Reformed theologian and best-selling author will have surgery in early February
In a letter to church members and supporters, pastor and author John Piper has announced that he was diagnosed with prostate cancer in late December.

Various tests "incline the doctor to think that it is unlikely that the cancer has spread beyond the prostate, and that it is possible with successful treatment to be cancer-free," Piper, pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, wrote. He says he will undergo a radical prostatectomy in early February.

"This news has, of course, been good for me," Piper wrote. "The most dangerous thing in the world is the sin of self-reliance and the stupor of worldliness. The news of cancer has a wonderfully blasting effect on both. I thank God for that. The times with Christ in these days have been unusually sweet."

Piper, who spoke this week to the Passion 06 rally of Christian college students in Nashville about glorifying God in suffering, gave a sermon in 1980 titled "Christ and Cancer," which is available on his Desiring God website. Other updates may appear on Between Two Worlds, the blog of Desiring God executive editor Justin Taylor.

Sago mine disaster:

  1. Tragedy on top of tragedy a test of biblical proportions | Faith amid the Sago mine disaster (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

  2. 'It's not an act of God, it's an act of guys' | False hope. Is there such a thing? (Cathleen Falsani, Chicago Sun-Times)

Pat Robertson's latest:

  1. White House criticizes Pat Robertson | "Those comments are wholly inappropriate and offensive and really don't have a place in this or any other debate," presidential spokesman Trent Duffy said as Bush traveled to Chicago for a speech (Associated Press)

  2. Iranian leader, evangelist call prime minister's illness deserved | The television evangelist Pat Robertson and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad may not agree on much, but both suggested yesterday that the severe illness of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was deserved. (The Washington Post)

  3. Robertson implies God cursed Sharon after land transfer | "God has enmity against those who 'divide my land,'" Robertson said during "The 700 Club" television show produced by the Christian Broadcasting Network in Virginia Beach (The Virginian Pilot)

  4. Robertson links Sharon stroke, God's wrath | Christian broadcaster Pat Robertson suggested Thursday that Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's stroke was divine punishment for "dividing God's land" (Associated Press)

  5. Related: Evicted settlers see retribution for Sharon | Jewish settlers evicted from the Gaza Strip by the now critically ill Ariel Sharon, said the premier's plight was divine retribution for selling out to the Palestinians (SAPA/AFP)

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  1. Earlier: Why You Can't Stop Pat Robertson (Weblog, Aug. 24, 2005)

Politics and law:

  1. Justices to rule on religion, jury picks | Allen County case involved a pastor (The Journal Gazette, Ft. Wayne, Ind.)

  2. Christian right in N. Philly to boost Alito | "Justice Sunday III," features superstars of the Christian right - including the Rev. Jerry Falwell and James Dobson of gay SpongeBob notoriety - speaking out in the unlikely setting of North Philadelphia, where President Bush got less than 5 percent of the vote (Philadelphia Daily News)

  3. Licensing laws kill off sales of altar wine | Drinkers may be able to spend longer hours in the pub under the Government's new licensing laws, but clergy are finding it more difficult to buy wine for the altar (The Telegraph, London)

  4. Politics and the pulpit | Religious leaders are bending ears in Canberra and championing principles left alone by Labor (The Age, Melbourne, Australia)

  5. Is Christianity a casualty of war? | What doth it profit if you gain information from a tortured terrorist and lose your own soul? (Tony Campolo, Huffington Post)

  6. Let us prey | Jack Abramoff and his deeply religious right-wing cronies express their "biblical worldview" by swindling Indian tribes and bribing legislators. Verily, mysterious are the ways of the Lord (Joe Conason,

Indiana House prayer:

  1. Take time to reflect on prayer debate | Both sides in debate over legislative prayers need to reflect on questions the controversy has raised (Editorial, The Indianapolis Star)

  2. A prayerful solution | Indiana state representatives proved Wednesday that a federal judge's order has not prevented any of them from praying before beginning their sessions (Editorial, The Journal Gazette, Ft. Wayne, Ind.)

Religious freedom:

  1. NGO accuses RSS of 'forcible conversion' in Gujarat | A report by a Delhi-based voluntary organisation has accused the Gujarat government of collaborating with Sangh organisations in forcibly converting tribals to Hinduism in the Dang district of Gujarat (Rediff, India)

  2. Housewife jailed for 'visions of Gabriel' | In an unusual display of doctrinaire religious thinking, Indonesian police have detained Lia Aminuddin on blasphemy charges, alleging she has profaned Islam (The Australian)

Life ethics:

  1. Screening will pick up more diseases in embryos | Doctors may soon be able to screen embryos for thousands of individual genes that cause inherited disease, using a technique that has been refined by British researchers (The Times, London)

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  1. Abortion rights in Latin America | For proof that criminalizing abortion doesn't reduce abortion rates and only endangers the lives of women, consider Latin America (Editorial, The New York Times)

  2. Human guinea pigs? | Ian Wilmut wants to experiment on the dying with embryonic stem cells--even though the treatments haven't been properly tested (Wesley J. Smith, The Weekly Standard)


  1. Harem, scare 'em | Worrying about polygamy (Naomi Schaefer Riley, The Wall Street Journal)

  2. Eight is not enough | Suddenly, large families are all over the silver screen (Meghan Cox Gurdon, The Wall Street Journal)


  1. Government urged to end abstinence-only education | People have a "basic human right" to complete sexual health information, the paper said (The Washington Times)

  2. Court considers unusual clash between creed, curriculum | Students from an evangelical day school are suing the prestigious University of California system, charging that it's biased against conservative Christian viewpoints (Associated Press)

  3. Evolution case turns to petitions | School board's attorney doubts documents exist (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

  4. Calvin announces new provost | Claudia Beversluis, currently the dean for instruction at Calvin, is being recommended as Calvin's seventh chief academic officer, and the first woman in the post after a nationwide search that attracted almost 60 nominees (press release, Calvin College)

Church life:

  1. Leading Baptist group launches ad | Southern Baptist Convention, often known for what it opposes, runs a TV ad showing what it does (The Dallas Morning News)

  2. Ugandan breaks ties with Virginia diocese | The battle over homosexuality in the Episcopal Church ratcheted up a notch yesterday when Anglican Archbishop Henry Orombi of Uganda officially broke relations with the Diocese of Virginia (The Washington Times)

  3. Letter: The Archbishop of Uganda's Open Letter to Bishop Peter James Lee (via TitusOneNine)

  4. New pastor at Plymouth Congregational to stress biblical tradition | 'I don't want to demonize American Christian liberalism' (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)


  1. Orthodox leader says he will meet Pope | The spiritual leader of the world's 200 million-plus Orthodox Christians said Thursday that he is eager to meet with Pope Benedict XVI sometime in the coming year in an effort to heal the long-standing rift between the Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches (Associated Press)

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  1. Springfield diocese considers plan to shut down parishes | Church officials want to avoid Boston's issues (The Boston Globe)

  2. Carpenter who posed as priest for 25 years is finally defrocked | It was just a pity Fr Axel was not a priest at all (The Independent, London)

Baptist leader resigns:

  1. Lonnie Latham resigns from church, Baptist boards (Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma)

  2. Earlier: Pastor on paid leave from Baptist church after arrest at hotel | Russell Slack, the minister of administration for South Tulsa Baptist Church, said church leaders are gathering information to decide the employment future of senior pastor Lonnie W. Latham (The Oklahoman)

  3. Pastor on leave after arrest (KWTV, video)

  4. SBC has no plans to remove pastor | "Typically when there's a moral failure of this sort, there's a voluntary resignation," Kenyn Cureton, vice president for convention relations, said Thursday (KOCO, Oklahoma City)


  1. 4 purchasing agents accused of skimming school money | Four longtime purchasing agents who bought milk for Roman Catholic schoolchildren in New York were indicted on fraud charges yesterday, accused of skimming money off the top of their purchases (The New York Times)

  2. Also: Four accused of skimming $2 mln from NY church | Four purchasing agents for the Roman Catholic church's New York Archdiocese were accused on Thursday of skimming more than $2 million from purchases made for schools, hospitals and convents (Reuters)

  3. Talks on sex abuse by priests restarted | Negotiations on 45 cases could yield average payouts of $1 million. Many hurdles remain (Los Angeles Times)

  4. Pastor who is charged with rape kept in jail | Bail denied to Jaree Jones, who also is focus of a similar case in Connecticut (The Post-Standard, Syracuse, N.Y.)

Book of Daniel:

  1. KSNW refuses to air 'Daniel' | Because of protests, Channel 3 decides against broadcasting a program about a struggling minister and his family (The Wichita Eagle, Kan.)

  2. 'Such flawed humans' | Aidan Quinn, Ellen Burstyn, and Susanna Thompson discuss their new NBC show about an Episcopal priest, 'The Book of Daniel' (Beliefnet)

  3. Debating 'Daniel' | Local Episcopalians are reserving judgment on TV drama about priest's troubled family (Pioneer Press, St. Paul, Minn.)

  4. 'Daniel' can't duck the culture wars | NBC airs its first show about a troubled priest tonight. The complaints have been aired already (Los Angeles Times)

  5. Plenty of behavior worthy of a prayer session | The real mark against The Book of Daniel is not sympathy for the devil. The real objection is that it's just not very good (The New York Times)

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  1. 'Book of Daniel': A mean-spirited, unholy mess | There ought to be a worse punishment than cancellation for a show that tries this hard to be offensive and, even at that crass task, manages to fail (The Washington Post)

  2. If depth is a sin, this is a 'Book' of virtues | Jesus as imaginary friend is but one of the disconnects in this 'Six Feet Under' knockoff (Los Angeles Times)


  1. 'Shake it out for Jesus' | Churches co-opt hip-hop (The Christian Science Monitor)

  2. Upon this rock 'n' roll | Christian rockers go out to build God's kingdom (The Coloradoan, Ft. Collins, Co.)

Other stories of interest:

  1. Faith no more | Seventeen spikes its faith section (

  2. Evangelical group negotiating to build biblical park in Israel | According to The Jerusalem Post, the Israeli tourism department said an evangelical consortium led by Pat Robertson is negotiating a deal for the project. Various reports predicted that an agreement could be reached within weeks or months (The Virginian-Pilot)

  3. Faith-based relief | Human-rights group aids Katrina cleanup (Sun Herald, Biloxi, Miss.)

  4. Unite against Darfur genocide | If the U.N. continues to do little more than wring its hands, other nations must band together to act (Editorial, The Denver Post)

  5. Epiphany marks passing season | Even for non-Christians, the Feast of the Epiphany can have a secular significance (The Advocate, Baton Rouge, La.)

  6. Divine intervention | Petitionary prayer returns to Jewish services (Jack Wertheimer, The Wall Street Journal)

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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.
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