His Only Son, a New Film About Abraham and Isaac, is in Theaters Beginning March 30
David Helling has wanted to tell biblical stories since his time years ago in Iraq as a U.S. Marine. For years he made short films. Five and a half years ago, he started working on His Only Son, a film about Abraham and Isaac as they go to prepare a burnt offering to the Lord.
“The Lord had a purpose in this,” said Helling in a recent interview with The Stream. “And it wasn’t for Abraham to kill his son. … Ultimately, the main goal is … to share the Gospel. … This isn’t about entertainment. This is about eternity. That’s why I chose the account of Abraham’s life and what I hope people take from it.”
‘It Came Alive’
Helling also wants people to see the story as he does. “I love reading the Bible and it came alive. … It’s like I could see their life being lived out in front of me instead of just words on a page. It’s like [I] could see faces and I was like, ‘If I could show this to people, if I could show what I’m seeing to people who were like me … and show that this is real people in real history and real God’s plan of redemption that He’s had from before the beginning, then maybe that would draw them to Himself and open their eyes [to] the truth of the Gospel.'”
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Don’t expect His Only Son to follow the story of Abraham and Isaac verse by verse. Some scenes don’t directly follow the stories in the Bible. That’s on purpose, said Helling. “It’d be very difficult to tell Genesis 22 just with the lines of Scripture only. … There’s things that I was doing in those [scenes]. It helps to set up some of the background of who Abraham is.” Plus, Helling wanted to tie the story into the Gospel. “So that is context — that’s not just made up out of my imagination.”
Helling said he learned a lot, working on this project about Abraham and Isaac. The Lord has a purpose in it all, he said. “And that’s something I want people to take away from the film, is that in your darkest night, in your hardest season, in your most trying times, in your trial, your suffering, your hurt, the Lord has a purpose in it.
“When you’re His, if you’re in Christ, if you love Him, you’re called according to His purpose. He’s got all that working together for your good. And so, you can hinge your mind and your thoughts on the promise that the Lord is doing something good in this. And He’s going to be glorified. You know, it’s keeping your eyes on Jesus, you know, looking at Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith.”
Getting the Gospel Message Out
Helling said that working with Angel Studios on His Only Son — an original feature film for Angel Studios — was a divine gift. “They wanted to do the Easter theatrical, which was an answer to a prayer I’ve had for years. … The Lord has stood up Angel Studios to be a platform, a vessel, to take the message of His Only Son and that gospel message out around the world and across the country, far beyond anything I could ask or think.”
What’s next? “My heart is to continue to work through the entirety of Scripture. I want to build a chronological understanding of what the Lord was doing in His people as He was leading [up] to Christ.” Helling wants to remind people to pray for the film, “and that the Lord would prepare hearts to receive the seeds of the Gospel that is in it.”
Watch the trailer:
Nancy Flory, Ph.D., is a senior editor at The Stream. You can follow her @NancyFlory3, and follow The Stream @Streamdotorg.