A Big Year For Jesus (at the Movies)

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Christians sometimes complain, especially this time of year, that Jesus is being taken out of everything. We bemoan the lack of traditional Nativity scenes on public property. We lament when people wish us “happy holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas.” Last year, Starbucks was lambasted for serving up a plain red cup for the holidays instead […]

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Arrival and Us: Are We All Speaking the Same Language?

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Almost everyone likes Arrival. The $24.1 million worth of people who saw it thought it was just fine. (It gets a “B” from viewers, according to Cinemascore.) Secular critics thought it was fantastic. (It’s got a 93% “freshness” rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and plenty of reviewers are calling it one of the best movies of […]

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Vodcast: The Curious Case of Doctor Strange

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Myth and the Curious Case of Doctor Strange

Doctor Strange is nothing if not an odd, curious duck. Both the character and the movie, to be clear. The “good” doctor himself is a bit of a roguish hero who, while outwardly projecting confidence and bravado, inwardly struggles with a massive identity crisis due to a severely misplaced sense of self-worth. The movie itself, […]

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See “Fixer Upper’s” Chip and Joanna Gaines Tell Their Story on “I Am Second”

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Chip and Joanna Gaines in an episode of "I Am Second"

It’s no secret that Chip and Joanna Gaines, the down-to-earth personalities of HGTVs reality TV show Fixer Upper, are committed Christians. But you probably haven’t heard their story like this. In an interview with I Am Second, the couple opens up and tells the moving story of their faith and their marriage. It is a […]

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Vodcast: How Messy, Gritty Religion Invades The Magnificent Seven

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Villains aren’t the only ones who use faith for less-than-shiny purposes. Sometimes the good guys do it, too. Sometimes we use our faith in ugly ways, like when we use it to justify actions that are entirely self-serving. We may catch ourselves using it as an excuse to do what we want to do. We can all […]

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What Does it Mean to Be Christian … and an Actor?

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The Magnificent Seven lands in theaters today, starring Oscar-winning actor Denzel Washington and burgeoning superstar Chris Pratt. Next week, another box-office megastar, Mark Wahlberg, will unveil his latest action flick, Deepwater Horizon. All three actors, incidentally, are Christians. “Put God first in everything you do,” Washington recently told the graduating class of Dillard University, a […]

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Mark Burnett and Roma Downey Talk Faith, Film and Ben-Hur

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The story of Judah Ben-Hur has been one of the culture’s most popular, most powerful stories for more than a century now, and Jesus has always been at the center of it. Earlier this summer, I wrote a blog about the 1880 book Ben-Hur: The Tale of the Christ, discussing the faith journey of author […]

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Vodcast: The Little Prince and the Beautiful Mess of Story

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Stories are so misunderstood. As much as we all enjoy them, we often fail to recognize—or just flat out misunderstand—their importance and power, both for ill and for good. Which is why it’s nice when a story comes along that reminds us of the beauty that a good story can unveil and the ways they can […]

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They’ll Know We Are Christians by Our … What?

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I was reading a Los Angeles Times interview with comedian Amy Schumer. She talked about a Twitter to-do from some weeks back, when fellow comedian Leslie Jones—one of the stars of the new Ghostbusters movie—was temporarily pushed off the service after being inundated with hateful, often racist tweets. “It was just so much hate at […]

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Ben-Hur: A Tale of Three Movies, a Book and a Surprising Conversion

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The nearly four-hour epic Ben-Hur, released in 1959, won an unprecedented 11 Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Actor for Charlton Heston. The American Film Institute lists it at No. 72 on their list of “America’s 100 Greatest Movies.” If it’s that good, then why will Mark Burnett and Roma Downey release a new […]

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