On this week's edition of "The 3", there was a lot of interest in the new game show based on knowledge of the Bible, and initial indications are that it made a significant impact. Also, as Republicans face uncertainty about the weather in Tampa and a cancellation of the first night's activities, the proposed party platform has some clarity on life and marriage. And, a major evangelistic event in Southern California over the weekend included those attending live, people watching on the Internet, and churches gathering to experience the event remotely.
3 -"The American Bible Challenge" brings largest GSN audience ever
This past Thursday, the greatly anticipated game show, "The American Bible Challenge" premiered on GSN, formerly known as the Game Show Network. The show features teams of 3 people who answer Bible questions, playing for their favorite charities. After a nationwide screening, 18 teams were chosen to be part of the first season. The program is hosted by comedian Jeff Foxworthy, who has game show experience with, "Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?", and who is a Christian who speaks about his faith.
Thursday night, the premiere yielded GSN's highest viewership in its 17-year history, according to entertainment website Deadline.com. It brought in 1.7 million total viewers, easily besting the previous high of 1.2 for a 2003 documentary called, "Big Bucks: The Press Your Luck Scandal".
The show's executive producers are Michael Davies, who was executive producer of "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire", and Tom Forman, creator of "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition". Consultant producers are Nick Stuart and Maura Dunbar of Odyssey Networks.
Maura Dunbar visited with me on The Meeting House just prior to the premiere:
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"The American Bible Challenge" airs Thursdays at 7pm Central on GSN.
2 - Party platform affirms sanctity of life, marriage
As Republicans from across the country have been making their way to Tampa, some slower than others due to Tropical Storm/Hurricane Isaac, the party platform committee met last week to decide on how the expressions of the core values of the party would be represented at the convention. As a number of pro-life, pro-family leaders appeared in Tampa last week, respective committees met and made some bold decisions.
One was to include a strong pro-life plank. According to CitizenLink, if Republicans adopt the draft platform, the party will endorse an
amendment to the U.S. Constitution making it clear that preborn children
have “a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be
infringed.” The language included a call for the end of legalized abortion except in cases of danger to the mother's life. Other planks include opposition to federal funding for
embryonic stem cell research, support for the use of ultrasounds and
full disclosure about fetal development before abortions, and
support for state-enforced abortion clinic regulations.
Also, CitizenLink reports that the Republican platform will continue to uphold traditional marriage, despite two attempts to add language that would weaken it. One proposal involved replacing the plank
endorsing marriage as the union of one man and one woman with language
advocating civil unions for both same-sex and heterosexual couples. Another amendment would have added support for same-sex civil unions to the party’s support for the
definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman. Both proposals were defeated. On the Democratic side, it is likely that delegates will approve at their convention in Charlotte, for the first time, a platform plank that would favor legalization of same-sex marriage.
The proposed Republican party platform will go to the entire convention for approval.
Here's a conversation about the party platforms for The Meeting House, with Stuart Shepard, Senior Director of Media for CitizenLink (an affiliate of Focus on the Family). During the first part of the interview, he gives analysis of the movie featuring Dinesh D'Souza, "2016: Obama's America", which finished 8th at the box office during the weekend, according to preliminary estimates:
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1 - Harvest Crusade one of America's largest evangelistic events
Greg Laurie, pastor of California's Harvest Christian Fellowship and featured speaker for the annual evangelistic event known as the Harvest Crusades, is the architect behind the most recent crusade, spanning 2 days, at Angels Stadium in Anaheim, California.
According to a report in The Christian Post, the Saturday sermon would address the topic of "How to Find Personal Happiness". The title of the Sunday message was planned to be titled, "Is It Possible to Change Our Lives?". Sunday's Harvest America was scheduled to be shown
live by webcast and, through the use of other technology, transmitted to more than
1,800 host venues (about 1,000 are churches). The event on Sunday was
also set to be broadcast on two Christian TV stations and more than 500
Christian radio stations. Musical artists over the weekend included David Crowder, Gungor, Third Day, Jeremy Camp, and MercyMe.
The Post reported that Pastor Levi Lusko, host of the Harvest events, had blogged, "In addition to these sites it will be
going out to hundreds of thousands through webcasts and live radio
coverage (and television)...This could potentially be the largest
evangelistic event to ever occur in the history of the United States of
Laurie's crusades have attracted thousands to the large venues in the Los Angeles area over the years, and the leveraging of Internet and other technology to bring the event into multiple homes and churches means a wide audience for that Sunday event. And, as you combine the effective preaching of Greg Laurie and the power of God's word, that makes for a fabulous harvest of souls for the kingdom of God.