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Today's Top Five

1. Graham siblings at odds over how best to honor their father and mother
"Billy and Ruth Bell Graham have spent decades carefully cultivating a media image that rarely allows any inkling of family discord," says the Grahams' hometown paper, The Asheville Citizen-Times. Laura Sessions Stepp's front-page Washington Post article Wednesday has dramatically changed that, but the signs suggest that it was the children (though clearly not Franklin Graham) who decided to make the latest battle—over where to bury Billy and Ruth—public. The Charlotte Observer notes that after the Post's publication, the feud escalated as the evangelist's two most famous offspring, Anne Graham Lotz and Franklin Graham, issued opposing "barbed statements."

2. Left Behind game criticized
"Don't mock Left Behind: Eternal Forces because it's a Christian game," says a review at Gamespot. "Mock it because it's a very bad game." Well, mockery or not, the video game is facing widespread criticism this week, mainly for the game's violent aspects. You're not encouraged to shoot your Antichrist-loving opponents, but you do have to train an anti-government paramilitary force and sometimes have to kill in self-defense (you lose "spirit points" by doing so, but can build them back up by pressing the "pray" button). We'll be watching Left Behind Games to see whether they apply the game's "don't shoot first, but do shoot back" approach to their publicity. A reviewer at Focus on the Family liked the game, but commentary at Prison Fellowship / BreakPoint has been as harsh as any.

3. Jay Bakker goes on TV
It's the Sundance Channel, not TBN, and it's a documentary, not a ministry. Bakker says he has no interest in televangelism.

4. The real Christmas ...

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Launched in 1999, Christianity Today’s Weblog was not just one of the first religion-oriented weblogs, but one of the first published by a media organization. (Hence its rather bland title.) Mostly compiled by then-online editor Ted Olsen, Weblog rounded up religion news and opinion pieces from publications around the world. As Christianity Today’s website grew, it launched other blogs. Olsen took on management responsibilities, and the Weblog feature as such was mothballed. But CT’s efforts to round up important news and opinion from around the web continues, especially on our Gleanings feature.
Ted Olsen
Ted Olsen is Christianity Today's managing editor for news and online journalism. He wrote the magazine's Weblog—a collection of news and opinion articles from mainstream news sources around the world—from 1999 to 2006. In 2004, the magazine launched Weblog in Print, which looks for unexpected connections and trends in articles appearing in the mainstream press. The column was later renamed "Tidings" and ran until 2007.
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December 2006

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