28 February, 2007
In recent photos taken this week, Christian apologist, radio commentator and founder of Alpha & Omega Ministries, James White reportedly had his head shaved. White was seen entering a small local Phoenix establishment known as "Charlie's Barber Shop" at approximately 8AM on Monday morning. He then asked the head barber, Charlie Forsyth, to "give him the regular."
"He wanted me to shave off all his hair." Said Forsyth, White's barber of almost 10 years. "No, I didn't try to talk him out of it or anything. I figured the man knew what he wanted since he's been coming in here for years now."
Others in the barber shop sat and watched as White's hair was completely taken off. Some paid no attention and read copies of Sports Illustrated or Field & Stream.
White was then seen checking in to his Alpha & Omega Ministries office in Phoenix where he remained for less than 24 hours.
"We saw him go into his office about 9AM." Reported one anonymous eyewitness. "But he was back out on the streets by 6PM the same evening. He didn't even stay there one whole day!"
Some are wondering if White's desire to shave his head bald coupled with the short time at his office are indications of some kind of depression or down swing in his life. There is also concern about his frequent "smoking" of opponents in various debates around the country.
"No, this is pretty typical." Said Forsyth calmly. "James comes in here about 3 or 4 times a month and I give him a complete shave up top. This has been going on for a long time now."
Still, others are concerned.
"He's getting his head shaved and he can't seem to stay in his office for more than 24 hours at a time." Said the eyewitness. "There appears to be a great deal of turmoil going on his life."
White was unable to be reached for comment, but his website continued to post updates regarding his ministry.
27 February, 2007
Maria Sanchez is admired by many of her fellow parishioners for her devotion to the faith. She never misses a Sunday mass, and she usually attends several others during the week. She can often be seen at her local parish during the early morning hours praying, and she volunteers each week to help feed the homeless. So when a mysterious image appeared on her bathroom wall last week, strangely resembling a human face, Sanchez was both terrified and excited.
"I have been having mold problems in my bathroom, and so I went in there to clean last week and suddenly I see this face on the wall!" Said Sanchez. "My heart leaped within me. I thought that maybe the Virgin was showing herself to me in the mold. But something looked very strange. I began to think to myself that this was not the face of a woman."
Sanchez then stared at the alleged image in the mold for several minutes.
"I concluded that this was not the face of a woman at all, but the face of a man, but I did not recognize who this was."
After taking a picture of the spot, and contemplating what it might mean Sanchez called her neighbor, Elizabeth Lawrence, a professor of religion at Orange County Community College, to come over and see the site for herself.
"I immediately knew who it looked like." Said Lawrence, "The image strongly resembled the Reformer Martin Luther. It was uncanny!"
Now Sanchez is faced with a "crisis of faith" of sorts. Being a devout Catholic she is torn in how she should respond to the appearance of Protestant Reformer on her bathroom wall.
"I don't know what to think now." Said Sanchez. "Why would I have this miraculous appearance of a man who left our faith and despised our truth?"
Sanchez has turned to a number of priests in the Diocese of Orange for help interpreting the matter.
"I think this is just a coincidence." Said Fr. James Reily, pastor of St. Augustine's Church, Sanchez's parish. "I see no reason to think this is some kind of miraculous appearance of Martin Luther on her bathroom wall.
Still others offer a different interpretation.
"The appearance is indeed a miracle but also a warning." Said Fr. Francis McAdory. "The fact that this mold spot appeared on the bathroom wall is indicative that the teachings of Luther belong in the toilet. There is no other explanation for this."
But Sanchez has been reluctant to draw any solid conclusions.
"I'm just not sure what to do right now." Said Sanchez. "One person tells me one thing and another person tells me something else. I even visited a Lutheran church this Sunday just to see what it was all about. I'm not converting or anything like that, I think I just need to examine all of the facts."
26 February, 2007
The excitement level was high last Thursday at Hyles-Anderson College. The fundamentalist school founded by the Reverend Jack Hyles finalized and submitted a proposal to the United States government to issue a one dollar "Authorized" commemorative coin featuring the late minister.
Hyles pastored the First Baptist Church of Hammond, Indiana for over 40 years during which time he founded Hyles-Anderson College, staunchly defended the King James Bible and forcefully spoke out against other Christian leaders as being 'liberals.'
The announcement was made to the student body during Thursday's chapel service. "This is an historic day." Said Dr. Jack Schaap, pastor of First Baptist Church Hammond and Chancellor of the college. "We are submitting this proposal to the United States Government as a lasting monument to the work of Brother Hyles and the King James Bible. This coin will be a witness of his work and the purity of the Authorized Version 1611 every time someone spends a dollar."
The coin will feature a portrait of Hyles on the obverse along with the national motto "In God We Trust," and the standard U.S. coin information, the date and the mint mark. On the reverse of the coin there will be an artistic rendition of an open Bible, the phrase "e pluribus unum" and "The Authorized Version of 1611" commemorating the King James Version of the Bible.
"I have never seen such a beautiful coin." Said Dr. Wendell Evans, president of the college. "This coin is perfect and without error. It is pure, refined in a fire seven times. We are hoping and praying that the United States Government will see fit to authorize this beautiful coin."
But the celebration and enthusiasm may be short-lived.
"This is very strange." Said United States Mint Director Edmund Moy. "The United States Government does not receive proposals for coinage in this fashion. I'm not sure what these people are expecting will happen, but I can assure you the U.S. mint will not be minting any Jack Hyles coins in the future."
But Hyles-Anderson College remains confident.
"Our faith is strong on this matter." Said Schaap. "We are confident that the Authorized Coin will be approved and that soon millions of Americans will know the great legacy of Jack Hyles."
23 February, 2007
It is a Sunday morning at Holy Kiss Baptist Church. The lights in the sanctuary dim as smoke fills the room. Suddenly in the darkness spotlights begin to move around. Cheers and screams arise from the congregation. Then the mysterious sound of the lone beat of a kick drum begins pounding out a 4/4 rhythm, accenting the first beat every time. The tension and excitement heighten when an electric guitar lets out a growling "thrash" on a single chord that seems to ring forever. And finally, when it seems that the building momentum can go no further in runs Pastor David Remington, face painted, hair-waving. He falls to his knees sliding to the center of the stage and air-guitars to an improvised solo by the church's praise band guitarist.
"Are you ready to solid rock?" Screams Remington to the cheering crowd that responds with a resounding "Amen!" Repeating himself, he screams again, "I said are you ready to solid rock all you saints?" "Amen!" the shouts come again. The praise band begins playing the music to Poison's Don't Need Nothing But a Good Time, but the words are that of Rock of Ages Cleft for Me.
Thus goes a typical Sunday at Holy Kiss Baptist Church, a church that, until about 5 years ago, resembled most average mainstream Baptist churches in America. But when the church determined to focus their outreach to "Old Rockers" they decided to contextualize their worship in order to make people feel more comfortable.
"We now have more than 1000 people attending now." Said Remington. "All of the songs that we sing are new words set to old Rock tunes."
Examples of the church's music include Prepare Me for Heaven set to Led Zeppelin's Stairway to Heaven, and Save Me Up set to the Rolling Stones' Start Me Up.
"One song that always gets the crowd going is when we do Sinful Ways set to Jimi Hendrix's Purple Haze." Said Remington as he broke into an impromptu rendition,
All in my life,
So much pain and strife.
It ain't funny,
And I tell you why,
'scuse me while I pray and cry."
"And, of course," Said Remington, "some songs like The Doobie Brothers' Jesus is Just Alright With Me, need no adjustment whatsoever."
"It's been the coolest thing I've ever been to." Said church member Henry Woodriff. "Brother Dave just tears the place apart week after week."
Remington usually ends the time of praise and worship which he calls the "Solid Rock Concert" by either smashing or burning a guitar on stage. This is followed by his sermon which he calls the "backstage pass." During this time, Remington sits on a couch on the stage, kicks up his feet and just talks to his "fans" about something from the Bible.
"Attendance is growing and growing." Said Remington. "If things continue I think we'll start bringing in some opening acts."
22 February, 2007
They are a team that has endured many hardships and trials. They survived temporary relocation after a Hurricane destroyed most of their home town, they suffered loss after loss the same season, and though they came back fighting during the 2006-2007 season they once again found themselves falling short of a Super Bowl opportunity. In all the New Orleans Saints have had a tough history as a team. But this year Saints owner Tom Benson is looking towards a prospect that will hopefully give his team the boost it needs to go all the way to the 2008 Super Bowl.
"I was watching this guy, Benny Hinn, on television the other night." Said Benson. "He would raise his hands in the air and 75% of the audience would just fall backwards. He would touch somebody on the face and they'd tumble to the ground wiggling all over the place. It was amazing! If we had someone like that on our team there'd be no stopping us next year."
"We've been trying to get in touch with Mr. Hinn for almost a week now with still no response." Said head coach Sean Payton. "We really want to get him in to training camp this summer and get him to demonstrate that little touch thing he does or that little arm wave."
Many of the Saints players were equally excited about the prospect.
"Just think like, you know, if he was on our offense, you know, he could just, you know, wave his arm and the other team would all, you know, hit the deck." Said linebacker Terrence Melton. "If he just, you know, touched somebody they would fall out, you know, and we could go all the way for a touchdown every time."
The Saints said they plan to offer Hinn a $19.5 million dollar contract if he were to sign with them this season. But some obstacles still remain for the Saints though before Hinn can be signed.
"This is highly unusual." Said NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. "The commission is going to have to meet and talk about this one further before we make a decision."
"We plan to go all the way with this if we can" Said Benson. "If we can just him out there next year I feel confident we'll go all the way to number one!"
21 February, 2007
Security was high last week as Russian President Vladimir Putin visited the nation's capital to discuss international matters with President Bush. The meeting was arranged to hopefully ease tensions between the United States and Russia which have been mounting ever since Putin sharply criticized America's international policy as being the chief cause of nuclear pursuits in nations like Iran and North Korea.
One matter of particular concern was the presence of a small group of picketers from the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kansas who planned to protest Putin personally.
"Russia is a nation of vile, filthy writhing maggots who sin upon the altar of Molech day in and day out." Said the Reverend Fred Phelps, pastor of the congregation. "Putin and his cronies are irreversibly damned. Russia is a nation headed for hell."
The members of the group waited along side the road where Putin's motorcade would pass on his way to the White House, shouting slogans and holding up signs which read "God Hates Russia," and "Putin in Hell."
But the message of the protesters was apparently not understood by the Russian President.
"We feared an international incident." Said chief of security Michael Reahms who received Putin at the White House. "We knew Putin's motorcade would pass those picketers, and we didn't know what to expect. But when I opened the door to his car Mr. Putin was laughing hysterically."
"He was in tears he was laughing so hard." Said security officer Blake Jackson. "He sat in the car for close to 5 minutes trying to regain his composure."
Upon entering the White House Putin was greeted by President Bush whom he hugged and patted on the back.
"I just love your great American sense of humor!" Said a laughing Putin to a confused President Bush through a translator. "I especially loved the picture of me in hell. That was so funny! It really put me in a good mood for these meetings today. Let's talk!"
"I guess Putin thought it was all a big joke." Said Reahms. "I'm relieved that he took it that way. This could have triggered an international incident."
Throughout the meetings Putin would occasionally be seen laughing to himself and muttering in English "Putin in hell," followed by a grin and a chuckle.
"Fred Phelps may have single-handedly helped bring about a light-hearted relationship between our two nations." Said Reahms.
Pictures from the protest have since surfaced in the Russian media this week prompting numerous jokes on Russian television.
"We had no idea that the Americans had such wonderful senses of humor!" Said Russian talk show host Alexy Syksyn. "We hope to see such friendly exchanges of humor in the future between our two great nations."
20 February, 2007
The reports are unsubstantiated, but a number of sources have recently revealed some plans by the faculty and administration of Pensacola Christian College that come as a shock to many.
"The administration and faculty have been, for the last two years, planning to make the P.C.C. Student Handbook an official part of the Bible." Said Dr. Mark Chamblin, a former faculty member whose contract was recently not renewed due to his 'questionable views.' "I protested this ridiculous proposal and was harshly criticized for my 'rebellion' against the wisdom of the administration." Said Chamblin. "And so they let me go. I want to expose this horrible plot."
Pensacola Christian College has been criticized over the years for what many say are 'harsh' and 'legalistic' restrictions upon their students that 'go beyond Scripture.' Some of these rules include restrictions upon what kind of music students may listen to, following detailed requirements for separate entrances to buildings for men and women, prohibiting men and women from walking and talking together on certain parts of the campus, and restricting what students may watch on television or at the movies even if they are with their parents.
"The administration has been pushing this for some time now." Said Chamblin. "Phrases like 'The Student Handbook is perfect and without error' kept coming up over the years. Finally the proposal was made that it ought to be made part of the canon so that the students and parents could no longer question its authority."
Chamblin released what he stated was a portion of the handbook text that has been "translated" from modern English into the language of the King James Version in order to make it, as he stated, "more authoritative."
"A group of professors from the school have been working on 'translating' the handbook for almost a year now." Said Chamblin. "They plan to have the final edition of the Bible ready to be released by the start of Fall 2007 classes."
Members of the P.C.C. administration declined to comment when questioned as to the validity of Chamblin's reports.
19 February, 2007
It is one small letter but it is causing big problems for one congregation in the northwest Louisiana town of Bossier City. The issue has divided both the congregation and the elders of Westminster Presbyterian Church so deeply that the almost half of the church's membership including 3 elders and the associate pastor recently split to form a new congregation in town.
The controversy, which has been growing for almost 5 years now, all centers around the pronunciation of the Hebrew letter 'waw' or 'vav.' Many in the realms of scholarship insist that the letter is to be pronounced 'vav,' making a 'v' sound when it appears in Hebrew words. Others, though, insist that the letter is to be pronounced 'waw,' making a 'w' sound. So then, depending on what stance one takes one could say, for example, "Bar-mitsvah" or "Bar-mitswah."
"We had hoped it wouldn't come to this." Said the church's pastor, Michael French. "But we've got to be firm in what we stand for. The letter is pronounced 'waw' with a 'w' and that's all there is to it. We're not going to budge on this issue."
"I must agree with our pastor." said 80-year-old Mildred Wilson, a life-long member of the congregation. "There's already one 'v' in the Hebrew alphabet, why in the world would you need another? If you want a 'v' just don't put a dagesh lene in 'Beth' and you'll have a 'v' sound. But don't go messing with 'waw.'"
Still others argue against the 'w' pronunciation.
"It's stupid." Said 6th-grader Kenny Nelson. "What are you supposed to do about the conjunctive then? I mean, come on, do you really expect me to say 'w'ahavta eth Yahweh Eloheka b'kal-l'vavka, wuvkal-nafsh'ka, wuvkal-m'odheka' when I'm saying my Shema (Deuteronomy 6:4-9)? That's weird. All the other kids would laugh at me for saying 'w'!"
The final split in the congregation occurred this past Sunday when those who support the 'v' pronunciation wrote a letter to the pastor, remaining elders and the congregation expressing their desire to withdraw and form a new congregation.
"We are deeply saddened that this matter has come to this point, but we must stand firm and we must be unwaivering in what what we believe is right and true." The letter stated. "Therefore we feel it is in the best interests of all involved if our relations with Westminster Presbyterian Church are severed immediately that we may seek to believe and practice what we believe to be true regarding the Hebrew letter 'vav.' We hope that a level of fraternal fellowship may be maintained between our two congregations in the future but with the clear understanding that we will not be persuaded to change our convictions on this matter."
"It's grieving." Said French. "But we're going to keep pressing on fighting for the truth. I do hope that we can indeed maintain some kind of relationship with these folks who left, but it's going to be hard as long as they maintain this position. I guess one day in heaven this issue will be settled at last."
16 February, 2007
Wayside Bible Church had a great idea; some 50,000+ Russian immigrants lived and worked in the Portland area, so why not reach out to these people with a weekly Russian service? The church, under the leadership of its pastor of 15 years, Rev. James Kiln, began weeks of planning for Saturday evening evangelistic services for Russians that would take place at the church. All seemed to be going well; the pastor was motivated, the church members were on board with the project, and many volunteered to help out getting things started, advertising in local newspapers and Russian communities around the Portland area. But on the night of the first service things did not go as smoothly as they had planned.
"I was very interested to know more about Christianity and the Bible and things like this," said Sergi Bagachov, one of the few Russian immigrants at the service who spoke English. "We spent many years under Communism where we were not able to hear these things, so this was something I had great interest in. But suddenly this man stands up and he begins to speak English, but not the normal English. He was speaking English but with Russian accent. I guess he thought we would understand him if he just spoke this way."
As the service progressed Rev. Kiln and the rest of the Wayside members who were assisting all spoke English...but with Russian accents to the Russian immigrants in an effort to communicate.
"We feel like it went okay" said Kiln. "I spent a lot of time practicing my Russian in the weeks leading up to the service. I watched Hunt for Red October several times, and it wasn't until too long that I was picking up on it. For instance, I just have to change the "th" sounds to a "z" or an "s" sound, and roll my "r" a lot. I also have to switch word orders around and leave out some words. So when I preach in Russian I say something like, 'Please to take zee Bible and we are to open to zee chapter 9 of book of Gospel of John' or 'We are to be studying zis Bible today for long time.' I really think we reached the people by speaking their language.
"They sang songs in English," said Bagachov. "This man read from Bible in English. One man stood and gave a speech about Bible for many minutes in English, but he spoke his words funny, like he was trying to be a Russian man speaking English bad."
"I thought this man was madman," said Irina Kapilova in broken English. Kapilova, a 58-year old from the Urals immigrated to the United States in 1999 to seek a better life for her and her 5 children. "I hear of this and I say I want to know more. My English not so good, so I only understand very small things. But there were old babushkas (grandmothers) at this place who spoke no English. They told me later that they thought this man is crazy man, and they will not come back."
Many of the Russian immigrants living in the Portland area are over the age of 50 and have very limited English skills. Most immigrated to the United States in the years immediately following the collapse of the Soviet Union between 1992 and 1996. While there are already a number of all Russian congregations in the area, a number of local churches have made efforts to reach out to un-churched Russians.
"I'm appalled," said Pastor Mike Lawrence of Temple Baptist Church in Portland. "We've been trying to reach out to the Russians in Portland for the past 10 years. I started studying Russian in my spare time 10 years ago, and I've just gotten to where I can preach without a translator to the people that come to our Russian service. The fact that these people don't realize that speaking English with an accent is not the Russian language just baffles me."
Despite criticism Kiln and his congregation intend to continue with the weekly service for Russians.
"Our attendance has slacked off greatly in the past few months, but my Russian is getting better. I've been watching more movies lately, and I hope that will help things pick up again."
15 February, 2007
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14 February, 2007
It was a week filled with trouble for Darwin Fish. The founder of "God's Word Fellowship" (www.atruechurch.org), seen by many as a "cult," surrounded himself with problems last week after a fall that left him unconscious for several minutes. Fish is notorious for his controversial view that his church alone is the only known church in the world today (or ever that he knows of) that teaches the truth. Furthermore Fish continually engages in "exposing" and protesting mainstream Christian leaders both past and present as what he calls "Wolves in sheep's clothing." Such targets of his accusations include John MacArthur, Charles Spurgeon and "The Early Church Fathers."
But last week is a week that Fish would like to forget. During a weekly protest Fish lost his balance while stepping off of a curb hitting his head on the pavement. After lying unconscious for about three minutes Fish sat up and went in to what some describe as a "manic tirade."
"It was very bizarre." Said Elizabeth Carrol, an eye-witness. "I've seen Fish around a number of times with his signs and such. I always thought he was just a wacko. But this time he was jumping up and down and running in circles screaming out things about himself."
For approximately ten minutes Fish loudly anathematized himself, declaring "Darwin Fish is really a wolf in sheep's clothing! Don't listen to him! You can't be saved by following his ministry!"
Many of Fish's followers tried desperately to quiet him as he screamed accusations, flailed his arms and pointed at himself shouting, "Fish! Fish! He's the wolf!"
The strange display ended when one of Fish's followers threw a cup of cold water in his face. When told what he had just done, Fish embarrassedly ran and hid himself in his "Fishmobile" while his followers once again began shouting chants against John MacArthur.
Neither Fish nor any member of his church was available for comment this week following the incident, but the answering machine at the church's toll-free number stated that "Darwin Fish is not a wolf, but one of the few chosen who hate every false way."
13 February, 2007
In a move that has confused many the Reverend Jerry Falwell, President of Liberty University and founder of Jerry Falwell Ministries, announced last week that he would be changing his name to an Ichthus, the popular symbol of a fish intended to identify someone as a Christian. Falwell made the announcement during last week's chapel service at Liberty University.
"We're still getting all of the paperwork done, but it is my sincere hope that by this time next week you will all refer to me by my new name." Said Falwell. "I think this new adjustment in my life shows that even a guy as old as I am can change and get hip with the times. If I'm going to reach out to today's youth culture I've got to get on board and be groovy and swell like all you young folks here today."
Because Falwell's new name will simply be a symbol many expect that they will have to refer to him as The Preacher Formerly Known as Dr. Jerry Falwell.
"This could get very tiring." Said Marie Larson, a Junior at Liberty. "From now on we won't be able to simply say 'Dr. Falwell' but we'll have to say 'The Man Formerly Known as Dr. Falwell.'"
Others are concerned as well that Falwell's move could cause problems in the Christian community at large.
"I've got an Ichthus fish on my car." Said Chris Milner, a Lynchburg resident. "I don't want people to see that and say, 'Hey look, that guy has the name of the guy formerly known as Jerry Falwell on his car. Let's get him!"
Still Falwell is determined to go through with the change.
"Barring any unforeseen problems the change should be effective by this Friday." Said Falwell. "From that point on if you want to send me a letter, make sure you put my correct name on the address. Otherwise I won't know who you're talking about and I won't get your letter."
12 February, 2007
"You just can't be any more NASB than we are," said pastor Doug Holstein of Clearwater Baptist Church in Tacoma, Washington. "We believe that the New American Standard Bible is the absolute perfect and preserved Bible. There's no need to go back to the Greek and Hebrew to understand some kind of 'deeper meaning' of the text. It's all right there in English, in the New American Standard."
Holstein's church of 45 members has held fervently to this position since its founding in 1980, and has put him and his congregation at odds on a number of occasions with other local churches.
"We don't put up with other modern per-versions of Scripture. If you want the only true Bible you've got to have a NASB."
The NASB (New American Standard Bible often pronounced "nazz-bee") is a revision from the ASV (American Standard Version) of 1901. The latest version of the NASB was updated and released in 1996. When asked about the fact that the NASB is itself a modern translation of Scripture Holstein replied, "I don't need your high-faluting scholarship! People think that you got to have some kind of education in order to understand the Bible, but that's just dumb. My faith is based on faith and not knowledge!"
Holstein further advocates the view that any difference between the English text of the NASB and the original Greek and Hebrew is divinely inspired.
"The English is superior to the Greek and Hebrew." Said Holstein. "I mean, how many people can speak Greek and Hebrew? Furthermore, if the English is somehow different from the Greek or Hebrew, then change the Greek or Hebrew. Don't mess with what's perfect already. If you've got the perfect word, why go backwards?"
"This is very strange," said the Rev. Lucas James of Covenant Presbyterian Church in Tacoma. "We personally use the New American Standard here in our congregation, but there is no basis, Biblical or historical, for saying that the NASB is somehow an inspired or perfect translation."
The membership at Clearwater Baptist Church has dropped for the past 12 consecutive years.
"He's an oddball with cult-like control over his congregation," said former member Chris Harrell. "Every time a member leaves or someone criticizes him from the community he takes that to mean he's being persecuted for his faith, and he rejoices all the more."
Despite criticism Holstein intends to become more fervent in his defense of the NASB.
"We lift up the NASB above all. If you want to be saved you better get one. If you don't know English you better get to learning."
09 February, 2007
Underlined passages, highlighted words, coffee spills, prayers written in the front, and torn pages - these are all the marks of a well-worn, well-read and well-used Bible. Many who carry such Bibles are admired and respected as the most pious and most devout of all Christians.
"There's the older gentlemen at our church and he's got notes written all inside his Bible." Said Alan Herth, a member of Second Avenue Baptist Church in Grand Rapids. "His Bible is literally falling apart from use. I'm just ashamed to open my Bible around him. I read mine and all that, but I just don't have that much stuff written in it."
Many Christians like Herth have found themselves wrestling with a sense of spiritual inferiority when faced with the worn and torn pages of another believer's Bible.
To help ease this strain Zondervan Publishing now has plans to release a new Serious Scholar's Bible this fall.
"We are excited about this new product." Said Richard LaMont, the Bible's editor. "If you can buy jeans that look like they're old and worn, and if you can buy brand new furniture that looks like it's an antique already, why shouldn't you be able to buy a Bible that looks like it's already been read through 100 times?"
The Serious Scholar's Bible will feature a deluxe pre-worn antique leather binding with browned and frayed paper edges. On the inside front and back covers there will be multiple Bible verses printed to look as if they have been written by hand along with numerous quotes from the church Fathers, G.K. Chesterton, Charles Stanley, Norman Vincent Peale and the book The Prayer of Jabez. Each page of the Bible will include at least one marked passage of Scripture with some books containing large highlighted and noted sections.
"We even have notes and markings on the hard and obscure like Leviticus, 2 Chronicles and Nahum to really give the appearance of deep and profound study." Said LaMont. "Of course, Romans is highly marked along with the gospels, and Revelation includes many hand written charts, graphs and time lines that will really impress anyone who happens to glance at your open Bible."
The Serious Scholar's Bible will be available in black or brown leather with the choice of either a hard or soft cover at a price of $59.99.
08 February, 2007
This past Sunday was a time of celebration for
“Today marks a major milestone in the life of our congregation!” Said Dr. Bob Green, the church’s pastor. “As of this weekend we have surpassed what we ever thought possible here at our church. Twenty-five million souls have been won to the Lord through our efforts!”
Green has led the congregation of 300 in
“Our preacher boys are out every weekend making those rounds, winning those souls, rescuing the perishing, caring for the dying.” Said Green.
Each weekend workers on the church’s bus ministry, which is comprised mainly of ministerial students at BFBIS, make rounds through the city of
“We had so many souls won 5 years ago that we had to build a special swimming pool to hold baptismal services each week.” Said Green. “We really saw the number of souls won jump up that year. Our preacher boys would haul them in, we'd give them the gospel story, lead them in a sinner’s prayer and then they’d all get in the pool and we’d have a big mass baptism.”
“It’s so much fun!” Said Amanda Jackson, one of the students who would often ride the bus. “We don’t have a pool at our house or in our neighborhood. Last summer I got saved every week and got to go swimming for free. All I had to do was listen to them talk for about 10 minutes, repeat what they said, give them my name and they would let me get in the pool. Then they would give us hotdogs and candy afterwards. I’m planning on getting saved all next year too.”
But despite the excitement,
“It just doesn’t add up.” Said a former church member who wished to remain nameless. “When I went there I would notice that they’d count a kid 10 to 15 times as being saved. They’d get counted each time they came and got baptized. When I tried to tell people about this Pastor Green started calling me out from the pulpit as an ‘enemy of soul-winning.’ I left the church about 2 years ago. Last I heard they were praying that I’d be ‘smitten hip-and-thigh.’"
But despite accusations Green is unwavering in his resolve to continue the work of ‘soul winning.’ “
“Our hope is to keep pressing forward and keep winning them souls.” He said. “I believe that we can see 25,000,000 turn into 100,000,000 in just 10 years more!”
07 February, 2007
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"At last we have a solution to the problem of sin!"
-Joel Olsteen, Pastor, Lakewood Church, Houston, Texas
"I've never thought much on the subject of sin, but if it works for others then great."
-Bishop John Shelby Spong
02 February, 2007
Texe Marrs, a staunch defender of KJV-onlyism, friend of Peter S. Ruckman and advocate of many conspiracy theories involving what he calls the “Illuminati,” stated that yesterday’s crash of many of the blog sites at Blogger.com was directly due to, what he called, “the biting evil satire of the Tominthebox News Network.”
“This was a curse from God.” Said Marrs. “He was shutting the mouths of the scoffers at that infernal website. For all you people who are upset by your blogs not working yesterday you need look no further than the Tominthebox News Network. They dared to raise their hand against the Lord’s anointed!”
The problems began early in the day when certain links within the site began rendering a strange error message with the code “bX-vjhbsj.” Marrs went on to further say that the code itself is evidence of “Satan’s work on the blogsite.”
“That strange code! Note that code, ‘bX-vjhbsj!’” Said Marrs. “You’ve got six lower-case letters. That’s one 6. You also have a large X, which is the Roman numeral 10 and a minus sign followed by a ‘v’ which is Roman numeral 5. The X is next to 1 lowercase letter so that’s 10-5+1 = 6. That’s another 6! Finally, ‘b’ is the 2nd letter of the alphabet and ‘x’ is the 24th, and 2+24=26. Take into consideration that there are two ‘j’s after the minus sign, and ‘j’ is the 10th letter of the alphabet, so 10+10 = 20. Therefore 26-20 = 6. There’s your third 6! And there you have it folks, 666. This is a clear indication that this website is being exposed as the work of the Satan!”
As compelling and obvious as Marrs’ arguments might be, Blogger.com’s website stated that the problems were associated with the implementation of their new beta software. Most of the “bugs” had been resolved by Thursday afternoon. In all, The Tominthebox News Network was down for approximately 45 minutes, making the time of "judgment" quite short.
01 February, 2007
Kenneth Copeland (Kenneth Copeland Ministries) has for years taught that God intends financial and material prosperity for Christians. His ministry, with the help of his wife Gloria, has stressed the idea of “name it and claim it,” that if one prays for something in faith that God will, without a doubt, grant his or her petition. But a recent failure to have a very specific prayer answered has left Copeland with a “crisis of faith” of sorts.
“It’s been 30 years now and still no answer” said Copeland. “For 30 solid years I’ve been praying that the Lord would give me
Copeland admits that his claim is larger than most are willing to make, but feels his faith has been strong throughout.
“By all indications of my faith I should have had that place 20 years ago.” Said Copeland. “If ever I’ve had faith that the Lord would give me something it’s this. I just don’t know what the problem could be.”
Copeland further states that the plans that he has been making for years for the island nation only serve to prove that his faith has been strong all along. His plans include renaming the country.
Other plans include transforming the entire city of
But 30 years of what Copeland calls “unanswered prayer” has left him discouraged almost to the point of leaving the ministry.
“I’m worried about him.” Said Gloria Copeland “He’s saying things like ‘I just don’t know if I can believe anymore.’ and ‘What’s the point of going on if we don’t have