Religion Today Summaries - March 12, 2007

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - March 12, 2007

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

  • Dawkins’ Atheistic Arguments Weak, Oxford Prof Says
  • Union: Teacher Can't Divert Dues to Fight Sex Trafficking
  • Fire Destroys Home of Bestselling Author/Speaker Cecil Murphey
  • Answers in Genesis Founder Labels Claims in 'Jesus Tomb' as Nonsense

Dawkins’ Atheistic Arguments Weak, Oxford Prof Says

The latest book by evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins, “The God Delusion,” is an attempt to shore up the faith of atheists, Oxford theologian Alister McGrath said at a meeting of the Evangelical Philosophical Society at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. Baptist Press reports the event was co-sponsored by the seminary’s theological and historical studies division in tandem with the Greer-Heard Point-Counterpoint Forum. “I believe Dawkins’ book was really written to persuade atheists that their faith is still valid,” McGrath, professor of historical theology and senior research fellow at Oxford, said. Dawkins promotes an evolutionary view of nature that excludes any notion of God. McGrath said Dawkins’ work has become increasingly crusading and anti-religious. Dawkins has said he hopes “religious readers who open [his book] will be atheists when they put it down.” However, “Dawkins’ assertion that science disproves God is not right," says McGrath. "The evidence isn’t there and his argument is weak,” said McGrath, a former atheist himself. “As Christians, we can respond with confidence to The God Delusion that Dawkins’ arguments are weak, unsupported by evidence, and tell us more about the condition of present-day atheism than about faith in God,” he concluded.

Union: Teacher Can't Divert Dues to Fight Sex Trafficking

A teacher in Vancouver, Wash., claiming a religious exemption to paying union dues, wants to divert her money to a charity that seeks "to prevent and eradicate sex trafficking and slavery." However, the union has rejected her request because the organization is "not acceptable." CNSNews.com reports that Susan Wiggs, director of the middle school program for English language learners, resigned as a religious objector in August 2005 "because of political stands the union was taking that I couldn't agree with." Wiggs, a devout Christian, noted that the VEA, its state affiliate and the National Education Association "were coming out in favor of abortion and homosexual rights," she said. "I didn't want to support them with my dues." As CNSNews.com previously reported, Wiggs isn't the only teacher to face obstacles when it comes to using a religious exemption to divert union dues to charity. Carol Katter, a mathematics and language arts instructor in southern Ohio who was told by a union official to pay forced dues or "change religions," is challenging a state law that allows only public employees who belong to certain denominations the right to claim religious objection to paying union dues.

Fire Destroys Home of Bestselling Author/Speaker Cecil Murphey

On the morning of February 27th, 2007, the Georgia home of Cecil Murphey burned to the ground. While Murphey, his wife, Shirley, and daughter Cecile escaped, Cecile’s husband, Alan Hege, was trapped inside and died in the flames. Hege’s body will be cremated this week and a memorial service will be held later in the month. Officials state the fire was started downstairs by sparks from a scented candle Cecile had blown out. Said Murphey: “As I watched the firefighters try to put out the fire, the words of Job 2:10 came to me. ‘We have received good from the hand of the Lord. Shall we not also receive evil?’ As that verse filled my mind, I heard myself say, ‘Who am I to be exempt?’” Murphey reports that other than his computer’s hard drive and their passports, his home is a total loss. Yet, “So many have done so much to help us and we’re grateful.” The award-winning author has sold more than six million copies of his 106 books, which have been translated into more than twenty languages. Although the fire has greatly impacted Murphey and his family, Murphey said they are finding a new depth to the grace of God through the love of others.

Answers in Genesis Founder Labels Claims in 'Jesus Tomb' as Nonsense

Ken Ham, president of Answers in Genesis, says there's no new information in the "Lost Tomb of Jesus" documentary that chronicles claims by archaeologists that they have found a coffin containing the bones of Christ, OneNewsNow.com reports. According to Ham, the documentary is just the latest in a string of increasing attacks on the Bible. Says Ham, "Anyone can take a documentary and take certain evidence they find and then, because of their own anti-Christian bias or whatever it is, put their own particular interpretation on that and make it sound so good in a movie." People have been trying to discredit the Bible for thousands of years, even though eyewitness accounts from God's Word support the fact that Christ rose from the dead, Ham pointed out, though he did indicate the documentary represents another opportunity for Christians to become equipped.

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