Turning the Bible into a magazine is becoming stale news for journalists, but turning a pastor into an actor? That's pretty sweet.

When Revolve, the Bible magazine for girls, hit newsstands, the media seemed wowed by the fresh approach to the ancient Scriptures, but now that Thomas Nelson has released Refuel its version for boys, Time magazine only mentions it alongside other products of the consumer spirituality genre. "Sacred motifs are turning up on everything from face creams to T shirts," Time says.

Thomas Nelson's Laurie Whaley explains Jesus' popularity. "[I]f Jesus was here today, he'd be hanging out at the Clinique booth with teen girls. He went where the people were, and that's the message of the Bible—it's about understanding the connection between the Bible and the world that we live in."

So Thomas Nelson took the Word to the magazine rack. But it's got to be easier to make the New Testament cool by packaging it as a magazine with headlines like "Girls spill it all!" than it is to turn a pastor into a movie star.

For many who liked Jim Caviezel as Jesus in The Passion, the recent release of Bobby Jones, staring Caviezel, was a must see. But they may not have known the pastor who played Jones's instructor. Alistair Begg, the 52-year-old pastor of Cleveland's Parkside Church, made his unexpected acting debut in Jones. Begg played the cursing and liquor-drinking Maiden, Bobby Jones's Scottish golf instructor. How's that for relevance?

According to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Begg was speaking at a conference that included Chuck Colson and the two began talking about golf, a sport Begg knows well from his native Scotland.

In the audience that day was movie producer John Shepherd, who was looking for someone to play Maiden ...
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Launched in 1999, Christianity Today’s Weblog was not just one of the first religion-oriented weblogs, but one of the first published by a media organization. (Hence its rather bland title.) Mostly compiled by then-online editor Ted Olsen, Weblog rounded up religion news and opinion pieces from publications around the world. As Christianity Today’s website grew, it launched other blogs. Olsen took on management responsibilities, and the Weblog feature as such was mothballed. But CT’s efforts to round up important news and opinion from around the web continues, especially on our Gleanings feature.
Ted Olsen
Ted Olsen is Christianity Today's editorial director. He wrote the magazine's Weblog—a collection of news and opinion articles from mainstream news sources around the world—from 1999 to 2006. In 2004, the magazine launched Weblog in Print, which looks for unexpected connections and trends in articles appearing in the mainstream press. The column was later renamed "Tidings" and ran until 2007.
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