Today's Top Five

1. Church: "We want people to enjoy the movie, no strings attached"
When The Last Temptation of Christ was due out, Campus Crusade for Christ head Bill Bright offered to buy the movie so he could destroy it. When The Passion of the Christ came out, churches rented theaters and gobbled up tickets and offered free admission to any who wanted to see it.

Tonight, Discovery Christian Church in Cranberry, Pa., is taking the latter action for the release of The Da Vinci Code. Spending about $4,500, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports, the church bought all the seats for two evening shows at the local theater. Those interested in going will get a card saying the church already paid for their ticket. And that's it. "We want people to enjoy the movie, no strings attached," pastor Toney Salva explained.

Meanwhile, as India, Thailand, and other countries have rejected possible bans on the movie, Canada's largest theater chain, Cineplex, has banned a Code-related ad it had earlier approved from Campus Crusade. After hearing that there could be some Campus Crusade missionaries outside some theaters, the chain issued a press release: "With the knowledge that this organization plans to 'stalk' our moviegoers outside of our theatres handing out unapproved material concerning a film we are presenting, we cannot lend support to this activity by running this campaign."

Interesting view of free speech up north.

2. Vatican and WCC offices say evangelism is fine, but don't "obsess" Remember the evangelism document from the World Council of Churches and the Vatican's Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue we previewed last week? They're out, and they're opaque. On one hand, the guidelines reaffirm freedom of religion—including ...

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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 executive editor. 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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