Friday, February 15, 2008


Fliers are circulating around a Tennessee congressional district that say, "Memphis Congressman Steve Cohen and the Jews hate Jesus." The anti-Semitic flyers against the first-term Democrat showed up in the mailboxes of voters in the mostly black district this week. Cohen is the first white congressman from Memphis in more than 30 years.


R. Albert Mohler is no longer in the running to become president of the Southern Baptist Convention. The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary President has health problems and will undergo surgery for a precancerous tumor in his colon. He underwent major abdominal surgery about a year ago. The convention next meets in Indianapolis this June.


The 39th annual Dove Awards will air live April 23 over the Gospel Music Channel. Here are some of the nominees:

Male Vocalist of the Year
Chris Tomlin
Gerald Wolfe
Jon Foreman
Mark Hall
Mark Schultz
Marvin Sapp

Female Vocalist of the Year
Amy Grant
Christy Nockels
Darlene Zschech
Krystal Meyers Mandisa
Natalie Grant
Sandi Patty

Group of the Year
Casting Crowns
David Crowder Band
Ernie Haase & Signature
SoundHillsong United
Point Of Grace
The Clark Sisters

Artist of the Year
Casting Crowns
Chris Tomlin
Natalie Grant
Point Of Grace
The Clark Sisters

New Artist of the Year
33 MilesAustins Bridge
Brandon Heath
DeWayne Woods
Group 1 Crew
Rush of Fools

Thursday, February 14, 2008


Billy Graham is in a North Carolina hospital following brain surgery. The 89-year-old evangelist had the surgery to replace a valve installed in 2000 that drains excess fluid from his through a small tube.


A news survey found most Catholics believe a non-Catholic spouse must promise to have the couple's children raised Catholic. But that’s hasn’t been true since church law was changed in 1983. Here are some other findings:

Is your opinion about marriage have been at least "somewhat" informed by church teaching? Yes – 55%

Were you married in a Catholic church or have had their marriages blessed by the church? Yes - 70%

Is divorce acceptable in some cases? Yes – 76%

Source: The Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University


The IRS is investigating the First Southern Baptist Church in Buena Park, California over accusations the church illegally endorsed Mike Huckabee for president. Americans United for the Separation of Church and State complained that pastor Wiley Drake sent out a press release last year that encouraging Christians to give the former Arkansas governor their vote. Wiley also endorsed Huckabee on his Christian radio show. Wiley says those were personal endorsements and not as a representative of his church which would jeopardize the church’s tax-exempt status.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


Mike Huckabee benefited from a strong turnout of born-again evangelical Christians in Virginia's primary. Thirty-seven percent of Virginia Republican voters were born-again evangelical Christians. They voted 63 percent for Huckabee and just 28 percent for John McCain. In Maryland, there were fewer evangelical voters and they supported Huckabee over McCain by a somewhat smaller margin. Among Republicans, Huckabee won the votes of 64 percent of Virginians and half of Marylanders who said they were looking for a candidate who shared their values.


In Missouri, 34% of those who described themselves as white evangelicals voted Democratic. That’s about 160,000 people. The percentage was 29% in Tennessee or 182,000 voters. The numbers comes from a Zogby poll taken right after those states’ primaries. Another survey conducted by Barna showed 40% of evangelicals say they will pull the lever for the Democratic presidential in November and 29% plan to vote for the Republican. The rest say they haven’t made up their minds or else will vote for a third-party candidate.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


The president of the College of William & Mary has suddenly resigned. Gene Nichol’s tenure included the controversial removal of the permanent display of a cross from the school's chapel on the campus in Williamsburg, Virginia. He said the goal of removing the cross was making non-Christians feel more welcome. The university board had already decided not to renew his contract. Thousands of angry alumni and students signed petitions. One donor rescinded a pledge to give the college $12 million. Eventually, Nichol had the cross returned to the chapel but this time locked away in a glass case near the altar. Last week, William and Mary brought to campus the Sex Workers' Art Show. It offered monologues and performances by actors from X-rated movies and strippers.


The Baylor Board of Regents has voted to let non-Baptist Christian student groups to officially meet and be chartered at Baylor. Officials at the Texas school say the new organizational policy is designed to be more inclusive and say the new policy does not conflict with the university's Christian mission.


Rock or Rap Gospel Album: Before the Daylight's Shot - Ashley Cleveland Pop/Contemporary

Gospel Album:A Deeper Level - Israel and New BreedSouthern

Country or Bluegrass Gospel Album: Salt of the Earth - Ricky Skaggs & The Whites

Contemporary R&B Gospel Album: Free to Worship - Fred Hammond

Sunday, February 10, 2008


Tornadoes that swept through Tennessee trapped more than a dozen students in residence halls at a Baptist college. More than 60 students had to be treated for injuries at Union University in Jackson and 17 buildings were damaged. The school’s president believes the cost of repairs will run into the millions. Classes have been suspended for the next few weeks.


Creationism is making inroads in Europe. Small groups of creation science advocates now meet regularly in many British cities. The movement has also had skirmishes in Italy, Germany and Poland. In response, this past fall, the Council of Europe condemned attempts to bring creationism into Europe's schools. That hasn’t stopped Answers in Genesis from getting its creationist point of view into some state-supported science classes in Britain. At the same time, a group called Truth in Science has sent thousands of DVDs to all British high schools in Britain which argue that mankind is the result of intelligent design and not evolution. There are even plans to construct a Christian theme park in northwest England. The issue goes beyond evangelical Christianity. The British government is now funding nearly 100 Islamic schools even though they teach a version of creationism.


• Religion in American Politics by Prudue University professor Frank Lambert traces the connection between religion and politics through US history.
• In Souled Out, Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne Jr. writes from the liberal Catholic tradition explores the roots of American liberalism
• The Party Faithful by Time magazine editor Amy Sullivan traces how the Democratic Party has dealt with religion.
• The Future of Faith in American Politics by David Gushee, a professor of Christian ethics at Mercer University, offers an "insider's account" of evangelicals who are weary of their brethren on both the left and right.
• In New Kind of Conservative, Florida megachurch pastor Joel Hunter says it's time for evangelicals to focus on issues beyond abortion and homosexuality.
• Beyond Left and Right: Helping Christians Make Sense of American Politics by Wheaton College political scientist Amy Black is for the political neophyte.


James Dobson's "still got a lot of credibility with people across the country, and is looked to as the remaining mega-giant within evangelical circles, and so I think it's a very significant endorsement." - Mike Huckabee on his endorsement by Focus on the Family founder James Dobson