WSJ story on dismissed Wheaton professor is old, but hot
Is the Reformation over? asks Wheaton College history professor Mark Noll in a book with Carolyn Nystrom (see CT's review and Books & Culture's excerpt). As reported in the top story in the weekend Wall Street Journal, Noll's school has answered the question with a resounding no.

Around Christianity Today, a stone's throw from Wheaton, the dismissal of assistant philosophy professor Joshua Hochschild for his conversion to Roman Catholicism is a bit old news. Indeed, the Journal notes that he left last spring, and the debate over his dismissal goes back to 2003. Furthermore, the debate over limiting Catholic teaching at Wheaton is considerably older. It was a subject of debate when Weblog was a Wheaton undergraduate student more than a decade ago. As the Journal itself reports, Wheaton "has never hired a Catholic professor full time and tells Catholic applicants it won't consider them for such posts. … Aware of Wheaton's Protestants-only policy, Mr. Hochschild recalls thinking he would probably lose his job."

But the Journal sees, as its deck proclaims, "a new orthodoxy at religious colleges."

"A conservative reaction is setting in, part of a broader push against the secularization of American society," writes Daniel Golden. "Fearful of forsaking their spiritual and educational moorings, colleges are increasingly 'hiring for mission,' as the catch phrase goes, even at the cost of eliminating more academically qualified candidates."

It doesn't sound like Wheaton College president Duane Litfin would characterize his actions as fearful. "If you look at the caliber of our faculty, this is an amazing place," he told the paper. "It's thriving. Why do genetic engineering on it? Why muck up its DNA?"

Some conservative Catholics—who just five minutes ago were carping about how Catholic colleges have been losing their distinctives—see this as an example of "they don't think we're Christians." But the issue isn't whether Litfin sees Roman Catholics as Christians (he calls Hochschild a "brother"), but whether he sees them as evangelicals who truly agree with the college's statement of faith.

Not all Catholics are so negative. "The general response of serious religious believers, Protestant and Catholic alike, is likely to be: 'Good for Wheaton.' Or, rather, 'Good for Wheaton—given that the evil of Christian disunity exists,'" Jody Bottum writes on the First Things weblog. "Until those divisions are healed, the shared Catholic and Protestant struggle to maintain religious identity in a secularized culture will occasionally create such disturbing incidents. If Catholics are concerned—as they ought to be—about the Catholic identity of their own colleges and universities, then they must accept the right and even duty of Protestant schools to maintain a Protestant character."

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If there is a story in Hochschild's dismissal, it's not the "new orthodoxy." It's the "new evangelicalism." The Journal suggests that all the chips in the Hochschild story may not have fallen. "Perhaps Wheaton College has come to a point where, because of challenges such as yours, it must revise its documents to make more explicit its non-Catholic identity," Litfin wrote to Hochschild. If Wheaton does revise its statement of faith (as it did in the mid-1990s) to make its identity clearer, it will be interesting to see the point or points at which the school says Catholicism and evangelical Protestantism are irreconcilable. Scot McKnight, who once wrote an article for the Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society titled "From Wheaton to Rome," suggests that "supreme and final authority" of the Bible may not be the only—or even the main—concern.

McKnight echoes one point that's screamed over at the conservative Anglican blog TitusOneNine, where some (including some Wheaton faculty members) wonder if the axe is at the root of the Anglican tree.

One final interesting comment from the TitusOneNine blog, from Wheaton professor Dan Treier:

Many at Wheaton would like the board to open the school to RCs who want to affirm the phrase ["supreme and final authority"]. However, the Prez believes no good RCs could. The interesting issue, then, is who gets to interpret the statement of faith, and whether its preamble (where Protestant is mentioned) delimits it. Obviously, the Prez gets to give the magisterial interpretation.

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Church life:

  1. Pastor's leadership challenged | The Rev. Cho Yong-gi, pastor of Yoido Full Gospel Church, the world's biggest church, has withdrawn his promise to retire in February, and declared that he will carry on the service until 2010, sparking a controversy throughout the Protestant circle (The Korea Times)

  2. Russell stepping aside | Longtime minister passing torch to chosen successor (The Courier-Journal, Louisville, Ky.)

  3. Also: Russell's wide influence, actions praised (The Courier-Journal, Louisville, Ky.)

  4. The purpose-driven pastor | Rick Warren, the Southern Baptist preacher's son from tiny Redwood Valley, Calif., is much in demand these days (The Philadelphia Inquirer)

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  1. Difference in values spurs Suffolk church to quit denomination | The United Church of Christ's endorsement of same-sex "marriage" wasn't the only disagreement Suffolk Christian Church had with the national group (Associated Press)

  2. Parishioners leaving traditional churches | Sale of Elmira church is reflective of American culture, clergy says (Star-Gazette, Elmira, N.Y.)

  3. Churches face big challenge | As much as every faith community feels called to bring light to the world and open its doors to everyone, when it comes to energy use, the lights need to be turned off and the doors shut, local leaders say (The Huntsville Times, Ala.)

  4. Ethiopian archbishop Abuna Yesehaq Mandefro dies at 72 | Archbishop Abuna Yesehaq Mandefro, caught up in the political upheaval in Ethiopia in the 1990's, split his congregations in the Americas from the mother church in Addis Ababa (The New York Times)

Church of England debates women bishops:

  1. Church wants women bishops by 2012 | Opponents warn of major rift as leaked document reveals the determination of bishops to press on (The Times, London)

  2. Anglicans to debate women bishops | Talks are due to start on whether the Church of England should allow the ordination of women bishops (BBC)

  3. Split over women bishops deepens | Divisions over whether women can be bishops appear to be deepening within the Anglican Church, as talks over the historic change are due to start (BBC)

Chicago church destroyed:

  1. Landmark church destroyed by fire | Pilgrim Baptist was birthplace of gospel music (Chicago Tribune)

  2. History burns with church | Cultural pilgrims from around the world came to Pilgrim Baptist to behold the place where gospel music was born (Chicago Tribune)

  3. 'God gave us a wake-up call' | Some see fire as a chance to rebuild congregation (Chicago Tribune)

  4. Gospel music loses its storied birthplace | History left in ruins (Chicago Tribune)

  5. Congregation prays for strength | Church is its people, not building, they say (Chicago Tribune)

  6. Investigators: Torches started church fire | Fire investigators on Monday said heating torches being used by renovation crews caused the blaze that destroyed a landmark church known as the birthplace of gospel music (Associated Press)

  7. Fire destroys a landmark Chicago church famed for gospel music | The church was significant not only for its role in gospel music, but as one of the last defining works of legendary architect Louis Sullivan (The New York Times)

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  1. Fire destroys landmark Chicago church | The architecture was majestic, the gospel choir was inspiring and services at the Pilgrim Baptist Church were so popular that worshippers in the 1930s and '40s had to show up an hour early to find a seat (Associated Press)

  2. Service held after Chicago church fire | Fire officials were investigating the cause of Friday's blaze, a fire so intense it could be seen for miles and injured four firefighters (Associated Press)

Interfaith relations:

  1. Air crew ordered not to wear crucifixes on flights to Saudi | Air crew on the only British airline that flies to Saudi Arabia have been told not to wear crucifixes or St Christopher medals on flights there so as not to offend the country's Muslims (The Telegraph, London)

  2. Jordan's king to speak at U.S. prayer breakfast | Jordan's King Abdullah II, whose interfaith efforts over the past year impressed Catholics, Jews and Muslims alike, will have a supporting role at this year's National Prayer Breakfast, according to a key aide (The Washington Times)

  3. Among evangelicals, a kinship with Jews | Some skeptical of growing phenomenon (The Washington Post)


  1. Looking to faith for comfort | When the Sago Mine blast tested a town's faith, Wease Day of Sago Baptist Church offered hospitality and strength of belief (The Baltimore Sun)

  2. 'Your pain is ours,' Greek Orthodox leader tells N.O. | Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, leader of a quarter-billion Eastern Orthodox Christians from his seat in Istanbul, clutched his flowing black robes and trudged up the side of the broken Industrial Canal levee Saturday "to answer the need of our soul." (The Times-Picayune, New Orleans)

  3. Also: Church leaders tour areas hit by Katrina | The spiritual leader of the world's 200 million Orthodox Christians visited the devastated Lower Ninth Ward and prayed for the victims Hurricane Katrina on Saturday (Associated Press)


  1. Man released after questioning | Police released one Mulyono alias Mul on Saturday after no evidence was found that he was involved in a bomb blast at a Christian market in Palu last week that killed seven people (The Jakarta Post)

  2. Blast hits Indonesia's Central Sulawesi province | No casualties or damage in explosion near church (Radio Australia)


  1. Peace in Sudan also brings uncertainty | Villagers living in places unnamed on any map — without roads, electricity, schools or clinics — say they still feel forgotten, and fear war will return if peace does not also mean prosperity (Associated Press)

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  1. One year after peace deal, Sudanese seek dividends | As Sudan marks a year of peace between the north and south, many in Africa's largest country say they are still searching for a dividend after a slow start for the peace accord and persistent conflict nationwide (Reuters)

Ecuador martyrs:

  1. Slaying of missionaries by tribe portrayed in film | Casting agent Mark Fincannon said Thursday he hopes "End of the Spear" will "raise the bar of Christian filming," along with other theologically significant movies such as "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" and "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy. (The Washington Times)

  2. Ecuadoran tribe transformed after killing of 5 missionaries | Fifty years ago today, tribesmen in Ecuador speared five American missionaries (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

Gender selective abortion in India:

  1. Experts urge action against India checks | Experts urged the Indian government to enforce laws against prenatal gender checks and to work to change attitudes after a study showed up to 10 million female fetuses may have been selectively aborted in India over the past two decades (Associated Press)

  2. Selective abortion blamed for India's missing girls | About 10 million female fetuses may have been aborted in India over the past two decades, according to research published on Monday (Reuters)

  3. 10 million girl fetuses aborted in India | The births of up to 10 million girls in India may have been prevented by selective abortion in the past 20 years, researchers say today (The Guardian, London)

  4. India 'loses 10m female births' | More than 10m female births in India may have been lost to abortion and sex selection in the past 20 years, according to medical research (BBC)


  1. Family-planning leader named | Cecile Richards, a veteran political activist and daughter of former Texas Gov. Ann Richards, was named Monday as the new president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, taking over at a crucial time for America's abortion-rights movement (Associated Press)

  2. Wis. governor vetoes abortion-pain bill | Gov. Jim Doyle on Friday vetoed a bill that would have forced doctors to tell women seeking abortions after their fifth month of pregnancy that their fetuses could suffer pain (Associated Press)

  3. Battle to legalize abortion heats up in Brazil | Although abortion is outlawed in Brazil except in rare circumstances, the country has one of the highest abortion rates in the developing world (Reuters)

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  1. Slovak abortion move worries EU | An attempt by the Vatican to reduce the number of abortions in Slovakia has raised concerns in the European Union about the loss of rights for women (BBC)

  2. States' laws clash on teen abortions | Missouri rule forces restrictions in Illinois (Chicago Tribune)

  3. Men's abortion rights | If men are expected to be parents with equal responsibilities, shouldn't they at least be allowed to discuss whether to have a child? (John Tierney, The New York Times)


  1. Pastor resigns after arrest for seeking lewd behavior | Morris H. Chapman, president and chief executive officer of the SBC Executive Committee, expressed concern for all those involved (Baptist Press)

  2. We'll protect you, Italy tells the man who shot the Pope | The man who shot Pope John Paul ll may know too much (The Times, London)

  3. Also: Pope John Paul's shooter to be released | The man who shot Pope John Paul II in 1981 will be released from prison this week after a court decided he had completed his sentence for the attack on the pontiff and other crimes — a ruling that took the Vatican by surprise (Associated Press)

  4. Jury selection under way in priest slaying | Jury selection got under way Monday for the trial of a prison inmate accused of killing convicted pedophile priest John Geoghan, with some prospects expressing doubts they could be impartial in the highly publicized case (Associated Press)


  1. Vatican official expected at deposition | A high-ranking Vatican official is expected at a deposition Monday where lawyers plan to ask him how the Portland diocese handled priest sex abuse allegations during his tenure there (Associated Press)

  2. Groups reflect on clergy abuse scandal | Victims' advocates say work still needed (The Boston Globe)

  3. Vatican grants church trial in abuse case | Msgr. Charles M. Kavanagh was granted a church trial after battling Cardinal Edward M. Egan, who suspended him (The New York Times)

  4. L.A. archdiocese in abuse settlement talks | With the threat of civil trials looming, the Los Angeles Archdiocese is deep in talks with lawyers for 45 people allegedly abused by priests, seeking to settle the cases before they reach court, lawyers said Friday (Associated Press)

  5. Ex-organist gets 15 years for sex assault | Records show he abused 4 minors (Republican-American, Waterbury, Ct.)

  6. Ky. diocese abuse case payout drops | The Covington Diocese could pay at least $35 million less to sex abuse victims than it had earlier pledged, attorneys said Monday as they announced a new deal that caps the church's payout at $85 million (Associated Press)

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  1. A ruling on the status of its women roils a monastery | In Pecos, N.M., a monastery where monks and nuns interact is going through a rough transition after a ruling from the Vatican (The New York Times)

  2. Pope hopes for dialogue among Christians | Pope Benedict XVI expressed hope Saturday for continued dialogue among all Christians that could surmount the "tragic divisions" that arose after the rise of Protestantism in the 16th century (Associated Press)

  3. Pope says terrorism is 'moral perversion' | Benedict stressed the need for forgiveness and reconciliation to bring peace in armed conflicts around the world. And he told the ambassadors that wealthy countries must do more for the world's poor (Associated Press)

  4. Pope says terror provokes 'clash of civilizations' | Pope Benedict on Monday warned of a clash of civilizations caused by the "moral perversion" of terrorism, called for peace between Israel and Palestinians, and urged cuts in arms spending to feed the poor (Reuters)

  5. Pope baptizes newborns in Sistine Chapel | Wails rang out in the Sistine Chapel on Sunday as Pope Benedict XVI baptized 10 newborns, continuing a beloved tradition of Pope John Paul II by personally welcoming some of the newest members of the Roman Catholic Church (Associated Press)

  6. The year of two popes | How Joseph Ratzinger stepped into the shoes of John Paul II—and what it means for the Catholic Church (Paul Elie, The Atlantic)

UK-Vatican relations:

  1. After 400 years, our man in Rome is a Catholic | Richard Owen talks to the ambassador who represents our protestant nation in the Vatican (The Times, London)

  2. Britain sparks row with Vatican over proposal to close embassy | The Vatican has warned Britain that it risks violating a longstanding treaty by transferring its Embassy to the Holy See to premises within the British Embassy to Italy (The Times, London)

Religion in Europe:

  1. Cross purposes | Conflicting views about religion threaten to divide Europe from the US (Ian Buruma, The Guardian, London)

  2. Is God dead in Europe? | Where Europe has gone, America could be going — and that is a prospect that is frightening Christians and sharpening the religious divide in this country (James P. Gannon, USA Today)

Church and state (non-U.S.):

  1. St Paul's tries again with £1m request for lottery funding | St Paul's Cathedral, one of the most visited buildings in Britain, has so far missed out on lottery funding because it does not appeal to a "wide enough range of people" (The Telegraph, London)

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  1. Church must lose its £17 million tax break | The Roman Catholic Church in Spain is embroiled in a dispute over a bill for millions of pounds of unpaid tax (The Times, London)

  2. Bishops urge Kibaki to start review debate | The Anglican and Catholic churches have urged President Kibaki to restart the constitution making process as soon as possible (The East African Standard, Kenya)

  3. Looking away when the target is Jesus | Christmas seemed like a good time to catch up on Dick Gross' revisionist gospel Jesus, Judas and Mordy Ben Ruben and to contemplate the selective application of anti-vilification laws in Victoria (Terry Lane, The Age, Melbourne, Australia)

Church and state (U.S.):

  1. Court refuses challenge to AmeriCorps | The Supreme Court yesterday declined to take a case brought by a national Jewish organization challenging the government's use of federal money to place teachers in religious schools through the AmeriCorps grant program (The Washington Times)

  2. Also: Supreme Court okays funds in schools case | The Supreme Court on Monday let stand a lower court ruling that allows use of federal funds in placing young teachers in religious schools (Associated Press)

  3. God license plate gets initial nod | 'In God We Trust' idea passes House panel, will go to the floor (The Indianapolis Star)

  4. Sunday double-parking falls from grace | D.C. police will soon begin ticketing vehicles that are double-parked around several churches in Northwest on Sundays, a parking infraction that was previously ignored by authorities (The Washington Times)

  5. Fighting over religion in 2006: Déjà vu all over again? | Intelligent design, Ten Commandments, Pledge of Allegiance, Bible courses and, yes, Christmas will continue to be contested (Charles C. Haynes, First Amendment Center)

Sam Alito and Justice Sunday 3:

  1. Alito seeks to distance himself from previous abortion statements | Nominee faces senators in second day of hearing (The Washington Post)

  2. A fight over courts staged in Phila. | A North Philadelphia church and the surrounding blocks became the staging ground Sunday night for a national battle over the federal judiciary - between conservatives who see it as hostile to religious freedom and liberals who characterize the political right as bullies of the court (The Philadelphia Inquirer)

  3. Christian Right mobilizes for judge | Conservative tilt sought on bench (The Washington Post)

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  1. At Justice Sunday 3, Santorum rails against Alito opposition | On the eve of Senate confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito, conservatives rallied in defense of religious liberty and in favor of reforming the federal courts (Associated Press)

  2. Christian conservatives rally for Judge Alito | Christian conservative leader Rev. Jerry Falwell said on Sunday that confirming Federal Appeals Court judge Samuel Alito to the U.S. Supreme Court would be the biggest victory for his constituency in three decades (Reuters)

  3. Expert witness | Activist lawyer Jan LaRue is carrying a banner for Sam Alito in a battle that's as personal as it is political (The Washington Post)

  4. Ministers say they blessed seats ahead of Alito hearing | Insisting that God "certainly needs to be involved" in the Supreme Court confirmation process, three Christian ministers today blessed the doors of the hearing room where Senate Judiciary Committee members will begin considering the nomination of Judge Samuel Alito on Monday (The Wall Street Journal)

  5. Divine justice? | Samuel Alito's paper trail from his 15 years on the federal bench holds plenty of clues to his views on church/state questions (Douglas McCollam, Beliefnet)

  6. Key questions for Alito lost in abortion hubbub | Questions he should be asked (John H. Bunzel, San Francisco Chronicle)

  7. Analysis: Abortion shares Alito spotlight | Samuel Alito is drawing contentious questions not only over abortion — for more than three decades the biggest battleground for Supreme Court nominees — but over presidential power, and whether President Bush is going too far in exercising it (Associated Press)

Chaplain ends protest fast:

  1. Navy chaplain ends hunger strike after 18 days | Claims that service changed its policy are disputed (Stars and Stripes)

  2. Fasting chaplain declares victory | Navy denies that he couldn't pray in Jesus' name (The Washington Post)

  3. Also: Chaplain ends 18-day fast | A Navy chaplain ended an 18-day fast outside the White House yesterday, proclaiming victory in his bid to use Jesus' name when praying in public (The Washington Times)


  1. Democrats might now proclaim their faith | Some key Kentucky Democrats have begun to road-test new messages and campaign sound bites on abortion and their candidates' personal faith (Lexington Herald-Leader, Ky.)

  2. Taking a stand on a rite with hazards | Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg is finding out the hard way that conflicts of church and state always come back (The New York Times)

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  1. Santorum eyes moderate, conservative votes | Sen. Rick Santorum is walking a tightrope this election year as he attempts to appeal to moderates without alienating his conservative base (Associated Press)

  2. Asides | Is Santorum embracing or fleeing from the religious right? (Editorial, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

  3. The religious right faces its purgatory | The White House doesn't want Alito associated with the religious right, because it would alienate moderates (There were signs of a backlash against the religious right even before the Rev. Pat Robertson declared that God may have caused Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's stroke to punish him for giving up the Gaza Strip (Peter S. Canellos, The Boston Globe)

  4. 'Shamelist' lands Zambia's Oasis Forum in hot water | A parliamentary committee has found that the Oasis Forum, an influential civil society movement comprising church bodies and the Law Association of Zambia, has a case to answer regarding advertisements denouncing MPs who voted against a bill backed by the forum (Reuters/IRIN)


  1. Abramoff used Toward Tradition as conduit for money | Rabbi Daniel Lapin confirmed Sunday it was his foundation that took $50,000 from two Abramoff clients and, at Abramoff's suggestion, used it to hire the aide's wife to organize a conference for the group (The Seattle Times)

  2. Jack's bribe ring rocks Washington | For a small evangelical Christian group the size of the cheque — a cool $1m — was astonishing. Something else was odd, too (The Times, London)

  3. Bringing faith into contempt | The worst is that Abramoff is a Jew. Not only a Jew, but an Orthodox Jew -- someone who claims to be committed to strictly observing Jewish law and faithfully adhering to the Torah's ethical standards. But instead of upholding those ethical standards Abramoff trampled on them, and a ''religious" Jew who behaves so corruptly disgraces not only himself but all religious Jews (Jeff Jacoby, The Boston Globe)

  4. Houses of cards | With Jack Abramoff pleading guilty to illegal lobbying activities and pledging to talk about his fraudulent deals, questions grow for evangelical leaders who—wittingly or unwittingly—became part of a strategy to "bring out the wackos to vote against something" (World)

Pat Robertson:

  1. Evangelical leaders criticize Pat Robertson | Officials of conservative Christian churches and organizations suggested that Robertson was losing religious and political influence as a result of his remarks on Sharon and other recent controversial comments (Los Angeles Times)

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  1. Even Pat Robertson's friends are wondering | Shunned by conservative Christian leaders, Pat Robertson still has his own TV show (The New York Times)

  2. Robertson and Ahmadinejad | Mr. Ahmadinejad, the president of a country with a lamentable human rights record and a nuclear program, is dangerous, where Mr. Robertson is only pathetic. But they share a self-righteousness that blinds them to the distance that they have placed between themselves and the majority of people who find their remarks repulsive (Editorial, The Washington Post)

  3. Robertson's claims deserve denouncing | Pat Robertson long ago assigned himself to the fringes with earlier outrageous comments, but his most recent claim surely is as deserving of denunciation as any he has ever made (Editorial, Montgomery Advertiser, Ala.)

  4. On Pat Robertson and divided you fall from grace | Pat Robertson's God sure has been angry of late, smiting on a scale not seen since Sodom and Gomorrah (Katrina vanden Heuvel, The Nation)

  5. Robertson and God | From criticizing Pat to "debunking" the Bible (Bonnie Erbe, Scripps Howard News Service)


  1. Having faith in the Post | While religion reporting has had a renaissance at The Post and in American journalism in the past few years, it doesn't get anything like the resources devoted to coverage of entertainment, sports, and politics and government (Deborah Howell, Ombudsman, The Washington Post)

  2. Thought for the Day without the religion | Thought for the Day, one of the bastions of religious broadcasting, could be open to secular contributors in the future, the BBC's director general Mark Thompson has said (The Telegraph, London)

  3. Also: God in the God slot | If Thought for the Day is to continue, it makes no sense to turn it over to unreligious causes, no matter how "heartfelt" (Editorial, The Telegraph, London)

  4. The depraved heroes of 24 are the Himmlers of Hollywood | The message of the TV series, that torturers can retain their human dignity if the cause is right, is a profound lie (Slavoj Zizek, The Guardian, London)

  5. 'Narnia' hits $530 million at global box office | Lingering holidays in many parts of the world kept the foreign box office buzzing during the first full weekend of the new year (Reuters)

  6. Christian radio takes a spicy turn | A new, tiny station in Dade City broadcasts 24 hours of song and talk in Spanish for Hispanics who "didn't have a voice." (St. Petersburg Times, Fla.)

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  1. Magazine blends faith and attitude | Relevant magazine only looks like it belongs on a shelf between Rolling Stone and Maxim . In fact, it's a pioneering Christian publication that wraps old school values in pop culture packaging (The Dallas Morning News)

  2. Christian band StorySide: B starts new chapter | Talent competitions such as "American Idol" have produced some of today's most successful artists. In the faith-based music community, there are similar contests serving as a vehicle to launch new acts (Reuters)


  1. A man of faith, football | Chaplain beat his own demons before helping Colts (The Indianapolis Star)

  2. Chaplains with other NFL teams | Many of the league's 32 teams have chaplains. Many are nondenominational. Here's a look around the league (The Indianapolis Star)


  1. Scripture, meet the web: Placing limits on 24/7 | Many electronic retailers with religiously observant owners and executives leave their sites up and running on their Sabbath, but do not complete orders, work on the site or otherwise do anything to help customers. And despite an increasingly competitive environment and ever more demanding customers, they say their businesses have not suffered (The New York Times)

  2. Net now a fisher of men as faithful tune in for 'godcasts' | Britney Spears, Gorillaz, Missy Higgins, Bernard Fanning, Matthew 4:18-5:16 - The Sermon On The Mount as preached by Dean Phillip Jensen. All these could be streamed direct to you via your iPod or your MP3 player (The Sydney Morning Herald)


  1. 'Rise' revisits fastest-growing religion claim | Martin Naparsteck reviews Rodney Stark's latest (The Salt Lake Tribune)

  2. 5 million paperback copies of 'The Da Vinci Code' planned | Random House is confident that a huge audience remains for a book that has been near the top of the hardcover best-seller lists for almost three years (The New York Times)

  3. Runaway bride's pastor to publish book | The pastor who became spokesman for runaway bride Jennifer Wilbanks has hit the ground running with a book about "the various issues of life that cause us to make foolish decisions" (Associated Press)

  4. Hart's brilliant essay hits church-state hypocrisies | The former senator and divinity student cites error of revivalists (George W. Appleby, Des Moines Register)

Book of Daniel:

  1. Much show, little go, for NBC's 'Daniel' | Finishes third in timeslot, despite stink (Media Life)

  2. Five TVs drop 1st chapter of Daniel | Tupelo, Miss.-based American Family Association (AFA), which has been lobbying stations to drop NBC's limited drama, The Book of Daniel, says five stations did so for Friday's two-hour premiere (Broadcasting and Cable)

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  1. Sinfully bad TV | A real live preacher weighs in on NBC's "The Book of Daniel" and the unholy outrage from the religious right (

  2. The risk of playing religion straight | Whether we're atheists, agnostics, secularists or believers, we all hold religious leaders to higher standards (Diane Winston, Los Angeles Times)

Richard Dawkins:

  1. Oh come all ye faithless | A new series depicts religion as dangerous bunk. But is presenter Richard Dawkins just preaching to the converted? (Sunday Herald, Glasgow)

  2. No wonder atheists are angry: they seem ready to believe anything | Richard Dawkins's latest attack on religion is an intellectually lazy polemic not worthy of a great scientist (Madeleine Bunting, The Guardian, London)

  3. Religion 'a form of child abuse' | Films compare Moses to Hitler and claim God is racist (Sunday Herald, Glasgow)

  4. Richard Dawkins: Beyond belief | The renowned evolutionary biologist tells John Crace why he finds the resurgence of religion so annoying (The Guardian, London)

Science and evolution:

  1. Science takes stock after clone row | The revelations about Dr Hwang Woo-suk, South Korea's cloning and stem cell pioneer, have built into one of the biggest scientific scandals of recent memory (BBC)

  2. Dover course to be offered | Seminar at Lutheran Theological Seminary will explore religion and science relationship (York Daily Record, Pa)

  3. School board chair opens door, finds controversy | But Bernadette Reinking said she didn't run for Dover school board for attention (York Daily Record, Pa.)

  4. Intelligent-design war evolves | State school board may revisit policy in light of ruling (The Columbus Dispatch, Oh.)

  5. The war that wasn't | Science and religion have often stood together (Alan Cutler, The Washington Post)

  6. The origin of life? All in a day's work | For some scientists, it's a race to the start (The Washington Post)

  7. Teaching religion in schools | A more intelligent course (Editorial, The Philadelphia Inquirer)

  8. Dangerous questions for dangerous times | Forget for a moment the substance of the arguments in defense of Darwin, Intelligent Design and the Bible. But how we choose to conduct these debates, the knowledge we bring to the argument, is crucially important (Suzanne Fields, The Washington Times)

  9. Jefferson, Marx and intelligent design | What if Jefferson had declared: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men resulted from evolution, based on survival of the fittest"? (L. Baer, The Washington Times)

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  1. Creation doctrine a matter of faith | The best thing to come out of the recent court decision on "intelligent design" for me was the realization that traditional Christian theology has something fresh to say about this (Bill Tammeus, The Kansas City Star)

Bible and theology:

  1. Is God an accident? | Despite the vast number of religions, nearly everyone in the world believes in the same things: the existence of a soul, an afterlife, miracles, and the divine creation of the universe. Recently psychologists doing research on the minds of infants have discovered two related facts that may account for this phenomenon. One: human beings come into the world with a predisposition to believe in supernatural phenomena. And two: this predisposition is an incidental by-product of cognitive functioning gone awry (Paul Bloom, The Atlantic)

  2. Binge eating worse than being unfaithful? | Most Italians feel more guilty about over-eating than they do about cheating on their partners, a survey has found, suggesting that people in Casanova's native land care more about staying slim than staying faithful (Reuters)

  3. Just who did write Paul's letters from prison? | The books of I and II Timothy and Titus, which claim to have been written by the Apostle, may actually have been written by Paul's associates or admirers long after his death in roughly 65 A.D. (Lexington Herald-Leader, Ky.)


  1. Study seeks to test power of prayer | Participants secretly pray for some, not others; but critic sees flaws (World News Tonight, ABC News)

  2. 1st day for session was 'day of prayer' | State legislator participated in 2 public services before the House convened (The Indianapolis Star)

  3. Also: Senate opens with moment of silence | The Indiana Senate began the 2006 legislative session with a moment of silence in an apparent response to a court order barring prayers promoting Christianity or specific religions in the Indiana House (Associated Press)

  4. The error of taking Christ out of prayer | The name and person of Jesus -- his life, crucifixion and resurrection -- are the essence of the faith, and the how of our prayer (Sharon Hodge, Minneapolis Star Tribune)

Missions & ministry:

  1. A city that runs on faith | Loma Linda, famous for its groundbreaking medical center, is led by Seventh-day Adventists devoted to health and spiritual growth (Los Angeles Times)

  2. The children come first | Catholic Charities, the social service arm of the Archdiocese of Boston, has been taking children out of danger and placing them in loving homes for decades. For the sake of children in desperate need now and in the future, Archbishop Sean O'Malley should allow the social service agency to continue its difficult, important adoption work (Editorial, The Boston Globe)

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  1. Missionary work draws ethical debate | If so much trouble has come from trying to spread an idea or system of beliefs, why do we as human beings continue to do it? (Michael Gartland, The Post and Courier, Charleston, S.C.)

  2. Church group protests against Hinn | The Liberty church is protesting against the Government's decision to approve evangelist Benny Hinn to preach in Fiji (The Fiji Times)

  3. An arena of shared faith | Baptism at Coliseum unites friends, fans of Mexican rodeo (The Denver Post)

Gay marriage:

  1. Group gathers to push marriage amendment | Supporters of a Florida Constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman held concurrent news conferences across the state Friday morning to boost their efforts to meet a Feb. 1 petition deadline (The Tampa Tribune, Fla.)

  2. Chan denies anti-gay stance | Chinese-language newspaper quoted Richmond MP as saying he opposes gays' right to marry (Vancouver Sun)

  3. New Jersey lawmakers pass two gay rights bills | New Jersey lawmakers voted to give same-sex couples the same rights as married couples regarding inheritance and funeral arrangements and to extend gay couples' access to health benefits in the public sector (Reuters)

More articles of interest:

  1. Russia celebrating Orthodox Christmas | Believers across Russia began celebrations of the Russian Orthodox Christmas on the eve of the holiday Friday, with President Vladimir Putin sending greetings to the faithful (Associated Press)

  2. Minister bridges two disparate worlds | A new year traditionally means new starts, when people resolve to change their lives. So it's an apt time for one pastor's tale of the epic change he made 25 years ago, when he was transformed from atheist to evangelical Christian (Rich Barlow, The Boston Globe)

  3. The Cairo massacre | Something shameful has been happening in Cairo, where Egyptian security forces assaulted Sudanese refugees who had been camping out before the offices of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (Editorial, The Boston Globe)

  4. God is in the details of this case. Or is he? | The idea of Christianity being defended not by the Pope, but some small-time cleric staring anxiously into his fusilli, is truly cinematic in its scope (Caitlin Moran, The Times, London)

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What is Weblog?

See our past Weblog updates:

January 6 | 5 | 4
December 28 | 21 | 16 | 14 | 12
December 9 | 7 | 6
December 2b | 2a | November 30
November 23 | 22 | 21
November 18 | 17 | 16b | 16 | 15

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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