The Four Things I Liked Best About “The Passion: Live”

Last night, Fox aired “The Passion: Live,” a re-enactment of the story of Jesus’s final days, death and resurrection told in modern-day New Orleans with pop stars and songs that reflect what was going on in the minds and hearts of the participants at the time. No doubt, this approach will not appeal to all, [Read More…]

Could a Catholic School Graduate Win the Farewell Season of “American Idol”?

(Photo property of Fox/AmericanIdol.com) On last night’s “American Idol,” viewers got to see videos featuring the contestants’ supporters from their hometowns. Top five finalist MacKenzie Bourg, age 23, was shown to be a graduate of St. Cecilia Catholic School in Broussard, Louisiana – and and St. Thomas More Catholic High School in Lafayette, Louisiana. It [Read More…]

“The Passion” Musical to Share Jesus’s Story in a Modern Way

Network television has found success in recent years by airing live musicals such as “The Sound of Music” and “Grease.” And at the box office, faith-based films like “Heaven Is For Real” and “War Room” have won over large audiences looking for affirmation of their religious beliefs. This Sunday – Palm Sunday – the genres [Read More…]

Real-life Figure Misrepresented in “Spotlight” Movie Reaches Settlement with Studio

The movie “Spotlight,” about the Boston Globe’s investigation into the sex abuse scandal in the Catholic Church, has received rave reviews in general and a Best Picture win at the Academy Awards. But one of the people not happy with his depiction in the film was Jack Dunn, who is on the Board of Trustees [Read More…]

Jennifer Garner on Faith, Doubt, and “Miracles From Heaven”

(Photo property of Sony Pictures) The movie “Miracles From Heaven” starring Jennifer Garner opens today. As the official synopsis states, “it’s based on the incredible true story of the Beam Family. When Christy Beam (Jennifer Garner) discovers her 10-year-old daughter Annabel (Kylie Rogers) has a rare, incurable disease, she becomes a ferocious advocate for her [Read More…]

Guilt – and What to Do About It

(The following is the text of the Christopher News Note “Guilt – and What to Do About It” (which was written by a freelancer). If you’d like a pdf or hard copy, see the end of this post.) In the words of humorist Erma Bombeck, “Guilt is the gift that keeps on giving.” And although [Read More…]

Finding the Face of Jesus in the People of Northern Uganda

“Go and find the face of Jesus,” a priest friend told John Fawley. And with a little inspiration from “Christopher Closeup,” he did just that this past January by taking part in a mission trip with the foundation Medical Aid to Northern Uganda (photo, left) – or MANU, for short. In 2014, Fawley was listening [Read More…]

“Last Man Standing” Offers Perspective on ‘Vengeful God’ versus ‘Loving Jesus’

(Photo courtesy ABC/Disney) A lot of ink (and pixels) get spilled when TV shows mock or put down Christianity, but ones that treat it respectfully often fly under the radar. Since The Christophers believe in lighting a candle rather than cursing the darkness, let me tell you a little about the recent episode of the [Read More…]

Go Rest High on That Mountain

One of the things the TV landscape will be losing when “American Idol” ends its farewell season is a public outlet for faith-inspired singers. Every season has at least some contestants who come from a church background, and who make their faith felt in subtle or overt ways. Several of the former top 10 – [Read More…]

How to Discover and Cultivate Your Talents

(The following is the text of the Christopher News Note “How to Discover and Cultivate Your Talents” (which was written by a freelancer). If you’d like a pdf or hard copy, see the end of this post.) “Do not bury your talents, the gifts that God has given you. Do not be afraid to dream [Read More…]

Save Your Parents from the Perils of Modern Healthcare – and Develop Empathy Along the Way

“All human life deserves respect, yet I think most of us in this country and our world have forgotten or overlooked a large and often voiceless section of our community: frail, older persons.” Marcy Cottrell Houle learned that lesson first-hand after walking through Alzheimer’s with her father, George – and various other maladies with her [Read More…]

Kelly Clarkson Makes “American Idol” a Family Affair, Calls on Men to Be Devoted Dads

A seven-months-pregnant Kelly Clarkson served as a guest judge on “American Idol” last night and made it something of a family affair. When contestant Mackenzie Bourg was singing, she said her unborn son started doing flips in her stomach so he must have liked what he heard. That “family” theme fit in with the night [Read More…]