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Religion Today Summaries - December 1, 2004

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk News Staff

Religion Today Summaries - December 1, 2004

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

  • America On Verge Of True Spiritual Awakening 

  • ETS Seeks To Clarify Doctrinal Basis With Chicago Statement 

  • Two Killed in Nigeria as Muslim Militants Attack Evangelists

  • Holy Website! It's a Wealth of Info for Church Youth Workers

America On Verge Of True Spiritual Awakening

The founder of a new grassroots Christian organization says America is on the verge of a true spiritual awakening. Dr. Jerry Falwell says the Christian Church in America made its voice heard during the recent presidential election, and now it is important for those values voters to build on what he calls a growing base. "A large turnout usually works against the conservative pro-family candidates," he notes, "but that is not true anymore because the church of Jesus Christ is now standing tall, and we have the ability. If we'll pursue the task and not assume we've won and become complacent -- if we will press the battle now -- in the next four, eight, or twelve years, we can bring this nation back to the faith of our fathers." According to Falwell, America has been undergoing a quiet spiritual awakening during the past two decades. He believes the recent popularity of the popular Left Behind end-times book series, the rise of contemporary Christian music, and the increase among those who describe themselves as Evangelicals point to a modern-day great awakening. Falwell is hoping his new activist group, the Faith and Values Coalition, will be able to build on the momentum of this spiritual movement.

ETS Seeks To Clarify Doctrinal Basis With Chicago Statement
Jeff Robinson, Baptist Press

Members of the Evangelical Theological Society have passed a resolution to consider using the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy to clarify the organization's position on the inerrancy of Scripture. Adoption of the Chicago Statement would allow ETS to exclude members or potential members who hold aberrant theological positions -- such as "open theism" -- that undermine biblical inerrancy. Members attending the 56th annual ETS meeting in San Antonio voted 234 (78.5 percent) to 58 to accept the resolution put forth by the society's executive committee. Greg Beale, the outgoing president of ETS, said many members felt a more precise definition of inerrancy is needed in the wake of the recent challenge presented by open theism. To join ETS, one must sign a statement of faith that affirms belief in two doctrines: the inerrancy of Scripture and the Trinity. This year's vote, on Nov. 19, on the Chicago Statement does not automatically enact it as an ETS bylaw but allows the executive committee to further examine the resolution at its next meeting in August. The committee will take feedback from ETS members and then decide whether to recommend adopting the Chicago Statement as a proposed bylaw at the 2005 ETS national meeting in Valley Forge, Pa. Beale said the committee could bring the resolution before the ETS membership for adoption or could recommend further discussion.

Two Killed in Nigeria as Muslim Militants Attack Evangelists
Obed Minchakpu, Compass Direct

Police authorities have arrested 10 Muslim militants in Dutse, the capital of the state of Jigawa in northern Nigeria , for perpetrating an attack on a team of Christian evangelists on Tuesday, November 23. The incident reportedly caused two deaths and left at least 20 people with injuries. According to police, the militants' aggressive action against the New Life For All gospel team provoked a violent clash with local Christians. According to the police, the 10 heavily armed militants attacked the Christian evangelistic team and members of the public during an open air preaching event. Other Muslims reportedly joined in the fray, siding with the Christians against the militant group. New Life For All is an interdenominational gospel ministry launched in 1969 as a united effort of evangelical churches in northern Nigeria to preach the Christian gospel in the area. According to CAN sources, members of the evangelistic team were among those injured in the attack. In November 2003, Muslim extremists burned down 10 churches and destroyed over 100 properties belonging to Christians in Kazaure town, Jigawa. Those attacks claimed the lives of a number of Christians in the state, as well. Presiding Magistrate Muhammad Abubakar adjourned the court hearing until December 6 in response to a request from police officers, who asked for time to conclude investigations into the matter.

Holy Website! It's a Wealth of Info for Church Youth Workers
Allie Martin, AgapePress

The largest seminary in the U.S. is providing youth pastors and workers with an online resource to help their ministries run more efficiently. The resources for programming, scheduling, and administration are found at www.SBCstudents.com, and are organized by the student ministry department of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Dr. Richard Ross, professor of student ministry at the Southern Baptist seminary, says the Internet site is a valuable tool for staff members of both large and small, rural churches. The website, he says, is also a useful resource for time-strapped youth and children's workers. "At SBCStudents.com, all they have to do is choose from a broad menu, since there's going to be items on evangelism, discipleship, parent ministry, prayer" Ross explains.  "When they click on each one of those items, they're going to discover lots of printed resources -- camps, retreats, international mission trips; all kinds of things that are available to do ministry with students, with parents, and with volunteer leaders in that specific ministry area." Also among the categories of information available at the website are crisis ministry, training volunteers, and missions. The project is supported by youth professors at all Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) seminaries and the youth employees of national SBC entities and Baptist state conventions.