Joe Alblas, Associated Press
This publicity image released by History shows Diogo Morcaldo as Jesus, right, in a scene from "The Bible," on History. The producers of the cable TV miniseries on the Bible say Internet chatter that their Satan character resembles President Barack Obama is "utter nonsense." Mark Burnett and Roma Burnett said Monday the Moroccan actor who played Satan in the History channel series has played Satanic characters in other Biblical programs long before Obama was elected president. With new religious films coming into the box office, whether or not Jesus belongs in pop culture has been called into question.

In recent months, we’ve seen religious films return to the box office with hits like “Son of God” and “Noah,” which is due out later this month. But is bringing Jesus into pop culture good for religion? One writer at Relevant Magazine doesn’t think so, saying including Christ in pop culture creates problems.

“The problem is that in the context of American evangelicalism, where religious images are often absent, pop-culture representations of the faith can become the formative symbols and images that a faith community encounters,” Billy Kangas wrote. “People begin to actually see Jesus primarily through the lens of materialism and pop culture, both of which by their very nature are constantly in flux. As a result, evangelical faith becomes faddish, salvation is a style and praise is a phase.”

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