The Bible plays a starring role in The Book of Eli, a postapocalyptic action film starring Denzel Washington that opened in mid-January. A two-time Academy Award winner known in Hollywood for his Christian beliefs, Washington portrays a lone warrior making his way across a desolate American landscape defending the world’s last copy of the King James Version of the Bible.
Appeals for the world’s banking leaders to cancel the remaining foreign debt owed by earthquake-devastated Haiti were made in late January by the leader of the World Council of Churches and by a newly founded alliance of U.S. Christian leaders.
Representatives of Middle Eastern Anglican, Lutheran and Reformed churches have voted unanimously in favor of the ordination of women as pastors. “This is historic,” said Jerusalem Lutheran Bishop Munib Younan after the January 12 decision of the Fellowship of Middle East Evangelical Churches meeting in Harissa, Lebanon.
Handel this: Handel’s Messiah is most often sung during the Christmas season, but Handel intended it to be performed during Holy Week. In his lifetime the work was seldom sung in churches but was sung in playhouses, where opera was performed. When the influence of Puritans in 18th-century England led to the banning of operas during Lent, oratorios like the Messiah became a popular alternative form of entertainment (Frank Burch Brown in Interpretation, January).