Religion Today Summaries - July 21, 2005

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk News Staff

Religion Today Summaries - July 21, 2005

Daily briefs of the top news stories impacting Christians around the world. In today's edition:

  • Roberts a 'Supreme' Choice for High Court, Say Evangelicals and Conservatives

  • IMB Honors 39 Retiring Missionaries For More Than A Millennium Of Service 

  • Olive Tree Bible Software Announces Launch Of NIV For Palm OS, Pocket PC, Smartphone, Symbian, And Blackberry

  • Big Screen Infomercial in India Discourages Conversions

Roberts A 'Supreme' Choice for High Court, Say Evangelicals and Conservatives
Jody Brown and Mary Rettig, Agape Press

Not surprisingly, evangelical leaders and conservatives are applauding John G. Roberts' nomination to the high court. Dr. James Dobson of Focus on the Family says the appellate judge is "unquestionably qualified." "President Bush is to be commended for keeping his promise to the American people by selecting such an impartial, accomplished jurist to fill this crucial seat on the high court," Dobson says in a press statement. "[John Roberts] has demonstrated at every stop on his career path the legal acumen, judicial temperament, and personal integrity necessary to be a Supreme Court justice." Jan LaRue, chief counsel for Concerned Women for America, likes Roberts' experience. "[He] is widely respected for his appellate advocacy, having argued some 39 cases before the Supreme Court," she notes. LaRue also is hopeful Democrats will not filibuster the nomination -- and says she sees no reason why Roberts' confirmation should be delayed. She expects liberals in the Senate to "re-run plays from their judicial warfare book" when hearings begin. American Values president Gary Bauer calls Roberts "a refreshing nominee" with an outstanding record of judicial accomplishment as well as a "commitment to judicial restraint long missing from so many activist courts." Likewise, Dr. Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention sees Roberts' nomination as an opportunity to move the high court away from an activist role.

IMB Honors 39 Retiring Missionaries For More Than A Millennium Of Service
Jesse Lyautey, Baptist Press

39 retiring Southern Baptist missionaries were honored for their ministries July 17 during a special service of recognition at the International Mission Board's Missionary Learning Center in Rockville, Va. The missionaries represented a combined total of 1,215 years of sharing the gospel around the world. Jerry Rankin, International Mission Board president, praised the missionaries for their "faithfulness in service all these years." "You have been obedient to God's call," he said. "You went and labored in Latin America, entered those opened doors in the Middle East. When doors opened in Eastern Europe, you seized that opportunity to share the good news there. You've gone and dared to penetrate the massive cities of Asia with the good news of Jesus Christ." Some of the missionaries reminisced about people they worked, cried and learned with during their years of service. Many of the retiring missionaries plan to continue to serve. Some are returning to missions through the Masters Program, an IMB missionary service option for retirees, while others are already on staff at churches. Gordon Fort, IMB vice president of overseas operations, applauded the missionaries and their "scars of ministry" and led a prayer for their futures in ministry during a prayer of thanksgiving. "Your life has already preached your message," he said. "And we want to say: well done."

Olive Tree Bible Software Announces Launch Of NIV For Palm OS, Pocket PC, Smartphone, Symbian, And Blackberry
Religion News Service

Olive Tree Bible Software announces the launch of the best-selling New International Version (NIV) Red Letter Edition for handheld devices. This powerful translation combined with Olive Tree’s cutting-edge Bible software facilitates convenient Bible reading. Olive Tree’s unique software design is ideal for personal reading or intensive Bible studying. Additionally, the electronic format allows easy navigation as well as quick search capability. The NIV can be supplemented by commentaries, devotionals, Bible dictionaries, Greek and Hebrew tools, and many additional Bible versions. Palm OS and Pocket PC versions for the NIV also include bookmarks, personal notes, color highlighting, plus the ability to divide the screen of your device to display multiple texts at one time, and much more. This software is available for Palm OS, Pocket PC, Smartphone, Symbian, and BlackBerry devices. "Our software makes it easy to take the NIV wherever you go," says Kristi Allen, Project Manager at Olive Tree, "This leading Bible translation becomes even more functional when it is enhanced by our innovative, user-friendly technology." (

Big Screen Infomercial in India Discourages Conversions
Vishal Arora, Compass Direct

Cinemas in a town in Gujarat state have begun screening a public service announcement challenging religious conversion. The infomercial suggesting that changing one’s faith is impossible was ostensibly made to educate audiences about the state anti-conversion law, which prohibits conversion “by the use of force or allurement or by fraudulent means.” The law is not yet in effect. Indeed, in June the Gujarat High Court rejected a petition lodged by Christian and Buddhist communities against the anti-conversion law on grounds that the state had yet to implement it. Samson Christian, joint secretary of the All India Christian Council, said the infomercial was misleading and unlawful.