Friday, August 29, 2008

Dobson on McCain VP Choice

James Dobson will appear on Fox News Channel’s Hannity & Colmes tonight talk about John McCain’s pick of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his Vice Presidential running mate.

Although Dobson once said he would not vote for John McCain, the Focus On The Family leader has announced that he’s willing to do so now. Dobson made the announcement while at meetings ahead of the Republican National Convention in Minneapolis.

Warren Plans Magazine

Megachurch pastor Rick Warren plans to launch his own magazine. A test issue coming out this fall and have a run of about half-a-million. The working title is Purpose – after his bestseller The Purpose Driven Life.

What Does McCain's VP Believe?

John McCain has picked first-term Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate. Here’s some background on Palin that will interest Christians.
  • She grew up attending nondenominational Bible churches and identifies herself as a Christian. She lead her high school's Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
  • View on Abortion: should be banned for anything other than saving the life of the mother
  • Stem cell research: opposed
  • Physician-assisted suicide: opposed
  • Creationism: should be discussed in schools
  • State health benefits for same-sex partners: opposed, and supports a constitutional amendment to bar them
  • Her view on religion and politics: "I believe everything happens for a purpose. In my own personal life, if I dedicated back to my Creator what I'm trying to create for the good . . . everything will turn out fine."
  • Her son has Down Syndrome. Palin says she never considered ending the pregnancy. In an interview with AP she said, "We've both been very vocal about being pro-life. We understand that every innocent life has wonderful potential…Yeah, he has an extra chromosome. I keep thinking, in our world, what is normal and what is perfect?"

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Christian Version of Guitar Hero

A Christian version of Guitar Hero game will be out next month. But the Guitar Praise is not affiliated with Activision's Guitar Hero franchise. Players will be able to strum along with tunes from the likes of Thousand Foot Krutch and Relient K. The game is only being introduced for Mac OS X, and Windows Vista and XP.

Charles Wesley's Secret Diaries

Kenneth Newport says he’s figured out Charles Wesley's coded diary. The Anglican priest and professor at Liverpool Hope University has spent years deciphered the 1,000-page, 300,00 word hand-written manuscript written between 1736 and 1756. Newport says the new information reveals Charles’ early relationship with his brother, John Wesley. Together they founded the Methodist movement. Charles wrote such hymns as Hark the Herald Angels Sing and O for a Thousand Tongues to Sing. But his diaries reveal another side. Here are some of the revelations in the diaries:
  • Charles Wesley battled depression
  • Tried to stop his brother’s proposed marriage from taking place with Grace Murray
  • Partially blamed his brother for his own wife’s miscarriage
  • Wanted to prevent the Methodist societies from breaking away from the Church of England
  • Made a pact with his brother not to marry without the other’s approval
  • Was concerned with the growing influence of Islam

Abortion Poll

Percentage of Americans who believe abortion should be legal:

  • Democrats 63%
  • All adults 54%
  • Catholics 49%
  • Republicans 41%
  • White Evangelicals 33%

Source: Pew Research Center

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Bible Classes in Public Schools

Lottery Winnings Go to Church

The True North Community Church in Port Jefferson, New York is getting a $3 million dollar donation from a lottery winner. The New York State Lottery announced the 650-member church will get at least $102,225 a year for the next 20 years.

School District Sued over Prayers

Two high school students are taking their Florida panhandle school district to court. They want the Santa Rosa County School District to stop prayers at school events like graduation. The ACLU is representing the two Pace High students. School officials have not responded to the suit.

From Basic Instinct to Faith

The author of screenplay thrillers like Basic Instinct, Showgirls and Jagged Edge is now writing about his faith. Joe Eszterhas latest work is called Crossbearer: A Memoir of Faith. It hits store shelves next week and tells about his conversion to Christ following his diagnoses with throat cancer a few years ago. He now regularly attends Catholic Mass on Sundays with his family. Eszterhas has turned down offers for high pay to write dark scripts for Hollywood because the Hungarian-born writer doesn’t want to go there anymore.

Scrolls Going Online

A project is underway to digitally photograph all the Dead Sea Scrolls and put them on the Internet. Infrared photography will be used by the Israeli Antiquities Authority to make the oldest known version of the Hebrew Bible available to both scientists and the public in about five years.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Get-Out-the-Prayer Campaign

The 40/40 Prayer Vigil for Spiritual Revival and National Renewal is a Southern Baptist initiative calling for Christians to pray for public officials and political concerns leading up to the general election in November. It’s part of the iVoteValues registration campaign being led by Southern Baptists and the Family Research Council.

Pastor's Fake Illness

A high-profile preacher in Australia lied about having cancer.

Evangelical Backs out of DNC Prayer

The editor of the Christian publication Relevant Magazine pulled out of his appearance at the Democratic National Convention. Cameron Strang explains his decision to Fox News.

Monday, August 25, 2008

In Silent Prayer

Father Anthony Russo has written a book about his 40 year ministry to the Deaf community. In Silent Prayer follows his path through churches in the Philadelphia area where the congregation is exclusively deaf and others where only a couple of people in the congregation is deaf. He traces this ministry back before his own time to the mid-1800’s. Russo was first assigned to the hearing-impaired when it was discovered that he himself suffers a mild hearing impairment. More information.

Favorite Book

"For pure enjoyment, the Bible has got some of the greatest mysteries, love stories, soap operas of any book ever written. It's probably the greatest book on life and leadership ever written." - Krispy Kreme CEO Jim Morgan to the (North Carolina) News & Observer when asked about his favor books.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Catholic Reaction to Biden Selection

Denver Catholic Archbishop Charles Chaput is calling on Obama's vice presidential pick, Joe Biden, to stop taking Communion because of his stance on abortion. The Catholic advocacy group Fidelis expects the Communion question to come up regularly at Biden campaign stops.

White Catholics are about evenly divided between Obama and John McCain, although McCain is ahead among Catholics in polls taken in the critical states of Ohio and Florida.

Obama Apologizes for Slip

Barak Obama apologized shortly after attending the First Lutheran Church in Eau Claire, Wisconsin for a comment he made in front of the city's town hall. The Illinois Senator told the audience of several hundred, "If we can spend $10 to $12 billion a month in Iraq, we sure as HELL can pay $10 to $12 million billion dollars right here in the United States." He quickly apologized for using the word “hell”. At the service Obama attended, pastor John Kerr spoke shortly about humility.

Joe Biden’s Catholic Roots

The son of working-class Irish Catholics, Joe Biden was educated at a Catholic prep school. Barack Obama's running mate briefly considered the priesthood before turning to politics and eventually becoming a Democratic senator from Delaware. Biden still attends Mass each week but supports abortion rights, putting him at odds with the church leadership. He even voted in favor of a bill to ban late-term abortions. A Pew Research poll shows that 44% of those who attend Catholic Mass each week say abortion is a very important issue in the presidential race.

Chronological Study Bible

The Chronological Study Bible comes out this fall. Thomas Nelson’s new publication changes the order of the books of the Bible with the goal of providing a historical framework. That means the Gospels are merged into one book. The book of Psalms is divided up by time period.