Thursday, November 25, 2010

The Show Must Go On

Bankruptcy apparently won't stop Robert Schuller's church from trying to put on it's annual Christmas program. The Crystal Cathedral is known for the elaborate production, but will need court approval to do it this time. Church officials had earlier announced it was canceled, while with admitting it owned creditors as much as $100 million. There is a question as to whether there is enough time to pull it off, even if the court agrees.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Blue Like Jazz: The Movie

Looks like Donald Miller's Blue Like Jazz will become a movie after all. Plans to turn the popular Christian book into a film were stalled for a time, after the production ran out of funding. But it appears to be back on track. An online campaign generated enough funds to keep it going. It only took 10 days to raise $125,000, making it one of the largest crowd-sourced projects ever funded. Filming began last month in Nashville and will also take place in Portland and possibly Houston and Los Angeles. It should be in theaters by next fall.

Baptist Historian Dies

A longtime professor at many Southern Baptist seminaries has died. Morgan Patterson died at the age of 85 in his home in Novato, California. Besides teaching at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisiana College, Oklahoma Baptist University, Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary, Campbellsville University and Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Patterson served as president of Kentucky's Georgetown College and as an interim pastor of numerous churches in California, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana and Mississippi.

Megachurch Pastor Retiring

The pastor of North Carolina's largest Southern Baptist church is stepping down. Joe Brown is retiring after 26 years in the pulpit of the Charlotte church. Instead of telling the Hickory Grove congregation in person, the 62-year-old Brown made the announcement by video, saying he would not speak again to them as pastor. Clint Pressley was tapped as co-pastor earlier this year, and he'll take over. He spent six years as pastor at Dauphin Way Baptist Church in Mobile, Alabama.

Valedictorian Wins Case

It was unconstitutional for school officials to force a Montana High School valedictorian to remove the words "God" and "Christ" from her speech, according to the state's highest court. The court ruled Renee Griffith's rights to free speech and to freedom of religion were violated by Butte High School in 2008 she was told she had to removed the sentence, "I didn't let fear keep me from sharing Christ and His joy with those around me" by school district superintendent Charles Uggetti. That overturns a lower court ruling. Ironically, Griffith first approached the Montana Human Rights Bureau, but was told there had been no discrimination.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Largest Statue of Jesus

The western Polish town of Swiebodzin now boasts the world’s tallest statue of Jesus. A retired local Roman Catholic priest, Sylwester Zawadzki, came up with the idea and used the donations of parishioners along with private gifts to build the fibreglass and plaster Jesus. Zawadzki says he wanted the statue to be 33 meters to symbolize the 33 years Jesus lived on earth. The figure also has a three meter gold crown to symbolize the three years of Christ's ministry. That makes it 108 feet or three meters taller than Brazil’s statue of Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro. Here's a video of it.

Ten Commandments Bill

A bill in the Texas state legislature would prevent school boards from stopping the posting of the Ten Commandments in classrooms. Representative Dan Flynn filed the measure. He is a Republican from the East Texas town of Van. If it passes, the bill would likely wind up before a federal court which would rule on whether violates the First Amendment establishment clause.