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Issue Date: 2007-12-06
Volume: 186
Number: 25

News

GOP candidates give views on the Bible
A unique CNN/YouTube Republican debate lived up to its ask-anything acclaim Nov. 28 when three of the top candidates were asked if they believed “every word” of the Bible.
Oral Roberts University president resigns
The embattled president of Oral Roberts University has resigned amid intense scrutiny over allegations of financial, political, and other wrongdoing at the charismatic Christian university in Tulsa.
State executive's second book, Words of Life, offers spiritual insight

Georgia Baptists seeking a devotional guide for friends or relatives during the upcoming Christmas season now have another choice to make as they complete their seasonal shopping.
Mike Huckabee has a unique line on his resume: pastor
Presidential candidate served in Southern Baptist churches

Years after he left the pulpit of Beech Street First Baptist Church in Texarkana, Ark., then-Gov. Mike Huckabee would pick up the phone with a pastoral touch.
Eastern European church finds wide outreach

The blue hues of dusk reflect off the apartment walls where believers gather to pray. On bended knees, they form a semicircle around the coffee table, voicing the names of former neighbors who now live hours, and in some cases, days away.
Spare some change? Many Americans unsure how to respond

Every day, Lawaune Stockton stands with her cup in front of a downtown McDonald’s, jingling the change inside as customers come and go.
Calvinism examined in its Baptist context

The rise of Calvinism in the Southern Baptist Convention was variously described as a cause for rejoicing and concern and as a movement that should be understood in its proper historical context, speakers said during a Nov. 26-28 conference on Reformed theology and the SBC.
Georgia Baptists, Moldova partnered for ministry

On Nov. 8 Ruth Jones and other members of the Jubalheirs packed shoes, toys, hygiene products, and other items to be sent to families in Moldova. The act was part of an ongoing partnership between the eastern European country and the Georgia Baptist Convention.
Interfaith dialogue ponders conversion issues

Evangelicals should take a cautious view of a proposed code of ethics banning “unethical” efforts to persuade people to accept Christ, two Southern Baptist professors have said.
Evangelists re-tool to increase impact

Venerable, legendary Southern Baptist evangelist Junior Hill was just a 21-year-old North Alabama preacher when the Conference of Southern Baptist Evangelists was born almost 50 years ago in 1958.
Budgets nudge up in 31 state conventions
Seven trim spending, three remain flat for 2008

Forty-one state conventions affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention met in annual meetings between August and November. Thirty-one state conventions increased their budgets, seven made cuts, and three kept the amount the same; 16 state conventions increased the portion of Cooperative Program funds forwarded to worldwide Southern Baptist ministries.
Inmates believe sweat lodge allows them to 'purify' prison life

Frederick “Two Feathers” Owle is 38, but he can still remember taking part in his first Native American purification ritual 30 years ago on a Cherokee reservation in North Carolina.
Truett-McConnell program to be named for Dora Spiva

She is a North Georgia treasure. Her pastor, Kenneth Zollinger, says, “Everybody in the county knows her; and she has such a sweet spirit. She has been actively involved in this church for decades, taught Sunday School for years, and is still the president of the Women’s Missionary Union.”
N.C. Baptists vote to cease WMU funding

Messengers to the 177th annual meeting of the BSCNC adopted a 2008-09 budget that defunded its Woman’s Missionary Union; accepted the recommendations of a study committee whose chairman said “Baptist Retirement Homes will no longer be a ministry of the convention”; and approved the first of two steps required to relinquish trustee selection at the convention’s five colleges.
Sites available for Georgia Baptists to donate coats
Georgia Baptist Woman’s Missionary Union is collecting coats for North Korean children as mentioned in a recent story on page 32 of the Nov. 8 issue of The Index. The coats will be given to children who have been affected by the recent devastating floods that have displaced nearly 200,000 people.

Baptist News Summary

Conventions urge abuse prevention
Following action taken on the national level this summer, several Southern Baptist state conventions took steps this fall to urge that children be protected from abuse.
Study: Recent grads more Calvinistic
30 percent of recent SBC seminary graduates now serving as church pastors identify themselves as Calvinists, according to data presented during the opening session of a conference on Reformed theology and the Southern Baptist Convention.
FBC Dallas robbed on Thanksgiving
Gun-wielding robbers entered First Baptist Church of Dallas Thanksgiving night and bound three security guards with rope while they stole eight plasma televisions valued at $5,000 and a cell phone from one of the guards.
Dollar's fall hits IMB missions hard
International Mission Board finance officials project Southern Baptists will need to meet their $165 million goal for the 2007 Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions just to sustain ministry budgets funded by last year’s record $150 million offering.
West Virginia University, Baptist student leader honored
Sarah Ann Ervin, president of the Southern Baptist student group Mountaineer Campus Ministries at West Virginia University, is the 2007 Miss Mountaineer Award recipient.
New name in store for Canadian Baptists
Canadian Southern Baptists are just one vote away from adopting a new name – Canadian National Baptist Convention – to more accurately reflect their geographic location.
Gathering emphasizes spiritual discipline
One of the lessons that emerged from a nine-day prayer gathering in West Virginia was the need for renewed spiritual discipline among a majority of Southern Baptists across the nation, according to the pastor who organized the event.

Religious Newsbriefs

Indian company withdraws 'Nazi bedspreads'
A home furnishing company in Mumbai, India, has agreed to withdraw its ‘Nazi Collection’ bedspreads after they provoked fury among the country’s small Jewish community.
British clergy warned to leave their collars at home following rash of attacks
A British church safety group is advising clergy – from the archbishop of Canterbury on down – to take off their clerical “dog collars” when they go out while off duty, to reduce the risk of being attacked.
Muslim women don pink hijabs to raise money for breast cancer awareness
Hend El-Buri began wearing a hijab, or headscarf, in middle school. After eight years of watching non-Muslims warily eye her devout attire, she joked with some veiled friends that it might finally break the ice if they all wore bright pink hijabs to their University of Missouri classes one day.
North Korea may hold 1 million "prisoners of conscience" in massive prison camps
As many as 1 million people may be imprisoned in North Korea for political and religious reasons, a Christian advocate for persecuted believers has charged.

People and Places

Ministerial Moves
Obituaries
Dedications
Ordinations
Revival Reports

Cooperative Program Stories

A broad way to fight hunger

Jennifer Hunter was thrilled with her new job, even though she didn’t have a clue how to do it.Hunter, 31, became director of Augusta’s Broad Street Ministries in 2005, shortly after the ministry center opened. Although she had lived in the city since birth, it wasn’t in a place she knew.

Bible Study

Being changed by the Savior of Christmas

Luke 1:26-31, 34-35, 38, 46-50
Related Sunday School Lesson, Bible Studies for Life, Dec. 16
Celebrating the Savior's Birth

Luke 2:4-12, 16-20
Related Sunday School Lesson Bible Studies for Life, Dec. 23

Columns

A placebo cannot cure an ailing patient

The sincere Christian who is sensitive to the climate and character of our present American culture would have to be gravely concerned about the present condition of our society. Subjective, situational ethics have replaced biblical morality. Tolerance and indulgence have replaced absolute, objective truth. Independence and self-reliance have replaced faith and a dependence upon the sufficiency of God.
Stress-free holidays

By mid-December, you may be grimacing when you hear Andy Williams croon, “It’s the most wonderful time of all,” on the radio. By then you might be yearning to hear the strains of “Auld Lang Syne.”
The Open Door

I received an early Christmas gift from Timothy L. Hall, who serves as pastor of the Elim Baptist Church in Ludowici, Georgia. Brother Hall sent me a letter expressing appreciation for the ministry of our Georgia Baptist Convention staff in his church in recent days. His words are not only encouraging to me, but I believe they would be informative to the good folks in our churches as they speak of the willingness of our staff to be as involved in the ministry of our local churches as we have opportunity to be.
Teach facts and concepts for a well-rounded student

Letters

Responding to the Willow Creek Confession

In response to Wayne Edwards’ Nov. 22 guest commentary on the Willow Creek confession, I do agree that it is good that Willow Creek made an honest evaluation of their “seeker” ministry and were honest about the impact they were not making.
Plagiarism issue

I recently stumbled onto your article from last November titled “Plagiarism: Whose message is it?” This is a very interesting read. I am a minister and this has been an issue ever sense I can remember.
Appreciation for article on Don Aderhold

I really enjoyed the feature article on Don Aderhold that was well deserved. I remember when he enlisted in the U.S. Navy because I was just 11 years old. He impressed me with how he could preach and pray as a teenager.
Applauds commentary on Willow Creek Confession

Thanks for the guest commentary by Wayne J. Edwards entitled “One pastor’s response: Willow Creek Confession” in the Nov. 22 issue of The Christian Index.
Are we losing our sovereignty?

I read it with my own eyes and still could hardly believe what I was reading.
All churches have weaknesses in their ministry approaches

In regards to Wayne Edwards’ guest commentary on the Willow Creek Confession, I have two questions: 1) Has he read the book? and 2) Has he ever listened to Bill Hybels?