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Today's Top Five

1. Looking for an extreme voice on Israel? It's John Hagee time!
Maybe it's time for Weblog to shift from its regular "Pat Robertson doesn't represent evangelicalism" programming to "John Hagee doesn't represent evangelicalism." He's the latest Christian media darling, getting truckloads of press clippings from reporters eager to profile a Christian leader who sounds gleeful over war in the Middle East and ties current events to apocalyptic premillennialism. The latest and probably most prominent and detailed profile yet is on today's Wall Street Journal front page. Andrew Higgins describes the scene at last week's Christians United for Israel rally in D.C.:

Standing on a stage bedecked with a huge Israeli flag, Mr. Hagee drew rapturous applause and shouts of "amen" as he hailed Israel for doing God's work in a "war of good versus evil." Calls for Israel to show restraint violate "God's foreign-policy statement" toward Jews, he said, citing a verse from the Old Testament that promises to "bless those who bless you" and curse "the one who curses you." … "Leave Israel alone. Let them do the job," Mr. Hagee told his supporters.

Yeah, there's a number of people in the evangelical movement who believe that Israel should only be criticized when it's being too soft on its neighbors. Let's accurately describe them as Zionist Christians rather than as evangelical Christians. As a subset, Hagee's views are no more representative of all evangelicals than they are of all Texans. Just how big is this group? One indication comes from Hagee himself. His San Antonio church claims 19,000 members (it has a weekly attendance of about 8,000), and yet he says that getting 3,500 Zionists to attend his rally in D.C. is a "miracle ...

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Weblog
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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