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Issue Date: 2007-09-13
Volume: 186
Number: 19


Texas court strikes down state rules on seminaries

A Texas court has struck down a state requirement that religious higher education institutions must meet specific standards before they can call themselves a “seminary” or use certain terminology to describe their degrees.
Polls say children less central to marriage
The percentage of Americans who consider children “very important” to a successful marriage has dropped sharply in the past 15 years, according to Pew Research Center. By a margin of nearly 3 to 1, Americans say the main purpose of marriage is the “mutual happiness and fulfillment” of adults rather than the “bearing and raising of children.”
Volunteers turn 'failure' into faithfulness in Bangladesh

Head bowed, Drew Neely* expected ridicule as he approached a crowd of approximately 500 Bangladeshis. After a sixth day of waiting in offices and pleading with official letters, Neely still was unable to receive final permission to distribute food assembled for the crowd.
Seminary's recovery prompts 'homecoming'

Sunlight and shade along Seminary Place, along with red brick and green grass, make it seem as if nothing was ever out of place on the main artery through New Orleans Seminary. Faculty members tend to their yards. Down the road, the children of students slide and swing on the playground.
Teen uses heartbreak to deliver winning speech
Georgia Baptist wins in national competition
When Carly Huntsman’s grandmother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s she admits she didn’t fully understand what that meant.
Korean hostage deal elicits mixed reactions

Two prominent Southern Baptists recently expressed thankfulness that the Taliban released 19 South Korean Christian hostages but dismay that as part of the deal the South Korean government has pledged to ban Christian missionary work in Afghanistan.
Church's decision on sex offender makes headlines
A small Chicago-area Southern Baptist church knowingly allowed a convicted sex offender to preach and serve in high-level leadership in the past few years, although the director of missions for that area says he did everything in his power to stop it.
Generation after generation: are we losing sight of our mission?

Could the sun be setting on Christianity in the U.S.? And, more to the point, for Georgia Baptists?
Confucius, Muhammad join Jesus in Louisiana courthouse

Napoleon, Confucius, Hammurabi, and more than a dozen other historical figures have joined Jesus Christ on the wall at a courthouse to reassure visitors that the court wanted nothing more than to showcase people who helped to create the laws of civilized nations.
Update: Judge says Jesus icon may stay in Louisiana courthouse

A portrait of Jesus may remain on a courthouse wall with portraits of 15 other historical figures and a copy of the U.S. Constitution, a federal judge ruled Sept. 7.
Georgia group helps close out Southern Baptists' stay at New Orleans center

With a high participation level in disaster relief, it only seems fitting that a group from First Baptist here was the last to prepare meals for workers housed in New Orleans’ World Trade Center building.
Defining the generations as who we were and who we are becoming ...

A nation’s future is tied to its generational diversity. The long-discussed graying of America is having a financial impact on the nation’s healthcare system, just as the aging Baby Boomers are worrying about collecting Social Security payments from a smaller generation – known as the Baby Busters – that is paying into the system. A look at those generational differences and their acceptance or rejection of the gospel message also sheds light on the future of Christianity.
Book uncovers a lonely, spiritually desolate Mother Teresa

Ten years after her death, a new book of Mother Teresa’s personal letters illustrates a profound and private spiritual struggle – much of it unknown to the world that would come to embrace her as a living saint.
English with a twist
LaGrange church teaching through cooking

Boiled chicken, flour, water, a rolling pin, salt, shortening, and “pinchin’ it off.”
Working for a spiritual thaw
Lyons pastor leading missions effort to Scandinavia

Iceland is an exotic island nation that specializes in extremes where tourists can ski snowfields, raft glacial rivers, ride five-gaited horses, view hot springs, geysers, and active volcanoes, or hike among waddling puffins, sometimes known as the parrots of the sea.
LifeWay examines reasons young people leave church
A new study from LifeWay Research reveals that more than two-thirds of young adults who attend a Protestant church for at least a year in high school will stop attending church regularly for at least a year between the ages of 18 and 22.
First Baptist church west of Miss. River restored

Not far from the Mississippi River, sweet-sounding tones of the harpsichord and fiddle mingled with the chirping of the cicadas to accompany the voices of the faithful in well-worn hymns.
Evangelist D. James Kennedy dead at 76

D. James Kennedy, the Presbyterian pastor whose Coral Ridge Ministry television and radio programs were broadcast worldwide and whose Evangelism Explosion lay-witnessing method led to the salvation of millions, died Sept. 5. He was 76.
Dayton leaves Crown Financial CEO role
Crown Financial Ministries announced Sept. 5 that Chuck Bentley has taken over as CEO for Howard Dayton, who will continue to host the ministry’s “Money Matters” radio program and also to write on financial concerns for Christians.
Civil union law hits religious retreat center

Those who believe “gay marriage” would have no impact on religious freedoms may want to take a look at New Jersey, where the state is investigating a United Methodist retreat center – similar to those of LifeWay – that prohibited a lesbian couple from using one of its facilities for a civil union ceremony.

Georgia Newsbriefs

Williams named to WMU staff in adult missions
Beth Ann Williams has joined the staff of Georgia Baptist Woman’s Missionary Union and Women’s Ministries. She will assume her new responsibilities as adult missions consultant on Sept. 17.
'08 GBC annual meeting shifted to Jonesboro
The 2008 state convention annual meeting has been shifted from College Park to Jonesboro. The move is part of an ongoing realignment of meeting sites that reflect demand for smaller and more cost effective venues.
Georgia Baptist Convention minutes listing
Lists of ordained ministers who are not serving in the pastorate at the present time and full-time evangelists in fellowship with a church in cooperation with the Georgia Baptist Convention will be published in the 2007 Georgia Baptist Convention Minutes.

Baptist News Summary

Land, Wallis to debate values
Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, and Jim Wallis, president of Sojourners, are scheduled to square off in a debate Oct. 19 as part of a second-annual Washington D.C. summit for values voters.
College launches Pressler law school
Louisiana College has announced the creation of the Judge Paul Pressler School of Law, with classes slated to begin in the fall of 2009.
LifeWay agreement gives churches supply discounts through OfficeMax
File folders, printer paper, writing pens, staplers – as necessary as these items are for running a church office, they can seem like superfluous expenses in light of funds needed for evangelistic and discipleship purposes.
Midwestern holds 50th anniversary convocation
Midwestern Seminary observed its 50th President’s Convocation Aug. 21 with a chapel message from seminary President R. Philip Roberts.
Hundreds of Southern Baptist volunteers help flooded areas in Minnesota, Ohio
More than 570 disaster relief volunteers from the Minnesota-Wisconsin Baptist Convention and eight other states worked long hours to aid victims affected by recent flooding in southeast Minnesota.
Bill Wagner to be SBC president nominee
William L. “Bill” Wagner, a former Southern Baptist missionary and seminary professor and current president of Olivet University International in San Francisco, says he will allow his name to be placed in nomination for Southern Baptist Convention president when messengers meet in Indianapolis next year.
Peruvian looters target relief team
A Baptist disaster assessment team in Peru encountered the kind of lawlessness reported in areas hardest hit by the 8.0 earthquake Aug. 15 that has claimed more than 500 lives.

Religious Newsbriefs

Let's get together and sing some Marley hymns
The Anglican Church in Jamaica is adding some head-bopping new tunes by reggae stars Bob Marley and Peter Tosh to its church hymnals, according to international reports.
Visitors confess 'eco-sins' to priest at annual Greenpeace fair in England
Visitors to East Anglia’s annual Greenpeace fair in England on Sept. 2 were able to confess their sins against the environment to a Catholic priest.
Hindu mob beats and humiliates pastor
A mob of Hindu extremists beat a pastor and tried to set him on fire before parading him naked in the suburbs of Bangalore, India, on June 8. Laxmi Narayan Gowda was beaten in his home, in front of his wife and two small children, by men allegedly associated with the Bajrang Dal, the youth wing of the extremist World Hindu Council.
No chastity ring for British student, court rules
A British court has rejected a teenage girl’s request that she be permitted to wear a chastity ring to school as a symbol of her Christian faith.

People and Places

Ministerial Moves

Cooperative Program Stories

Manna la muncha
Carrollton ministry feeds up to 400 families per month

She laid both her hands on the side of the small store in downtown Carrollton, bowed her head and prayed boldly: “God, if I was You, I’d give me one of these buildings.”

Bible Study

Handling Success Successfully

Daniel 4:4-5, 28-37
Related Sunday School Lesson - Bible Studies for Life, Sept. 23
Reading the Handwriting on the Wall

Daniel 5:1-6, 22-28, 30-31
Related Sunday School Lesson - Bible Studies for Life, Sept. 30


The Open Door

Our State Missions Season of Prayer and Offering theme this year is “Sow, Reap, Rejoice … Together.” The theme Scripture is found in John 4:35b: “Listen to what I’m telling you; Open your eyes and look at the fields, for they are ready for harvest.”
Parents walk fine line in teens' struggle for independence

Christianity: compartmentalized or integrated?
Several of our ten grandchildren enjoy playing the game of Monopoly. Once we have completed the game and all participants have sufficiently demonstrated their greed and avarice I insist on being the one to put all of the components of the game back in the box.
NOAH volunteers make their mark

On the third floor of the World Trade Center in downtown New Orleans, more than 16,000 Southern Baptists have gathered for meals, devotions, and fellowship during the last 17 months. Each has left their mark on the city in so many ways.


Bay St. Louis puts ministry before building restoration

I feel led to comment on the letter from Herbert Barber regarding the picture of the sanctuary at Bay St Louis (BSL), Miss., and the response from its pastor, Al Green.
Many biker fellowships at Sturgis Rally

I have just finished reading the Aug. 30th “Open Door” column by J. Robert White for the second time. At first I want to praise Jesus for the harvest of souls at Sturgis but then I am at a loss as to the details in the article.