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Religion Today Summaries - July 20, 2006

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - July 20, 2006

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

  • Christian Aid Urges G8 Leaders to Focus on the Poor
  • Pope Reportedly Writing Book About Jesus
  • Warren Challenges South Korean Churches for a Third Wave of Revival
  • Solomon-era Fortifications Revealed in Israel Excavation

Christian Aid Urges G8 Leaders to Focus on the Poor

According to the U.K.-based charity Christian Aid, while world leaders used the G8 summit July 15-17 to secure access to Russia’s gas exports, they ignored the needs of a third of the world’s population who have no access to grid electricity. “This is unacceptable,” said Andrew Pendleton, Christian Aid’s senior climate analyst, according to The Christian Post. “It’s hard to believe that, just one year ago, these same men were discussing the importance of ending global poverty and tackling climate change. They seem to have developed collective amnesia... Christian Aid is calling on G8 leaders to phase out all their funding for oil, gas and coal programs." This will not only help stop chaotic climate change but will also reduce energy poverty, said Pendleton.

Pope Reportedly Writing Book About Jesus

An Associated Press story says Pope Benedict XVI is writing a book about Jesus while on holiday in the Italian Alps, according to the Rome daily La Repubblica. Officials at the Vatican declined to comment on the report. The newspaper said the book will be aimed at rank-and-file Catholics. Benedict, a theologian by training, has been a prolific author since his years as a professor in his native Germany. La Repubblica did not say what the book would be called, nor when it would be published, but said Benedict has been working on it since before he became pope last year.

‘Thank you, Jesus!’ Lands Man in Jail

When Junior Stowers was acquitted by a jury last month of abusing his son, he raised his hands and exclaimed, "Thank you, Jesus!" According to MSNBC, Circuit Judge Patrick Border then held him in contempt of court for the "outburst" and threw him in jail. Stowers, 47, sat in the courtroom and a cellblock for about six hours until the judge granted him a hearing on the contempt charge and released him. The judge at a July 7 hearing dropped the contempt charge, a petty misdemeanor that carries up to 30 days in jail. Stowers couldn't be reached for comment, but his attorney maintains he wasn't treated fairly.

Solomon-era Fortifications Revealed in Israel Excavation

More than 30 years have passed since a major expedition has attempted to reveal the history of Tel Gezer, the ancient city of King Solomon fame located between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. Baptist Press reports that this summer the biblical site has been re-excavated by a joint expedition of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and the Israel Antiquities Authority. The expedition is led by co-directors Steven M. Ortiz of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and Sam Wolff of the Israel Antiquities Authority. Some secular archaeologists doubt the reality of many people and places named in the Bible, but the current work at the Tel Gezer location may prove useful in verifying various biblical accounts. This year's excavations have revealed more than 40 meters of a massive fortification system associated with the six-chambered gate common in the building projects of King Solomon. Solomon’s extensive building projects are recorded in the biblical account of his activities throughout his kingdom and at his capital city of Jerusalem (1 Kings 9:15-17).