Religion Today Summaries - July 29, 2008

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - July 29, 2008

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

  • Man Opens Fire in Church, Kills 2
  • Indonesia: Militants Reportedly Killed Christian, Planned More
  • Baylor University Fires School President
  • Steven Curtis Chapman Returns to Stage

Man Opens Fire in Church, Kills 2

The children’s musical at Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church was cut short Sunday morning when a gunman burst into the church and started firing, killing two people and injuring seven. Congregants subdued the gunman before any children were harmed. Police have identified the suspect as Jim D. Adkisson, 58. Adkisson reportedly shouted “hateful words,” church member Barbara Kempber told the Associated Press, before opening fire with his shotgun. Investigators say that Adkisson is not believed to have been a member of the Knoxville church, according to CNN. They are still searching for a motive, Knoxville Police Chief Sterling Owen told CNN.

Indonesia: Militants Reportedly Killed Christian, Planned More

The Christian Post reports that Indonesian terror suspects accused of executing a teacher and planning the assassination of an American language teacher have been arrested, according to top anti-terrorism officials. The militants allegedly killed Dago Simamora, 59 in front of his children last year, their lawyer confirmed. The militants have also confessed to planning an attack on the Supreme Court as retaliation for the 2002 nightclub bombings on Bali island, and have connections with al-Qaeda in Afghanistan. Indonesia has been rattled by suicide bombers and a resilient militant Islamic network since 2001. Police have arrested more than 400 suspects in recent years.

Baylor University Fires School President

Baylor University, the world's largest Baptist University, finds itself in need of a president for the second time in three years, according to the Christian Post. The school's board of regents fired John M. Lilly on Thursday, citing only a lack of "confidence in John's ability to unite various Baylor constituencies." In a statement Thursday, Lilley said he joined Baylor in 2005 to help the school heal after President Robert Sloan stepped down, who had been blamed for rising tuition costs and divisions among faculty, but quickly saw the regents as a primarily cause of division. The board acknowledged Lilley's successes, but stood by its decision.  

Steven Curtis Chapman Returns to Stage

The Chicago Daily Herald reports that singer Steven Curtis Chapman returned to tour for the first time since his daughter was killed in May, sharing his story of faith with crowds. Chicago is only his sixth concert since 5-year-old Maria was killed when her brother accidentally struck her with the family SUV. "Thank you so much for your prayers and your support. It's the reason my family is more than surviving, but sure how faithful and true our Redeemer is," Chapman told the crowd. Before singing "Blessed Be Your Name," he added, "I have to say this, as I sang this song, though it wasn't a song, it was a cry, a scream, a prayer," Chapman said. Ultimately, he said, that helped remind him of "an amazing comfort and peace that surpasses all understanding."