“What if the birth was just the beginning?” is the theme of Willow Creek Community Church’s Christmas message this year. And to show that to the estimated 80,000 people attending their 12 services at the South Barrington location, they are adding a short film, scored to a 22-piece live orchestra, into the mix.
The film sets the birth and life of Christ in modern-day Chicago. A TV news anchor is the main character, and the trailer on the website opens with her announcing the birth of the Savior of the world.
Hundreds of volunteers from Willow Creek participated as extras in the film. Writer and Director Blaine Hogan, also a staff member at the megachurch, hired professional actors for the leading roles. more >>
Jason Bare is an exemplary model for independent artists. Releasing two successful albums in one year, his Christmas album Have You Heard has been steadily climbing the charts and this singer/songwriter has much more in store!
Releasing his debut album Beautiful Design earlier this year, Bare came with a delightful surprise with his Christmas project.
With his career blossoming, and bringing life changes, this independent artist shares his journey, things to come, and his heart in an interview with BREATHEcast.com. Check out the podcast! more >>
Is it difficult to be a Christian during the Christmas season?
Influential evangelical Richard Land believes so, recently noting on The Washington Post why it was becoming increasingly harder for believers in America to be “Christian” at Christmas.
“By that question I don’t mean vaguely, culturally Christian in some civil religion sense, where one may or may not attend worship services at Christmas and Easter,” Land described. more >>
An evangelical group is celebrating a victory for religious freedom after Capitol Police allowed ministers to read from the Bible on Thursday in front of the Capitol Christmas tree despite previous threats of arrests and fines.
The Washington, D.C. police force allowed Christian Defense Coalition Director the Rev. Patrick Mahoney and Hillside Missions Director Kris Keating to read Bible passages and display a miniature Nativity scene on Capitol Hill uninterrupted.
Mahoney, who initially warned his supporters that he would be arrested Thursday, and the Christian Defense Coalition praised the Capitol Police for showing restraint. more >>
The root of the European debt crisis, according to Pope Benedict XVI, is a lack of faith.
In his annual Christmas address to the Vatican yesterday, Pope Benedict spoke about the cause of the European debt crisis. He told the clergy, “As this year draws to a close, Europe is undergoing an economic and financial crisis, which is ultimately based on the ethical crisis looming over the Old Continent.”
“Such values as solidarity, commitment to one’s neighbor and responsibility towards the poor and suffering are largely uncontroversial, but motivation is often lacking for individuals and large sectors of society to praise renunciation and make sacrifices.” more >>
Recent winters have seen Christians fighting against the "War on Christmas" to defend Nativity scenes, the real meaning behind the holiday, and wishing people a “Merry Christmas” instead of “Happy Holidays.” But just how much of the Christmas traditions we see today is truly Christian in origin?
Centuries earlier, Christians put together many Christmas traditions as it's practiced today by co-opting ideas from their pagan neighbors.
"It's important to know your roots," said Mat Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel. "A lot of things we do today have pagan and pre-Christian origins." more >>