Founder of Brownsville Revival School of Ministry fired by board
Michael L. Brown, founder and president of the Pensacola, Florida, Brownsville Revival School of Ministry (BRSM), was voted out by the school's board of directors last week, apparently because he would not join the Assemblies of God. According to a statement by the school's board, the denomination "made a multimillion-dollar loan to BRSM at the request of Pastor [John] Kilpatrick [head pastor of the Brownsville Assembly of God] to purchase the current campus, and requested some form of simple accountability for Dr. Brown to represent their interests. It was suggested that Dr. Brown hold credentials with the Assemblies of God during the time of his duties as President of the school." Brown's version corroborates the story, for the most part: "After much prayer, God dealt with me that I was not to be Assemblies. It was contrary to his calling for my own life. I was to reflect something different from that. I shared that with Pastor and he then gave me an ultimatum." The ensuing controversy is largely being played out online. Brown, the board, and the church have been busy posting updates on their Web sites, with most of the statements posted on Christmas Eve. "It has ruined our Christmas," Kilpatrick told his congregation. Brown says he's starting a new school, with much of the same faculty and students. "You can fire me as being president, but you can't fire me as being father," he said last Thursday. (See Christianity Today's earlier coverage of the Brownsville revival here.)

For Toronto's Muslims, mosque is a cathedral
Since there's no mosque in Toronto, 400 or so Muslim men travel every Friday to Toronto's St. James Cathedral (Anglican) for congregational prayer. "I suppose it is unusual, a new part of the religious reality in Toronto," Douglas Stoute, dean of Toronto and rector of St. James Cathedral, tells The Toronto Star. "But it's not unusual for us as a place of hospitality and generosity for all faiths. This is also part of a re-evaluation of ourselves—we are a place of prayer for all people. It is an inclusive community."

John the Baptist's grave reported found
Last year, archaeologists discovered a cave beneath the remains of a fourth-century Byzantine church on the east bank of the Jordan River. Now they're trying to figure out if a skull found there belonged to John the Baptist. "Research has determined that the cave belonged to St John the Baptist, but experts ... are still examining the skull," said project director Mohammad Waheeb. "Until now, testing on the skull has not been completed, so we can only say it belonged to a hermit, because the region of Wadi Kharrar was inhabited by many hermits," he said. Expect the results to be controversial—Israel claims that John the Baptist wasn't at Wadi Kharrar, but instead baptized on the western bank of the river in a spot called Qasr Al Yahud (The Jewish Palace). Still, it won't be as controversial as a Japanese town that claims to have the body of Jesus Christ.

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Mel Gibson on God
"I go to an all-pre-Vatican II Latin Mass," the star of What Women Want and The Patriot tells USA Today. "There's no modernism, and the changes that accompanied Vatican II just don't accompany this. There was a lot of talk, particularly in the '60s, of 'Wow, we've got to change with the times.' But the creator instituted something very specific, and we can't just go change it. God doesn't have to keep time with us. He doesn't have to change for us. So it's kind of presumptuous to think that we can just change something."

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