LAKE FOREST, Calif. – Pastor Rick Warren encouraged hundreds of local Southern California pastors and ministry leaders attending a pre-release screening of "Son of God" at Saddleback Church Tuesday to use a six-week study the best-selling author created using scenes from the movie.
The "Son of God – The Life of Jesus in You" series (LifeWay publishers) will launch at Saddleback to coincide with the movie's release. Producers Roma Downey and Mark Burnett, who were at the special screening, had asked Warren to create the book study with their movie as a tool.
"This is an incredible opportunity to double the size and number of your small [Bible/book study] groups," said Warren after the screening. He explained that the first time he used a movie to launch a series to be used in small groups was with "The Passion of the Christ." Warren said he offered content that was not available anywhere else, and while members of small groups were first attracted to attend by the nature of the content, they stayed in the study groups because of the formed relationships. more >>
The 2014 People's Choice Awards may be the scene of a minor skirmish in the United States' culture wars, as a miniseries based on the Holy Bible will go up against an LGBT-themed television movie.
In the "Favorite TV Movie/Miniseries" category, the hit History Channel miniseries "The Bible" has as one of its competitors the HBO movie "Behind the Candelabra."
Todd Burpo, whose book Heaven is for Real: A Little Boy's Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back is set to become a full-length motion picture next year, calls the parts of the film he has seen "accurate" and well-made. Both book and movie narrate the near-death experience that reportedly brought his 3-year-old son, Colton Burpo, face-to-face with Jesus Christ.
"They're sharing Colton's message accurately and honestly, and they're doing it incredibly well," Burpo, whose book has sold more than 8 million copies since its release in 2010, told The Christian Post on Tuesday. While the film is still in production, the author has seen the trailer (included below) and other scenes from the movie. "I think God is telling people the story," Burpo marveled.
The father shared the miraculous story of the book's success. "When we shared our book, there's no way we have caused people to buy it in stores," he said. Nevertheless, it has exploded, and the film will take it even further. "Hollywood is a great medium – how many people go to the movies rather than read books?" Burpo asked. more >>
The White House concluded its week of Easter celebrations with a breakfast reception by Vice President Joe Biden and President Barack Obama at the White House Friday morning, where the leaders discussed the importance of Christ's sacrifice to the world.
"In these sacred days, those of us as Christians remember the tremendous sacrifice Jesus made for each of us – how, in all His humility and His grace, He took on the sins of the world and extended the gift of salvation. And we recommit ourselves to following His example – to loving the Lord our God with all our hearts and all our souls and with all our minds, and to loving our neighbors as ourselves," Obama said to a crowd of 135 attendees, including many pastors and priests, adding in jest that he does not like preaching in front of people who do it for a living.
"That's the eternal spirit of Easter. And this year, I had – I think was particularly special for me because right before Easter I had a chance to feel that spirit during my trip to the Holy Land," the U.S. president added, referring to his recent trip to Israel. more >>
Call it an epic fail or a brickfest, but President Barack Obama could perhaps have built himself a little house with the number of bricks he threw down on the White House basketball court during the Easter Egg Roll festivities on Monday.
For all his bluster about his basketball skills on the court and the endless reporting on his regular pick-up games off camera, President Obama, 51, seemed to have suffered a terrible case of performance anxiety as the media and an audience of young children and members of the Washington Wizards, including star guard John Wall, watched him release brick after brick.
The St. Therese of Lisieux Catholic Church of Shelby Township, Mich., lost nearly $40,000 in donations over Easter weekend after thieves broke into the place of worship, using methods and equipment which local law enforcement is describing as "sophisticated" and "professional."
"We're looking at probably a professional crew," Shelby Township Police Chief Roland Woelkers told the Detroit Free Press regarding the burglary that occurred sometime between 10 p.m. Sunday and Monday morning, when a maintenance worker discovered the church had been broken into.
A team of thieves reportedly used special equipment to break through a glass door at the St. Therese of Lisieux church, and then used more specialized equipment to break into the safe room of the church, where they stole roughly $40,000 in donations collected during six masses over Easter weekend. more >>