ARRIVAL: Grace and Listening | FCC 131

In ARRIVAL, Dr. Louise Banks (played by Amy Adams) has the chance to communicate with aliens. While her colleagues insist on being forceful and blunt, Louise believes that it is better to exhibit a little grace and be quick to listen so that she can start a relationship before asking the big questions. Join us as we discuss these Christian themes and so much more on this episode of the Finding Christ in Cinema podcast.

For your convenience you will find each podcast segment at the time referenced below:

  • 00:00:00 – Introduction and Previous Episode Recap 
  • 00:03:55 – Movie Discussion
  • 00:18:20 – Christian Themes in ARRIVAL
  • 00:49:45 – Listener Feedback
  • 00:51:33 – Well-mannered Frivolity 
  • 00:53:26 – Upcoming

Arrival and a Measure of Grace

Aliens have come to the earth, and everyone is going crazy. Questions like “Why are they here?” and “What does this mean?” pervade the public consciousness. The world’s armed forces have stepped up and are preparing for the worst.

In the midst of the panic, linguist Dr. Louise Banks has a more perfect way of accomplishing that mission. She wants to start a relationship with them first and then, when the appropriate time comes, ask the big questions. Instead of bombarding them with questions, she simply wants to talk with them.

This image from ARRIVAL shows Amy Adams holding a sign that says "human."

It’s a lesson in communication etiquette that’s especially appropriate when sharing the Gospel with non-believers. It’s an example of being graceful and patient in unfamiliar and potentially dangerous situations. It’s a chance to be like Jesus, who arguably spent more time listening to others instead of preaching at them.

This kind of grace – this habit of withholding oneself from trying to make oneself heard – is just the first step in being quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger.

Arrival and Being Quick to Listen

Forming the relationship between the humans and the aliens takes a while; it doesn’t happen overnight. Even while everyone else is pressuring Louise to work faster and be more blunt in her dealing with the visitors, she insists on and persists in being more of a listener.

This image from ARRIVAL shows Amy Adams touching the glass protection screen.

She understands that one should listen twice as much as one speaks. She exhibits the quality throughout the film, and it serves as an example for us to follow in all of our social interactions.

Key Texts for Arrival

Let these passages be your guide as you watch ARRIVAL with friends and loved ones.

Colossians 4:5-6 AMP

Conduct yourself with wisdom in your interactions with outsiders (non-believers), make the most of each opportunity [treating it as something precious]. Let your speech at all times be gracious and pleasant, seasoned with salt, so that you will know how to answer each one [who questions you].

James 1:19 NLT

Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.


Finding Christ In Cinema is the show where we discover Christian themes in movies past and present. Join us and together we’ll dig deeper into the silver-screen classics of yesteryear as well as the box-office hits of today. Brought to you by the Great Commission Transmission Network. View the complete show notes – including links to articles discussed – by clicking here.

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About Brenden Taylor

Brenden is a graduate student pursuing his Master in Theatre Arts degree with Regent University. He is an educational assistant and tutor by day and a theatre practitioner by night. You can find him live-tweeting his favorite movies on Twitter @LeviTheBeliever or posting poetry and unsolicited opinions at thebookofbrenden.com
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  • Philip Heard

    Hey guys, I love this film- my favorite release from 2016. I’ve listened to many podcasts discussing it, some Christian and some not. You guys had a take on it that I hadn’t heard, and it was pretty great. My hat is off to you.

    One thing I get is the value of human life. It is fundamental to Christianity that since we are all created in the image of God, we all have intrinsic value and worth. Pain and suffering is inevitable for us all, but like Dr. Banks, we should not let that deter us from considering the positives and celebrating life and all it’s ups and downs. Her daughter may not have had as many years as most people do, but that did not diminish the value of her existence- perhaps it even increased it.

    Love the show guys! #muhweeladgimli

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