Nov 30, 2013
neil

From the producer of ‘The Apprentice’ comes ‘The Bible’ on Channel 5 from TONIGHT – 30th November

From tonight (30th November, 9pm) Channel 5 will start to air a 10 part tv series called The Bible. The man behind the project, Mark Burnett, is a Christian and the British-born produced of reality TV shows The Apprentice and The Voice. He said ‘we were very aware that our shows like The Apprentice come and go. But with The Bible we fully believed people would be watching it in 30 years. It’s much more meaningful. This is certainly the most important thing I’ve ever done.’

The Telegraph reported on the extraordinary viewing figures The Bible mini-series has received in the US. The Bible, a visually stunning, epic adaption of a selection of the major stories from Genesis to Revelation, was the number one cable series this year in America. The opening episode was seen by 13.1 million viewers, the highest 2013 figure for a cable channel.

Burnett explained his reasons for making the series in an interview for the Huffington Post earlier this year:

Physically, it took us to Morocco for five months of filming, London for many months of editing and then hop scotching all across the U.S. for the better part of a year as we shared our vision for the project with faith leaders of all denominations. Where it’s taken us spiritually and emotionally, though, is far more profound: we began as two people in love with the Bible and each other, and finished as two people even more in love with both each other and the Bible.

Part of what we hoped to accomplish with the series was to show the Bible is not simply a collection of unconnected stories which are often discussed and analyzed in snippets with chapter and verse numbers. Instead, we wanted to show how the Old Testament connects seamlessly to the New Testament. How they are one sweeping story with one grand, overriding message: God loves each one of us as if we were the only person in all the world to love.

Having made The Bible Burnett and his wife Roma Downey have now also completed a new film version of the life of Jesus entitled The Son of God which will be launched across the US from 28th February.

Nov 26, 2013
neil

What we have to learn from the ‘next generation’ of church leaders

Here’s a summary of Brad Lomenick’s take on the next generation of leaders in the church and his reasons for optimism.

  1. Passion for God
  2. Willing to work together
  3. Don’t care who gets the credit
  4. Generosity and sharing are the new currencies
  5. They understand the holistic responsibility of influence
  6. Authenticity wins
  7. Not willing to wait
  8. See social justice as the norm
  9. Seeking wisdom and mentors
  10. A change the world mentality
Many of these same values are shaping our 2020birmingham network.  A partnership of now 10 congregations committed to working together in church planting across Birmingham works because rivalry and self-interest are giving way to gospel-hearted collaboration. There is much to give thanks for and many reasons to be encouraged about the future of the church in the next generation.
What’s of greatest encouragement is that these values seem to be instinctive to our younger leaders and result in an energy and vitality that isn’t  manufactured.

(HT: Matt Perman)

Nov 22, 2013
neil

On the 50th anniversary of their deaths, what JFK & CS Lewis thought of human nature

Justin Taylor & Joe Rigney remember the day JFK and CS Lewis died in this piece for Religion News Service

 

Nov 15, 2013
neil

Christians ‘face extinction’ says Government minister

At last, someone from the Government is speaking out against the systematic assault on Christianity in parts of our world today.

Oct 30, 2013
neil

Birmingham instead of London says New York Magazine

Want a few good reasons to take pride in the city of Birmingham? New York Magazine offer a few . . .

Oct 23, 2013
neil

Our vision for 20 churches over 10 years in 6 minutes

We hope you like our new 2020birmingham video setting out our vision for 20 churches over 10 years told in 6 minutes.

 

Oct 19, 2013
neil

10 extraordinary truths about our extraordinary city of Birmingham

1. 4.3 million people live within an hour’s commute of Birmingham centre

2. Birmingham has the youngest population of any city in Europe with 38% under the age of 25

3. Birmingham has twice the working age population of Manchester (638,200 as against 329,900)

4. 10,000 people are added the population of Birmingham every year

5. In 2011 census, for the first time ever, less than half the city’s population self-defined as Christian.  46.1% of Birmingham  residents said they were Christian, 21.8% Muslim and 19.3% had no religion.

6. Between 2001 and 201 the population has increased by almost 90,000 – a growth of 9.1%. That’s 200 people a week!

7. Birmingham has the largest student population outside of London at 65,000.

8. Only 6% of the population of Birmingham ever go to church

9. 57% of the Birmingham’s under 11’s are from a variety of ethnic minorities

10. Birmingham has the highest unemployment rate of any major UK city – 10.3%

Oct 11, 2013
neil

David Mitchell on why atheism isn’t the answer

(HT: Ben Desmond)

Oct 9, 2013
neil

On living as a porn-free family

Tim Challies offers wise advice to parents on protecting yourself and your family from the dangers of pornography.

 

Oct 4, 2013
neil

Can We Finally Start Talking About The Global Persecution Of Christians? Two chilling articles

Two recent articles highlighting both the desperate plight facing Christians in many parts of the world and also the shocking silence of the world’s leaders on the issues.

John Allen in the Spectator writes:

According to the Pew Forum, between 2006 and 2010 Christians faced some form of discrimination, either de jure or de facto, in a staggering total of 139 nations, which is almost three-quarters of all the countries on earth. According to the Center for the Study of Global Christianity at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Massachusetts, an average of 100,000 Christians have been killed in what the centre calls a ‘situation of witness’ each year for the past decade. That works out to 11 Christians killed somewhere in the world every hour, seven days a week and 365 days a year, for reasons related to their faith.

In effect, the world is witnessing the rise of an entire new generation of Christian martyrs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And this article by Mollie Hemingway in the Federalist (not a site known to me before now) in which she quotes from a book by Paul Marshall, Lela Gilbert and Nina Shea entitled Persecuted the Global Assault on Christians

Christians are the single most widely persecuted religious group in the world today. This is confirmed in studies by sources as diverse as the Vatican, Open Doors, the Pew Research Center, Commentary, Newsweek and the Economist. According to one estimate, by the Catholic Bishops’ Conferences of the European Community, 75 percent of acts of religious intolerance are directed against Christians.”

(HT: Yvonne Nickerson & Helen Ogbourn)

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