Amid rumors swirling about what prompted her trip last month to rehab, Selena Gomez has posted a picture of a Bible passage on her Instagram account on Wednesday.
The singer/actress highlighted a passage from Genesis 12:2 which reads, "I will make you a great nation; I will bless you/ And make your name great; And you shall be a blessing." Along with the verse, Gomez wrote, "He will bless me w/ great gifts," drawing an arrow from the text to imply she would share those blessings "with others."
Gomez's photo of the verse was in fact from a page in Hillsong Church's Senior Pastor Brian Houston's devotional book, "How to Maximise Your Life." According to its Amazon description, the book discusses "several Biblical truths for living with purpose, building intimate and meaningful relationships and finding the balance to healthy living and wholeness." more >>
In an interview with comedian Jimmy Kimmel, Fox News anchor and columnist Bill O'Reilly discussed his Super Bowl interview with President Obama and his new book, Killing Jesus.
"I want to ask you if you think Jesus would watch Fox News," Kimmel asked O'Reilly Tuesday night in ABC's "Jimmy Kimmel Live" studio in Hollywood, CA, right before a commercial break. O'Reilly burst out laughing, and the break cut off any answer he might have given.
Kimmel asked the Jesus question because of O'Reilly's new book, Killing Jesus. The comedian mentioned the other books in O'Reilly's death narrative sequence, Killing Lincoln and Killing Kennedy, asking "is there any question if there's a serial killer here?" The author joked that one man used time-warp technology to kill all three. more >>
Paramount Pictures rejected the findings of a recent survey that revealed 98 percent of religious moviegoers were not satisfied with Darren Aronofsky's upcoming biblical epic "Noah," and pointed to other surveys that show 86 percent of Christians aware of the film would recommend it to friends.
"The survey question that had the 98% response rate did not contain any reference to the film 'NOAH,' despite the fact that the Variety reporting implied that it did, and research from industry leading firms about the upcoming epic paints a very different picture," Paramount said in a statement, citing the story by Variety.
The survey was conducted by Faith Driven Consumer. It asked supporters online over several days if they were "satisfied with a biblically themed movie – designed to appeal to you – which replaces the Bible's core message with one created by Hollywood." The survey question did not specifically refer to "Noah." Notably, however, the question was asked with the survey title: "Noah Movie Controversy?" and the page where the question was asked also included a summary about the controversy surrounding "Noah," namely how it veers too far away from the biblical account. more >>
A study of "faith-driven consumers" reveals that a vast majority won't be satisfied with a Bible-themed movie that strays from, and maybe even rejects, the biblical message. The concerns expressed in the survey could have serious implications for the forthcoming Bible blockbuster "Noah."
The studio behind the film, Paramount Pictures, prescreened "Noah" to a group of Christian viewers and discovered a problem. According to The Hollywood Reporter, many of the viewers "questioned the film's adherence to the Bible story and reacted negatively to the intensity and darkness of the lead character." The director is reportedly working with different versions of the story, in part to better appeal to a Christian audience.
The challenge could be a substantial one. more >>
Jewish leaders have expressed outrage of a study guide Presbyterian Church (USA) recently released regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, saying that the publication is "sending Jews to the trash-heap of history."
Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center, and Rabbi Yitzchok Adlerstein, the Center's director of interfaith affairs, wrote a column on Fox News website denouncing a guide titled "Zionism Unsettled: A Congregational Study."
In their column, Cooper and Adlerstein said that the "Zionism Unsettled" study guide was "sending Jews to the trash-heap of history." more >>
Iowa State University will be removing Bibles from its Hotel Memorial Union lodging after the Freedom From Religion Foundation objected to what it called "unwelcome religious propaganda in the bedside table."
"The concern you raised about the availability of Bibles in the guest rooms of the Memorial Union has been taken under advisement and, effective March 1, 2014, the Bibles will be removed from the Hotel rooms," Richard S. Reynolds, director of the union, told FFRF in an email last week.