Reviewed by: John Dickerson
2 hr. 20 min.
Year of Release:
June 30, 1995
Interview With NASA’s Jerry Woodfill
On April 13, 1970, Jerry was monitoring Apollo 13’s warning system when the vehicle exploded. Read the amazing story of Jerry’s path towards God as he witnessed the miraculous. [Read It]
Have scientists discovered the moon’s origin? Answer
FEAR, Anxiety and Worry… What does the Bible say? Answer
Death in the Bible
Marriage in the Bible
Is formalized marriage becoming obsolete? Answer
Should I save sex for marriage? Answer
How can I deal with temptations? Answer
How far is too far? What are the guidelines for dating relationships? Answer
“Houston, we have a problem.”
When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; what is man that thou art mindful of him?” The Psalmist’s thoughts came to mind after watching the amazing story of Apollo 13, and seeing how God miraculously preserved and protected the three astronauts on board this ill-fated 1970 moon mission. Director Ron Howard meticulously re-creates the tension, turmoil and changing times of what was thought to be just another “routine” space flight turning into a fight for life when a mechanical defect severely disables the crew’s command module.
Christians can marvel at the vastness of our Lord’s creation as well as His manifold grace in loving rebellious sinners like us. His grace is especially evident as we watch virtually every central character incessantly blaspheme His name or utter other profanities whenever problems arise, yet God still grants them the vision and ingenuity to persevere. Unfortunately, when God’s name isn’t being taken in vain, the film simply ignores Him totally (other than a fleeting reference to people praying for the astronauts' safe return).
Although God Himself is denied, many of His ways are affirmed through the portrayal of compassion for fellow men, diligence and creativity in affecting the rescue, and denying oneself for the good of others. We also see the initially self-centered teenage daughter of Apollo captain Jim Lovell (Tom Hanks) brought to tears and presumably a realignment of priorities as she realizes her father’s life is in peril.
On the downside, Commander Lovell and his wife are shown mildly intoxicated and becoming physically intimate following a party to celebrate NASA’s first landing on the moon. With regard to another of the astronauts, pre-marital sex is strongly implied though not shown directly. It seems that just about everyone at mission control chain-smokes in an attempt to relieve stress. Other than an initial reference to the launch pad deaths of Apollo 1 astronauts, however, there is virtually no violence in the movie.
While unsaved viewers of “Apollo 13” will likely only see glory given to the wisdom and heroics of man, believers can rejoice in salvation demonstrated in the physical realm and knowing that such can only come from the hand of God.
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.