Over the weekend, a New York Times series on Intelligent Design highlighted a rift between Intelligent Design (ID) advocates and grassroots creationists. Although the series mostly discusses ID, its proponents, and its critics, it also shows Intelligent Design advocates attempting to distance their theory from creationism.

In Sunday's article, the Times reporter Jodi Wilgoren writes that this summer's debate over intelligent design and evolution in Kansas's science curriculum exposed the differences between grassroots activists and ID theorists. "John Calvert, the managing director of the Intelligent Design Network, based in Kansas, said the [Discovery] Institute had the intellectual and financial resources to 'lead the [ID] movement' but was 'more cautious' than he would like. 'They want to avoid the discussion of religion because that detracts from the focus on the science,' he said."

The Discovery Institute, which is the driving force behind research on Intelligent Design, does not support teaching ID in public schools. After a conservative majority on the Kansas board of education decided to drop references to evolution in the state's curriculum in 1999, researchers at the Discovery Institute were appalled. "'When there are all these legitimate scientific controversies, this was silly, outlandish, counterproductive,' said John G. West, associate director of the science center, who said he and his colleagues learned of that 1999 move in Kansas from newspaper accounts. 'We began to think, Look, we're going to be stigmatized with what everyone does if we don't make our position clear.'"

Despite being called "fundamentalist Christians," ID theorists quoted in the article are portrayed as interested mostly in science. They doubt evolution, and they are attempting to provide an alternative theory.

But they are not yet ready for that theory to be taught in elementary and high school science classes. According to West, Intelligent Design is not advanced enough and there is no curriculum appropriate to teach the theory. So the Discovery Institute has opposed efforts to legislate the teaching of Intelligent Design in Pennsylvania and Utah.

The Discovery Institute "has tried to distance itself from lawsuits and legislation that seek to force schools to add Intelligent Design to curriculums, placing it in the awkward spot of trying to promote Intelligent Design as a robust frontier for scientists but not yet ripe for students," according to the Times.

This distancing of the ID movement from traditional creationism has been present from its beginning. "We weren't political," Stephen Meyer, director of the Center for Science and Culture at the Discovery Institute told William Safire for his On Language column. "We were thinking about molecular biology and information theory. This wasn't stealth creationism. The phrase became the banner that we rallied around throughout the early '90s. We wanted to separate ourselves from the strict Darwinists and the creationists.''

Article continues below

Safire says traditional creationists took up the phrase Intelligent Design partly as a way of doing rhetorical battle against those who saw creationism as anti-intellectual. "Although the intelligent agent referred to is Divine with a capital D, the word's meaning also rubs off on the proponent or believer. That's why Intelligent Design appeals to not only the DNA-driven Discovery Institute complexity theorists but also the traditional God's-handiwork faithful," says Safire.

So while Intelligent Design proponents and evolutionists clash (according to another article in the Times series), other faith-informed scientists try to find a middle ground. Many scientists are speaking up, opposing the exclusion of God from science, reports Cornelia Dean. Whether or not these scientists oppose evolution, they refuse to see faith and science in opposition to each other. And they are beginning to outspokenly reject the view that science can have nothing to do with religion.

Science has so far rejected studying the major questions of life. "You will never understand what it means to be a human being through naturalistic observation," said Francis S. Collins, a Christian who directs the National Human Genome Research Institute. "You won't understand why you are here and what the meaning is. Science has no power to address these questions—and are they not the most important questions we ask ourselves?"

Whether by Intelligent Design or other means of introducing questions of ultimate meaning to science, the controversy over science curricula has brought some perspective to what many leading scientists believe should be a discipline that excludes God. Fortunately, it is no longer only young-earth creationists making that argument.

More Articles

Evolution & intelligent design:

  • In explaining life's complexity, Darwinists and doubters clash | Proponents of intelligent design say biological marvels point to the hand of a higher being, but mainstream scientists say such an explanation is unscientific (The New York Times)
Article continues below
  • Politicized scholars put evolution on the defensive | The Discovery Institute is the ideological and strategic backbone behind the eruption of skirmishes over science in school districts and state capitals across the country (The New York Times)
  • Image: A think tank rethinking Darwin | A graphical summary of the Discovery Institute (The New York Times)
  • Frist urges 2 teachings on life origin | The Senate majority leader aligned himself with President Bush when he said that the theory of intelligent design as well as evolution should be taught in public schools (The New York Times)
  • Neo-creo | The linguistic backlash to "intelligent design"(William Safire, The New York Times)
  • What's wrong with evolution? | Intelligent design arguments and Darwinian responses (The New York Times)
  • A Catholic professor on evolution and theology: To understand one, it helps to understand the other | John F. Haugh has explored the religious significance of the contemporary understanding of evolution (The New York Times)
  • Intelligent Design and the Smithsonian | Critics of evolution may see Richard Sternberg as a martyr. But those who see no place for intelligent design in the realm of science - and that includes us - will ruefully give him credit for maneuvering a brief for intelligent design into a peer-reviewed scientific journal, although how rigorous that review was remains a point of contention (Editorial, The New York Times)
  • Lehigh professor draws fire over intelligent design | As a newly minted Ph.D., Michael Behe, like many young biochemists, dreamed of one day joining the distinguished and highly coveted ranks of the National Academy of Scientists. But now, at age 53, the man dubbed the dean of the intelligent design movement acknowledges he will probably never receive the accolade bestowed on the country's top-ranked scientists (The Morning Call, Allentown, Pa.)
  • Political science: unintelligent debate over intelligent design | Those wishing to make a case for a 'theory' with no testable hypotheses should do so in research universities and journals — not use public schools as proving grounds (Charles C. Haynes, First Amendment Center)
  • Clash in Cambridge | Science and religion seem as antagonistic as ever (John Horgan, Scientific American)


  • Gym as sanctuary: Groups line up for school space | Dozens of schools in Prince William allow churches to use their classrooms, gyms and cafeterias for a fee (The Washington Post)
  • School district steals 'Christmas' in August | From Christmas break to winter break to Christmas break to winter break (Fox News)
Article continues below
  • Pastors reconnect Danish church, college | Grand View College and Luther Memorial Church, together again (Shirley Ragsdale, Des Moines Register, Ia.)

Church & state:

  • Library opens to religious talk | Rampart Library District was sued by a religious advocacy group over use of community room (The Denver Post)
  • Group provides worship services for campers | 'It's a First Amendment right,' says Rocky Mountain National Park spokeswoman of weekly church services offered by private group to vacationers (Associated Press)
  • Full 8th Circuit OKs Nebraska commandments display | Court reverses earlier ruling by three-judge panel that had said monument must be removed from city park in Plattsmouth (Associated Press)
  • S.C. town's prayers provoke lawsuits | Jesus no longer has a place in prayers that open Town Council meetings here (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
  • A lot of heat, not any light | Joe Cook, Louisiana director of the American Civil Liberties Union, ought to apologize for his intemperate remarks about those in Tangipahoa Parish who have pushed, we think wrongly, for the chance to proselytize for their churches in public schools (Editorial, The Advocate, Baton Rouge, La.)

Religion & politics:

  • Roberts was not strictly conservative | Reagan papers show the high court nominee had his own view of national I.D. cards and sharply criticized a Christian fundamentalist leader (Los Angeles Times)
  • Issues of faith envelop Roberts | Nominee's record 'awfully thin' (The Kansas City Star)
  • The political power of the pew | A new study shows how churchgoing affects voting preferences (Business Week)
  • Evangelical leader to seek Haitian presidency | Chavannes Jeune looking to reverse 200 years of corruption and poverty (Lincoln Tribune, Neb.)
  • Churches campaign against referendum | Mainstream Christian and charismatic churches have joined the campaign against the Wako Draft to be unveiled by the Attorney General tomorrow (The East African Standard, Kenya)
  • Preaching justice, slaying demons | As the Christian right gathered in Nashville for Justice Sunday II, they demonized their enemies and offered lukewarm praise for John G. Roberts. (Max Blumenthal, The Nation)

Human rights & religious freedom:

  • Bush names special envoy for rights in North Korea | The president's religious conservative supporters aggressively sought Jay Lefkowitz's appointment, to a post mandated by a 2004 law, as part of their campaign against human rights abuses in North Korea (The New York Times)
Article continues below
  • Pastors can appeal over vilification claims | Two Christian pastors found to have vilified Muslims under Victoria's religious hatred law have been granted leave to appeal to the Supreme Court (The Age, Melbourne, Australia)
  • Black churches and Darfur activism | A diverse coalition of Christians, Jews, and Muslims has been mobilizing on Sudan. Many African Americans were slow to join that coalition, but black churches are now providing a new grassroots momentum for the cause (Religion & Ethics Newsweekly, PBS)
  • Found in translation | They don't burn Bible translators any more, but there are places in the world where translating scriptures can still be dangerous (Mordechai Beck, The Guardian, London)
  • U.S. concedes ground to Islamists on Iraqi law | U.S. diplomats have conceded ground to Islamists on the role of religion in Iraq, negotiators said on Saturday as they raced to meet a 48-hour deadline to draft a constitution under intense U.S. pressure (Reuters)

Same-sex marriage:

  • Gay marriage rankles conservative Aruba | When two women tried to register as a married couple in Aruba last year, people on this Dutch island threw rocks at them, slashed their car tires and protested against gay unions outside Parliament (Associated Press)
  • Gay couple will wed, but not at their church | Woodbridge men to exchange vows despite Episcopal ban (The Washington Post)
  • Backers: Same-sex union ban advancing | Opponents say the proposed amendment to the constitution is politically motivated (The Orlando Sentinel)

Life ethics:

  • Illinois druggists pledge to defy rule | Metro East pharmacists Peggy Pace, John Menges and Gaylord Richard Quayle say they will not compromise their religious beliefs by filling emergency contraception prescriptions—something Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich says they must do (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
  • Pill access could usher a new era of choices, moral rifts | FDA will weigh over-the-counter availability of morning-after contraception (Houston Chronicle)
  • How India reconciles Hindu values and biotech | Scientists in India find few religious restraints on their work. But what would Gandhi do? (The New York Times)
  • Frist's 'capitulation' | If he sticks to his decision to back legislation that would publicly fund the destruction of embryos for experimentation, the senator will be turning his back on pro-life conservatives, thus dooming his 2008 presidential nomination chances. (Gary Bauer, The Washington Times)
Article continues below
  • Harvard scientists advance cell work | Technique doesn't destroy embryos (The Boston Globe)
  • Sex selection has a eugenic whiff, so let's call it family balancing instead | If the Government plumps for this course it will be in the invidious position of ascribing more rights to the parents of three sons than it will to the parents of two sons (Anjana Ahuja, The Times, London)
  • Skin cells converted to stem cells | Scientists' work could clear moral hurdle to embryonic research (The Washington Post)
  • Parents urge rethink as baby Charlotte improves | Charlotte Wyatt, the baby clinging to life in a hospital oxygen box, has confounded doctors by making "remarkable progress" (The Guardian, London)
  • Walker, Green & Pro-Life nuts | Even by the usual standards of nutty extremism, the group Pro-Life Wisconsin stepped over the line last week (Editorial, The Capital Times, Madison, Wi.)


  • Ukraine's Eastern Rite Catholics move HQ | Ukraine's Eastern Rite Catholics on Sunday moved their church headquarters to Kiev amid protests from nationalists and objections from Orthodox believers whose leaders warn the move will further stoke inter-church tensions (Associated Press)
  • Benedict: An effective faith-offensive? | The successor to the charismatic John Paul II has been under close scrutiny on his first foreign visit as pope as to whether he can inspire the young as his predecessor did. Many say he did, in his own style (Deutsche Welle, Germany)
  • New head of Catholic Charities seeks to be 'voice of the poor' | Father Larry Snyder is charged with managing a national organization that provides financial support, training, and guidance to the 1,400 affiliates. He also serves as the group's national face -- lobbying for support for Catholic Charities' affiliates both in Washington and from business leaders (The Chronicle of Philanthropy)

World Youth Day:

  • Pope ends Germany trip with Mass for 1 million | Benedict urges young to follow, spread faith (The Boston Globe)
  • Pope visit to Germany shifts image, boosts Church | After Pope Benedict's flawless performance at the World Youth Day, an event reflecting the Age of Aquarius more than the Middle Ages, the 78-year-old theologian has shed some of his old image and left critics taking a new look at the church he leads (Reuters)
  • No "DIY" religion please, we're Catholics—Pope | Pope Benedict, wrapping up a triumphant return to his German homeland, on Sunday urged young people to shun a "do-it-yourself" concept of religion where they can choose what they want and disregard the rest (Reuters)
Article continues below
  • Pope calls for return to Christian roots | Pope Benedict XVI urged Europe to rediscover its Christian tradition and warned against rising secularism as he concluded his first foreign trip with an open-air Mass for a million people in his native Germany (Associated Press)
  • Pope, sized up by young, is more cerebral than sizzling | The emotional charge that Catholics became accustomed to from Pope John Paul II was less evident in Benedict XVI, scores of young people said (The New York Times)
  • Young Catholics gather in Baghdad | More than 1,000 Roman Catholic youths gathered in Baghdad to celebrate World Youth Day and ask for the pontiff's blessing "at this most difficult time for our country," the Vatican said Saturday (Associated Press)
  • Pope urges youth to fight secularization of Europe | Pope Benedict returns to Rome after leading celebrations that marked World Youth Day. He celebrated mass in Germany, his homeland, in front of thousands of people from all over the world (Morning Edition, NPR)
  • Sea of youth embraces new pope | Benedict XVI warns European Catholics not to forget God in 'do-it-yourself' religion (The Washington Post)
  • Pope leads 'Catholic Woodstock' | Pope Benedict XVI brought his first foreign trip as pope to a joyful conclusion yesterday, telling more than a million mainly youthful and exuberant followers at an outdoor Mass that they should not pick and choose at their faith (The Washington Times)
  • Benedict seeks to inspire young | A million attend Mass, capping the papal visit and World Youth Day events in Cologne. Pope urges them to spread the 'great joy' of faith (Los Angeles Times)
  • Young pilgrims | Portraits of the World Youth at World Youth Day (The New York Times)
  • Pope warns against 'DIY' religion | Pope Benedict XVI has warned of the dangers of secularism and of "do it yourself" religion, on the final day of his visit to his native Germany (BBC)
  • All or nothing as Pope warns of DIY religion | Benedict XVI leaves young pilgrims with a tough message on the final day of his German tour (The Guardian, London)
  • Pope outlines his priorities | The Pope made no specific reference to sexual morality. There was no finger wagging, yet he gave a clear restatement of Catholic religious principles (BBC)
  • Papa the professor lectures a million of his rowdy flock | Pilgrims go wild over visit, but Pope Benedict has yet to find the popular touch of his predecessor (The Times, London)
Article continues below
  • The German shepherd | The Pope's first foreign tour achieved its aims triumphantly (Editorial, The Times, London)
  • The Pope's duty | For all his vagueness about small things, Benedict has shown an astute understanding of the demands facing a modern pope (Editorial, The Telegraph, London)

Pope in Germany:

  • A very Roman pope | In his first trip abroad, Benedict XVI addresses World War II, and shows his nature (Time)
  • Pope urges Muslims to combat terrorism | Pope Benedict XVI, in his first major address on Islamist terrorism, yesterday implored Muslims to help Christians fight the "wave of cruel fanaticism that endangers the lives of so many people and hinders progress toward world peace" (The Washington Times)
  • Pope urges Muslims to confront terrorism | Pope Benedict XVI used his first meeting with Muslims to deliver a blunt message on Saturday that Christianity and Islam had no choice but to work together to quell terrorism, which he said represented "the darkness of a new barbarism" (The New York Times)
  • Pope visits German synagogue and warns of growing anti-Semitism | Pope Benedict XVI, who was drafted into the German Army during World War II, visited a synagogue here on Friday that had been destroyed by the Nazis and warned of a growing anti-Semitism that he called a "reason for concern and vigilance" (The New York Times)
  • Pope urges end to spread of terrorism | Addresses German Muslim leaders (The Boston Globe)
  • Pope denounces Nazism in synagogue visit | Pope Benedict XVI, in a history-making visit to a rebuilt German synagogue that had once been destroyed by Nazis, yesterday called Nazism ''an insane racist ideology" and decried ''the rise of new signs of anti-Semitism" (The Boston Globe)
  • Visiting German synagogue, pope vows to ease tensions | Benedict XVI is silent when asked to open secret Vatican records on the Holocaust period (Los Angeles Times)
  • Pope, in Cologne shul, laments 'insane racism' of Nazi Germany | Visiting the synagogue on Friday, Pope Benedict XVI greeted the Lehrers and the hundreds of others with an excited "shalom aleichem" (The Jerusalem Post)
  • Pope Benedict and Islam | Terrorism is the focus of his dialogue with Muslims (Time)
  • Pope attacks roots of terror | In pointed remarks, the pontiff tells Muslim leaders in Germany that 'teaching is the vehicle' to promote peace or sow seeds of fanaticism (Los Angeles Times)

Church life:

  • Debate over cell phone towers growing | Churches allow antennas to help pay rent, but neighbors worry about cancer risk (Associated Press)
Article continues below
  • Greek Orthodox clergy elect new patriarch | The Greek Orthodox Church in the Holy Land elected a new patriarch Monday to succeed their ousted leader, who fell from grace over a controversial east Jerusalem land deal (Associated Press)
  • Fired pastor sues for $15 million | Orange County church's former leader says false rumors of infidelity, molestation were spread about him. Officials deny claims (Los Angeles Times)
  • A Texas town nervously awaits a new neighbor | The largely black Redeemed Christian Church of God has bought land in Floyd, a small town in a once-segregated area of East Texas (The New York Times)
  • The message: God is cool | Across the nation, back-to-school season also means back to church, and churches and synagogues are increasingly turning to marketers to help set them apart in an age when slick advertising and competition for attention are facts of life (USA Today)
  • Friday: Churches seeking marketing-savvy breed of pastor | To succeed, a number of denominations and local congregations alike are seeking marketing know-how, whether among church staff or from hired experts (The Christian Science Monitor)
  • U.S. churches weighing in on Israel's security fence | Even as Israel completes its pullout from the Gaza Strip, a growing number of Christian groups in the United States are putting pressure on the Mideast nation to take down a security barrier in the West Bank (The Plain Dealer, Cleveland)
  • Pastor takes stand, goes out on a limb | A Downstate cleric wants to replace an ancient burr oak with parking, but he will sell the land if someone wants to save it (Chicago Tribune)
  • Protestant pastors follow different beat in Pilsen | A trio wraps its message in music to start an outpost of a megachurch in the Catholic enclave (ChicagoTribune)

Church financial transparency:

  • Checking out churches | Other than tradition, there is no clear reason why religious organizations should be exempt from the duty to disclose financial information required of other nonprofit charities in Massachusetts (Editorial, The Boston Globe)
  • Let the sun shine in | The need for financial transparency in religious organizations is becoming apparent (Thomas P. O'Neill III and Steven Krueger, The Boston Globe)
  • Archdiocese skips hearing, stirs ire | Legislators back bill to disclose church finances (The Boston Globe)
  • No on church disclosure bill | It is not the government's business to take sides in internal church disputes (John Garvey, The Boston Globe)

Missions & ministry:

Article continues below
  • Forcing a look at hospitals' mission | Adventist facilities accused of price-gouging, denying care to uninsured patients (The Washington Post)
  • Neil Clark Warren on finding eHarmony | Neil Clark Warren is the founder of the online dating service eHarmony. The company performs extensive personality profiling and then introduces couples with matching values and interests. Warren is an Evangelical Christian with strong ties to the conservative Christian community (Fresh Air, NPR)
  • Pastor on board | Former pro skater turned evangelist starts a skate ministry in Huntington Beach (The Orange County Register)
  • Soul Mag aims to meld secular, spiritual | Christian lifestyle publication tackles hot topics (San Jose Mercury News, Ca.)
  • Edgy Christianity: Niche ministries cater to uncommon followers of Jesus | More ministries are meeting wherever there is a need in tattoo shops, kung-fu classes and church halls with country-western themes (San Bernardino Sun, Ca.)
  • Chapel mixes kung fu, Christianity, too | About 15 students practiced dropping their attackers to the ground and breaking their elbows on a recent Thursday. They closed their class with a Bible devotion and prayer (San Bernardino Sun, Ca.)
  • Graham brings Christians together | With festival, churches find common ground (Corpus Christi Caller-Times, Tex.)
  • 8,300+ seek to be closer to God | Fellowship, message, music merge to inspire at Franklin Graham festival (Corpus Christi Caller-Times, Tex.)

Newsweek cover story on spirituality in America:

  • In search of the spiritual | Move over, politics. Americans are looking for personal, ecstatic experiences of God, and, according to our poll, they don't much care what the neighbors are doing (Newsweek)
  • Pentecostals: A passionate voice and a moral vision | With song and Scripture, this pastor leads his fast- growing congregation to an ecstatic experience of God (Newsweek)
  • Roman Catholicism: 'Hail Mary' is more than a football play | Raised in the era of John Paul II, these young people are resurrecting old rituals and hewing to strict doctrine (Newsweek)
  • Kabbalah: Feeling the spirit of prayer | This rabbi extols the joy of experiencing an intimateconnection to the Almighty (Newsweek)
  • Tibetan Buddhism: Learning to let go | After college, this child of Jim Crow went to Nepal, where she found the divine within and made peace with her past (Newsweek)
  • Islam: A new welcoming spirit in the mosque | A younger generation finds its shared faith is erasing the old boundaries that separated their immigrant parents (Newsweek)
Article continues below
  • A scholar's view: The long and winding road | Religion used to be private. An eminent historian observes how times have changed (Martin Marty, Newsweek)

More spirituality:

  • The pearly gates are wide open | A new Newsweek/Beliefnet poll shows a stunning level of acceptance of other people's faiths (Steven Waldman, Beliefnet)
  • Carpool spirituality | Travel time is prime time for lessons about God and values (The Dallas Morning News)
  • Theologians should hold summit on why God created oil | With the price of gasoline still rising, crude oil sloshes at the heart of the century's major religious/ethical issues — war, global warming, poverty, pluralism, consumerism, even evolution and the age of the earth. Yet I've never heard a sermon about it (Ray Waddle, The Tennessean, Nashville)
  • The power of prayer | Why do we do it? Does it work? (The Battle Creek Enquirer, Mi.)


  • Pat Robertson's shake causes a stir | Pat Robertson's "age-defying" diet shake isn't just a philanthropic endeavor anymore. Now the televangelist is looking to turn a profit from it (The Virginian-Pilot, Hampton Roads, Va.)
  • 'Big, hairy, audacious goals' | Recovering from surgery, Jerry Falwell preaches of lofty aims (The Decatur Daily, Ala.)
  • Orr's field of view includes football | But helping others remains his passion (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel)
  • Mexican padre shoots for sky to provide for poor | Alfredo Gallegos Lara, a 240-pound, pistol-packing priest, is equally comfortable in the pulpit as he is singing with a mariachi band or preaching Scripture while pounding tequilas in a cantina (The Philadelphia Inquirer)

Crime and courts:

  • Episcopal Diocese settles sex harassment suit | Women claim gay priest made remarks at Newark headquarters (The Star-Ledger, Newark, N.J.)
  • Priest charged with murder of Catholic bishop | Press ordered out of courtroom (The Nation, Kenya)
  • Olympic bomber Rudolph to be sentenced | Eric Rudolph is expected to be sentenced today to life in prison (Associated Press)
  • Colombia rebels sorry for priest killings | A leftist rebel group acknowledged Saturday that its fighters killed two Catholic priests earlier this week, but said the killing was a mistake and promised to punish those responsible (Associated Press)
  • Kenyan priest, others charged with murder | A Kenyan priest and five other people were charged Friday with murdering a Roman Catholic bishop in a plot to control church funds (Associated Press)
  • Religion helped workers speak up | Recent news accounts on the ethics of whistleblowing have left out one major reason some government employees tell all—religion (The Washington Times)
Article continues below
  • Killer 'wanted to become a nun' | A Romanian woman accused of murdering the founder of a celebrated Christian community suffered from paranoid delusions and had been turned away by several convents (The Independent, London)
  • Priest charged over bishop death | After initially linking his death to an ethnic feud, police now allege Bishop Luigi Locati was killed in a struggle for control of church funds (BBC)
  • Money and the church | Congregations across this land are being told that their financial breakthrough is just another large offering away. The trouble is, the preachers are simply getting richer as the people they lead get poorer (Esther Namugoji, New Vision, Uganda)


  • Taize leader touched many | Pilgrims from Milwaukee area recently visited Brother Roger's center (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel)
  • A killing in Taize | These things slow me down, sadden me. But -- and I am loath to admit this -- I'm used to it. That's a terrible thing (Kristen Campbell, Mobile Register, Ala.)

Marriage & family:

  • Marrying outside the church | Couples who venture outside the sanctuary to have their wedding can find themselves in a ceremonial abyss (The Denver Post)
  • This isn't your father's sin - or is it? | The theory that patterns of behavior repeat through the generations isn't new - it dates back to the Bible, a counselor says (Religion News Service)

Latter Day Saints:

  • Psychologists apologize for criticizing LDS Church | After months of communication with two Utah psychologists and their local professional organization, the American Psychological Association has formally apologized for negative characterizations about the LDS Church (Deseret Morning News, Ut.)
  • Thou shalt not make a nuisance of thyself | Why, asks Marjorie Thomas, won't Mormons leave her alone? (Dana Parsons, Los Angeles Times)


  • Religious women, accepting sorrow | This feminist read on leading women of the Old Testament, Listen To Her Voice: Women of the Hebrew Bible by Miki Raver, tells the inside gossip on what characters such as Sarah, Rebekah, Delilah, Dinah and Jezebel were really like when they walked the Earth 2,000-4,000 years ago (The Washington Times)
  • Examining the intersection of religion and violence | Two authors look into correlations between Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism and other theologies, and violent acts (Talk of the Nation, NPR)
  • Kay Arthur changes lives with Bible lessons | Since starting her first home Bible study more than 30 years ago, Arthur has become one of the most influential evangelical teachers in the world (The Clarion-Ledger, Jackson, Ms.)
Article continues below
  • Men lead, but women dominate the flock | Though theories about the church gender gap have longed blamed men for their spiritual apathy, a new book finds another force driving men away from church: the church itself (The Clarion-Ledger, Jackson, Miss.)


  • The fanatics who founded America | Fundamentalist zealots dreaming of a New World Order, sexual repression, scary old blokes with beards. So what's new? Simon Worrall recalls the men who became the Pilgrim Fathers (The Times, London)
  • With God as their witness | From Armageddon to Mount Sinai, Western travelers confront the spiritual beliefs that divide them from the Muslim world, and one another (The Washington Post)


  • Christians rock on | Christian rockers and pop princesses are driving the fastest growing genre in the Australian music industry (The Sunday Telegraph, Australia)
  • Rock guitarist gains 'peace, joy' | Korn's Welch had spiritual conversion (The Toledo Blade, Oh.)
  • Artist puts Christ into his rap | Christian rap artist David Smith knows nothing about guns and violence -- and doesn't want to know (Toronto Sun)


  • Documentary questions the existence of Jesus | In 'The God Who Wasn't There,' a former born-again Christian argues that Christ was a mythological figure (Los Angeles Times)
  • Murfreesboro goes Hollywood for an afternoon | 60 or so residents flee 'monster' for filming of Christian DVD (The Tennessean, Nashville)
  • The 'Code' war heats up | Sony rallies spinmeisters as protest hits London shoot (Variety)
  • The code-breakers | The Da Vinci Code, set for release in May 2006, is shaping up as one of the movie world's more complicated exercises - so much so that Sony has dropped a veil of secrecy over the affair, refusing to discuss anything but the barest details (The Scotsman)
  • Movie service aims at human spirit | The Spiritual Cinema Circle is a kind of Netflix for the soul (Rich Barlow, The Boston Globe)
  • Westminster Abbey was right to reject Hollywood's 30 pieces of silver | Millions and millions — far more than will ever visit Lincoln Cathedral — will now watch this tosh that undermines Christianity, with the cathedral making it all look pretty in the background. The film will be trying to tear down all that fabric of faith which is "not built with hands" (Charles Moore, The Telegraph, London)

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 executive editor. 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.
Previous Weblog Columns: