BY JOHN SNOWDEN , CP GUEST CONTRIBUTOR
February 26, 2014|2:39 pm
There has been no shortage of headlines in recent weeks about Paramount Pictures’ upcoming feature film Noah – with a fair amount of the coverage speculating about how closely or loosely the movie adheres to the story of the title character as found in the Bible.
[Photo: Paramount Pictures]
Unfortunately, those who have felt compelled to criticize the film in these stories haven’t actually seen it – so it’s difficult to understand what exactly they’re criticizing. I have seen Noah – in fact, I’ve been working on it for the last two years as the filmmakers’ biblical adviser.
I will confess, when the studio first approached me about consulting on the project I had mixed emotions, weighing my caution of Hollywood’s ability to take liberties with stories and values against my standard for good theology and a healthy presentation of Bible stories, theology and mission. Paramount was adamant about having a practical, integrated adviser in the process from start to finish, which impressed (and surprised) me. Read more
Roma Downey | LightWorkers Media | Friday, February 21, 2014
(Editor’s note: This commentary first appeared in USA Today)
I played an angel on “Touched by an Angel” for almost a decade, and I’ve learned a thing or two about spiritual warfare:
- We shine his light but the darkness exists.
- The devil is real.
- When you are trying to do something good in the world there will always be opposition.
Tired of cursing the darkness, my husband Mark and I wanted to shine a light. To do this, we set up a production company called LightWorkers Media. “The Bible” miniseries, born out of this intention and released last year, grew so popular that we were able to make it into our Jesus film, “Son of God.”
“The Bible” series was in its third week when Jesus began to appear on the big screen. There was great excitement that Jesus was coming, with our trailers, various talk shows and even Twitter buzzing with anticipation.
He was beautiful and strong and kind and compassionate. His presence uplifted and [Read the full article here: Son of God]
BY ERIC METAXAS, CHRISTIAN POST CONTRIBUTOR
According to a study about to be published in the American Journal of Sociology, being conservative Protestant, i.e., an evangelical, is not helpful when it comes to staying married. In fact, the authors conclude, “divorce is higher among religiously conservative Protestants-and even drives up divorce rates for other people living around them.”
The study, entitled “Red States, Blue States, and Divorce: Understanding Regional Variation in Divorce Rates,” examined data on divorce for every county in the United States. What Jennifer Glass of the University of Texas and Philip Levchak of the University of Iowa found was that a “a key factor predicting divorce rates is the concentration of conservative Protestants in a county.”
For instance, Bible Belt states like Alabama and Arkansas rank second and third in divorce rates, while Massachusetts and New Jersey, so-called “Blue” states, are near the bottom in divorce rates.
If “conservative Protestantism” is supposed to be good for marriage, you [Read the full article here: Marriage Failing]
BY MICHAEL GRYBOSKI, CHRISTIAN POST REPORTER
February 11, 2014
An attorney with a religious freedom organization representing a retail chain against the federal government over the controversial “preventive services” mandate has stated that the case is about religious freedom and not women’s health.
Kyle Duncan, attorney with the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty and lead counsel for Hobby Lobby Stores Inc., was the featured speaker at a conference call press briefing held Monday afternoon.
Photo: Hobby Lobby
The briefing was in regards to Hobby Lobby’s suit against the Department of Health and Human Services over the “preventive services” mandate, which compels businesses to cover various forms of contraceptives in employee health insurance.
Duncan told The Christian Post that contrary to how some critics of Hobby Lobby might state the case, which will be argued before the United States Supreme Court in March, it is not an issue about women’s health.
“The federal government has exempted millions of people, millions of insurance plans from having the cover any contraceptives in any women’s preventive services,” said Duncan.
“The government itself has put all sorts of exceptions into this law, but even more than that, the Greens and Hobby Lobby have generous health benefits for women and for men.” [Read full article: Hobby Lobby Religious Freedom]
February 8, 2013 | Associated Press | cbn.com
KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia (AP) – The kid they call “second-run Sage” didn’t waste time putting down the run of his life.
Sage Kotsenburg tamed the treacherous slopestyle course at the Extreme Park on Saturday, grabbing the first gold medal of the Sochi Olympics. And he did it with a run that left the 20-year-old American who talks like a surfer and rides like a purist momentarily stunned in disbelief.
Kotsenburg’s soulful first run in the finals ended with a score of 93.50 that held up over the next 30 minutes as the rest of the field’s dozen riders failed to catch the laid-back Couer d’Alene, Idaho, native, who peppers his interviews with “whoas” and “gnarly” and often refers to himself as “your boy.” Read more
by Nick Toper
The words “based on a true story” won’t appear anywhere in the marketing materials for GRACE UNPLUGGED – but many in the film’s cast and crew found something from their personal lives to identify with in the story of a teenage girl yearning to break free from what she sees as the limitations of her family and faith and achieve her dreams of pop music stardom.
GRACE UNPLUGGED comes to Digital HD and Video on Demand on Jan. 28 and debuts on Blu-ray Combo Pack and DVD on Feb. 11.
For AJ Michalka, who plays the title character, Grace Trey, the real-life similarities come from the experiences she and her sister, Aly, have had as they’ve transitioned their careers from pre-teen stars in the Disney stable to young adults now recording as 78Violet.
“I think what Grace is going through here is her turning point – and as Aly & AJ my sister and I had a turning point, too,” Michalka says. “We’ve gotten older, and we’re making our music match. So I can identify with that part of Grace. I think every girl can identify with the idea of wanting to be your own person but wanting to please the people around you at the same time. ”
Of course, Grace’s journey is not purely autobiographical for Michalka. One of the key issues Grace must face in the film is whether the Christian faith she was raised in will continue to be the guiding force in her life, even as she chases success in Hollywood. There’s never been a doubt on that score for Michalka. Read more