->''"Someone has just blasphemed the name of the Lord!"''

Russell Carlisle, a liberal theologian at a seminary in the late 1800s, has written a book on morality. The oldest preacher on the campus is warning him that the book is wrong, but he's been acting crazy for a while. Others at the seminary want it out so much that they are changing the rules of the seminary from unanimous to majority vote so it can get a seal of approval from the place.

It turns out that the oldest preacher on the campus has invented a time machine and seen the future; it's only since then that he's seemed crazy. He offers to send our protagonist forward. The rules are, the time traveler and his things can travel forward, but nothing from the future can travel back. Oh, and don't look up your own future (it's never spelled out why). There is a sending unit right there; after a set amount of time, he'll be retrieved.

So our protagonist is sent forward to NextSundayAD, figuratively speaking--specifically, [[YearX 200X]]. He deals well enough with most of the technology, but the culture throws him--[[FridgeBrilliance though he is isolated even in his own time.]] Dress codes, the lack of respect for elders, and films and TV throw him. Even the Christians of his era find him a bit kooky...

This film includes what may be the most creative way of showing corruption in film without ''showing'' it: church group enters theater; HardCut to protagonist running out shouting the page quote. You have to have an idea what blaspheming is, but if you do...


* AnachronismStew: Unless the main character was so cloistered that he [[CultureBlind didn't know anything]] about his own society, (which is implied to be the case), his comments about the ubiquitousness of prostitution or the starving children on every street corner in the future ring false, since in his time they were ''worse''.
* AntiquatedLinguistics
* AuthorFilibuster
* CensorshipBureau: Moral codes, especially man-made moral codes, are a major theme of this film.
* CharacterFilibuster: Frequently. At least some of them are literal sermons.
* CorruptChurch
* CultureBlind: The protagonist appears to be blissfully unaware of how society really works in both the past and the future.
* DeusExMachina: Perhaps literally.
* DiscretionShot
* FishOutOfTemporalWater
* TheFundamentalist: The protagonist often comes across as one.
* TheFutureIsShocking: The entire purpose of the film is to have its protagonist, a 19th century theology professor, be shocked at how immoral the present day is.
* InsistentTerminology[=/=]SingleIssueWonk: The reason Russell's book couldn't get unanimous approval was that it advocated good morality but didn't insist that Jesus Christ be connected to it. To Anderson, this is worse than nothing because Jesus is the authority behind the moral code.
* MadScientist: He's mad by the time we meet him, anyway.
* {{Masquerade}}: Russell Carlisle is told not to let anyone know when he's from.
* MoralDissonance: This is a film about, among other things, the evil of films and TV in general.
** Indeed, it's an example of TheMoralSubstitute. It was offered for purchase on televangelist Jack Van Impe's show, as are similar low-budget faith-based films. They're sold to viewers through mail order, screened for church groups, and/or aired on channels like Trinity Broadcasting Network rather than given wide theatrical release.
* MundaneFantastic: It's a time travel film, but the time travel is the only SciFi element there.
* MyGodWhatHaveIDone
* NextSundayAD
* NewMediaAreEvil: The decline of civilization is blamed on UsefulNotes/TheHaysCode in films, because it made films seem okay when they weren't.
* SchizoTech: Solar-powered time machine.
* SelectiveObliviousness: When the question is "will you try out the secret time machine?" Anderson simply will not take "no" for an answer.
* SeriousBusiness: Seminary approval. The book would have been published either way, but getting the approval is considered so critical that Carlisle doesn't want to send the manuscript in without it.
* TakeOurWordForIt: If it is evil and it can be shown entirely visually, it will ''not'' be shown -- even when that requires creative filming.
* TheThemeParkVersion: Because a fundamentalist Christian film ''can't'' show the full reality of modern (im)morality.
* TimeMachine: Solar-powered!
* TimeTravel
* YearX: When Russell Carlisle came in the future and looked at the newspaper, the last two years of 20xx were obscured and when he yelled the date out loud the 20xx was cut off by a car honk. Also, at [[{{stinger}} the end]] of the movie, they are attempting to send a Bible into the future but it will not go if the end of the world already happened by then, so he keeps on changing the date earlier to see when the end of the world takes place, and the movie cuts off somewhere in the 2000s.
* ValuesDissonance: The point of the trip through time, even InUniverse.