Dr. Mohler pens an excellent review and synopsis of the movie The Kite Runner, based on the the best-selling novel by Khaled Hosseini. The upshot is that the movie is generally faithful to the book, and provides a context for discussing the inability of Islam to provide true redemption. Here’s an excerpt:
The background worldview of the film and the novel is, of course, Islam. Given that fact, several thoughts have been framed in my mind since reading the novel several years ago and seeing the movie just recently. The thoughts concern the contrast between Islam and Christianity brought into focus by the story. These differences are not that Christians are better people than Muslims, that brutality is limited to the Islamic world, or that the Christians and Muslims would understand the theme of betrayal in starkly different terms. Both Christians and Muslims would agree that Amir’s betrayal of Hassan is an evil and sinful act.
No, the big difference is that The Kite Runner is based on a false promise and a heart-breaking need. The false promise is that offered to the adult Amir: “There is a way to be good again.”
The whole plot suggests that Amir can redeem himself for his sordid betrayal of a young friend by his brave act of rescuing the friend’s son, Sohrab. The Christian gospel reminds us that there is no act, however brave, virtuous, or sacrificial, that can make us “good again.” Christians understand that our redemption is nothing we can accomplish at all. Instead, our redemption is accomplished by God through the atonement achieved by the obedience of the Son — obedience even unto death on the cross. Furthermore, the gospel never promises us that sinners are made “good” as we are saved by grace through faith. Instead, sinners who come to Christ by faith receive the imputed righteousness of Christ by the declaration of the Father.
Go ahead and read the whole thing. Though Mohler does reveal the story line, I doubt that would spoil any future enjoyment of reading the book or watching the movie — neither of which I have yet done. [However, be warned: the movie is rated PG-13 due to thematic material, which includes the sexual assault of a child.]