Jesus Camp – Research Resources

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Brainwashed in the Blood? by Rich Tatum, Christianity Today, Sep. 20, 2006: “As a Pentecostal, I’m not too thrilled with the way kids from my denomination are depicted in Jesus Camp. Matter of fact, this new documentary ticks me off—for a number of reasons.”

These children’s lives, and the bits including other kids at the camp, are not representative of the whole of Christianity, the whole of evangelical-dom, or even the whole of Pentecostalism. Their lives may prove interesting, entertaining, inspiring or sobering. But it’s a category mistake to assume that the characteristics of the individuals or even a small group of individuals resembles in any significant way the whole. It’s a category mistake to think that all, most, or even many of our kids are being trained to be fervent preachers, to eagerly anticipate martyrdom, encouraged to speak in tongues and prophesy, or to march in protest against abortion in Washington, D.C. The sample set is vanishingly small and its relevance for understanding evangelical pre-teen culture is nearly worthless. Entertaining and provocative, yes. But three kids do not make Jesus Camp a sociological study.

Is Jesus Camp Objective? Or Unfair? by Jeff Overstreet, Christianity Today, Sep. 21, 2006

Jesus Camp is not a drama or a comedy. It’s a documentary, made by award-winning filmmakers Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady, who follow the experiences of three young children—Levi, Tory, and Rachael—as they attend the “Kids on Fire” summer camp in Devil’s Lake, North Dakota. The camp, directed by Becky Fischer, encourages children to embrace Christianity through programs of intense instruction and charismatic worship.

Some Christian media personalities are speaking out against the movie, but for differing reasons. A few accuse the filmmakers of trying to discredit Fischer and her camp, and they rush to the defense of the film’s subjects, saying that their methods of worship and education are to be celebrated. Others are criticizing the film by saying that this documentary footage severely misrepresents Christianity, and that it has been framed to draw viewers into viewing Christians as lunatics.

On Fire at Jesus Camp by Peter T. Chattaway. Christianity Today, Sep. 12, 2006. “A new documentary depicts charismatic kids who are articulate and take faith seriously. But have they been “indoctrinated”? Is it a fair representation of evangelicals? Or too political? We asked the directors.”


Jesus Camp Trailer clip at

ABC News segment on Jesus Camp Clip at

Additional clips about Jesus Camp

News and News Archive

Jesus Camp News Tracker provided by Religion News Blog

See Also

Kingdom Now theology In one form or another (and by whichever name), this is the doctrinal basis on which organizations like Kids in Ministry operate.

Web Sites

Jesus Camp Official movie web site

Kids in Ministry The official website of the organization Becky Fisher is part of.

The site includes a short article about the making of the documentary. The front page currently [last accessed Sep. 26, 2006] includes links to questions about the camps and the movie, answered by Becky Fisher.

Note that the web site also includes a section titled, “The Prophets Speak.” Not surprisingly, it includes material from such controversial ‘prophets’ as Bill Hamon, Cindy Jacobs, Rick Joyner.