Religion Today Summaries - July 28, 2008

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - July 28, 2008

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

  • Athletes to Get Christian-Atheist Book at Beijing Olympics
  • Oldest New Testament Goes Virtual
  • Four TV Ministries Won’t Comply with Probe
  • Greg Laurie's Son Killed in Car Crash

Athletes to Get Christian-Atheist Book at Beijing Olympics

The Christian Post reports that publishers are providing 30,000 New Testaments and 10,000 complete Bibles for athletes at the Olympics, but that's not all. American evangelist Luis Palau has been given permission to distribute copies of his book, A Friendly Dialogue Between an Atheist and a Christian, to athletes in Beijing. The book records a conversation between atheist Chinese diplomat Zhao Qizheng, a high-ranking Chinese government official, and Palau. The book offers a summary of Christian beliefs and philosophy of religion from the perspective of Chinese culture. Government approval for this book contrasts reports of crackdown on Christians, pastors and house churches.

Oldest New Testament Goes Virtual

The UK-based Times Online reports that the oldest known complete copy of the New Testament will be available in full text online by next July. The Book of Psalms and the Gospel of Mark were made available online last week. The Codex Sinaiticus Bible, written in 4th-century Greek, is currently divided between four countries - Britain, Russia, Egypt and Germany - who all claim a right to the document. In the past, anyone wishing to examine the document first hand would have had to approach the British Library “on bended knee”, said Christopher Tuckett, a professor of New Testament studies at Oxford University. “To have it available just at the click of a button is fantastic. You could do in two seconds what would take hours and hours of flicking through the leaves,” he said.

Greg Laurie's Son Killed in Car Crash

ASSIST News Service reports that Christopher David Laurie, the 33-year-old first-born son of well-know evangelist Greg Laurie, died in an auto accident in Riverside County, California, on Thursday. The accident occurred at around 9:00 AM on the Riverside Freeway, near Serfas Club Drive in Corona after his vehicle car slammed into the back of a Caltrans truck in the carpool lane on the eastbound Riverside (91) Freeway in Corona, California. No one else was injured. Laurie of Huntington Beach, served as the art director at Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, sponsor of the Harvest Crusade, for the last three years .Greg Laurie is senior pastor of the Riverside megachurch and is well-known for his dynamic preaching. His sermons are telecast across America and around the world.

Four TV Ministries Won’t Comply with Probe

Four television ministries still have refused to comply fully with a U.S. Senate committee's probe into their financial records nearly nine months after first being asked, according to the Baptist Press. The ministries of Kenneth Copeland, Creflo Dollar, Eddie Long and Randy and Paula White have provided only partial information or none at all, said Sen. Charles Grassley, R.-Iowa, who initiated the investigation by requesting information from six televangelists in early November. The ministries of Benny Hinn and Joyce Meyer, however, gave "extensive answers to all questions," Grassley said. Grassley's questions of the televangelists were based on accounts of abuses from watchdog organizations and whistleblowers, as well as investigative news reports, he has said. "Religious conservatives, like ourselves, believe this to be an unfortunate development, but if donors do not insist on even greater levels of ministry cooperation with donor advocate [organizations], unneeded government regulation is sure to follow," Rusty Leonard of said in a written statement.