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ISIS Onslaught Engulfs Assyrian Christians as Militants Destroy Ancient Art
An estimated 300 people have been taken captive, and 30 villages emptied, while Christians are forced to pay a tax to the Islamic State. (The New York Times)
Why are Christian movies so painfully bad? - Vox
It isn't problematic that Christians "borrow ideas" from Hollywood and put their own spin on them. Every film genre does this. But given the Christian doctrine of creation, it is certainly surprising that so many Christian filmmakers — and artists in general — would choose to mimic someone else's vision, rather than cultivate their own.
A Town, if Not a Painting, Is Restored
Grief at a botched retouching of a church fresco has turned to gratitude for divine intervention — the blessing of free publicity — that has made Borja, Spain, a magnet for thousands of curious tourists. (The New York Times)
Getting Back to the Garden (of Eden)
Biblical art museum bites into forbidden fruit (Forward)
Terry Eagleton: A Late-Life Return to Religion
In his new book, Culture and the Death of God (Yale, Mar.), Eagleton goes beyond his critique of the New Atheism to illustrate the ways in which theology raises foundational questions in a culture where political science, linguistic philosophy, and positivist science have run away from such questions.
Rick Santorum steps out in new role as movie mogul
"We'll see where we are a year from now. But in the meantime, I am all in with this (movie-making) and we'll see how it goes."
A Direct Line to God, and to the Sex Lives of the Neighbors
In the new NBC comedy “Save Me,” starring Anne Heche, a suburban housewife has a near-death experience and gains the power to receive direct input from God and the power to know people’s secrets (The New York Times)
The Sale of Britain's Churches Should Cause an International Outcry
Churches are national art in a way that Titian's magnificent Diana and Actaeon never was. (HuffPo)
Danish philosopher's tough ideas adapted for kids
As Denmark celebrates the philosopher's 200th birthday on Sunday, Marie Moeller has found her version of "Either/Or" — featuring strobe lights, rave music and child-size puppets — being performed in schools across the country (Associated Press)
Pat Boone family: Faith sustained us through tragedy
Prayer and, at times, medical marijuana have proved essential for Lindy Boone Michaelis as she cares for her son, who was severely injured in a three-story fall through a skylight a dozen years ago (Today, NBC)
    Special 'Unbroken' DVD Will Be Marketed to Christian Audiences
    Universal has taken the unusual step of making the “Legacy of Faith” version available only at Christian outlets.
    Why are Christian movies so painfully bad? - Vox
    It isn't problematic that Christians "borrow ideas" from Hollywood and put their own spin on them. Every film genre does this. But given the Christian doctrine of creation, it is certainly surprising that so many Christian filmmakers — and artists in general — would choose to mimic someone else's vision, rather than cultivate their own.
    Grant Wacker: ‘Unbroken’ and Billy Graham
    The movie and the book about Louis Zamperini’s life skimp on the pivotal role of a certain preacher. (The Wall Street Journal)
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    Justin Bieber seeks help from on high at Sydney's Hillsong church conference
    Twenty-one-year-old pop star to attend Pentecostal mega-church’s week-long conference as rumoured girlfriend, model Hailey Baldwin, also arrives in Sydney (The Guardian)
    The Radical Christianity Of Kendrick Lamar
    But if Lamar’s secular indulgences have alienated him from a Christian audience, his Christian impulses may be a handicap with the secular crowd. The central irony of Lamar’s career is that he is a noble soul at the vanguard of a culture that rewards the ignoble — a good kid who not only survived the mad city, but got elected mayor.
    Steinberg's 'Passion' premiers in Portland
    "Steinberg died in 1946 never having heard his only sacred work performed. And neither did anyone else for nearly seven more decades." (Wall Street Journal)
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    Are Christian Reality Shows Doing More Harm Than Good?
    "Cameras do NOT belong in the church filming the 'spiritual' things that society as a whole does not understand," wrote critic Tachina Carter in a change.org petition to cancel the show that attracted nearly 15,000 signatures prior to Lifetime axing it. "By airing this show it will cause more harm than good to the Christian community who (sic) already has a difficult time in sharing 'The Good News' of Jesus Christ to the masses."
    A lesson learned about Joel Osteen | Opinion | Jewish Journal
    Viewing it another way, Osteen understands how to market the lessons to a self-absorbed public so that they are willing to open their minds and take in his comments.
    The Guardian, ACLU sue for greater media access to executions - The Washington Post
    This lawsuit specifically cites Oklahoma’s botched execution of inmate Clayton Lockett in April. Witnesses were not able to see the entirety of what happened, as they were unable to watch Lockett’s final minutes. The media, and therefore the public, “received only government-edited access to an important government proceeding,” says the lawsuit, which was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma.
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    Muscular Christianity and American sport's undying love of violence | Sport | The Guardian
    The Muscular Christians strongly believed in the formative power of athletic competition, that by participating in games and sports young men would be instilled with positive character traits.
    Religion not often on display in NHL - Sports - The Boston Globe
    It is not hard to find an NHL player for whom religion is barely a thought, the antithesis of Doan or Hamhuis or McQuaid. The words of one NHL veteran, who asked to remain anonymous in discussing such a sensitive topic, are tinged with distaste, not for religion itself but for those in other sports who wear theirs on their sleeves. And he’s not alone in his beliefs.
    Religion and soccer: Shooting for heaven | The Economist
    Anyway, if the governing body expects to keep one of humanity's strongest collective impulses, religion, entirely separate from one of its favourite collective activities, soccer, then it is wasting its breath. That seems to be the conclusion of a French sports writer, Nicolas Vilas, who has just published (in French) the results of a three-year investigation into the links between faith and football, in France and elsewhere in Europe.
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    Biblical soap opera enjoying ungodly success in Brazil
    "In my opinion, there should only be soaps like this one — to teach about the Bible, about family and values," hairdresser Cristiana da Silva said, dividing her attention between the evening's last customer and the action on screen. "This is the best soap."
    A lesson learned about Joel Osteen | Opinion | Jewish Journal
    Viewing it another way, Osteen understands how to market the lessons to a self-absorbed public so that they are willing to open their minds and take in his comments.
    Muslim, Christian and Jewish leaders’ alarm as BBC axes religion chief post - Telegraph
    Religion is to be merged with science, history and business issues under a new head of “factual” programming in a move the BBC claims will provide an “increased focus on leadership and creativity”. But the faith leaders said it “could not have come at a worse time” amid tensions relating to religion brutally demonstrated by the terrorist attacks on Charlie Hebdo magazine and a kosher supermarket in Paris.
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Top Story June 30, 2015
God Is Like a Movie Director
God Is Like a Movie Director
Though unseen and unheard, he orchestrates the details of our lives—even when they are falling apart.
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