Author: the Josh Benner Blog

Josh is the pastor of Christian Bible Church in Cissna Park, Illinois. He has a Master of Divinity from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He has an awesome wife named Kari and an awesome dog named Beasley.

Is the entire Bible too epic for one miniseries?

Last night, the History Channel premiered a new series entitled “The Bible” which is a five part series which will be airing on Sunday nights until Easter. The series covers the Biblical narrative.

Regardless of a person’s religious sensibilities, the Bible is the most influential book in the history of humanity. Its impacts on ethics, culture, literature, art, and a host of other areas of life cannot be overstated. For that reason, to be a well rounded person, I think its positive to be more familiar with that book. And I wouldn’t discourage anyone from watching.

That being said, I do feel that there are a number of significant detractions from this series. Let me try to illustrate this point. What are some of the great, epic “Christian” movies of all time?

1 year later: BGSU sorority tragedy

I said it a year ago, and I still believe it’s true today. The news of last year’s tragic car accident that resulted in the deaths of three sorority sisters from Bowling Green was the “you remember where you were when” moment for the Greek community and alumni. As someone who’s loved to write for as long as I’ve been able to spell words, I’m sometimes compelled to jot down my thoughts. I don’t always write because I want to. Sometimes I write because I have to. Not because I have any false sense of self-importance but because I have to express my feelings. Really, I guess when I feel that I need to write, I write for myself. But if the stars align, maybe the things I say can help someone else. When I wrote down what I was feeling about last March’s accident, I assumed my friends (and perhaps a few strangers) would read. What I did not expect were 8,000 views in the first two days.

In the last year, I’ve reread that essay a few times. I don’t think that there was anything inherently great about that particular piece of writing. I don’t think that’s why people read. I think it resonated with people because what I felt was how so many others felt. Sometimes we listen to a certain song because it might resonate with how we feel at a certain time. I think that my post echoed a lot of the things that people who love Bowling Green and the BG Greek community were already feeling. I think that the second reason why it was so widely viewed was the fact that there were countless articles around the nation and around the world. But my essay wasn’t news. It was just one man’s opinion, and while my opinion matters no more than someone else’s, it was a different genre than simply reading the news.

In my own way, I pay tribute today to what happened a year ago. As I post this, it’s surreal to me that the tragedy which awaited was a few minutes away at this moment a year ago.

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Pope Benedict XVI makes modern history with resignation

Courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons
Courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

For the first time since 1415, there will be a living ex-Pope, as Benedict XVI announced today that he will be resigning from the Papacy on February 28.

In leading a church with a billion members and being one of the most influential people in the world, I feel that the fact that he is resigning is a remarkable show of humility and something which should be applauded. I’m not sure how conservative Catholics will receive this. But for those outside the church (and for more nominal Catholics), I think that the pope’s recognition of his failing health and his inability to execute the job to the necessary degree of aplomb is in the best interest of the Church.

Pastor doesn’t tip. Applebee’s server fired for posting receipt photo


“I give God 10 percent. Why do you get 18”

These were the words written on a receipt at a St. Louis area Applebee’s by pastor, Alois Bell. A server at the restaurant posted a picture of the receipt online and was fired after the photo went viral and the pastor complaied.

Bell has expressed regret. “I’ve embarrassed my church and ministry.”

To be fair, I don’t think that what the server did was appropriate. She should not have posted that photo online and she was putting her job at risk. Big companies take their image very seriously.