"Sound of Music" the film with Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer is celebrating its 50th anniversary, and Diane Sawyers hosted an affecting ABC remembrance of it last evening, interviewing both lead actors. The story of a pious but spiritually restless nun/nanny who falls in love and marries the war hero widower father of her young charges amid the Nazi takeover of Austria has been universalized in global popular culture. Even children in nightmarish North Korea sing songs from the musical, Sawyer incredulously reported.
Critics, as the Sawyer program noted, have dismissed the tale as a "sugar coated fantasy," an escapist and feel-good love story set amid the glories of the Austrian Alps, in charming Salzburg, full of songs children can sing, with a dash of slapstick Nazi danger and nun comedy lathered in. Certainly it's not a serious drama, supposedly.
But "Sound of Music," based loosely on the real-life von Trapp family, who did indeed escape their native Austria after its merger with the Third Reich, contains several quite serious themes that together make it a Christian allegory about vocation, family, marriage, citizenship, patriotism and the moral response to evil. more >>
The producers behind the film "I Am a Christian," which was recently halted, have said that when they tried to post a message on Facebook encouraging people to identify as Christians, the social networking site blocked it for being "profane, vulgar." When they contacted Facebook for more information, Facebook told them that material should not "single out individuals or degrade people."
The producers said in a press release that they attempted to post the message: "Are you a Christian? We challenge you to change your profile picture to this 'I Am A Christian' photo for one week! Change your picture now, and challenge your friends to do the same. Stand up and declare Yes, I Am A Christian!!!"
The ad was not allowed, however, and they received the following message from Facebook: "Your ad wasn't approved because it doesn't follow Facebook's Advertising Guidelines for language that is profane, vulgar, threatening or generates high negative feedback. Ads can't use language that insults, harasses or demeans people, or addresses their age, gender, name, race, physical condition or sexual preference." more >>
Family Christian Stores, the largest Christian bookstore in the United States, has withdrawn its bankruptcy plan and will keep its stores open in order to save the jobs of its 4,000 employees.
"The stewards of the ministry have done this out of love for the mission of Family Christian," Chuck Bengochea, president and CEO of FCS, said in a press release. "We believe that this will help to satisfy certain objections of the Creditors Committee and the U.S. Trustees. This action will lead more quickly to a successful outcome in which we can continue to serve our customers and glorify God. Day-to-day operations at Family Christian Stores will continue as usual."
Over a dozen Christian publishers sued FCS over $20 million of consignment inventory, while the U.S. Trustee and Creditors Committee objected to how the proposed sale plan would allegedly benefit one of FCS' owners. Additionally, Family Christian Acquisitions, a new subsidiary of FCS' nonprofit parent ministry, Family Christian Ministries, decided against purchasing FCS' assets. more >>
Seattle's Satanic Temple chapter is campaigning against a "In God We Trust" sign set to be put up at a Clark County public hearing room in Vancouver, Wash. The group said that its goal is to separate church and state, and with Satan as its symbol it wants to "rebel against tyranny."
"We see Satan as our symbol of the rebel against tyranny," said Satanic Temple's Lillith Starr, who founded the Seattle chapter in late 2014, according to KING 5 News.
The county council explained that the sign in question was donated by a non-profit, and so there was no government money spent on it. more >>
Lee Strobel, a professor of Christian Thought at Houston Baptist University who once professed to be an atheist when working as a journalist at the Chicago Tribune, says that a life changing experience, influenced by his wife's conversion to Christianity, led him to dedicate his life to Christ and to being an apologist for the faith.
Strobel has written a series of books, including The Case for Christ, The Case for Faith and The Case for Creator that explore various evidence for the existence of Jesus Christ, the Christian faith and God as the Creator of the universe. His latest work, The Case for Grace, explores the transformative power of God's grace and its ability to change lives.
The following is an edited transcript of The Christian Post's interview with Strobel in which he talks about his time as an atheist and whether grace can be extended to congregations that deviate from Scripture. You can read Part 1 of CP's interview with Strobel here. more >>
A controversial sign posted outside of a Knoxville church has created an uproar in the local community, especially among those who believe the pastor's message was a blatant attack against lesbians and gays.
Knoxville Baptist Tabernacle in Tennessee recently posted a message on its sign that read: "Remember, Satan was the first to demand equal rights." The sign was eventually changed, but not before it angered some of the locals.
"Who was your target audience? Who were you speaking to when you put it up there?" Knoxville resident Rick Staples told WBIR.com, voicing his disagreement with the pastor's message. "And when you say you're asking for your equal rights, who's asking for their equal rights and who are you comparing to Satan? That was very strong language." more >>