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Religion Today Summaries - January 10, 2005

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk News Staff

Religion Today Summaries - January 10, 2005

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

  • Evidences Of God's Grace Emerge From Tsunami-Stricken Regions 

  • Desperate Families Still Needing Help: Aid Groups Appealing For More Resources

  • El Salvador Now a Land of Spiritual Renewal After Civil War Devastation

  • Theorist and Author Challenges Viability of Evolution

Evidences Of God's Grace Emerge From Tsunami-Stricken Regions
Baptist Press

Evidences of God's grace have been reported in the midst of the horrors stemming from the earthquake and tidal waves that devastated 3,000 miles of shoreline around the Indian Ocean. According to reports filtering out of the region through various news services, God's grace has been evident from the very beginning of the crisis. Countless Christian organizations are gearing up to aid southern Asia's tsunami victims, such as the Southern Baptist International Mission Board, Purpose Driven Ministries and Samaritan's Purse. IMB President Jerry Rankin noted, "With a significant number of Southern Baptist missionaries in most of the affected countries, we are positioned for providing immediate aid and long-term ministry in partnership with local government officials and other Christian organizations." Mark Carver, Purpose Drive Ministries' international director, said, "Our plan for response in each place is being developed by the local church with the local church believers as the primary workers. As we connect Purpose Driven congregations in other parts of the world with the churches on the scene, we are all being the church -- assisting our sister congregations in the region to become lighthouses of care, comfort, and -- most importantly - Christ," Carver said. Samaritan's Purse, like various other organizations, will also be working to provide clean water, food, shelter and medicine.

Desperate Families Still Needing Help: Aid Groups Appealing For More Resources
Jeremy Reynalds, Assist News Service

UNICEF has warned that for every one of the 150,000 people known to have been killed, hundreds of thousands more are still at risk of dying from preventable diseases such as malaria. Dr. Joseph Chavady, of the Canadian based One to One International Ministries said that 21 of his relief workers led by a Pastor Dominic, reached a town a few days ago called Nagapatanam. The town, Chavady said, is in the center of the devastated area and can currently only be accessed by trekking 14 miles on foot. Chavady said that his workers provided some survival basics including food, clothing, kerosene stove, pans and sleeping bags to 33 families. Chavady said his workers are estimating there are about 5,000 families in this town in desperate need of relief, the help his organization has so far been able to give, while valuable, has been a "drop in the bucket." Those wanting to learn more about the work being done by One to One International can go to www.121intl.org

El Salvador Now a Land of Spiritual Renewal After Civil War Devastation
Charisma News Service

El Salvador was devastated by war only a decade ago, but the Latin American nation is now a land of faith and spiritual renewal. Evidence of an evangelical awakening is everywhere here. Just 13 years ago, before the civil war ended, only 5 percent of the country's population was born again. Today it is estimated that 30 percent of Salvadorans are evangelical Christians. One church in the capital has 100,000 members. Cristina Hasbún, a 35-year-old pastor's wife living in the capital city of San Salvador, sparked a quiet revolution two years ago when she rented a stadium and organized a conference that attracted thousands of Salvadoran women. Many of them stared in disbelief when Cristina, who was ordained as a pastor alongside her husband, Juan Carlos, donned a wireless microphone and preached several sermons during the first daylong event. Women don't preach in El Salvador. But the Hasbúns are blazing trails for a new generation of Christians. Held at the huge Magico Gonzales Stadium in downtown San Salvador, the second conference attracted more than 11,000 women from all 14 provinces in the country. The Hasbúns started their independent church, Iglesia Kemuel, in 1998 and the congregation has grown to about 450 members today. (http://www.charismanow.com)

Theorist and Author Challenges Viability of Evolution
Jim Brown, AgapePress

A mathematician and philosopher says a growing number of intellectuals are questioning the viability of Darwinian evolution. Dr. William Dembski is a well-known intelligent design theorist who will soon have a joint appointment with Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and Boyce College, both located in Louisville, Kentucky. In his new book Uncommon Dissent: Intellectuals Who Find Darwinism Unconvincing, Dembski presents the works of 14 leading philosophers and scientists who challenge the notion that purposeless natural forces are responsible for biological complexity and diversity. Dembski argues the materialistic approach to evolution and biology is inadequate. Dembski says if one accepts a blind evolutionary point of view, it is hard to square with any coherent form of theism. "People who believe in God usually think that humanity is the crown of God's creation -- and if you accept a Darwinian, evolutionary point of view, our place in the universe is in no way special or privileged," he says. The theorist says public school children who, for example, are taught Darwinian evolution as a proven fact are likely to lose their faith in God. Dembski, who is an associate research professor in the conceptual foundations of science at Baylor University, estimates that only one or two percent of biological scientists believe in God.