February (Web-only) 2004

Excruciating? Excellent? Reviews of The Passion of The Christ
The reviews are finally in for The Passion of The Christ. Plus, Oscar speculation, and reviews of The Return, Touching the Void, My Architect, Welcome to Mooseport, Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen, Against the Ropes, and more.
Does Saved! Condemn Christian High Schools?
News comes in on "the most spiritual film of all time," the Best of 2003, and The Passion of The Christ. A pregnant teen is persecuted by gay-hating evangelical Christians in Saved! Religious press critics review The Big Bounce and The Perfect Score, and You Got Served, examine new DVD releases, consider nudity in Calendar Girls, argue over The Butterfly Effect, and highlight themes in Oscar-nominated films.
Good Bye, Lenin!
Twisted
The Return of the King: Best Picture, Perhaps, But Not Best Version
The author of The Battle for Middle-Earth examines the missing theology of the cinematic blockbuster.
Passions and Tears Abound
What moviegoers had to say after watching The Passion of The Christ.
'The Crucifixion Was an R-rated Event'
Clergy reactions to The Passion of The Christ.
The Passion of The Christ
Lethal Suffering: The Passion
The Passion and Prejudice
Why I asked the Anti-Defamation League to give Mel Gibson a break.
'Dude, That Was Graphic'
Mel Gibson talks about The Passion of The Christ.
Against the Ropes
The Best Two Years
Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen
Mel, Mary, and Mothers
The Passion of Mel Gibson
Why evangelicals are cheering a movie with profoundly Catholic sensibilities.
50 First Dates
Christianity Today Movies did not review this film, but here's what other critics are saying ...
Miracle
Hip-Hop Opera
Hip-Hop Opera
A rock musical for a new generation tells the gospel in MTV language—for better or for worse.
'I Was Looking for Peace and Found it in Christ'
A converted felon in Colombia reflects on life in the guerrilla ranks.
Judge Purges Suit Against Priest's Reportedly Damning Eulogy
Plus: Will revived attention and mammoth gift strain Salvation Army's Christian commitments?
Lessons from a Hostage Pastor in Colombia
A young minister works to prevent guerrilla kidnappings.
Books & Culture's Book of the Week: The Doom of Choice
Fate, free will, and moral responsibility in Tolkien.
Why the FARC Hates Evangelicals
The terrorist group has many misconceptions about Colombian Christians.
Lessons from a Hostage Pastor in Colombia
A young minister works to prevent guerrilla kidnappings.
'Kidnapped' Pastor Discovered
Plus: Blunting Gibson's Passion, heresy vs. schism, and other stories from online sources around the world.
Craig Detweiler Finds Faith in Film
The co-author of A Matrix of Meanings talks about spirituality on screen.
Greek Orthodox Group Power Battle Goes to Court
Plus: Passion ad refused as Gibson reportedly drops his blood be upon us line, more on banning evolution in Georgia, Catholic school's experiments on aborted fetuses, and other stories from online source around the world.
Does Saved! Condemn Christian High Schools?
News comes in on the most spiritual film of all time, the Best of 2003, and The Passion of the Christ. A pregnant teen is persecuted by gay-hating evangelical Christians in Saved! Religious press critics review The Big Bounce and The Perfect Score, and You Got Served, examine new DVD releases, consider nudity in Calendar Girls, argue over The Butterfly Effect, and highlight themes in Oscar-nominated films.
AMC Will Take Baptists' Rewritten Passion Ad After All
Plus: School suspends girl for telling classmate consequences of sin, and many other stories from online sources around the world.
Prayer Breakfast Feedback
Also: 60 Minutes' apparent cluelessness on evangelicals. Did Kurt Warner fumble comments on faith vs. football? And other stories from online sources around the world.
The Blood-and-Fire Mission of the Salvation Army
Where did this tuba-playing, kettle-wielding social force come from, and what's it all about?
Living by Vows
As his wife suffered with Alzheimer's, Robertson McQuilkin said, If I took care of her for 40 years, I would never be out of her debt.
Muriel's Blessing
Despite the toll of his wife's Alzheimer's, a husband marvels at the mystery of love.
On Jesus' Death, Beware of Reading the News Texts Literally
Plus: Another challenge, but a silent one, to the traditional definition of marriage.
Books & Culture's Book of the Week: The Worst President Ever?
Former Nixon aide John Dean attempts to rehabilitate the reputation of Warren G. Harding.
The Gospel According to Tupac Shakur
Why do kids relate so well to hip-hop artists Eminem or Tupac? And what can a preacher learn from these modern-day prophets?
Pilot's Evangelistic Efforts Freak Out Passengers, Country
Plus: Far too many stories on Passion, along with some on crime (but none on crimes of passion).
One Nation Under Secularism
France's peculiar aversion to public religiosity is rooted in a sordid history of sectarian violence.
Is The Passion of the Christ Good Because It's Accurate? Is It Accurate?
Christian press critics raise questions about The Passion of the Christ, while a popular mainstream critic defends the Catholic Church. Reviewers also examine Miracle, Barbershop 2, Catch That Kid, The Dreamers, You Got Served, and Lost in Translation.
New Kids on the Blog
Plus: Links to a record-breaking 429 religion stories on gay marriage in Massachusetts, San Francisco, and the Church of England, a Ten Commandments resurgence, The Passion of The Christ, and even a few topics Weblog hasn't beat to death already.
One Nation Under Secularism
France's peculiar aversion to public religiosity is rooted in a sordid history of sectarian violence.
Is a Religious Civil War Beginning in Iraq?
American religious group ambushed as Al Qaeda reportedly tries to ignite intra-Muslim fighting.
Books & Culture's Book of the Week: History Repeats Itself, Sort of
How the fate of Eugene McCarthy's insurgency against LBJ sheds light on the 2004 presidential campaign.
Attacked Iraq Taxi Was Carrying American Baptist Church Planters
Also: Evangelical church bombed in Thessaloniki, Americans believe the Bible, FDA delays morning-after pill decision, and other stories
China Arrests Dozens of Prominent Christians
At least 50 detained in fresh crackdown on house churches, reportedly promoted by new video and book releases.
The Red Glowing Cross
A veteran journalist makes vivid the hidden and expanding world of Chinese Christianity
China's Christian Syndrome
David Aikman, author of Jesus in Beijing, says in 20 years Christians could have a major impact on China, and that could change the world.
Terror in India
Plus: Southern Baptist exec committee votes to leave world alliance, more on the Baptist minister killed in Iraq, troubles for the Federal Marriage Amendment, and other stories from online sources around the world.
Why Gay Marriage Would Be Harmful
Institutionalizing homosexual marriage would be bad for marriage, bad for children, and bad for society.
Menorah, Crescent and Star Secular, Says Judge
Plus: Was Christian network stiffed in station bid? The James Ossuary is back in the news, and other stories from online sources around the world.
The First Official Passion of the Christ Reviews … and 50 First Dates
Moviegoers must wait a few more days for The Passion of the Christ, but the reviews are already coming in. Plus: Mel Gibson talks to PrimeTime, and the Passion debates continue. Meanwhile, Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore have 50 First Dates, and one Christian film critic wonders why viewers are ignoring Peter Pan.
Why some Jews fear The Passion
Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ gives Christians the chance to disavow a shameful history of anti-Semitism.
Religious Conservative Leaders Savage Bush
Plus: Teen pregnancy and abortion rates drop, Roe case goes forward, the Amish in winter, and many other stories from online sources around the world.
God Is in the Details
A scientist affirms his faith.
Can a Government Love Its Neighbor as Itself?
The Weekly Standard examines Bush's Golden Rule
The Latest Temptation of Christians
Troubling spite in the debate over The Passion shows that the church needs to take anti-Semitism more seriously.
Bush Endorses Federal Marriage Amendment
Plus: Are gays going back into the closet? And many other articles on gay marriage and related topics.
Pre-Weblog: The Biggest Religion News of the Day
Contemplation on our own sinfulness before a deluge of news articles.
Supreme Court Clouds Church-State Rules
Plus: Didja hear Mel Gibson made a movie about Jesus? And many, many other stories from online sources around the world.
Four Dozen Nigerian Christians Murdered in Church
Plus: John Kerry endorses amendment against gay marriage, and other stories from online sources around the world.
Macedonian President, a Former Methodist Lay Minister, Dies in Plane Crash
Boris Trajkovski promoted peace in a country divided by Orthodox Christian and Muslim distrust.
A Boycott That Worked
Plus: Missionaries flee Haiti, missionary murdered in Mozambique, battle for Baylor continues, clergy abuse report released, and many other stories from online sources around the world.
The Return of the King: Best Picture, Perhaps, But Not Best Version
The author of The Battle for Middle-Earth examines the missing theology of the cinematic blockbuster.
Just a Closer Walk … with the Historical Jesus
Mel Gibson's movie raises again the question: How much can we know historically about Jesus' life and times?
Sixpence Calls It Quits
Hymns Ancient and Modern
The Passion of The Christ

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