Indonesian religious violence erupts again
It's another sad day in the Malukus. On Sunday a speedboat pulled up to the beach at Kulur village on the island of Saparua and the men aboard then shot and killed a 23-year-old woman and two 11-year-old girls.
The attackers remain unidentified, but Christians were blamed and a riot broke out in the regional capital, Ambon. A Muslim mob set upon a van full of Christians and set it ablaze. The driver, Dany Matulessy, was killed and two others were injured before police intervened.
The Jakarta Post says some are speculating that "the attack on Kulur village was part of an effort to renew the interreligious violence in Maluku" — which suggests the speedboat attackers may have been Muslims, not Christians.
Two suspects in Pakistan church attack killed in escape attempt
Mohammad Waseem and Mohammad Akram, both accused of attacking a Protestant church in Behawalpur last year, were in a police van to take authorities to where they said arms and ammunition were hidden. The van was ambushed by three men in a white car, and the prisoners were freed. The police chased them down, and killed two of the ambushers and the two prisoners. They continue to hunt for the third attacker.
This isn't an isolated case. Just six weeks ago, almost the same story happened with four other suspects in the church attack.
More fuel on the fire of Jewish evangelism
Following a statement by the U.S. Roman Catholic bishops that Jews dwell in a saving covenant with God and thus should be excluded from evangelism, a group of Protestant and Catholic scholars say they agree—and that therefore Jesus isn't necessary for Jews's salvation. "Christians meet God's saving power in the person of Jesus Christ and believe that this power is available to all people in him," said a declaration issued by the group. "Christians have therefore taught for centuries that salvation is available only through Jesus Christ. With their recent realization that God's covenant with the Jewish people is eternal, Christians can now recognize in the Jewish tradition the redemptive power of God at work. If Jews, who do not share our faith in Christ, are in a saving covenant with God, then Christians need new ways of understanding the universal significance of Christ."
The Boston Globe notes, "The statement represents a significant shift in Christian beliefs and the authors hope it will influence the way Christianity is taught in seminaries, theology departments, and religious schools across the Americas and Europe."
Funny, but Weblog thought this two-covenant theory of salvation—not to mention outright universalism—is already theology departments, and religious schools across the Americas and Europe. One hardly doubts that exclusivist Christianity is a major threat at the schools where the signers teach, such as Union Theological Seminary, Boston College, Vanderbilt University, and Harvard Divinity School.
The scholars were right about one thing, however: If Jews don't need Jesus, it may mean that nobody does.
Money and business:
- Md. firm defrauded churches, SEC says | The Securities and Exchange Commission filed suit yesterday against Financial Warfare Club, which is accused of defrauding a thousand black churchgoers out of more than $1 million by appealing to their faith (The Washington Post)
- Earlier: Financial Warfare Club Under Legal Cloud | Maryland attorney general issues cease and desist order against company aimed at African-American Christians (Christianity Today, May 3, 2001)
- Running Christian bookstores, with God's help | Owners of His Way stores have found strong market, prompting more locations (The Baltimore Sun)
- W.W.J.D. (What Would Jesus Display?) | Use of Christian decor finds favor and debate. (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
- Re-orientation issues | La Kenna and Shanicola Green have vowed to defy a court agreement to stop attending the church their mother claimed was brainwashing them (New York Post)
- 2 sides in fight over gay rights press for votes | Issue to be decided Tuesday (The Miami Herald)
- Bryant legacy resurfaces in Fla. | Gay groups work to defeat bid to repeal rights ordinance. (The Washington Post)
- Carey risks split to save American priest | The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. George Carey, has made an unprecedented intervention into the affairs of the Anglican Church in America by offering a job to a priest who was deposed by his own diocesan bishop (The Times, London)
- Also: Church's future is in the balance | How the fate of one priest will have huge ramifications (Tim Hames, The Times, London)
- When preacher soars, let him know | Unless a worship leader receives feedback, how is he to know whether he's reaching the flock or just verbally flailing at a sea of silent windmills? (A.C. Snow, The News & Observer, Raleigh, N.C.)
- Clergy see signs of spiritual growth | New enthusiasm for Bible studies, commitment. (Boston Herald)
- A spiritual compass | Determined not to lose their way, families let prayer guide them to grace and communications (Chicago Tribune)
- L.A.'s cathedral of contrasts, controversy | New church reflects city's diversity. (The Washington Post)
Sex abuse scandal:
- Church silent on falsely accused | A sex abuse case against Monsignor Michael Smith Foster has crumbled, but the Boston Archdiocese hasn't come to his rescue despite promises to help restore the reputations of falsely accused priests (Associated Press)
- $10m Geoghan deal is dwarfed by others | To those tracking the clergy abuse scandal across the nation - especially lawyers with pending cases - the possibility that the Geoghan cases at the epicenter of the billowing sexual abuse scandal might settle for $10 million is stunning and disturbing (The Boston Globe)
- Lawyer waives fee for Pell accuser | The man who has accused Sydney Catholic Archbishop George Pell of sex abuse had been considering pulling out of the inquiry after the Catholic Church refused to pay his legal costs (Sydney Morning Herald)
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