Religion Today Summaries - July 29, 2005

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk News Staff

Religion Today Summaries - July 29, 2005

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

  • Can Or Should Catholics In Public Life Uphold Church Teachings

  • Handy Witnessing Tool Takes Evangelism Outside the Box

  • HCSB Signs Licensing Agreement With American Bible Society

  • Senegal: Mission Center in Crisis 

Can Or Should Catholics In Public Life Uphold Church Teachings
Agape Press

The dispute over whether Catholics in public life can or should uphold church teachings is flaring up again in the Supreme Court nomination of Judge John Roberts. Roberts is expected to face some of his toughest grilling in the Senate Judiciary Committee from fellow Catholics -- Democrats Edward Kennedy, Richard Durbin, Patrick Leahy and Joseph Biden -- who oppose limits on abortion. Members of the American Life League demonstrated on Capitol Hill yesterday, urging the four senators not to reject Roberts out of fear that he will be a more faithful Catholic than they are. ALL's program director, David Bereit, says Catholic officials who do not uphold church teachings should not call themselves Catholics. Associated Press notes that if Roberts is confirmed, there will be four Roman Catholics on the U.S. Supreme Court, focusing attention on how faith might influence the high court's rulings. Two of the Catholics on the current court -- Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas -- are pro-life. Scalia, whose son Paul is a priest, and Thomas are sometimes seen walking together to the court after attending Mass on holy days of obligation. But the third Catholic -- Anthony Kennedy -- voted with the majority in a 5-4 ruling in 1992 reaffirming the Roe v. Wade abortion decision.

Handy Witnessing Tool Takes Evangelism Outside the Box
Charisma News Service

An old advertising gimmick has become a handy evangelistic tool since being developed in Dallas seven years ago. In east Africa, the Amazon and beyond, EvangeCube -- a Christian Rubik's Cube -- is being used as "a modern instrument to market the story of salvation," The Dallas Morning News reported. Supporters, including some of the nation's most influential evangelical leaders, say the witnessing tool has sparked a minor revolution in how to share the gospel. They say EvangeCube does what more parochial tools can't in transcending the written word, overcoming illiteracy and simplifying the message of redemption. EvangeCube's concept is simple: It's a cube the size of a softball made of eight interlocking blocks that flip and fold into the story of Christ, from the bloodied hands nailed to the cross to Resurrection and personal salvation, the News reported. The most dramatic growth has come overseas. In Jinja, Uganda, Joseph Oyuki said his New Life Baptist Church has distributed about 40,000 cubes to 100 churches. In Russia, the cubes are stored in a Moscow building. EvangeCube was conceived in 1998, when former Dallas advertising agency owner Nathan Sheets and Jim Wyatt conceived the gizmo after they returned from a short-term mission trip to Haiti. (

HCSB Signs Licensing Agreement With American Bible Society
Baptist Press

Broadman & Holman Publishers announced July 26 that it has signed a 15-year agreement with the American Bible Society for distribution of products containing the Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB) translation by the ABS and the United Bible Societies. The agreement allows the ABS to produce, market and sell Bibles containing the Holman CSB to individuals, churches, para-church organizations, members and affiliates of the United Bible Societies and ministries worldwide and international bookstores and distributors. "Teaming with the American Bible Society provides a vast array of opportunities for the Holman Christian Standard translation," said Ken Stephens, president of Broadman & Holman Publishers, a division of LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention. "The American Bible Society's relationships both domestically and internationally will allow us increased exposure and outlets in bringing the Holman CSB to developing countries in Africa and Asia Pacific as well as raise awareness and distribution of the Holman CSB anywhere a more literal English language translation is preferred," said Stephens, who signed the agreement in behalf of B&H. "We are very excited about featuring the Holman Christian Standard Bible in our products," said John Cruz, vice president of the American Bible Society, who signed the agreement on behalf of ABS. The Holman CSB translation, which debuted in April 2004, has consistently been ranked in the top five most popular Bible translations with more than 2 million copies already sold.

Senegal: Mission Center in Crisis
Christian Aid Mission

Situated amid rural villages in a country that is 95 percent Muslim, one indigenous Christian ministry's Life Center provides spiritual guidance and physical assistance to the surrounding community. It has taken in 70 orphaned or abandoned children and 20 new believers seeking protection from persecution by Muslim family members. The ministry lacks the resources to surround its extensive facility with a protective wall ($20,000 is needed). Now they are exposed to strangers wishing the children harm or to Muslim spies for powerful local marabouts (Muslim witchdoctors). Missionaries are also concerned about the ever- increasing presence of poisonous snakes. The Center, which includes dormitories, meeting rooms and feeding kitchens, is located many miles from a medical clinic. They have no vehicle to transport sick children to a medical center. Pray that they will receive $8000 to purchase a used vehicle. Missionaries urgently request prayer for protection of these children. Any readers interested in giving towards this ministry should write [email protected], or call 1-800-977-5650 and ask for the Africa Division.