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A year of biblical movies

In Hollywood, they’re calling 2014 the “Year of the Bible”—and for good reason. This year, there are so many biblical movies it’s hard to keep up with them all.

They started in February with the release of “Son of God.” Based on the success of the History Channel’s “The Bible” series, “Son of God” more than held its own at the box office.

That movie was followed in March by “God Is Not Dead,” a story about a Christian college freshman who defends his faith against an influential but atheistic professor. Director Harold Cronk also directed the Salvation Army–themed movie “Silver Bells” released last December (See Good News! January 2014 and Priority! magazine, Winter 2014).

Late March also saw the release of “Noah,” a $300 million epic that drew both praise and criticism. Critics said it strayed too far from Scripture and never mentioned God.

One of the consultants on the film was Hollywood producer Phil Cooke, who graced the cover of the Winter 2014 issue of Priority!

Cooke, who has helped the USA Western Territory launch The Salvation Army Vision Network, or SAVN.tv, has advocated on his blog and at this year’s National Religious Broadcasters Convention that Christians should embrace “Noah.”

“For at least a decade, we’ve been asking Hollywood to produce movies based on the Bible,” Cooke wrote on his blog at philcooke.com. “Now that they’re doing it, let’s be more encouraging. So far, they’ve proved to be serious in the effort, whether they miss the target or not. So let’s support it, not stifle it.”

Cooke’s company, Cooke Pictures, also produced a short video promotion for “Noah,” which included Guy Noland, a producer for SAVN.tv.

“Were they able to maintain the biblical truths of the Noah story? I would say, yes, absolutely they were,” Noland says in the video.

Another Bible–related film due out Easter weekend is “Heaven Is For Real,” based on the New York Times best–selling book about a young Nebraska boy, Colton Burpo, who visited Heaven.

There are more faith–related films coming. “Mary,” starring Ben Kingsley and Julia Ormond, is due out in December, as is “Exodus,” starring Christian Bale.

by Robert Mitchell

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