Archives For Noah movie

Noah_movie_posterTHE BRIEFING | Meredith Flynn

Director Darren Aranofsky’s controversial “Noah” movie (rated PG-13) grabbed the top spot at the box office over the weekend, grossing $44 million in the U.S. and Canada and almost $100 million worldwide. Many Christians voiced objections to the movie’s content prior to its release, and the debate continued over social media as people went to the theater to see what all the fuss was about. The verdict: Christians are still divided on the film’s value.

“This is not a ‘buy up a block of tickets’ moment for churches…,” National Religious Broadcasters President Jerry Johnson blogged at ChristianityToday.com before the film’s release. “Noah, the film, may be inspired by the biblical character and events – but it is not a straightforward retelling of that story. Churches who are looking for that kind of movie will not find it here.

“However, many people will go to this film and enjoy it. The main events from the Noah story are depicted in a powerful way on the big screen by name brand actors and quality production. Christians should be ready to engage moviegoers in conversation about biblical and cultural themes that are portrayed in this movie.”

Your turn: Have you seen “Noah”? What did you think? Leave us a comment below.

Other news:

Saddleback, Warrens host conference on the church and mental health
Nearly a year after their son, Matthew, committed suicide, Rick and Kay Warren invited experts in the field of mental health to a one-day conference at Saddleback Church. More than 3,300 people attended the meeting March 28, which featured workshops for people and families struggling through mental illness, as well as church leaders who want to be better equipped to handle mental health issues in their churches and communities. “We do this in honor and memory of our son and others lost to mental illness, realizing there is hope for others dealing with this condition,” Kay Warren said, according to a report by The Christian Post.

Judge makes Michigan latest state to take up same-sex marriage issue
Judge Bernard Friedman overturned Michigan’s ban on gay marriage last week, and about 300 couples were married after his decision. The ruling was stayed, and Michigan Governor Rick Snyder has said the state will not recognize those marriages as of now. But U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said the government will offer federal benefits to the married couples, mirroring the action it took in Utah earlier this year. Click here to read about action in other states and to view the updated marriage map.

Barna researches why 64% of Americans aren’t regular church attenders
Author Donald Miller sparked controversy recently with a blog about why he doesn’t attend church (he feels more connected to God through his work than through a worship service). Research from Barna indicates many people feel the same way. Of the 64% of Americans who don’t attend church regularly, 40% say they find God elsewhere, and 35% say church is not relevant to them personally. Read more, including details about church attendance for the millenial generation, at Barna.org.

Faith, family more important than mirror ball trophy for former ‘Full House’ star
Candace Cameron Bure, who came to fame as DJ Tanner on 90’s TV series “Full House,” is also a contestant on this season of “Dancing with the Stars.” During a recent episode, she explained the modest choices she made when planning her rumba with professional partner Mark Ballas: “My life revolves around my relationship with Jesus Christ so with the overall tone of the dance or the costumes, it’s not going to take a backseat.”

Bure told host Erin Andrews after the dance: “I want to reserve some things for my husband so I think we did the best that we could with the rumba that I still felt comfortable doing.” Read more at ChristianPost.com.

 

The_BriefingTHE BRIEFING | Meredith Flynn

Amid much debate, Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed a bill Feb. 28 that would have allowed business owners in Arizona to deny services to same-sex couples based on their religious beliefs. New York Times columnist Ross Douthat wrote over the weekend that media coverage of the bill could signal that with the marriage battle a foregone conclusion, Christians will be increasingly marginalized for their beliefs.

…”[S]uch bills have been seen, in the past, as a way for religious conservatives to negotiate surrender – to accept same-sex marriage’s inevitability while carving out protections for dissent,” wrote Douthat, a Christian. “But now, apparently, the official line is that you bigots don’t get to negotiate anymore.

“Which has a certain bracing logic. If your only goal is ensuring that support for traditional marriage diminishes as rapidly as possible, applying constant pressure to religious individuals and institutions will probably do the job. Already, my fellow Christians are divided over these issues, and we’ll be more divided the more pressure we face.”

Christian leaders debated the Arizona bill prior to Brewer’s veto, while Michigan pastor Kevin DeYoung found counsel in the Book of Revelation. Blogging at thegospelcoalition.org, he recommended Christians look at Jesus’ letters to several churches who were “too cozy with the culture.”

“Granted, the issue in Asia Minor was not baking cakes for same-sex ceremonies,” wrote DeYoung. “We shouldn’t think Revelation 2-3 was written to solve our controversies. But we shouldn’t assume they have nothing to do with our controversies either. High pressure social obligations, rationalizing participation as only an empty gesture, popular teachers urging permissiveness, the threat of social and economic ostracism – sounds familiar. Maybe our problems aren’t so new.”

Other news:

Disney and Scouts face offThe Christian Post reports Disney has told Boy Scouts of America they will withdraw funding unless the organization allows gay troop leaders. Through Disney’s VoluntEARS program, employees can earn cash donations for non-profits they choose, but Boy Scouts will no longer be eligible beginning in 2015 unless the current policy changes. Boy Scouts voted last year to allow openly gay members, but kept its ban on gay leaders. Read more at ChristianPost.com.

Elliff asks IMB Board to find successor
Tom Elliff, president of the Southern Baptist International Mission Board since 2011, asked trustees meeting in February to begin looking for his successor. “[God’s] telling me that this is the time to leave and that if I will obey Him and ask the Board of Trustees to appoint a search team … that is the surest way to ensure a smooth transition.”

He added, “He didn’t say resign and I’m definitely not going to retire, but I do believe that the board needs to be looking for the successor and the minute they find that man…I need to join the ranks of all the other people who are holding up his hand and praying for him.”

Elliff, 70, was elected IMB President in 2011. He has said he will stay in the post until the next leader is named. Read more at BPNews.net.

Former Union Pres. Dockery to lead divinity school in Chicagoland
David Dockery has been unanimously elected as the new president of Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Ill. “We are overwhelmingly grateful to God for the invitation from the Trinity Board to serve the students, staff, faculty and various institutional constituencies in the days ahead,” said Dockery, who recently transitioned out of an 18-year presidency at Union University in Jackson, Tenn. Read the full story at BPNews.net.

Noah’s pros and cons
Daunted by early reviews of the upcoming “Noah” movie? Check out EdStetzer.com for Jerry Johnson’s lists of the film’s positives (follows the basic plot from the Bible) and negatives (the main character doesn’t ring true). Johnson, president and CEO of National Religious Broadcasters, will also post on the movie’s applications for Christians and for Hollywood.