Sunday, March 24, 2013

The 3 - March 24, 2013

In this week's edition of my week-in-review feature, "The 3", I want to identify an emerging issue in Washington that deals with removing or reducing the tax deduction for charitable contributions - there was an important meeting in the nation's capital this week.   Also, pro-life legislation has been passed regularly during this legislative session in North Dakota, and another one was passed this week.  And, the top story involves a development in the endorsement of the Boy Scouts' current policy not allowing openly homosexual behavior - a new coalition has been formed to try to oppose changes to that policy.

3 - Rescue mission representatives visit the nation's capital

There has been quite a bit of concern expressed by representatives of non-profit ministries about the possibility of the tax deduction for charitable contributions being reduced or eliminated as a way to increase revenue for the Federal government.  This deduction can be a powerful incentive for donors, especially those with a great capacity to give, and therefore the provision can be of great assistance in helping charities carry out the powerful work that they do.   If charities are not able to do their work as effectively, then the safety net of government will have to be expanded.   The net effect could be greater dependency on government at the expense of charities who are well-positioned to assist.

According to,  representatives of the Association of Gospel Rescue Missions (AGRM), representing some 275 such missions nationwide, organized a gathering in the nation's capital this past week, where 22 rescue mission leaders, representing some of the nation's largest cities and AGRM staff discussed public policy issues relevant to their organizations, met with Capitol Hill politicians to educate them about their missions' work, and prayed for the country and its leaders.   One of the issues discussed was the potential reduction in the amount that could be deducted from taxes for charitable contributions.

AGRM President John Ashmen is quoted as saying that a cap or limit to the charitable deduction would result in a loss of billions of dollars each year in private contributions to serve communities' critical needs.   He said that, “Everything rescue missions do for hundreds of thousands of people - feeding, sheltering, rehabilitating, counseling, life-skills programs, job training and more - would end up in the government's lap.  Frankly, with its black-hole debt, the government cannot take this on. Moreover, the government does not know how - and definitely shouldn't attempt - to handle relational and spiritual poverty, which are keys to unlocking the prison doors of destitution for so many of our citizens.”

This is an important debate that could affect hundreds, even thousands, of churches and charities nationwide.   Another chapter took place this past week in Washington, DC, and as various charity sectors make their voices heard, it is hoped that it could open the eyes of lawmakers who are considering this action.

2 - North Dakota Legislature passes bill affirming life begins at conception

The North Dakota Legislature seems to be pulling out all the stops in attempting to limit abortion in the state.  Just days after passage of a bill that would ban abortion once a heartbeat is detected - generally thought to be 6 or7 weeks - lawmakers took another bold step in passing a bill that recognizes that  “the inalienable right to life of every human being at any stage of development must be recognized and protected.”   It's been described as a "personhood" bill, and according to, it's one of multiple pieces of legislation that have made their way through the Legislature.  Before passing the personhood and heartbeat bills, the legislature also passed bans on abortion once a fetus can feel pain (at 20 weeks), or because of genetic defects such as Down syndrome. North Dakota now has the strictest anti-abortion laws in the nation.

Penny Nance, president of Concerned Women for America, is quoted as saying, "We applaud North Dakota for defending life. The bills in North Dakota protect the lives of the most innocent Americans, those without a voice, in the womb.”

But pro-abortionists claim that outlawing abortions not only violates a woman’s right to choose but will only lead to an increase in illegal, dangerous procedures. They have pledged to fight in court if Republican Governor Jack Dalrymple signs any of these bills into law.   The governor has not said whether or not he will sign the latest pro-life bill to pass the North Dakota Legislature. 

1 - New coalition formed to defend Boy Scouts' traditional values

An important development concerning the Boy Scouts of America potentially considering allowing openly homosexual members and leaders took place over the weekend in Orlando.  According to The Christian Post, parents, Scoutmasters, Eagle Scouts and other Scouting leaders from across the country, who are supportive of the BSA's current policy, were due to announce the launch of a national organization and a coalition of concerned BSA members. 

In January, the Scouts announced that they would reconsider their national policy banning openly gay leaders and members. The new proposal would strike down the national ban and allow local chapters to decide whether or not to admit openly gay members.

Deron Smith, BSA's director of public relations, said: "This would mean there would no longer be any national policy regarding sexual orientation, and the chartered organizations that oversee and deliver Scouting would accept membership and select leaders consistent with each organization's mission, principles, or religious beliefs."

According to the BSA website, more than 70 percent of the organization's 100,000 scouting units are chartered to faith-based groups, and leaders in the Southern Baptist Convention and Roman Catholic Church have voiced their opposition to the change.

The Family Research Council and 41 other allied organizations recently released an ad in USA Today urging the BSA to keep the ban in place, saying that the organization must "not surrender to financial or political pressures by corporate elites on the issue of homosexuality."  Changing the policy would force troops and individual Scouts to be exposed to behavior that they and/or their parents do not condone and would severely alter the time-honored morality that has characterized Scouting.

Attorneys for the BSA are expected to draft a resolution to be released next month to be voted on by the national council on May 22-23 in Grapevine, Texas, as to whether or not to allow open homosexuality in the Boy Scout program.

Having a coalition representing Scouts who advocate the current policy can lend some strength to the effort to prevent the BSA from instituting what many believe to be a devastating move.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

The 3 - March 17, 2013

This week's edition of "The 3" includes a major conference held in Atlanta bringing over 2 thousand pastors and church leaders together to be encouraged and equipped.   Also, a different sort of conference convened later in the week, bringing together political conservatives, with a significant number, I would imagine, being Christian evangelicals.   And, the big news from the world of religion, the selection of a new Pope - I'll include some insight on why this election can be important to all Christian believers.

3 - "Drive" conference motivates and challenges pastors and church leaders

When you have over 2400 pastors and ministry leaders representing some 700 organizations from 25 countries, you know you have a potentially transformative event.   Those were the numbers from the largest-ever "Drive" conference, held this week at North Point Community Church outside Atlanta, where Senior Pastor Andy Stanley welcomed attendees in the opening session, saying, according to The Christian Post that, "We're a big church but there's a lot of stuff we're still figuring out and we're constantly learning from each other...We've discovered that size isn't the important issue, but rather a sense of creativity and shared ideas."

This is the seventh Drive Conference and the largest number of attendees ever.  The theme this year was, "Go Further Faster."  It sold out weeks ago, and there were hundreds of people who registered to watch online.  Clay Scroggins, lead pastor at Browns Bridge Community Church in Cumming, GA, one of the North Point churches, who was one of this year's emcees, was quoted by the Post as saying, "We all want to grow and see God do more, and our prayer is that this conference will leave you inspired, motivated, challenged, and equipped to go further faster in your ministry."

In the opening message, titled "Breaking the Ice," Gavin Adams, lead pastor of Watermarke Church in Canton, GA, another church affiliated with North Point Ministries, challenged pastors and ministry leaders to personally engage with unchurched people and focus on conversations rather than confrontation and condemnation.

Highlighting the apostle Paul's exhortation in Colossians 4:3-6, Adams spoke of what it means to "be wise in the way you act toward outsiders" and emphasized the need for followers of Christ to listen intently, seek to understand, and build relationships rather than simply pushing an agenda or lecturing others about their behavior.

There is a yearning for pastoral leaders to be equipped and to fellowship with like-minded leaders, and this conference has a potential to help those leaders to strategize and to positively impact their congregations.

2 - Religious freedom theme present during CPAC 

The annual Conservative Political Action Conference, or CPAC, attracts conservatives from all across America to hear from a variety of high-profile speakers, including potential Presidential candidates, such as Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, and others who spoke this year.  Paul edged out Rubio in the 2016 straw poll, by the way.  Traditional conservative thought leaders such as Newt Gingrich, Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann were part of the speaker lineup, which also featured 2012 Republican nominee Mitt Romney.

There were a number of pro-life panels at the conference, including one hosted by Stuart Shepard of CitizenLink, which featured David Altrogge, who wrote and directed a film called, “3801 Lancaster, " which follows the unfolding story of Dr. Kermit Gosnell, 72, an abortionist facing eight murder charges.  Altrogge said during the panel that, “The trial is going to begin Monday and we plan on continuing to follow the story and the case as it begins to unfold...We have also begun to hear about clinics much like Gosnell’s operating in other states. In fact, we were just on the ground in another state beginning to work on a documentary about a clinic that’s operating and the parallels are quite terrifying.”

Also, religious freedom was a topic that was addressed by two speakers, both featured at past National Prayer Breakfast events - this year's Breakfast speaker Dr. Ben Carson and last year's speaker, Eric Metaxas.  According to The Christian Post, Metaxas, whose most recent book is a biography of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, said that he found himself thinking more about religious freedom in America as he put together the book about the German theologian.   Metaxas believes there are some "disturbing parallels" between what was taking place in Germany in the 1930s and the United States today on the issue of religious freedom.

"When a government bullies a minority, instead of protecting a minority," Metaxas said, "that is the beginning of the end of America."   He extrapolated the situation in pre-World War II Germany to the current situation involving government telling religious organizations that they must violate their conscience in order to provide contraception and abortion-inducing drugs to their employees. 

Dr. Carson, who is a renowned pediatric neurosurgeon at Johns Hopkins University, told the CPAC crowd, We have to resist this war on God...People don't want to talk about God and don't you ever dare mention Jesus Christ. And this is supposed to be a country where we have freedom of religion and freedom of speech? It is absolutely absurd."

After their respective speeches, Carson and Metaxas appeared on stage together.  Metaxas said to Carson regarding his Prayer Breakfast speech, "I thought you spoke with grace and civility...I was dismayed that the punditocracy, most of the folks in the conservative world, were kinda spiking the ball and doing the end zone dance at what you said, which colored those remarks in a way that, I thought, was not appropriate."

"I just want to say to my fellow conservatives," Metaxas continued. "We need to express the truth in civility and love, otherwise, it's magically not the truth anymore."

In an era where conservative values in many instances line up with Biblical truth, there is common ground on which Christians can be influential.  It is important that Christians are seen not as purely political in our ambition, but as people who are devoted to living out God's truth in love, people who hold to strong convictions without compromise, but who express our conviction in winning, rather than repelling, ways.

1 - Pope Francis I elected by cardinals

This past week, on the fifth ballot, the 115 Roman Catholic Cardinals meeting at the Sistene Chapel in the Vatican in Rome decided to name the former Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Argentina, Jorge Bergoglio, as the new Pope.   It takes two-thirds of those voting in order to elect the Pope.  Bergoglio took the name Pope Francis I, in honor of St. Francis of Assisi.    Bergoglio had placed second in the last Papal election, when Benedict XVI was selected.

The election of the Pope is of utmost concern to Christians who are non-Catholic, including evangelicals.  The Pope, as evidenced during Benedict's term, can be a clear voice in this world for teaching that is consistent with the Bible.  Catholic believers have been quite outspoken on the abortion issue and other matters pertaining to life.  And, the Pope can present strong moral clarity for a host of other issues, as well as an awareness of God and His relevance in our world today.

So, it is not surprising that evangelical leaders speak out about the selection of a new Pope.  Well-known evangelist  Luis Palau, a fellow Argentine, shared with Christianity Today what he thought that evangelicals can expect from Pope Francis:
He's a man of strong convictions. He isn't swayed by the powers that be of any kind, even political. He's very strong on moral issues. I think we'll see a papacy that will make relations easier and lessen tensions. It doesn't mean [evangelicals and Catholics] will agree on every angle; that should be said. He is the Roman Catholic pope, and there are issues that need to be talked about, prayed about, looked at the Bible about. … Those differences in doctrine are there, but when there's a proper attitude toward one another and to the word of God, and you take it seriously, light comes from the Lord.
 Conservative, evangelical leader Gary Bauer wrote in USA Today regarding Catholics and evangelicals:
We both champion the idea -- the truth -- that there are reliable standards of right and wrong to which all institutions, including government, must adhere. We stand together in proclaiming that all human life has equal dignity and worth. And we stand together in defending the traditional and time-honored conception of marriage as a union of one man and one woman...

Beyond politics, the West is suffering from what can be called a crisis of brokenness -- broken institutions, broken families and broken souls. In a society in which there seem to be fewer citizens who understand where our liberty comes from (God), strong churches -- evangelical and Catholic -- are essential.

As an evangelical, I was delighted that the last two popes were moral and theological giants. Together, John Paul II and Benedict XVI gained many evangelical admirers by preaching against the "culture of death" and the "dictatorship of relativism" and for a "culture of life."
Baptist Press featured a summary of the background of Pope Francis I, as well as the papacy itself.    Quoting the Westminster Dictionary of Church History, the piece points out that today, Catholic doctrine holds that the pope is "the representative (vicar or vicegerent) of Christ on earth, and that his solemn official pronouncements on matters of faith and morals are infallible, safeguarded from error by God."

R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, wrote after Pope John Paul II's death in 2005 that evangelicals "simply cannot accept the legitimacy of the papacy and must resist and reject claims of papal authority.  To do otherwise would be to compromise biblical truth and reverse the Reformation."  

So, while there will be differences in doctrine and the viewpoint on on papal authority, we also recognize that Catholics and evangelicals can be powerful allies in building a culture of grace and stifling the increasing secularization of our society.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

The 3 - March 10, 2013

In a week that ended with the announcement that the conclave to choose the next Pope would begin meeting on Tuesday of the coming week and with Tim Tebow speaking before 10,000 at Liberty University, there were a number of significant news stories, such as the actions of the Arkansas Leislature, taking bold steps to defend the unborn.   Also, students on what is expected to be almost 600 campuses are standing together against human trafficking.   The top story is the actual premiere of "The Bible' miniseries, the ratings of which exceeded anything on broadcast television last Sunday night and is the most-watched cable entertainment telecast in 2013.

3 - Arkansas bill bans abortion after 12 weeks, legislature overrides gubernatorial veto

The flurry of pro-life bills in state houses over the past 2 years has served to protect the lives of unborn children nationwide.  And, while some states have passed laws banning abortion at 20 weeks, the time of gestation when it has been medically proven that an unborn baby can feel pain, lawmakers in Arkansas have taken it up another notch with the "Human Heartbeat Protection Act".

According to Liberty Counsel,  the bill states that when an abortion is performed at or after the 12th week, doctors must test for a fetal heartbeat before an abortion is performed.  If a heartbeat is detected, a woman cannot have an abortion, except in cases of rape, incest, and if a mother’s life is in danger.

State Senator Jason Rapert is the primary sponsor of the bill.  Liberty Counsel also provided counsel on the bill.  Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel says, "The Human Heartbeat Protection Act is a commonsense bill that comports with medical science about human development. It protects the life of the pre-born child and the mother."

The bill was initially vetoed by Governor Mike Beebe, but legislators in the Arkansas Senate and House voted to override the veto.  

Staver points out that, “...personal injury, criminal, and wills and estate law, the law has continued to recognize the unborn child as a human with legal protections, not merely a ‘potential’ human being...The U.S. Supreme Court’s abortion cases are an aberration to law and stand on an island by themselves, and that island will one day disappear. We need to protect human life at all stages of development."

So, Arkansas joins a host of states that has taken bold steps to protect life.   Now, the sponsor of the heartbeat bill wants to prevent taxpayer money from going to Planned Parenthood.   According to, Sen. Rapert is calling for the state to prohibit any state or federal funds from going toward any entity that performs abortions. It’s a measure that’s aimed at cutting off public funding to Planned Parenthood, which doesn’t perform surgical abortions in Arkansas but distributes the abortion pill at two facilities in the state. Arkansas’ only clinic that performs surgical abortions is in Little Rock.

2 - Students "Stand for Freedom", oppose modern-day slavery

There is a huge groundswell of support for ending human trafficking, expressed in a number of ways, including the "End It" movement in association with the January Passion conference in Atlanta.  International Justice Mission has launched its Stand for Freedom campaign, in which students are being asked to stand for a total of 27 hours in order to raise awareness and funding regarding ending modern-day slavery.  Over 500 campuses have events scheduled through March 15th - already, a number of campuses have held their events.   The number "27" is significant - it reminds us that 27 million people are enslaved around the world.   And, the IJM effort is attempting to raise some $270,000 to combat slavery.

The organization is also encouraging people to sign a petition, to be sent to President Obama.  The petition asks the president to provide leadership on a comprehensive plan to eradicate slavery at home and abroad.  Last year, more than 73,000 Americans joined IJM in calling on the President to make the fight against modern-day slavery a priority.  Last fall, President Obama called human trafficking “one of the greatest human rights causes of our time,” and recommitted the U.S. to leadership in the fight to end slavery for good.

I'm sure we'll be hearing some exact numbers in the coming days, but social media reports indicate a good bit of excitement and participation about this particular cause, a cause that is consistent with the heart of God, who sent His Son so that all may be free.

1 - "The Bible" number one cable TV event of the year

Last week, I covered the anticipation leading up to the premiere of "The Bible" miniseries.   The results are in for week 1, and the television event, produced by reality show creator Mark Burnett and his wife Roma Downey, was seen by 13.1 million viewers and scored a 3.3 rating among adults 18-49.  According to CNN, that's more viewers and a higher demo rating than any show on the major broadcast networks on Sunday night (including Burnett's own All-Star Celebrity Apprentice on NBC) and ranks as cable's most-watched entertainment telecast this year.  If you include the show's repeat, the viewership rises to 14.8 million for the night.

In a statement, Burnett and Downey stated: "We could not be more thrilled with this out of the gate success...The world is watching right now and we are incredibly humbled by the reaction to the series. This No. 1 series is a tribute to all those who have helped us to spread the Word. Ultimately 'The Bible' will be seen and felt by billions around the globe ...Today, more people are discussing God's chosen people — Moses and Abraham — in one day than ever before."

And, according to the Christian Post, Mark Burnett, when interviewed by Entertainment Weekly, said: "Weird things happened during filming."

He cited one such incident that happened when the crew was filming a night scene between Jesus and Nicodemus.  Reportedly, when Jesus referenced the Holy Spirit as being like the wind, a huge gust of air blew across the entire crew for 20 seconds, which was filming the scene on a very still night in the Sahara desert.

In another incident, the set's snake wrangler, who usually recovered one or two snakes per day on set to protect crew members, found 48 cobras and vipers hidden near the scene of the cross, where the crew was to film Jesus' crucifixion.

The third incident, according to Burnett, happened when the crew was filming a baptism scene in a giant Sahara reservoir and part of Jesus' detailed costume, which took months to create, floated away.   Burnett said that a young boy from miles away returned the costume days later.

Tonight is installment 2 of the miniseries.   There has been plenty of discussion about it, and people have registered all sorts of opinions; some good, some not-so-good.  Alleged historical inaccuracies, the choices of Biblical events portrayed, and production values have all come into question - but one thing is for sure:  for Christians and hopefully for non-believers, people are talking about "The Bible" - the miniseries, and most importantly, the book.

Saturday, March 02, 2013

The 3 - March 3, 2013

Greetings from Nashville!  This week's edition of "The 3", my week-in-review feature, comes to you from the 2013 Convention of National Religious Broadcasters.    In this installment, we'll see that current Administration officials filed a brief this week stating that one-man, one-woman marriage, as defined in Federal law, is unconstitutional.   Also, because of its potential to impact culture, the NRB convention is big news affecting Christians.  And, the big story involves a new telling of God's story by some high-power players in the entertainment industry.
3 - Department of Justice argues for same-sex marriage, against Prop. 8

The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to make a decision later this year about the constitutionality of same-sex marriage, not only concerning the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), but also Proposition 8, the California amendment affirming marriage as one man and one woman.   Oral arguments will be held later this month, and the Obama Administration, through its Department of Justice, not unexpectedly, has weighed in.

You may remember that the DOJ did not defend DOMA in court, and so the responsibility was taken up by the House of Representatives.   Now, just this week, according to a CitizenLink article, the Department filed a brief with the high court arguing that DOMA is unconstitutional because it discriminates against homosexuals.  

CitizenLink reports that the department argues in the brief that the law is unconstitutional under “heightened constitutional scrutiny”:
In other words, the DOJ is asserting that sexual orientation should be treated as a suspect classification, like race or sex. The usual test for laws not involving suspect classifications is the “rational basis” test, which is a much lower threshold for laws to meet. Marriage laws have uniformly been tested under a “rational basis” review in the past.
The DOJ filed its brief in the DOMA case, United States v. Windsor. The suit involves a New York woman required to pay federal inheritance taxes on property her late partner left her. Although their Canadian marriage is recognized in New York, it is not recognized under DOMA.

CitizenLink Judicial Analyst Bruce Hausknecht weighed in, saying that, “If the Supreme Court finds that homosexuality is entitled to 'heightened constitutional scrutiny,' it could mean bad news for all marriage or family laws that define or promote one man, one woman marriage, or that support the notion that children are entitled to a mom and a dad."  
He also stated that if DOMA is struck down because the Court equates homosexuality to race and gender, it would also, down the road, cause legal issues for churches, faith-based organizations and believers across the country.

Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) Senior Counsel Austin Nimocks adds that the court has already made it clear in past cases that the federal definition is constitutional.

And, President Obama weighed in on Friday, according to CNN, saying, "Let's treat everybody fairly. Let's treat everybody equally."  He stated, "What we've said is that same-sex couples are a group, a class that deserves heightened scrutiny. The Supreme Court needs to ask the state why it's doing it, and if the state doesn't have a good reason, it should be struck down. That's the core principle, as applied to this case."

This is essentially the viewpoint of many, including those in the Administration, who equate what they believe to be a lifestyle choice with genetic traits such as race and gender, and the potential implications for the Biblical definition of marriage, which Christian and pro-family leaders have pointed out needs to be protected, are troubling indeed.

2 - NRB opens in Nashville

As I mentioned before, I am writing this week's edition of the blog from the Gaylord Opryland Hotel in Nashville, site of the 2013 National Religious Broadcasters Convention.   I write today after spending some time in the exhibit hall helping to set up the Faith Radio/Meeting House booth, at which I conduct dozens of interviews with Christian radio programmers, authors, film producers, musicians, and others who are involved in doing ministry work.

The opening general session Saturday night features speakers Raul Ries and Pete Briscoe (son of Stuart and Jill), as well as music by Christian music veteran Cindy Morgan and newcomer Andrew Greer.   I will be involved in special events sponsored by ministries such as the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, Moody Radio, Turning Point, and FamilyLife Today.   I look forward to speaking with a number of influential Christian leaders throughout the next few days, including Ken and Joni Tada, David Jeremiah, Phil Cooke, Kay Arthur, Tony Perkins, and many more.

Addressing the convention already were rising evangelistic leader Nick Hall and the developer of the Bible app, Bobby Gruenewald of   Sunday morning worship will feature Keith and Kristyn Getty and a message from Tony Evans.   There will be a public policy panel discussion on Tuesday involving the rise of radical Islam.   And, a night of entertainment will include top-level Christian comedians Chonda Pierce and Dennis Swanberg, as well as Michael Jr.

NRB offers an opportunity for Christian communicators to build relationships, receive training, and to be inspired in being more effective in Christian media.   Follow the convention online at

1 - Interest builds in "The Bible" miniseries

On Sunday night, March 3rd, and continuing for 5 weeks through Easter Sunday, the History Channel will present a brand new miniseries called, "The Bible".  It's been developed by Mark Burnett ("Survivor", "The Apprentice") and his wife, Roma Downey ("Touched By an Angel").    And, it has received some glowing recommendations from a number of Christian leaders.   Saddleback Church pastor Rick Warren hosted a live webcast preview of the miniseries with the Burnetts on Saturday, and plans to use "The Bible" as the basis for a series of sermons.   Warren, quoted in The Christian Post, says that, "Every Sunday night for five weeks – from March 3rd through Easter Sunday on March 31st – millions of viewers will see the Bible come to life in a whole new way...You can make the most of this opportunity to reach out to the people in your community who will be watching...plan a sermon series, small group and outreach campaign and help viewers go deeper and learn even more about the Bible."

Earlier this month, hoping to encourage viewers of the "The Bible" to delve into the Word of God by easily accessing scripture through the latest technology, Burnett and his wife, Roma Downey, announced that the Bible App by YouVersion, developed by, will host the official companion app for the series.

"Our prayer has always been that the dramatization of these stories will drive viewers to go to the Bible itself and drink in the actual text, because it is a book that changes lives," said Downey, who co-executive produced the series with her husband and also plays the role of Jesus' mother, Mary.

Jim Daly, President of Focus on the Family was involved as a content advisor for the series and writes,"Let’s face it - it takes some moxie to lift up the Bible in the middle of Hollywood. In fact, when they first proposed the project they were told to try and tell the story without mentioning Jesus. They refused, rightly countering, of course, that not only is it impossible to omit Jesus, but that the life, death and resurrection of Jesus is the climax of the entire book!

Daly stated, "I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know Mark and Roma over the last six months. In the process we’ve become friends. It’s always inspiring to be around people who have a fervent desire to tell other people about Jesus. And this couple is clearly passionate about sharing the message of Jesus with the world as well as having the opportunity to put on film the greatest story ever told, come what may from those who may object to it."

It is Daly's belief that, "we’re living in a dark day when millions of people, including our neighbors and even many of our family and friends, refuse to accept Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior. Many of these same people refuse to go to church. They refuse to open a Bible. But many of these people watch television. That The Bible may serve as a spark to rekindle or kindle their faith should be a source of great excitement for all of us."  

So, people will be exposed to the story of God's love for humanity, expressed in a way that, by the indications I've seen so far, promises to be specatular - and it gives us a chance as believers to demonstrate and discuss how that great story has impacted us.