Religion Today Summaries - Oct. 16, 2007

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - Oct. 16, 2007

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

  • Christian Youth Expert Says Most Teens Swayed by society, Not God
  • Archbishop of Canterbury: Dawkins a Good Scientist, Poor Philosopher
  • Two Kidnapped Priests Released in North Iraq
  • NAMB Commissions 125 Missionaries, 7 Chaplains

Christian Youth Expert Says Most Teens Swayed by society, Not God reports that Christian author and youth expert Jeffrey Dean says many teenagers are caught up in a race to survive and are missing out on the abundant life promised by Christ. Dean, an author and speaker to teenagers at conferences, seminars, and retreats, says many Christian teenagers are confused at the messages they hear from secular media. In particular, teenage girls must see themselves as God sees them. "It is our desire to really help girls understand -- even Genesis 1:27, where it says, you were created in God's image -- [that they] are the mirror of God. When he sees you, he sees something beautiful. And how are you mirroring that to the world? And let me help you understand -- your definition of womanhood has nothing to do with the world's standards; it's not about your body size, your chest size, the color of your hair or who's taking you to the prom. It's about God's created you for a purpose." Dean is also perplexed that so many youth do not have a daily quiet time with God.

Archbishop of Canterbury: Dawkins a Good Scientist, Poor Philosopher

The Christian Post reports that the atheist author behind the book “The God Delusion” may be a leading scientist, but he’s a poor philosopher, according to the spiritual head of the worldwide Anglican Communion. Addressing more than 1,000 people at Swansea University in the United Kingdom, Archbishop Rowan Williams rebutted the assessment of Christianity in Richard Dawkins’ best-selling book, saying that atheists had missed the point and failed to understand what Christians actually believe in. “There are specific areas of mismatch between what Richard Dawkins may write about and what religious people think they are doing,” said Williams. “Our culture is one that deeply praises science, so we assume because someone is a good scientist, they must be a good philosopher," he added. But Williams suggested that assumption that religion is “an eccentric survival strategy or irrational form of explanation" was distracting people from “real arguments” over God’s existence. The Archbishop did cite Christians as "partly to blame," however, when asked 'Whose fault is Dawkins?'

Two Kidnapped Priests Released in North Iraq

ASSIST News Service reports that on Saturday, October 13, at 5:00 pm, two Christian priests were kidnapped by unknown armed individuals using civilian cars, in the Hay Al-Thawra neighborhood west of the city of Mosul. According to the Assyrian International News Agency (, the two priests were identified as Father Mazin Esho and Father Piyous Affas. They had gone to Hay Al-Thawra to pay their respects to one of their friends and as they left Hay Al-Thawra on their way to the Al-Fatima Virgin Church, located in Hay Al-Faisaliya in Mosul, to perform their duties in church, they were kidnapped and taken to an unknown location. The priests belong to the Syrian Catholic Church, located in the Maidan neighborhood in Mosul. On Sunday, October 14, the two priests were released. It is not known if ransom was paid for their release.

NAMB Commissions 125 Missionaries, 7 Chaplains

Baptist Press reports that the North American Mission Board commissioned 125 new missionaries and seven chaplains from 32 states and two Canadian provinces during the board's fall commissioning service in McDonough, Ga. Geoff Hammond, who assumed duties as NAMB's president last May, was himself commissioned during the Oct. 8 service at Eagles Landing First Baptist Church attended by some 1,400 people and streamed live via the Internet. The commissioning ceremonies included a processional of 75 U.S., state and Canadian flags. Speaking to the new missionaries and chaplains, Hammond said, "How proud we are of the fact that you have answered God's call to be a missionary in North America." Emphasizing the importance of prayer in impossible situations, Hammond said God demonstrates His power through the prayers of His people. "Are you stretching your prayer muscle?" Hammond asked. "If we're ever going to see a great re-awakening of God's people in North America, we have got to get back to being a praying people. I want to tell you Southern Baptists, God hears our prayers."