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Secrets of the Lebanon-Israel War

Plus: Are conservative Christian schools really worst of all? A church bombing in Malawi, the IRS's new church politics program, and links to more than 280 articles from online sources around the world.

Who turned on the religion news fire hose? It's not Easter or Christmas—in fact, it's summer vacation season—but we're seeing religion news coverage on an almost unmanageable scale. We'd like to blame war in the Middle East or "social policy" votes in Congress, but the reality is that coverage is remarkably broad: hence our 59 categories below. The breadth makes it hard, but we'll still try to narrow it down to …

Today's Top Five

1. Beyond the headlines in the Lebanon-Israel War
Woe to the religion reporter—or just the bewildered churchgoer—looking for "Christian reaction" to the Israel-Lebanon conflict. Since Lebanon has the Middle East's largest population of Christians, you might think there'd be a trove of possibilities. But mainstream news coverage so far has been minimal, and the items from outside the mainstream media aren't terribly helpful. Respectable organizations on both the Left and the Right are offering little analysis or answers, instead just begging and hoping for "all sides" to cool off. Among the statements: Middle East Council of Churches, World Council of Churches, Pope Benedict XVI.

No statement yet from groups like the World Evangelical Alliance, the National Association of Evangelicals, the U.K. Evangelical Alliance, Evangelicals for Middle East Understanding, or other such umbrella bodies.

Evangelical umbrella bodies might be silent, but specific groups and personalities are quite sure they know the cause and solution of the Middle East's problems. One theme: Israel's only fault is that it didn't strike harder and earlier. A (thankfully) less common theme: Blame the gays (The news said Lebanese, dude, not lesbian).

There's an interesting statement circulating from Orthodox, Roman ...

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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 managing editor for news and online journalism. 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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