Editor's Note: Spoiler Alert
Alfonso Cuaron's box-office-record-smasher "Gravity" also broke new ground for faith in Hollywood, according to Christian reviewers who praised the film. They saw the presence of God throughout the film in an allegory of the death and resurrection of Christ, a personal interaction with God, and a God-given hope in the afterlife.
In "Gravity," the audience sees "the paradoxes of the Christian faith echoed on the screen," Paul Asay, senior associate editor for Focus on the Family's review blog, Plugged In, told The Christian Post in an interview on Tuesday. In an editorial for the Washington Post, Asay linked the story of medical engineer Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) to the ancient myths of Osiris, Gilgamesh, Hermes, Odysseus, and Orpheus. more >>
An anonymous group that aims to spread the message of God's love through their campaign, "Jesus Tattoo," erected 59 billboards throughout Lubbock, Texas, depicting the image of Jesus Christ clad in tattoos with the words "addicted" and "depressed," among other negative descriptions.
The idea behind the campaign is to share Jesus' love and make it known that it can change people despite their labels.
"The message is a simple one, Jesus' love is transformative. He loves us unconditionally and no matter what you've been marked with, faith in Him and love for others will transform us," said Ashleigh Sawyer, media relations coordinator for Jesus Tattoo. more >>
A major creationist organization has posted billboards in New York City and San Francisco with the purpose of engaging atheists, with more to come this month.
Answers in Genesis announced Monday the posting of three billboards in the San Francisco Bay area and a "digital spectacular" sign at Times Square.
Ken Ham, president of Answers in Genesis, told The Christian Post that the decision to post the billboards came in response to atheist groups in the past erecting billboards. more >>
Dr. Erwin Lutzer, senior pastor of The Moody Church in Chicago, has said that Billy Graham's message in "My Hope" can be used to help address the spiritual well-being of the Windy City, which has now become the murder capital of America.
"There is a tremendous amount of violence in Chicago, and much of it is gang related. There is also a rootlessness of the children living in the context of torn relationships, which gives birth to much of this violence," Lutzer said. "So, many people in this city are desperate for a spiritual solution."
According to official 2012 statistics released by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in September, Chicago had more reported murders than any other U.S. city, with 500 homicides – 81 more than second-placed New York City. The report followed numerous news stories of excessive violence that have come out of Chicago in the past couple of years, including a particularly violent Fourth of July weekend where 12 people were shot dead and at least 60 others were wounded. more >>
Catalyst Atlanta, the annual conference featuring an "eclectic mix of seasoned sages, leadership experts, and passionate young upstarts," once again, did not disappoint the more than 13,000 believers who attended the 3-day mega-event. Those in attendance were challenged to go deeper into what it means to truly be known by God, organizers said at its conclusion.
"I want to live like the sweet, kind, alive 80-year-old who isn't reliving the glory days – one that believes the next generation is going to bring great things to the world and that the best is yet to come," Pastor Judah Smith, of The City Church in Seattle, told the mostly under-40 (years old) crowd during one of the main sessions on Thursday.
Smith, known for his humorous communication style and sometimes surprising candor and honesty, exhorted Christian leaders to stay the course, following the examples given in the Bible. more >>
Evangelist Will Graham took the message of the Gospel to Japan for his first time last month during a two-day Celebration of Hope event in the prefecture of Fukushima, an area of the country devastated by natural disasters and massive leaks of radiation.
"Japan has a Christian remnant that is less than 1% of the entire population. Because of Buddhism and Shintoism, many do not even understand the concept of the One True God. By and large they aren't what we would call 'anti-Christian.' They just don't understand the faith," Graham, the grandson of famous evangelist Billy Graham, told the Christian Post. (Note: a source close to CP says the reported percentage of Christians in Japan can vary based on those who are evangelical and those who simply identify as Christians [4 percent]. Missionaries will report a lower percentage [at least under 3 percent] in order to maintain funding, the source said.)
Graham said he was especially sensitive to the region's devastation. In 2011, a 9.0 magnitude earthquake rocked the area, followed by a deadly tsunami that claimed the lives of more than 15,000. Since then, the prefecture of Fukushima, home to a nuclear facility, has been considered a ground zero in terms of devastation as the plant still leaks toxic and radioactive water. more >>