Today's Top Five

1. Jim Wallis gives Democratic weekly radio address
Accepting Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's invitation "was a difficult decision," the Sojourners president wrote on his blog. "I work hard to maintain my independence and non-partisanship, and didn't want to be perceived as supporting one party over the other. But it was an occasion to get our message to millions of people, so I decided to accept."

Wallis's address, touted as the first such weekly radio address by "a non-partisan religious leader," began with a disclaimer: "I want to be clear that I am not speaking for the Democratic Party, but as a person of faith who feels the hunger in America for a new vision of our life together and sees the opportunity to apply our best moral values to the urgent problems we face. I am not an elected official or political partisan, but a religious leader who believes that real solutions must transcend partisan politics."

Wire stories on the address focused on Wallis's calls for action on corruption, Iraq, poverty, the environment, and abortion.

2. Faith-based initiative goes to the Supreme Court—in a way
Hein v. Freedom from Religion Foundation is a case about Bush's faith-based initiative, but, as the First Amendment Center's Tony Mauro points out, it "does not directly test the meaning of the establishment clause itself." Instead, it's a case about standing. Right now, Hein isn't about whether government-sponsored conferences for the faith-based initiative violated the First Amendment, but whether the Freedom from Religion Foundation can bring a suit accusing the conferences of doing so. Mauro explains:

Under the traditional doctrine of standing, you can't challenge a government program you don't like just because your taxes — or some infinitesimal fraction of your taxes — paid for the program.
To reduce litigation against the government for every general grievance, courts have required instead that taxpayers show they have suffered real, specific harm — or will soon — to a legally protected interest from the program they don't like, before they can challenge it in court.
But a Supreme Court ruling 38 years ago made an exception to that high standard when a taxpayer alleges that a government program violates the establishment clause of the First Amendment ("Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion").

The Hein case, which the Supreme Court agreed Friday to consider, "could prompt a review, if not a narrowing, of that exception, which critics say has made it too easy to mount establishment-clause lawsuits against government efforts to accommodate religion," Mauro says. That is very important, he says, "because standing is a threshold issue in every establishment-clause case."

Article continues below

3. Minced oaths
So you've probably already read about Dennis Prager's complaints that Keith Ellison will use a Qur'an instead of a Bible for his ceremonial oath of office when he becomes a U.S. Representative from Minnesota. The American Family Association wants Congress to "pass a law making the Bible the book used in the swearing-in ceremonies of Representatives and Senators." Prager's colleague at Salem Radio Network, Michael Medved, has been critical of Prager's remarks. (Prager and Medved are both Jews.) And hundreds of bloggers are discussing the subject. But if you're going to hit one place, check out The Point, the blog of Prison Fellowship's BreakPoint. Travis McSherley and Roberto Rivera are at odds; the latest post suggests that in the official swearing in (rather than in ceremonial photo ops for family and supporters), no holy book is used. In other words, this story is a non-story. So who's up for debating whether taking an oath of office is itself unbiblical?

4. Pastor pleads guilty to felonies, denies his critics Communion
Here's one of those stories that's so outrageous, it's amazing it's not getting more circulation. Macedonia Baptist Church senior pastor John Henry Walker confessed to nine felony charges last week, including tax evasion, bank fraud, and lying to federal authorities. Then he preached on Sunday. And then, according to The Charlotte Observer, he denied Communion to church members that had been publicly critical of him when his misdeeds were made public.

5. Protest called off after Mark Driscoll apologizes
Mars Hill Church pastor Mark Driscoll has been under a fair bit of scrutiny after writing a Ted Haggard-related blog post on the role of pastors and their wives in avoiding sexual temptation. There was, in fact, a protest planned for Sunday at his Seattle church. But in a meeting with protest organizers and other local church leaders, Driscoll apologized, and the protest was called off.

"My theological convictions, even the most controversial ones, are as unwavering as ever," Driscoll says in a new blog post. "But I also learned that as my platform has grown, so has my responsibility to speak about my convictions in a way that invites other people to experience charity from me, which means inflammatory language and such need to be scaled back. I was also sad and sorry to hear that various things I have said over the years have been received very personally by some people who felt personally attacked."

Article continues below

Quote of the day
"I've got two friends here: a Republican and a Democrat. Why? Because you've got to have two wings to fly."

—Rick Warren, telling attendees at his Saddleback Church AIDS conference that they should listen to both Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) and Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.).

More articles of interest

Wallis gives Democratic radio address | Church and state | Politics & law | Life ethics | Warren and Obama | Qur'an oath | Islam and Christianity | Pope Benedict in Turkey | Malaysia | China | Religious freedom | Christmas tea in N.H. | Christmas | Advent | Church life | Catholicism | Anglicanism | Same-sex marriage | More sexual ethics | Ted Haggard | Los Angeles abuse settlement | More abuse cases | Crime | Money and business | Media & entertainment | Atheism | Books | Art | Travel | History | Spirituality | People | Missions & ministry | Jews for Jesus | Education | Evolution | Evangelicals and Pentecostals | Other stories of interest

Wallis gives Democratic radio address:

Back to index

Church and state:

Article continues below

Back to index

Politics & law:

  • The religion factor | With all the attention that the Republican wipeout in November has garnered, a looming problem in the 2008 election cycle has yet to be resolved. While the Iowa caucuses are a mere 13 months away, there is still no consensus candidate for religious conservatives (Seth Gitell, The New York Sun)

  • 2008 GOP field disappoints some conservatives | No bona fide social conservative among the '08 Republican favorites (NBC News)

  • Religion and the 2006 elections | A survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, conducted in the days immediately following the election, suggests that Americans across a number of different religious groups had fairly positive reactions to the election (The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life)

  • With the Democratic Congress, groups gear up for fight over paid sick days | Many Democrats, women's organizations and liberal groups are gearing up for a fight on another workplace issue: paid sick days (The New York Times)

Article continues below
  • Breyer: Court should aid minority rights | Justice Stephen G. Breyer says the Supreme Court must promote the political rights of minorities and look beyond the Constitution's text when necessary to ensure that "no one gets too powerful" (Associated Press)

  • The Gospel truth | How the board of the Christian Coalition came to fear the basic teachings of Jesus (Editorial, Houston Chronicle)

  • Pastor takes on rigidity -- and fails | After being chosen to lead the Christian Coalition, Joel Hunter recently stepped aside. And Christians throughout America are now worse off (Scott Maxwell, The Orlando Sentinel)

  • Archbishop questions Trident plan | The need, legality and morality of updating the UK's Trident nuclear deterrent have been questioned by the Archbishop of Canterbury (BBC)

Back to index

Life ethics:

Article continues below

Back to index

Warren and Obama:

  • Evangelicals embrace Obama | After earlier criticisms, his speech at an AIDS conference organized by Rick Warren's Saddleback Church receives a standing ovation (The Orange County Register, Ca.)

  • Sen. Obama joins evangelicals in AIDS fight | Democratic Sen. Barack Obama and a leading U.S. evangelical pastor pledged on Friday to work together in an unusual and controversial meeting of minds on the fight against AIDS (Reuters)

  • AIDS fight needs churches, Obama says | Senator disagrees on condom issue, but tells evangelicals that moral guidance is needed (Los Angeles Times)

  • Evangelicals' open arms, wary hearts greet Obama | Senator delivered a speech rich in references to Christian faith, moral imperative and common purpose, urging churches to join with allies among the secular to fight the spread of AIDS and other social ills. (Chicago Tribune)

  • Left turn at Saddleback Church | Barack Obama received a warm welcome at an AIDS conference held by Rick "Purpose-Driven Life" Warren. But that doesn't mean evangelicals are ready to lay down their cross for Democrats (Tim Grieve,

  • Obama converts evangelicals to Democrat cause | Expect to see this footage run over and over on a television screen near you (The Independent, London)

  • Who will decide God's politics? | True change occurs in the church and the wider culture, Rick Warren says in reaching across party lines (The Orange County Register, Ca.)

  • Christians and AIDS | Kay Warren, the wife of megachurch Pastor Rick Warren, is urging evangelicals to fight the world's HIV epidemic (Newsweek)

  • Only hope for progress | Pastor Warren right: We must learn to work with people we don't like (Editorial, The Sun News, Myrtle Beach, S.C.)

  • So you want to be a star? Forget pulpit | Do you know Rick Warren? If so, you're the exception (The Dallas Morning News)

  • Pastor Primavera | Purpose-driven political posturing of a holier than thou nature (Jay D. Homnick, The American Spectator)

  • Christian right is evolving | Something important is happening within the Evangelical Christian movement these days. It's no longer your father's right-wing political arm (Bill Wineke, Wisconsin State Journal, Madison, Wis.)

  • Message from a megachurch | A significant group of theologically conservative Christians no longer wants to be treated as a cog in the Republican political machine (E.J. Dionne Jr., The Washington Post)

Article continues below

Back to index

Qur'an oath:

  • Congressman faulted for Qur'an at oath | Keith Ellison, who will become the first Muslim member of Congress next month, has offended some conservatives with his plan to use the Quran during his ceremonial swearing-in (Associated Press)

  • Swearing-in doesn't go by the book | The use of sacred texts is a matter of personal preference, not protocol, Capitol Hill officials say (Minneapolis Star-Tribune)

  • Lawmaker intends to take oath of office on Quran | The Minnesota Democrat's decision is stirring a debate among academicians and conservatives, with some saying it's appropriate to take an oath of office only on the Bible (McClatchy Newspapers)

  • Islamic group targets columnist | An Islamic civil rights group wants a columnist removed from the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council for criticizing Rep.-elect Keith Ellison's decision to use the Qur'an during his ceremonial swearing-in next month (Associated Press)

  • Ellison and his Qur'an get wingnuts whirling | What a hilarious load of ignorance, intolerance he exposed (Editorial, Minneapolis Star-Tribune)

Back to index

Islam and Christianity:

  • Church bookshops stop selling Koran | Britain's oldest chain of church bookshops is to remove the Koran from its shelves because it believes it is "inimical" to Christianity (The Times, London)

  • Backlash against Muslims after 7/7 exaggerated | Fears that the country's Muslim community would be become the target of widespread race hate crimes in the aftermath of the July 7 London bombings last year have proved exaggerated, prosecutors said on Monday (Reuters)

  • Let's not sleepwalk with the Christian soldiers | Those who emphasise a Christianity so vague it doesn't extend to going to church, play into the hands of al-Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood (Nick Cohen, The Observer, London)

  • Which One God? | Comparing the Muslim and Christian conceptions of God (Bat Yeor, National Review Online)

  • Islam gets concessions; infidels get conquered | What they capture, they keep. When they lose, they complain to the U.N. (Raymond Ibrahim, Los Angeles Times)

Back to index

Pope Benedict in Turkey:

  • The pope without his sting | The challenge for the new Vatican is to tell its truth without telling anyone off (The New York Times)

  • Pope ends visit of conciliation | Even his critics give praise for the pontiff's outreach to Muslims in Turkey (Los Angeles Times)

  • Closer to and farther from Europe | As he left Turkey, Pope Benedict XVI said he hoped his visit would bring "civilizations progressively closer." The European Union should listen (Editorial, The New York Times)

Article continues below
  • Benedict's grand gesture | The pope's visit, with its push-and-pull between deference and polite criticism, offers a model for how Christians and Muslims should deal with one another (Editorial, The Boston Globe)

  • Pope trip to Turkey: From fear to healing | In these dark times, his message of hope should resonate all the more forcefully (Editorial, San Antonio Express-News)

  • Benedict in Turkey | The pope's visit underscored some of the most fundamental issues that form the complex relationship between religion and culture in Turkey, between Christianity and Islam in general, and between modern secularism and religious fundamentalism in the world at large (Tulin Daloglu, The Washington Times)

  • Is Benedict flip-flopping? | Famous for his rigidity as a Cardinal, Benedict on his trip to Turkey showed evidence that he's capable of responding to the moment suddenly (Jeff Israel, Time)

  • Report: Russian Orthodox Patriarch accuses Vatican of "unfriendly policy" in ex-Soviet states | The head of the Russian Orthodox Church on Tuesday accused the Vatican of pursuing an "extremely unfriendly policy" in Russia and other ex-Soviet states, warning that such behavior could further strain ties between the two churches, a Russian news agency reported (Associated Press)

Back to index


  • Widow turns to High Court for husband's body | The tussle for the body of Rayappan Anthony continues (New Straits Times, Malaysia)

  • Court revokes order | An order allowing the Selangor Islamic Religious Council (Mais) to claim the body of van driver Rayappan Anthony has been revoked to enable his widow to tell the Syariah High Court her side of the story (The Star, Malaysia)

  • Malaysia hospital ignites new religious controversy | A Malaysian hospital has ignited fresh religious controversy after it refused to hand over a dead man's body to his widow because she planned to give her husband, a Muslim convert, a Christian burial (Reuters)

Back to index


Article continues below
  • Vatican condemns Chinese ordination | The Vatican on Saturday blasted China for ordaining another bishop without papal approval, calling it the latest in a "series of extremely grave acts" that caused Pope Benedict XVI "great sorrow" (Associated Press)

Back to index

Religious freedom:

  • Transcript: Legislating international religious freedom | The Pew Forum, the American Academy of Religion, and the Library of Congress' Kluge Center convened four experts to analyze the impact of 1998 legislation making religious freedom an explicit goal of U.S. foreign policy (The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life)

  • UP for including Dalit Muslims, Christians in SC category | Mulayam Singh Government tables a resolution to this effect amidst protests from the BJP in Lucknow (The Hindu, India)

Back to index

Christmas tea in N.H.:

  • Christ back in town's Christmas | There was no angry mob present at the day-long Chamber of Commerce-sponsored Old-Fashioned Christmas, as some expected, after Valley Gospel Chapel pastor Greg Lull went public earlier this week over the chamber's decision not to sponsor his church's tea, as planned, if it included a religious reading (Union Leader, Manchester, N.H.)

  • Hillsboro's Christmas conflict unnecessary | So far this season, the biggest brouhaha has occurred in Hillsboro, where the Old Fashioned Christmas Committee initially opted to scrap its annual tea and reading of The Night Before Christmas rather than hold the event in a church that wanted the celebration to include a reading of the biblical story of Christ's birth (Editorial, Concord Monitor, N.H.)

  • No room for Jesus: Hillsborough kicks him out | If you hold an event called "Old Fashioned Christmas," you might want to see to it that at least a wee portion is actually about Christmas (Editorial, Union Leader, Manchester, N.H.)

Back to index


  • Town restores Jesus to nativity scene | Officials in St. Albans, W.Va., have put the infant back into the town's nativity scene after news reports about the omission prompted e-mails from as far away as South Korea (Associated Press)

  • Earlier: W.Va. city's Xmas scene has no Jesus | The parks superintendent said Jesus was left out because of concerns about the separation of church and state. But Mayor Dick Callaway said it was done for purely technical reasons: "It's not easy to put a light-up representation of a baby in a small manger scene, you know" (Associated Press)

Article continues below
  • Also: Protests prompt change in a special nativity scene | Officials from St. Albans, W. Va., wanted to avoid a conflict over separation of Church and state. So they banned the baby Jesus from a Nativity scene in a public park. The manger included shepherds, camels, and a guiding star, but not Jesus, Mary and Joseph. Then the complaints starting pouring in and officials relented. Call it a victory for popular opinion (Morning Edition, NPR)

  • 'Tis the season for disputes over holiday observances (Associated Press)

  • Mo Rocca wants his Christmas big | Bring on Santa, talking snowmen and red-nosed animals — Rocca embraces Christmas overkill (CBS Sunday Morning)

  • Will the Christian soldiers let power go to their heads? | As Christmas approaches, bishops would do well to focus on the traditional Christian virtues of faith, hope and charity (Ruth Gledhill, The Times, London)

  • 'What it is . . . a Christmas tree' | Government has to be careful about favoring one religion over another, but a Christmas tree isn't ordinarily a religious symbol. This year's tree on the Capitol lawn stands for common sense (Editorial, The Grand Rapids Press, Mi.)

  • Have a little fun with 'happy holidays' | When a mayor, school superintendent or anyone else says, "Happy Holidays," feign ignorance and ask, "Which holidays do you mean?" (Editorial, The Intelligencer, Wheeling, WV)

  • Reason's greetings | As the holiday season begins, there is much to celebrate. And we are pleased that, once more, the state of Wisconsin is celebrating all the diverse values and views with regard to the season (Editorial, The Capital Times, Madison, Wis.)

  • It's a holly, jolly … holiday? | The annual drive to eliminate the C-word is on (Earl McRae, Ottawa Sun)

  • Merry!, uh, … Happy! Oh, just have a nice day | Tom Flynn is the evil twin of conservatives such as Bill O'Reilly (Susan Lampert Smith, Wisconsin State Journal, Wis.)

Back to index


Back to index

Church life:

  • Churches drop 'Baptist' tag | Conscious of image, they drop affiliation (Concord Monitor, N.H.)

  • Church to be sold in foreclosure auction | A south Arlington church building that has been the subject of a tug of war between congregation members and a Methodist lending foundation is set to be auctioned to the highest bidder today. (Ft. Worth Star-Telegram, Tex.)

Article continues below
  • Methodists overlook differences to join mixed-faith union | Leaders with the Virginia Conference United Methodist Church this weekend signed onto LARC, a union previously limited to Virginia's Lutheran, Anglican (or Episcopalian) and Catholic denominations (Associated Press)

  • Huge bell crashes through church steeple | When the sexton started ringing Hildre Church's massive bell for Sunday morning services, the result was more like a thunderbolt from heaven (SAPA, South Africa)

  • Female cleric boycott | The two choirs at Øksnes Church in Vesterålen in northern Norway refuse to sing as long as services are led by a female pastor (Aftenposten, Oslo)

  • Presbyterians, Jews seek to mend fences after investment split | Several top Presbyterian and Jewish leaders have pledged to work more closely together to avoid a repeat of the recent bitter fight over whether the church would pull some investments from Israel (The Courier-Journal, Louisville, Ky.)

Back to index


  • Cardinal urges rethink on marriage ban | Cardinal Claudio Hummes, who was recently named to head the Vatican's office in charge of priests around the world, made the comment about two weeks after the Holy See reaffirmed the requirement of celibacy for priests (Associated Press)

  • Vatican said not revising celibacy rule | A Brazilian cardinal who appeared to suggest the Vatican was open to revising its celibacy requirement for priests stressed Monday the question was not on the Holy See's agenda and contended that allowing them to marry wouldn't solve the clergy shortage (Associated Press)

  • A doctrinal dilemma | Pastoral guidelines recently adopted by the nation's Roman Catholic bishops suggest how out of touch some of the church's shepherds are with their flock (Editorial, The Toledo Blade, Oh.)

  • Catholic viewpoint | Cardinal Cormac Murphy O'Connor, Head of the Roman Catholic Church in England, on condoms, AIDS drugs, and other issues(BBC Sunday AM)

Back to index


Article continues below
  • Episcopal diocese votes to secede from church | The resolution puts the California diocese in lockstep with more conservative Anglican churches (The New York Times)

  • Calif. diocese snubs Episcopal Church | In a public rebuke of the Episcopal Church, a conservative diocese voted Saturday to affirm its membership in the worldwide Anglican Communion after distancing itself from the national church over the ordination of gays and women (Associated Press)

  • Episcopal head responds to diocese vote | Members of a conservative Episcopal diocese who voted to distance themselves from the faith's national denomination received a letter Monday from church leaders lamenting their decision (Associated Press)

Back to index

Same-sex marriage:

Back to index

More sexual ethics:

  • Blair calls on Churches to lift condom ban | The Prime Minister risked a confrontation with the Roman Catholic Church yesterday by saying that religious leaders needed to "face up to reality" and drop their ban on condoms if they were to fight Aids effectively (The Telegraph, London)

Article continues below
  • Sex ed that promotes abstinence is approved | A federally financed abstinence-only sex education program that was barred from the state's public schools last spring has received the approval it needs to be taught (The Providence Journal, R.I.)

  • Natural birth control 'stupid,' says Davao Mayor Duterte | "Sex is an instinct. It's natural for men to have sex. And this instinct is something that cannot be stopped by counting the days of the calendar and then after reaching that certain day, you do it," Duterte said (The Philippine Inquirer)

  • 900 couples tie knot but gay blessing ministers face hitch | The Church of Scotland's General Assembly earlier this year voted narrowly in favour of giving ministers official permission to hold such services. But the move needed the endorsement of a majority of the Kirk's 48 presbyteries - and both sides of the debate now accept that is not going to happen (Evening News, Edinburgh)

  • San Francisco okay in criticizing Catholic opposition to gay adoptions | Catholic League loses church-state suit (Religion Clause)

  • Gay-rights activists hopeful about agenda's new prospects | Groups say they're close to getting a hate crimes measure passed in the new Congress (Los Angeles Times)

  • The government must not buckle over gay rights | Churches are free to preach that homosexuality is a sin and their followers are free to believe it in private. But the elected government of Britain does not share that view and has rightly sought to give gay citizens the same public rights as everyone else (Editorial, The Observer, London)

  • Divine judgment on religion | The church is meant to signify unity between Christians, but the gay crisis has completely undermined this concept (Theo Hobson, The Guardian, London)

  • Get chaste | The Dawn and the Eden of a countercultural revolution (National Review Online)

  • A rubber ideology | Taking on condomism (Jennifer Roback Morse, National Review Online)

Back to index

Ted Haggard:

Back to index

Los Angeles abuse settlement:

Article continues below

Back to index

More abuse cases:

  • Fliers don't fly on church's property | Priest tosses victims' network just before addressing service (The Dallas Morning News)

  • Bible can help heal abuse, activist says | You probably wouldn't think to look 2,000 years back in history to find an enlightened view of women. Yet Nicole Sotelo says Bible passages helped her heal from years of emotional abuse she suffered as a young woman and can help others (Rich Barlow, The Boston Globe)

  • Neighbors of ex-Del. priest informed of abuse claims | Mixed reaction in community to door-to-door campaign (The News Journal, Wilmington, Del.)

  • Church elder pleads guilty to sex abuse | The passage of time. It dulls memories. It heals wounds. For Teresa Rivera Ward, it did neither (Montgomery Advertiser, Ala.)

  • Sex abuse by clergy affects all religions | The Watergate-type cover-up of sexual abuse detailed in diocese documents released by a district court judge Tuesday has saddened and angered people of all faiths, locally and across the nation (Pete Alfano, Ft. Worth Star-Telegram)

  • Bishops vow to win back Mass drop-outs | Disillusionment with the Catholic Church in the wake of sexual abuse scandals has contributed to a steady decline in Mass attendance, a report to the church's 43 bishops says (The Sydney Morning Herald)

Article continues below

Back to index


Article continues below

Back to index

Money and business:

Back to index

Media & entertainment:

  • The message is in the musica | Contemporary Christian music is picking up a Latino beat, with artists such as Jaci Velasquez, Marcos Witt and the South Florida band Contagious (South Florida Sun-Sentinel)

  • Rap gets religion | As growing numbers of preachers and MCs see it, hip-hop needs Christianity and Christianity needs hip-hop (Los Angeles Times)

  • The music industry takes sales as gospel | For the music industry, it's a good time to be in the God business (The Boston Globe)

  • She sings! She acts! She prays! | Kristin Chenoweth may be Broadway's biggest and busiest voice (The New York Times)

  • Gospel singer Kirk Franklin goes to "Church" | Gospel superstar Kirk Franklin will play himself in an autobiographical feature he's producing called "Church Boy." (Reuters)

  • Rocky's back and fighting for Jesus | Sylvester Stallone and the creators of the final addition to the Rocky stable have gone all out to market the movie, not to sports fans, but to Christians. Rocky, it turns out, is a metaphor for Jesus (The Observer, London)

  • Hollywood's bias against Christians | In the movies, Christian characters are often placed in opposition to the characters we want to root for (Bruce Benway, The Baltimore Sun)

Article continues below

Back to index


Back to index


Back to index


  • Prayers in wood | When people see the work of Konstantinos Pylarinos, a Byzantine-style woodcarver, many bow down and thank God (The New York Times)

  • Three religions share their musical roots | In an age when a discussion of Judaism, Islam and Christianity often refers to strife, a concert at the Tarrytown Music Hall will focus instead on the values and history these religions share (The New York Times)

  • United, in spirit | Religion is the common link among many of the works in a folk art showcase at the Arts Exchange in White Plains (The New York Times)

Back to index

Article continues below


  • In South America, missions of a lost utopia | Where Paraguay, Brazil and Argentina meet, tourists are discovering the haunting remains of a Jesuit social experiment (The New York Times)

  • Holy water | The Trevi Fountain is the Vatican's answer to our Baroque wishes (The New York Times)

Back to index


  • 'Church of the Ark' found on West Bank | Archaeologists claimed yesterday to have uncovered one of the world's first churches, built on a site believed to have once housed the Ark of the Covenant (The Telegraph, London)

Back to index


  • Outspoken pastor stirs Baptist debate on tongues | When Arlington pastor Dwight McKissic spoke out last August about speaking in tongues, all heck broke loose in Southern Baptist circles. And he's still talking (The Dallas Morning News)

  • In French-speaking Canada, the sacred is also profane | Quebecers turn to church terms, rather than the sexual or scatological, to vent their anger (The Washington Post)

  • Body & soul | These days, faith isn't just about paving the path to the afterlife. It's about running trails. It's about yoga. It's about karate. It's about physical and spiritual health (Henry G. Brinton, USA Today)

  • God. Who knows? | 'First a vicar, then an atheist - now I'm agnostic, and passionate about it' (BBC)

  • In West, religion a trivial pursuit | The signposts of our age show that the growing secularism of the West is matched by rising religious fanaticism almost everywhere outside the West, especially in Africa and Asia. What is not understandable to many in the West, however, simply is either denigrated or denied (T.R. Fehrenbach, San Antonio Express-News)

  • What does it say when a man wants to sell his soul on the Internet? | Not too long ago, Gerald Fraller wanted to die (Mark J. Konkol, Chicago Sun-Times)

Back to index


Back to index

Missions & ministry:

Article continues below

Back to index

Jews for Jesus:

Back to index


Back to index


Article continues below

Back to index

Evangelicals and Pentecostals:

Back to index

Other stories of interest:

  • Foreign clergy may get break | Fast tracking possible (Toronto Sun)

  • Church plants vineyard in cemetery | A Catholic Church official seeking to provide wine for services and a scenic backdrop has planted a vineyard on three acres of a California diocese graveyard (Reuters)

  • Doctors aren't chaplains | The misguided effort to meld religion and medicine (Richard P. Sloan, Los Angeles Times)

  • The Christian Right goes back to Bible Boot Camp | After a study revealed that less than 10% of evangelicals were bible literate, James Dobson's Focus on the Family is desperately taking a two-day multi-media Bible boot camp on the road, selling "truth" for $179 a seat (Alexander Zaitchik, AlterNet)

  • Protecting children | Chalk it up to an oversight, but the Indiana General Assembly needs to act quickly to close a gap in the protection of the thousands of children who are cared for in unlicensed child care homes or child care ministries (Editorial, The Journal Gazette, Ft. Wayne, Ind.)

  • Tell it on the mountain | May we not seek the destruction of our enemies but their heart-felt conversion to Jesus (Kristine Christlieb, Ft. Worth Star-Telegram, Tex.)

Back to index

Related Elsewhere:

Suggest links and stories by sending e-mail to

What is Weblog?

See our past Weblog updates:

December 1 | November 21
November 17 | 16 | 15 | 13
November 6 | 3 | 2
October 11 | 6 | 5 | 4
September 21 | 15b | 15a | 14
September 6 | 1 | August 29
August 25 | 24 | 23

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: