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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What Does the Truth Feel Like?

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Every now and then when I’m reviewing music for Plugged In, I’ll come across a lyric from an artist that succinctly encapsulates some aspect of our culture. That happened recently when I reviewed Gwen Stefani’s first new solo album in 10 years, This Is What the Truth Feels Like. Before I talk about the lyric […]

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