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Why Cars 3 Matters

I can hear the questions rolling through your head now, "Is he really going to talk about a Pixar movie?", "What does a cartoon have to do with classical education?" There may be more but let me answer these two right off the bat; yes, and, keep reading. 

The first time I saw Cars 3 was a couple of years ago, and after the second installment of the franchise I was a bit skeptical. I mean Cars was incredible, and it may be one of my favorite animated movies. The message was on point and the tip of the hat to America's most nostalgic highway, Route 66, was moving. Cars 2...not so much. Then came Cars 3. 

First of all, as a red-blooded North Carolinian I firmly believe an affinity, if only a small one, toward NASCAR is rooted in my DNA. I'm not a die-hard fan and I haven't been to many races...but I don't turn down tickets if they come my way. As we all know, the Old North State has played a crucial role in the history of stock car racing with some of the most legendary tracks and drivers being from here. So, the appearance of some of the historic tracks and drivers in Cars 3, if even under assumed names, scratched my Tarheel history itch. Also, I'm a sucker for nostalgia (thanks Mom). 

So that is all well and good, but that isn't what makes this movie so great. Without spoiling it for those who haven't seen it yet, but are going to (wink, wink, nudge, nudge), the theme of the film is the passing on of a legacy to the next generation. Perhaps it is because I'm a parent, getting older, and thinking about such things more often now, but this really struck me as powerful.

As Christian parents it is especially important for us to think about what we are passing on to the next generation. The most important thing we should be passing on is our faith. This is God's plan for evangelism from one generation to the next and it is better that we think about it sooner rather than later. 

As the movie progresses an agingLightning McQueen realizes what he has to do and begins passing on his legacy to Cruz Ramirez. She is decidedly different from the other members of the new generation of racecars, but she is also not a cookie cutter version of Lightning. She races with heart and passion, but also with an understanding of the newer technology. It is that combination that enables her to compete at a high level. In the end she is able to take the important aspects of the historic racing culture into the future and apply it to the current technology.

This is where I have to be careful because I don't agree with the "let's just be relevant at the expense of the truth" philosophy of ministry. However, as we pass on our faith and legacy to our children, and grandchildren, we know what is important about our Christian culture. We know because it has been handed down to us, and we have God's Word to guide us. What we so desperately need is to raise up a generation of people (young and old honestly) that clings to the true, Christian faith, handed down from the apostles through generation after generation of Christians, that can apply it to the current and future world. 

We do not live in our grandparents' America, we don't even live in our parents' America, and our kids are going to face even more change in the culture, which is going to require the ability to critically assess the situation and then apply biblical truth and wisdom to it. I believe they can only do that properly by being firmly planted in the long history of Christian heritage and faithfulness to the Word of God. Then they can leverage the current tools available to them for the Gospel of Jesus Christ and his glorious Kingdom. 

So, there, that's why I think Cars 3 is worth your time. Now, go rent it for $3.99 on Amazon and enjoy!

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