|2010-2011 Radar Archives - March 2011|
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Industry Radar for the week of March 23, 2011.
New Bibles for Lent: As many Christians begin observing Lent, American publishers release new translations of two of the most widely read English language Bibles.
The Christian store challenge: The challenge facing Christian retailers is “that their existence relies on finding a way to balance their long-held principles with their customers' modern-day mores and desire for convenience.”
Miracle DVD sells well: “Finger of God,” an independent Christian documentary about miracles, has sold more than 70,000 copies since it was released in 2007.
Businessmen host faith movie: Christian businessmen in Dalton, Ga., host screenings of inspirational true-life drama, “The Way Home.”
Rob Bell's Zondervan split: Rob Bell's split from Zondervan came in part over his controversial new book, “Love Wins.”
'Love Wins' release revised: HarperOne brings forward the release of Rob Bell's book, “Love Wins.”
CBD warehouse evacuated: A suspicious package prompts an evacuation at Christian Book Distributors.
Distributor's bomb squad alert: A UPS shipping error led to the evacuation of about 500 employees at Christian Book Distributors while a state police bomb squad investigated.
'Sleeper hit' profiled: “Heaven Is for Real” has become a sleeper paperback hit of the winter.
Updated NIV's digital success: Zondervan's updated New International Version Bible just hit store shelves, but it is already a digital bestseller.
Charles Colson's 'ambitious effort': Author and Christian leader Charles Colson has launched “an ambitious effort... to replicate his spiritual DNA and ensure that his vision of Christianity doesn’t die when he does.”
Theater visit for heaven author: “Heaven is for Real” co-author Todd Burpo followed a bookstore signing with a personal appearance to a full house at a local theater.
Rob Bell’s TV grilling: Interviewer Martin Bashir challenges Rob Bell on the claims of “Love Wins.”
'Jesus can handle controversy': Rob Bell says that “Jesus can handle” the debate sparked by his new book.
Industry Radar for the week of March 16, 2011.
Amy Grant shrugs fame: Amy Grant, owner of a Hollywood star and six Grammys, nicknamed the Queen of Christian Pop, “shrugs off fame like an uncomfortable coat.”
Rob Bell book anticipated: Christian bookstores are preparing for a rush of buyers eager to snap up Rob Bell’s newest release “Love Wins.” One store has ordered almost 500 copies to meet the expected demand.
The legacy of Lewis: C. S. Lewis has “moved more hearts with a pen than others have with armies.”
Bell book challenges tradition: Rob Bell's new new book, challenging traditional Christian views of heaven, hell and eternal damnation, has “created an uproar among evangelical leaders.”
Political memoir 'pretty good': Governor Tim Pawlenty's political memoir, “Courage to Stand,” is “pretty good by the dismal standards of the genre.”
'Slave' book concerns some: John MacArthur's latest book,“Slave: The Hidden Truth About Your Identity in Christ,” is drawing mixed reactions among African-American Christians whose ancestors were slaves.
Six billion KJV sales: Total sales of the King James Version of the Bible are an estimated six billion.
Recycling donated Christian literature: Sometimes nicknamed “God’s Recycler,” Steven Schmidt helps ship 20 tons of donated Christian literature a week overseas through Love Packages.
Heavenly visit for anniversary: A McCook, Neb., bookstore marks its one-year anniversary with a visit from Todd Burpo, best-selling co-author of “Heaven is for Real.”
'Feel good' faith books: Modern evangelicalism is “judge by many of its books and star preachers... mostly about bringing people to Christ and then, when they’ve arrived, making them feel good about the decision.”
First Christian bookstore app: A Christian bookstore in Northern Ireland becomes the first in the world to launch its own iPhone app to sell books.
'Soul Surfer' subject pleased: Bethany Hamilton says that she is happy with “Soul Surfer,” the inspirational biopic about her life starring Dennis Quaid, Helen Hunt and Carrie Underwood.
Author sees 'empty' value: Author Kathleen Norris believes that “we may be most available to God when we're empty.”
Industry Radar for the week of March 9, 2011.
films 'crossing over': “The Grace Card” is “the
latest in a series of faith-based films attempting to cross over to
mainstream audiences, with limited theatrical releases across the
Former lawyer's case for faith: A one-time Brooklyn lawyer who happens to be an Orthodox Jew has discovered a new publishing niche: creating religious-themed children's books and bible trading cards—which sell like hotcakes in Christian bookstores.
Synagogue becomes Christian bookstore: A 167-year-old former synagogue in downtown Massena, N.Y., will be resurrected this spring as a Christian-themed coffee shop and bookstore.
Digital books grow for Baker: The digital migration to e-readers accounts for approximately 6% of monthly sales for Baker Publishing Group, which saw “steady increases” in 2010
Critic slams 'artless' movie: A critic argues that as “a sermon masquerading as a movie, 'The Grace Card' is simple, sincere and artless.”
Churches making more movies: More and more local churches say they are frustrated with the movies Hollywood has been putting out, so they are making their own.
'Christian film is growing': Just like Christian rock has been growing throughout the years and enjoys a scene paralleling mainstream rock, Christian film is growing as well.
'Christian bookstores must change': If Christian bookstores want to stay around, “they’re going to have to become relevant to young people.”
Rob Bell book 'firestorm': Rob Bell' latest book has “ignited a firestorm of controversy... weeks before it arrives in bookstores.”
Heaven book sells well: Family Christian Store in Fultondale, Ala., has sold out of “Heaven is For Real” several times.
'Grace Card' 'startlingly good': “The Grace Card” is “a startlingly good first effort.”
Bell book prompts debate: Almost overnight, the “online evangelical community... erupted into a full-blown debate over doctrines” related to heaven, hell, religious pluralism, justice, mercy and atonement, prompted by comments about Rob Bell's forthcoming book.
Christian musicians discuss drugs: Michael W. Smith and former Korn member Brian “Head” Welch shared the airwaves to talk about musicians overcoming drugs through a focus on religion.
Industry Radar for the week of March 2, 2011.
'Blind Side' subject speaks: Michael Oher, whose life story was featured in best-selling movie, “The Blind Side,” tells his own version in “I Beat the Odds: From Homelessness to The Blind Side and Beyond.”
'Grace Card' 'finds audience': "The Grace Card" is "finding an audience among folks who are interested in social-justice issues, no matter where they are on their faith journey.”
LifeWay drops reading caution: LifeWay Christian Stores drops its “read with discernment” advisory label carried on some books.
Justin Bieber, faith market: The teen singer documentary, “Justin Bieber: Never Say Never,” has been screened for pastors across the country--”a page torn from the 'Passion of the Christ' marketing playbook.”
Church film 'not shabby': Inspirational movie, “The Grace Card, “isn’t too shabby, especially when you consider that it was made on a bargain-basement budget by members of a Memphis church.”
Novelist tackles divorce pain: Novelist Denise Hildreth Jones has “dipped a toe into the non-fiction world” with a “soul-searching book,” “Flying Solo: A Journey of Divorce, Healing and a Very Present God.”
Andrew Peterson's biggest helper: Singer Andrew Peterson says that C.S. Lewis “more than any other person, has helped me love Jesus.”
Near-death movie adaptation: There is talk of a movie of "Heaven is for Real,” which tells of 4-year-old Colton Burpo's account of visiting heaven.
Comedian turns movie cop: Comedian Michael Joiner plays the lead in “The Grace Card,” a gritty cop drama that filmed last year in Memphis, Tenn.
'Big year for faith films': For movie fans, “this year looks to be a good one for faith-based films.”
Country star's inspirational role: Country singer Carrie Underwood has a starring role in “Soul Surfer,” a film about a teenage surfer who finds the courage to get back into the ocean after having her arm bitten off by a shark.
'Grace Card' thumbs-up: A reviewer's reaction to “The Grace Card” is n to “The Grace Card” is “one of pleasant surprise at its competence.”
Store closure saddens owner: Tearful Kathy Dunn talks about the closure of her The Door store in San Carlos, Calif.
'Grace Card' feels 'churchy': Originally a church Passion play, “The Grace Card” “still feels like a church production.”
Jason Ingram, best songwriter: Jason Ingram earned Christian songwriter of the year honors at SESAC’s Christian Music Awards, in Nashville.
'Grace Card' makers 'timid': The makers of “The Grace Card” are “too timid to play the cards they dealt themselves.”