Newsbites: From Moses to Jesus to the end of the world

It looks like Ridley Scott’s Moses movie might really be happening. The Hollywood Reporter says Joel Edgerton — who recently co-starred in Zero Dark Thirty and The Great Gatsby — is in talks to play the Pharaoh. As in most other big-screen versions of the Moses story, the Pharaoh of this film will be Ramesses II.

The film, called Exodus, already has Christian Bale attached to play Moses. The film will be shot in Spain, Morocco and England, and shooting could start as early as next month, so expect more casting news soon.

Meanwhile, in other casting news, the remake of Left Behind started filming last Friday, and the filmmakers have already had to replace one of their actors. Due to scheduling conflicts, Big Love alumnus Cassi Thomson has replaced Ashley Tisdale in the part of Chloe Steele, daughter of the airplane pilot played by Nicolas Cage.

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Harry Potter’s Christian fans come to his defense

John Killinger: God, the Devil & Harry Potter, St. Martin’s, 2002.
Connie Neal: The Gospel According to Harry Potter, Westminster John Knox, 2002.
John Granger: The Hidden Key to Harry Potter, Zossima, 2002.

CHRISTIAN Harry Potter fans, unite!

It has been over two years since Richard Abanes wrote Harry Potter and the Bible: The Menace behind the Magick, a scathing critique of just about everything to do with J.K. Rowling’s bestselling series about an orphaned English boy who goes to a boarding school for witches and wizards.

Since then, no one has really added to Abanes’s criticisms, but quite a few Christians have lined up to defend Rowling and her books against the accusation that they are simply trying to warm children up to the sort of real-life occultic practices that are forbidden in the Bible.

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Review: The Meaning of Jesus: Two Visions

• Marcus Borg & N.T. Wright: The Meaning of Jesus: Two Visions, HarperSanFrancisco, 1998.

Four years ago, I had the privilege of interviewing Marcus Borg and N.T. Wright for this newspaper when they met for a dialogue — no one wanted to call it a debate — at Regent College. Both men are members of the Anglican church and historians who specialize in ‘the historical Jesus,’ but they have very different understandings of who and what Jesus was, and they spent the better part of six hours fleshing out their many disagreements.

But I was particularly struck by what took place after the seminar was over. Bidding farewell in the atrium, the two men hugged, and Wright said to Borg, “We’ll have to do this again sometime.”

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