ChildCare Action Project (CAP): Christian Analysis of American Culture


Click on CAPCon Alert
image for explanation
Entertainment Media Analysis Report
A service to our youth through you,
their parents and grandparents, in His name by His Word

Joshua (2001), G
Analysis Date: April 26, 2002
CAP Score: 95
CAP Influence Density: 0.08

MinMax: -8

ALERT: To fully understand this report you should first visit the topics suggested by the CAP Table of Contents.

For FREE text-only versions of our media analysis reports as they are calculated, open this email then click "send." If your browser does not handle this URL format properly, send us a request to add you.

NOTE: If you do not want the plot, ending, or "secrets" of a movie spoiled for you, skip the Summary/Commentary. In any case, be sure to visit the Findings/Scoring section -- it is completely objective to His Word and is the heart of the CAP Entertainment Media Analysis Model applied to this movie.


If Scriptural references appear, the full text appears at the end of the Summary / Commentary likely using a mix of KJV and NIV.

JOSHUA (G) -- Another green CAPAlert light!!!

Distributed by: Crusader Entertainment LLC, Paramount Studios
Director(s): Jon Purdy
Producer(s): Howard Baldwin, Karen Elise Baldwin, Paul Pompian
Written by/Screenplay: Joseph F. Girzone (novel), Brad Mirman and Keith Giglio (screenplay)
Cinematography/Camera: Bruce Surtees
Music: David R. Barkley, Michael W. Smith
Film Editing: Richard Nord
Art Direction: Jeff Wallace

Now THIS is entertainment! Though some performers were obviously new and inexperienced or were inadequately motivated, for the most part Joshua presented quality performances in a moving and thought - provoking story with NO filth or extreme anything. Joshua was yet another proof that filmmakers can actually write and produce quality family entertainment if they try hard enough.

What would Jesus look like if He were standing before you? Would He help you rebuild a fallen church? Would He go to your son's rock concert? Would He let a woman kiss Him? What would He say to you? Where would he sleep and live?

Some of these questions are given what the writers felt might be answers in this that may appear to some as a portrayal of the second coming of Christ. This show portrays Joshua (Tony Goldwyn) as Jesus walking the earth but in a modern setting. In this portrayal, He does not come to us "...with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God..." [1Ths. 4:16]. Rather, the Joshua "Jesus" appeared as He might have casually come upon they who knew and saw Him when He was a man 2000 years ago but using modern man and the modern world to tell the story. While the Bible clearly directs that Jesus will come the second time after the Rapture, there is no Rapture in this depiction and Jesus did not collect His Bride (we Christians), the quick and the dead. He did not lock up Satan. He is just here, walking up as he might have approached Bethany or Jericho.

So, this film should be thought more of as a depiction as He might have been 2000 years ago, delivering His message of love, truth, togetherness, peace and compassion. And that it does. Very well. Using modern Americans instead of Palestinians. One of the reasons I believe this to be a depiction of how Jesus might have lived His life 2000 years ago with a modern backdrop rather than a story of the second coming of Christ is that there was no talk noted of Salvation through the shedding of Christ's precious cleansing Blood as if the Saving Sacrifice had not yet happened.

Joshua strolls into the outskirts of Auburn as two teenagers are vandalizing the wreckage of a Baptist church destroyed by a storm the year before. Also meeting Joshua and chasing off the teenagers is a stuttering "gentle giant" of a black man who seems to be the only one who understands who it is standing before him. I wish I could remember this man's name who told Joshua his greatest desire was to be a preacher but that his stutter would not let him. At the gentle giant's spoken doubt about himself, Joshua told him with a sense of certainty rather than wishes that he will be a very good preacher. That sense of certainty is one of the key positive features of this movie. There is no sanctimonious holier-than-than projections sometimes typical of the one playing the part of Jesus in Jesus movies.

Strolling into Auburn, Joshua finds residence in an old leaking barn to carry out his vocation of woodworking. Nice adaptations on the part of the writers to have the Carpenter living in a manger. This is our first hint with substance who Joshua is. One of the next scenes has Joshua ripping apart the remains of the destroyed church, readying it for rebuilding. The townspeople arrive to question Joshua and lay on him their authority. But soon, many of the townspeople are helping Joshua rebuild the church ... with the stuttering gentle giant having a commanding presence. Eventually, they get the church rebuilt but as the finishing touch, the gentle giant gets to hang the church bell. As soon as he gets it hung, a flock of pigeons flutter out of the bell tower and startle the gentle giant who falls to his death 40 feet below -- until Joshua tells him to wake up. And he does.

Among the opposition Joshua faces is the local clergy led by Father Tardone (F. Murray Abraham) who apparently sees Joshua's magnetism as a threat to his own nice little "following." Father Tardone threatens to denounce Joshua/Jesus as a fraud before the Pope (Giancarlo Giannini) and launches a campaign to convince the townspeople, who are by now following Joshua in just about everything he does, to mistrust Joshua and send him out of town. The badgered Father Pat Hayes (Kurt Fuller) obeys his boss, Father Tardone in his campaign against Joshua/Jesus ... but only to a certain point. It is when Joshua/Jesus talks the gentle giant back to life that Father Pat decides he has been working for a fool who does not know he is a fool in the sense of eviyl {ev-eel'}: one who despises wisdom, who mocks when guilty, who is quarrelsome.

A young teenager is verbally antagonized by a father portrayed as being quite "back woods" narrow about the music the teen makes (which happens to be Christian rock), but Joshua encourages the teen to continue with his convictions. I have a problem with this portrayal. If some stranger came to my son and advised my son to rebel against my wishes, the stranger and I would be at odds in no uncertain terms. However, if Jesus came and encouraged my son to disregard my wishes, I would look to my wishes for the cause of friction. But if your teen sees this, it is inevitable that the "My father just doesn't understand" surface of the statement will be louder than the "I love you and want the best for you" heart of it. It is sort of like reading the Bible and just reading the words, not the Word. And nowhere have I seen in the Bible has God given that it is okay for a son to rebel against his father. Ever [Is. 30:1 and many others]. And likewise nowhere have I seen in the Bible that God has given that it is okay for a father to ridicule his son [Eph. 6:4].

A revival evangelist is preaching in a tent. The writers appear to have the evangelist as one of the shallow pretenders who pass the plate for pocket money rather than operating funds: who have staged actors pretend to be healed. Joshua/Jesus indeed humbles the evangelist by doing a little healing of his own -- of a blind woman who came in faith to be healed.

An interesting item of attention to detail is the writers portraying Joshua/Jesus as being physically drained each time he heals someone. Joshua staggered a bit when he resurrected the gentle giant and nearly collapsed when he gave sight back the blind woman in the revival tent. This item of detail fits the picture well of the time the woman with bloody issue for twelve years who had faith that if she could merely touch the hem of Jesus' cloak that she would be healed. And when she did, when she was healed Jesus told His disciples that He felt the virtue (healing power) go out from Him [Luke 8:43-46].

During an episode of discussion between Joshua and Fathers Tardone and Hayes, the topic of fearing God comes up. Joshua suggests in a worldly sense that we are to love God not fear Him, which is true. But God advises that we fear Him. Let me talk for a moment about this "fear of God", one of the most misunderstood and misused expressions in the Bible. So many use it against the believers saying God demands that you be afraid of Him when it couldn't be farther from the Truth. Looking at the definition of "fear" according to Strong's, where "fear of God" appears in the KJV there are three translations to "fear."

  1. yir'ah {yir-aw'}: 1) fear, terror, fearing, 1a) fear, terror, 1b) awesome or terrifying thing (object causing fear), 1c) fear (of God), respect, reverence, piety, 1d) revered

  2. pachad {pakh'-ad}: 1) terror, dread, 1a) dread, 1b) object of dread

  3. phobos {fob'-os}: 1) fear, dread, terror, 1a) that which strikes terror; 2) reverence for one's husband
When "pachad" is used it speaks to that which His enemies should feel such as in 2 Chronicles 20:29 "And the fear [pachad] of God was on all the kingdoms of those countries, when they had heard that the LORD fought against the enemies of Israel." But in other cases when "yirah" and "phobos" are used, it speaks to reverence, honor and respect such as in 2 Samuel 23:3 "The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spake to me, He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear [yirah] of God", in 2 Corinthians 7:1 "Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear [phobos] of God" and in Ephesians. 5:21 "Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear [phobos] of God."

So, if you oppose and reject God you should dread (pachad) fear what He will do (and won't do). If you love Him you should revere, honor and respect (yirah or phobos) fear Him. "Yirah" or "phobos" fear Him even in the marriage sense as we, the believers, will be His Bride.

There is much more to this 86-minute excursion into thought and contemplation. I will spoil no more of it for you. Please be sure to check the very short listing of findings in the Findings/Scoring section which repeats that which you have read herein plus a teeny bit more.


If needed to focus or fortify, applicable text is underlined or bracketed [ ]. If you wish to have full context available, the Blue Letter Bible is a convenient source. If you use the Blue Letter Bible, a new window will open. Close it to return here or use "Window" in your browser's menu bar to alternate between the CAP page and the Blue Letter Bible page.

  • 1 Thess. 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
  • Is. 30:1 Woe to the rebellious children, saith the LORD, that take counsel, but not of me; and that cover with a covering, but not of my spirit, that they may add sin to sin:
  • Eph. 6:4 And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. ["Wrath" here is not a simple tantrum or conniption or a "hissy fit" because, for example, they can't get their way but is justified (by God's standards).]
  • Luke 8:43 - 46 And a woman having an issue of blood twelve years, which had spent all her living upon physicians, neither could be healed of any, Came behind him, and touched the border of his garment: and immediately her issue of blood stanched. And Jesus said, Who touched me? When all denied, Peter and they that were with him said, Master, the multitude throng thee and press thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me? And Jesus said, Somebody hath touched me: for I perceive that virtue [dunamis {doo'-nam-is}: power for performing miracles] is gone out of me.

    *******Food for Thought*******
  • 1 Cor. 15:33 (KJV) Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. (NIV) Do not be misled: Bad company corrupts good character.
  • Jude 4 For certain men* whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord. [*men: anthropos {anth'-ro-pos}, generic, a human being, whether male or female]
  • Matt. 25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto [or for] one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto [or for] me.
  • Luke 17:2 It would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around his neck than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin. [cause by teaching or example]
  • Ps. 119:133 Direct my footsteps according to your word; let no sin rule over me.
  • John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
  • 1 Thess. 5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.

    As always, it is best to refer to the Findings/Scoring section -- the heart of the CAP analysis model -- for the most complete assessment possible of this movie.

    Joshua (2001) CAP Thermometers

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W):
  • fall death

    Impudence/Hate (I)(1):
  • teen arrogance against father

    Sex/Homosexuality (S):
  • suggestive eye movement
  • ghosting of female anatomy through clothing

    Drugs/Alcohol (D):
  • bar
  • dinner wine

    Offense to God (O)(2):
  • some discussion about cheapening the "harsh" side of God's Word; misue of the fear of God

    Murder/Suicide (M)(3):
  • none noted

  • NOTE: None of the organizations in the images on this page are paying one cent for the space.

    Help us to stay active by making your purchases through...


    Christian Media News

    Entirety Management Services, Inc.

    Biblical based Management Consulting

    A Singles
    Christian Network

    NOTE: The CAP Analysis Model makes no scoring allowances for trumped-up "messages" to excuse or for manufacturing of justification for aberrant behavior or imagery, or for camouflaging such ignominy with "redeeming" programming. Disguising sinful behavior in a theme plot does not excuse the sinful behavior of either the one who is drawing pleasure or example from the sinful display or the practitioners demonstrating the sinful behavior. This is NOT a movie review service. It is a movie analysis service to parents and grandparents to tell them the truth about movies using the Truth.

    "There are some in the entertainment industry who maintain that 1) violent programming is harmless because no studies exist that prove a connection between violent entertainment and aggressive behavior in children, and 2) young people know that television, movies, and video games are simply fantasy. Unfortunately, they are wrong on both accounts." And "Viewing violence may lead to real life violence." I applaud these associations for fortifying 1 Cor. 15:33. Read the rest of the story. From our nearly seven years of study, I contend that other aberrant behaviors, attitudes, and expressions can be inserted in place of "violence" in that statement. Our Director - Child Psychology Support, a licensed psychologist and certified school psychologist concurs. For example, "Viewing arrogance against fair authority may lead to your kids defying you in real life." Or "Viewing sex may lead to sex in real life." Likewise and especially with impudence, hate and foul language. I further contend that any positive behavior can be inserted in place of "violence" with the same chance or likelihood of being a behavior template for the observer; of being incorporated into the behavior mechanics and/or coping skills of the observer. In choosing your entertainment, please consider carefully the "rest of the story" and our findings.

    Join Christian Banner Exchange Network Today!

    (1) As noted in CAP Special Report-001, "Investigation Area and Scoring Trend," of the six CAP Investigation Areas, Impudence/Hate was the strongest presence in all four movie classifications. It has a strong revelation about the entertainment media.

    (2) The use of the three/four letter word vocabulary without God's name in vain is incorporated into the Impudence/Hate Investigation Area. The use of God's name with or without the four letter expletive is incorporated into the Offense to God Investigation Area. There is no duplication.

    (3) Only portrayal of successful murder or suicide are incorporated into Murder/Suicide. Portrayal of attempts to commit murder or suicide and deaths by police action or war are incorporated into Wanton Violence/Crime.

    The ChildCare Action Project (CAP) is a nonprofit Christian ministry. We rely on public support. If you wish to contribute to the CAP, please send your donations to

    ChildCare Action Project
    Post Office Box 177
    Granbury, TX 76048-0177

    Your gifts are tax deductible in accordance with Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Service Tax Codes.

    Please feel free to write to us.

    You are welcome to
    Open a new page for the CAP Reports page: (NO FRAMES) OR  (FRAMES)

    or go to the
    Top of the CAP Home Page
    or the
    CAP Table of Contents

    or leave me an email message or comment at

    Thank you for visiting us and may God bless you. Prayerfully, we will provide you with some of the most revealing commentary and investigative reporting you have ever read.

    In the name of Jesus:
    Lord, Master, Teacher, Savior, God.

    ChildCare Action Project (CAP): Christian Analysis of American Culture

    Copyright ChildCare Action Project (CAP) Ministry