or may not have a vision of jesus, but … It seems odd to imply to Muslims that such an experience is so common that it quite possibly might happen to them.
Finally, it takes over 30 minutes to get to the evangelistic close, which is fairly good. I wonder how many Muslims would stick with this movie that long. Surely some would. But the vast majority probably would not.
The evangelistic close is actually fairly good. The preacher says that God wants you to join His family “through faith in Jesus Christ.” He then leads the viewer in a salvation prayer, saying, “You have received everlasting life with God. You are a child of God.”
Unfortunately, even this is a bit confused. The preacher goes on to suggest that trusting or believing in Jesus means following Him. He also invites the reader to open his heart and receive Jesus as Savior.
I would say that a Muslim who was open could benefit from watching this story. Although there is no discussion of the gospel and no citation of evangelistic verses, the message of everlasting life by faith in Jesus Christ is actually mentioned. Unfortunately, Dini’s story is fuzzy about what faith in Christ is, the implication being it means following Jesus. However, an open Muslim who saw this might start reading the Bible and attending church. By doing so the person could then hear the gospel and the message of life, especially if he read the Gospel of John.