Thursday, December 20, 2007


State Bank & Trust of Fargo, North Dakota handed out $1000 Christmas bonuses to its full-time employees – with the stipulation they give it all away. The funds cannot go to family members or co-workers. On top of that, the bank gave them video cameras that they must use to record the donation. Those tapes will be shown at next year's holiday party. One teller gave her money to a couple who lost three of the quadruplets they were expecting. The surviving baby is still in the hospital. State Bank was started by three families in the 60’s and has 14 locations in North Dakota and Minnesota.


Now that it has become public that the sister of Britney Spears is pregnant, their mom’s book on parenting has been put on hold. Christian book publisher Thomas Nelson had plans to bring out Lynne Spears book on Mother's Day in 2008. She began work on the volume in March of this year, as Britney Spears began a series of escapade chronicled in the media.


In a multi-year study of how the college experience influences spiritual development, researchers found an increasing number of undergraduates express a desire to explore the meaning and purpose of life as they progress through school. The findings come from two retired UCLA professors and was funded by the John Templeton Foundation. Here is some of what they found:

• 43.7% of freshman said they frequently attend services. But that drops to 25.4% by the end of their junior year.
• 74.3% of juniors said "helping others in difficulty" was "very important" or "essential," compared with 62.1% of freshmen
• 63.8% of juniors said they supported "improving the human condition," compared with 53.4% of freshmen.
• 41.8% of freshman in 2004 said integrating spirituality into their lives was “very important to them. The percentage rose to 50.4% by the time they were juniors.


“I have a copy of the Bible in my plane, and I fly a lot. I have the Bible in my plane and I also have an icon there, a special icon, embroidered, but everything is there. If I am flying a long distance - and we have a big country, and I also fly abroad regularly - I have the chance to read the Bible. It is my firm conviction that only religion can provide the moral values without which humanity as a whole and we as individuals cannot live. As for specific institutions or churches, this is a separate issue. Someone said once that if God exists, he does not know that people have different views on the church.” – Russian President Vladimir Putin, TIME Magazine’s Person of the Year


A women in Donnellson, Iowa asked Hillary Clinton yesterday whether she was a Christian. After Clinton said "yes" someone pointed out that, Rosalie Bentzinger was in the crowd. Benzinger was Hillary's Sunday School teacher when she was a growing up in Illinois. They met and embraced. But some commentators are speculating that reunion might have been planned all along, despite denials by the Clinton camp.


The student chapter of the Christian Legal Society at the University of Montana has filed a lawsuit because the group was denied funding by the Student Bar Association. The law school says it based its decision on objections by other students in email but hasn’t commented on the case yet.


Members of Broadway Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Texas has put off deciding whether to allow homosexual members to appear as couples in the church’s pictorial directory. The church is a member of the moderate Cooperative Baptist Fellowship.


"I'm often asked if I'm a praying person and I am a praying person. My father prayed at his bedside every night and we prayed at the table over dinner." - Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton


A granddaughter of Earl Paulk is now accusing the Atlanta pastor of sexually abusing her when she was a child. The founder of the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit at Chapel Hill Harvester Church already faces a long string of sexual allegations. At least three women have sued Paulk. Now his granddaughter says he inappropriately touched her when she was about eight years old. He denies the accusation. In October, a paternity test revealed that Paulk is the biological father of his brother's son.


The Georgia Baptist Convention passed an anti-blogging resolution last month in an effort to stifle critics. The resolution says, "The messengers of this convention oppose blogging when it is used to cause division and disharmony among the members of our Southern Baptist family. We call upon bloggers to cease the critical second-guessing of these elected leaders.”

Baptist Critic Suspended

The Southern Baptist International Mission Board has suspended Oklahoma pastor Wade Burleson. He’s barred for the next four meetings because of his blog that has strongly criticized the board. The trustees want Burleson to apologize for criticizing the board for how it has handled policies requiring missionary candidates to be baptized and forbidding them from speaking in tongues. His blog:

Top Religious Stories of 2007

1. The Mother Teresa Revelations
Teresa's private letters indicate her struggles with faith
2. Democrats Embrace Religion and Mitt Romney Channels JFK
Religious faith becomes a major presidential campaign issue
3. The Reverend Jerry Falwell Dies
4. The Pope's Moto Proprio
The Pope makes it easier for priests to use the Latin Mass
5. The Episcopal Church At Odds Over Gays
Episcopal Churches leave the denomination over pro-gay
6. The Greening of Evangelicalism
Environmental movement gets a foothold in Evangelical circles
7. The Roar of Atheist Books
Secular authors to produce a slew of skeptical literature
8. The Trials of New Life Church
Ted Haggard resigns from the Colorado Springs megachurch
under a cloud of admitted sexual immorality and a gunman
murders two young sisters in the church parking lot
9. The Creation Museum Opens
Kentucky’s Creation Museum draws in large crowds
10 South Korean Christian Missionaries Kidnapped in Afghanistan
The Taliban takes 23 hostage and executes two before the
South Korean government pays $10 million to get the rest