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The Star of Bethlehem Movie Review by Dr. Anne Margaret WrightRick Larson
311 Crescent Drive
Bryan, Texas 77801-4542
As I write this review late in the evening, I'm trying to convince my 15-year-old son, Josiah, to turn off his computer and telescope and finally go to bed! The problem is that he has developed a new passion after watching The Star of Bethlehem Movie. He really, really wants just a few more minutes to check just one more thing on his Starry Night software program and look at just one more star in his telescope (which had been collecting dust in his closet for a couple of years). Why has this movie, which before viewing we suspected might be a fairly dry documentary, created such a passion in our young son and, indeed, in our whole family? Why have we watched it at least ten times already and decided it will be a new part of our family Christmas traditions? Because The Star of Bethlehem has stirred not only our minds, but also our hearts and our faith! The Star of Bethlehem Movie ($11.85) was created and presented by Rick Larson, an attorney who developed a passion to solve the mystery of the world's most famous star. Produced by Stephen McEveety (of The Passion of the Christ fame), this movie takes the viewer on a fascinating journey through Mr. Larson's astronomical and spiritual discoveries, with amazing graphics and beautiful music. [It is important to note that this movie is about understanding the signs God placed in the skies (astronomy), which is clearly Biblical, not about believing the stars control our lives (astrology).]
There have been many theories throughout the last 2000 years about what actually happened in the sky over Bethlehem to help the Magi understand that something very special was happening. Was it a comet, an angel, a miraculous sign, or something else entirely? Mr. Larson researched the topic extensively and used astrological software to search back through the ages for clues about the star. So as not to require a spoiler warning, just let me say that what he found was absolutely stunning. He called the signs that he found "a poem" written by God before time began. Starting with nine requirements for the star found in Matthew, he carefully and methodically researched the historical and Biblical evidence for the timing of Christ's birth and any unusual astronomical events. Some of the requirements are things that we all know, such as the Magi coming from east of Bethlehem. Some are clear in Scripture, but I had never thought of them before, such as Herod needing to ask when the star occurred--so it was something the Magi understood but Herod could have missed. We thought Mr. Larson did an excellent job of showing which of his findings were clearly revealed in Scripture or history and which were speculation or educated guesses on his part. His case was, needless to say, very compelling! There is much additional information available on the website (www.bethlehemstarmovie.com) if you want to dig deeper into his research.
Even my younger children thoroughly enjoyed watching The Star of Bethlehem over and over. Each time, we all walked away with new insight and with a deepened faith. We all enjoyed the lovely graphics and music, as well as Mr. Larson's careful research and passion for the topic. We gained new insight into the amazing love that God has for His children and the incredible gift of His son to a perishing world. It is stunning to think that before time began, God wrote signs in the heavens in the most amazing poem ever written!