News round-up: February 26
God’s Not Dead … Still
Made for $US 2 million, Christian movie God’s Not Dead made about $US60 million at the American box office in 2014. By anyone’s standards, that’s a good return. In the movie industry, that pretty much means only one thing — a sequel. Where the first God’s Not Dead focused upon a Christian college student challenging his philosophy lecturer about God’s existence, the upcoming sequel brings a bigger showdown. Set for release around Australia on April 28, God’s Not Dead 2 has a high school teacher (Sabrina The Teenage Witch’s Melissa Joan Hart) fighting on the national stage for the freedom to discuss God in public. Expect to hear a lot more about this sequel, as it adds to ongoing debates about how free someone can be to share their Christian faith.
Syrian demand for Bibles increases
The disturbing, distressing conflict in Syria has been devastating its region for the past five years. During that time of intense civil warfare, the Bible Society has experienced an enormous rise in people seeking Christian scripture. Although distribution is difficult within a warzone, there has been a tenfold increase in the number of scriptures the Bible Society has delivered to Syrians.
Survey Says: We want your church
Since 1991, The National Church Life Survey has conducted six major studies of Christian meetings and worship services across Australia. Responses and reflections are gathered on many topics, to present a comprehensive overview of what is going on with Christian churches. The next survey will be conducted later this year, with thousands of churches expected to take part. Before then, the NCLS wants 10 churches to volunteer to test new online survey tools.
Johnny Depp to speak at Atheist rally
Usually a drawcard at cinemas, Johnny Depp is one of many celebrity speakers lined up for the “Reason Rally 2016”, to be held in June in Washington D.C. Richard Dawkins and other prominent atheists will also be at this event that lobbies for “facts, not faith” to determine public policy. Somehow, it seems, those behind Reason Rally believe that a person expressing religious views and belief cannot be in possession of facts. Yet, Christianity is a religion, for example, that is well-documented and grounded in historical facts, deep reasoning, and comprehensive teaching. Wonder if that will be brought up at Reason Rally?