Cover Story: Debut of ‘Jesus Christ, Movie Star’

HOLLYWOOD ASKS: ‘Who do we say He is?’

COVER STORY—Only one figure challenges the century-old records of Sherlock Holmes and Santa Claus as Hollywood superstars. Who is that? This week, veteran-faith-and-film writer Edward McNulty releases his newest book, answering that question in its title: “Jesus Christ, Movie Star.” No, Ed isn’t sacrilegious in this provocative new book. He’s providing potent fuel for individual movie fans and small groups to discuss how Jesus’s life and legacy is depicted in movies that indelibly shape our understanding of religion. This is as timely as front-page news—and lots of fun as well—says our Cover Story by ReadTheSpirit Editor David Crumm.

Happy Thanksgiving …

… from our FAITH and FILM writers!

HOLIDAY MOVIES—As predictable as roast turkey and Black Friday is the tidal wave of moviegoers on this long holiday weekend. Our faith-and-film writers want to help you make great choices!

FIRST— is a treasure trove of free movie reviews by Edward McNulty. Also, check out the current issue of his Visual Parables Journal.

Hunger Games …

JANE WELLS REVIEW—Thousands of our readers, in recent years, have followed writer Jane Wells’s reflections on social-justice themes inspired by the Hunger Games cycle of novels and movies. In her Bird on Fire website, this week, Jane provides a quick overview of the entire saga (a great opportunity to catch up on the long story) and she reviews the final film in the series. Jane urges moviegoers to see the film, which she compares to the final episode of the MASH television series—about war, but really about exposing the horrors of war.

Jerusalem …

DON’T MISS THE IMAX MOVIE—Anyone who has spent time in Jerusalem—whether Christian, Muslim or Jew—will tell you that the amazing IMAX movie called Jerusalem is an experience you don’t want to miss. First, you can check out all the showings around the world at the official IMAX website. Then, because our home office is in Michigan, we want to point out that the movie “is back in Michigan” through the end of the year. Check out showtimes at this Detroit-based website.




And, Happy Thanksgiving …

… from our HOLIDAYS and FOOD writers!

DON’T MISS A HOLIDAY! Just remember this simple Web address to find all of the upcoming holidays, festivals and anniversaries.

SERVING UP THANKSGIVINGHolidays columnist Stephanie Fenton reports on “America’s oldest holiday.” The idea of giving thanks for a bountiful harvest pre-dates the 1621 dinner with Pilgrims, she reports, and was a natural part of Native American culture. She’s also got more than a dozen links to delicious online resources as you prepare your own Thanksgiving feast, this year.



CHRISTMAS IS COMING—The Western Christian Advent season begins Sunday November 29 this year. Holidays columnist Stephanie Fenton writes that the first religious milestone in the Christmas season already is unfolding: the Eastern Orthodox Nativity Fast, a centuries-old tradition of fasting in preparation for the holiday marking Jesus’s birth. This period of self denial and spiritual reflection began November 15 with occasional days of exception and culminates on December 24.


ST. NICHOLAS IS COMING! Before there was a jolly old Santa Claus, sipping Coca Cola and starring in countless movies and TV specials—there was a noble Christian bishop whose goodness eventually led to his canonization as St. Nicholas. Stephanie Fenton reports on this global Christian tradition.




Feed The Spirit …

OLD-FASHIONED COOKING—The host of our FeedTheSpirit section, Bobbie Lewis brings us a guest column this week from a pastor, a peacemaker, a social worker and a good cook—and all four are the same person! Thanks to the Rev. Sharon Buttry for this delightful column about rediscovering the joys—and challenges—of using a wood-fired cook stove.





One of our guiding principles: Good media builds good community. What does that mean? Enjoy these stories …

EATING FROM THE SAME PLATE—Author and photographer Rodney Curtis, whose first book earned him the nickname Spiritual Wanderer, spent part of Friday with media professionals from southeast Michigan at one of Michigan’s most influential mosques. Rodney writes that, in a time of global anxiety about religious conflict, this visit was a source of reassurance.


Peacemakers …

REDISCOVER HOPE—Daniel Buttry’s inspiring new book We Are the Socks is full of true stories about men and women who risked pursuing peace even in the face of enormous challenges around the world. Read about Dan’s adventure in writing this new book. And, in a short video, Dan tells the surprising story behind the title.

INTERFAITH PEACEMAKERS—You’ll enjoy more than 100 stories of men and women who dared to cross boundaries in Buttry’s main website: InterfaithPeacemakers

Suzy Farbman …

GOD SIGNS—This week in her GodSigns column, Suzy Farbman writes about how the people we meet literally along life’s journey wind up inspiring us in unexpected ways.



Our publishing house …

FRONT EDGE PUBLISHING—Long-time readers are familiar with our ReadTheSpirit Bookstore (and, of course, this is a great time to shop for holiday gifts). Founding Editor David Crumm and Publisher John Hile also are expanding a newly formed company: Front Edge Publishing, which helps organizations, universities and community leaders launch publishing projects. In the Detroit Free Press Business section, Frank Witsil profiled us and our latest work.



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