Friday, January 8, 2010

Oldest Hebrew Inscription Found

An Israeli professor says he may have found proof that older parts of the Bible were written hundreds of years before many people believe they could have been written. Gershon Galil with the University of Haifa points to an inscription on a piece of pottery from an excavation about 20 miles west of Jerusalem. Galil says the inscription is a statement about slaves, widows and orphans. Carbon-dating puts it's origins at about the 10th century BC, making it the earliest example of Hebrew writing we have today. Some scholars say parts of the Bible could not have been written that long ago because the Hebrew language did not exist at that time. But, according to Galil, the inscription suggests otherwise.

$10 Million to College

A Columbia, South Carolina pastor is giving $10 million to a college from his Power Ball winnings. Solomon Jackson Jr. who pastors New Shiloh Baptist Church, won a $260 million lottery jackpot this past summer. He attended Morris College some 30 years ago where he studied theology. Now he's giving the school the gift to pay for a new administration building, a new dormitory and various scholarships to the private, historically African-American college.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Faith of Colt McCoy

KXAN-TV in Austin reports on the church involvement of the Texas Longhorn's quarterback who'll be playing for the college football championship tonight.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Bible Classes in Oklahoma

A state senator has proposed a bill that would allow high school students to take bible classes in Oklahoma. KOCO-TV reports.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Teacher Can't Sell Book

A New York teacher is in trouble for selling a Christian book to four students. Sixth-grade science teacher Steven Arizmendi was chastised by his superiors for selling He Came to Set the Captives Free by Rebecca Julia Brown for $5 apiece. He also loaned copies to eight other students.

Seminaries Merge

Chicago 's Moody Bible Institute and the Michigan Theological Seminary have merged to create the Moody Theological Seminary. The Plymouth Michigan campus opened less than 15 years ago has 176 enrolled students. The Moody Bible Institute operates Moody Radio and Moody Publishers.

Megachurch Raises Even More

Rick Warren says his Saddleback Church has now raised $2.5 million in six days after he appealed for funds. The magachurch pastor his congregation they were $900,000 short. The money will go toward the church's ministries which include feeding homeless families, overseas outreach and small group ministries. The church says most of the donations were small, less than $100.

Megachurch Pastor Part of Lesbian Mayor's Inauguration

Joel Osteen gave the opening prayer when Houston's new lesbian mayor was swore into office. The megachurch pastor has previously said homosexuality is not "God's best" but decided to take part in Annise Parker's inauguaration. He prayed "God, we just thank you for raising her up. We honor her today and other elected officials. We count it a joy and an honor to be here."

Bible Giveaway Stopped

Schools in Wilson County, Tennessee have agreed to stop letting the Gideons International hand out Bibles to students. The ACLU had threatened to sue. The school system will pay the ACLU's attorney fees as well.

Crimes against Churches

The Christian Security Network says there were more than 1200 crimes against churches in 2009.The Cincinnati-based firm says this includes a dozen homicides and nearly 40 violent crimes.

Passion 2010

A meeting of Christian college students in Atlanta has drawn more than 20,000 people. The 4-day Passion 2010 ends today and is part of a yearly praise and worship gathering that started in 1997 with 2000 students. Among the speakers and performers: John Piper, Andy Stanley and the David Crowder Band.

100 Years and Counting

The Gideons International is marking 102 years of giving away Bibles. The group started in 1908 and has handed out nearly one-and-a-half billion copies of Scripture. Many have gone into hotel room but also to students, military personnel, hospital patients, and prisoners. The nondenominational group is run by evangelical businessmen.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Crash the Super Bowl

Doritos plans to air three consumer-created ads during the Super Bowl. A pastor produced one of the six finalists. Erwin McManus, leads Mosaic, a church in Whittier, California. He submitted an ad in which a guy stages his own funeral so he can eat Doritos and watch football undisturbed in a casket. The three winners will be picked in online voting and get $1 million bonus each if their ads win the top three slots in USA TODAY’S annual Super Bowl Ad Meter consumer rating of ads. McManus ad is competing with entries from former football star Ed “Too Tall” Jones and rapper Flavor Flav. More info here.

Smith out of Hospital

Chuck Smith is in a rehabilitation facility. The senior pastor of Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa, California suffered a mild stroke last month. The 82-year-old played a significant role in the training of other prominent ministers, including Greg Laurie.

Hume: Tiger Conversion

Fox's Brit Hume says Tiger Woods needs to become a Christian.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

The Color of Faith

Time magazine offers an article called Can Megachurches Bridge the Racial Divide? which focuses on Bill Hybels Willow Creek Community Church in Chicago, Joel Osteen's Lakewood Community Church in Houston.

100 Foot Cross

A church northeast of Birmingham plans to raise a 100-foot cross on its property. The Hunter's Chapel Holy Church of Christ will start construction in February on the $232,000 project, and expects to be finished by June. Motorists will be able to see the cross from the future Interstate 22 near Jasper. Pastor Dale Hyche got the idea from a similar monument in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. A prayer garden will be built at the foot of the cross.

Miley a UK Threat

A left-leaning UK tabloid says Miley Cyrus is an “agent of the Christian right" and is warning parents about her possible religious influence on tweens in the country following her sold out London concerts. The Independent's music critic, Simon Price, writes, “While the twiggy teenager may not look as if she’s a member of an imperialist shock-troop, in terms of exporting the conservative values of the Christian right she’s more effective than the marines." Rather than pointing to her willingness to quote the Bible and vow to remain a virgin until she’s married, Price cites as his evidence the fact that Time magazine included her on its list of 100 Most Influential People. Read the article from the Independent here.

Saddleback's Fundraising

Rick Warren asked for $900,000. He got more than twice that amount. His Southern California megachurch was running deficit and Warren presented the problem to his congregation. Saddleback members responded with an outpouring of $2.4 million. During a service this weekend, Warren had 24 parishioners rise to represent $100,000 each. The church says nearly all the gifts were individual donations of less than $1,000. More donations remain to be counted since the $2.4 million was the amount brought in by New Year's Eve. Saddleback is the nation's sixth largest church. In 2005, it raised $1.7 million for victims of Hurricane Katrina and $1.6 million in 2004 for victims of the Asian tsunami.