- The Washington Times - Monday, June 25, 2007

In the new film “Evan Almighty,” God (Morgan Freeman) tells a congressman (Steve Carell) to build an ark in preparation for a great flood.

The basic premise, lifted from the Genesis account of Noah’s ark, will be the subject of a series of sermons by Gateway Bible Church for the next few weeks, says pastor Jay Nickless.

“We don’t consider ourselves to be a subculture,” Mr. Nickless says. “We’re trying to engage culture. When there is a movie out there that speaks to our culture, we want to utilize it and encourage people to go to it.”

The upcoming sermon series is titled “God’s Call to Change Your World.” It focuses on the idea that God spoke to Noah, Noah obeyed and basically saved the world. Mr. Nickless wants to challenge people to hear God’s call on their lives, and to be courageously obedient.

“What is God saying to us?” Mr. Nickless says. “What needs to be saved? What can we do about it? Noah built an ark. Maybe for us it’s building the right kind of life in order to make a difference in the community, nation and world. For us, we need daily perseverance.”

Blending culture with Scripture is a passion for Gateway Bible Church. Mr. Nickless has been supportive of recent films such as “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” and “Amazing Grace.”

“Our challenge is to be relevant and practical to day-to-day living in people’s lives,” Mr. Nickless says. “We’re a Bible church. We definitely believe in the authority of Scripture. We believe that authority is effective only when it is applied to everyday living.”

Jen Waters