1. The Christian feel good movie of the summer: PG

Facing the Giants is a faith-filled football film, which "resembles a fusion of the Book of Job and a homemade Hoosiers," reports Terry Mattingly. The film is scheduled to open in 380 theaters in September. Alex and Stephen Kendrick, brothers and associate pastors of media at Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany, Georgia, wrote and produced the film, and naturally, they gave it an overt Christian message.

Mattingly writes, "The movie includes waves of answered prayers, a medical miracle, a mysterious silver-haired mystic who delivers a message from God, and a bench-warmer who kicks a 51-yard field goal to win the big game when his handicapped father pulls himself out of a wheelchair and stands under the goal post to inspire his son's faith." It also includes a scene in which the football team's coach tells a player to follow Jesus.

That scene, according to the Motion Picture Association of America, seems to be on par with brief nudity—either of which is enough to turn a G film into a PG one. Facing the Giants, which has no nudity, is too evangelistic for parents to think it is safe for children to watch without parental guidance, says the MPAA. Kris Fuhr, vice president for marketing at Provident Films, said the MPAA told her that "the movie was heavily laden with messages from one religion and that this might offend people from other religions. It's important that they used the word 'proselytizing' when they talked about giving this movie a PG. … It is kind of interesting that faith has joined that list of deadly sins that the MPAA board wants to warn parents to worry about."

2. Savagery's stranglehold

We Americans have high ideals for our soldiers. We honor them for ...

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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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