News Round-Up: 23 March
Christian movie is the same as 50 Shades of Grey
The main film reviewer at Christianity Today, Alissa Wilkinson, made the bold claim this week that a controversial sex tale isn’t so different to God’s Not Dead, a successful Christian movie released last year. God’s Not Dead is a drama about an atheist College professor being put in his place by a modest Christian student. 50 Shades of Grey is a graphic, questionable portrait of a woman’s sexual relationship with a controlling, sadistic man. How can those two movies be anything but polar opposites?
Wilkinson provides an interesting and insightful explanation for her provocative statement. Encouraging viewers to think about the messages within movies, as well as the way those messages are presented, Wilkinson notes 50 Shades of Grey and God’s Not Dead want their audiences to experience reactions that are very similar. “I have to acknowledge that I want essentially the same thing as the audience [watching these two films]. I feel ordinary; I want to be transformed. I want to tap into a source of power beyond myself.”
Film announced about abducted Australian boy
Australian Christian company Heritage Films will produce a feature about the 2003 disappearance of Queensland schoolboy Daniel Morcombe, and the search for his abductor. While the script has yet to be written and the cast assembled, Where is Daniel? is set to be released by 2018. Daniel’s parents Bruce and Denise signed a deal with Heritage, and hope the film will raise awareness of child-safety issues. The Morcombes will have input into the script of Where Is Daniel?, so they are happy that the “right interpretation” of their family’s ordeal will be up on the screen.
“I am an Arab-Israeli Palestinian Christian woman”
And, now that we have your attention: Centre for Public Christianity has interviewed the head of the Arab-Israeli Bible Society. Dina Katanacho is a multi-faceted woman of Christian convictions, who spoke with Simon Smart about many issues and considerations that most of us cannot fathom. From living in the warzone of Israel with her family, to the complexities within her own identity, Katanacho provides a snapshot of her incredible life. Katanacho also is passionate about seeing women “live out their potential”, working to equip and empower women through the Bible Society.
Anti-porn pastor under fire for Driscoll dig
An American church leader has been accused of trying to make a buck out of Mark Driscoll, the disgraced founder of the Mars Hill movement. Earlier this week, Craig Gross sent an email promoting accountability software that is offered by XXXChurch.com, the anti-porn ministry he leads. The email had “Mark Driscoll” in the subject line and was sent to a database of 90,000 addresses, all belonging to people who had attended Mars Hills’ “Resurgence” conference. Gross purchased the addresses from a third party, and thought it reasonable to shape the promotion’s message around Driscoll and lack of accountability. Gross has defended this move, despite a fierce backlash from many who received the invite and those who felt Driscoll’s fall from grace had been exploited.