Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture.

A book that is as compelling as it is urgent. I just finished reading The Politically Incorrect Jesus by my friend Joe Battaglia. As the founder and president of Renaissance Communications, Joe is well-known for his support of positive faith-driven media. Yet, until now, I never realized that he’s such a good writer. In clear easy-to-digest prose, Joe does a masterful job of diagnosing what’s been eating our increasingly-angry culture.

Exactly why do people seem more bitter, on edge and fearful) than before? Joe suggests that politically-correct thought that pulls us away from the teachings of Jesus is at the root of virtually all of our problems.  Personally, I believe he’s right about that. While certainly harsh interpretations of religion has caused a lot of pain in this world, the notion that creating a society built on laws that reflect the pliable ego-driven morality of  human beings will lead to a kinder, gentler world has not been borne out by history. The eras of Stalin, Mao and the Khmer Rouge, as well as the Reign of Terror that resulted from the French Revolution, all give evidence that keeping faith and religion out of the public square is not exactly a path toward peace and security. It seems that the strongest and most secure societies are built on the foundational idea that our rights come from a kind and merciful God and not from man or government.

Among the many insightful passagea in Joe’s book is this one which succinctly sums up both his diagnoses of and prescription for what ails us:

Light always dispels darkness. Faith demands honesty. It fosters freedom and despises intolerance. It demands an ethic beyond our ability to live it and gives us boundaries for our safety. It also tells a government that it exists for the people, not for itself. And, to the chagrin of many, it tells us that we are not gods.

Remarkable words from a remarkable book. The Politically Incorrect Jesus is Highly Recommended.

A moral victory. Okay, so my Valentine’s wish that the faith-themed romantic drama Old Fashioned  “beat the box office crap out of Fifty Shades of Grey,” didn’t quite come true. It still came in fourth in the per-screen average race. Box Office Mojo says the film’s success “seems to be the biggest weekend ever for a faith-based movie playing at fewer than 300 theaters.” Nice going.

Encourage one another and build each other up – 1 Thessalonians 5:11

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