Religion Today Summaries - June 8, 2006

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - June 8, 2006

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

  • Doctrine of Trinity Essential to Christianity, Journal Asserts
  • Landmark Study Expected to Shape Global Mission Strategies
  • Billy Graham Receives Lifetime Achievement Award from ABS
  • Vatican Criticizes Marriages 'Willingly Made Sterile'

Doctrine of Trinity Essential to Christianity, Journal Asserts

The doctrine of the Trinity is not an esoteric, abstract theory that is unimportant to practical Christianity, but instead is at the very heart of the Christian life, essayists assert in the latest edition of the Southern Baptist Journal of Theology. The spring 2006 journal, published by Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., examines “Perspectives on the Trinity.” Editor Stephen J. Wellum argues that the Trinity is at the core of a biblical understanding of God. “A the heart of Scripture’s presentation of our great and glorious God is the doctrine of the Trinity,” Wellum writes in an editorial. “... [U]nderstanding God as triune is central to everything Scripture says about him, and it is what distinguishes him from all other conceptions of ‘god.’” The journal includes a separate article by Wellum and essays by two other Southern Seminary professors along with pieces by Keith E. Johnson and Fred Zaspel, Baptist Press reports.

Landmark Study Expected to Shape Global Mission Strategies

The Christian Post reports that Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) announced on Tuesday the release of its landmark study on global evangelism barriers and opportunities in some of the most unreached and remote areas of the world. Dr. Ralph D. Winter, founder and former director of the U.S. Center for World Missions, lauded the findings in "Operation ACCESS!" as "a breathtaking new analysis of the challenge before us." Operation ACCESS! is a five-year global research project that surveyed 364 remote sectors in 64 countries where isolated people have little or no access to the Gospel. It is the first geographic study of its kind focusing on transportation and communication barriers. With three out of four people never having heard the name of Jesus, extensive research was conducted in an effort to provide mission agencies worldwide unprecedented and critical information to help shape evangelism and ministry strategies.

Billy Graham Receives Lifetime Achievement Award from American Bible Society

The Rev. Dr. Billy Graham was presented with the first American Bible Society (ABS) Heroes of the Faith Lifetime Achievement Award. Rev. Paul G. Irwin, president of ABS, and Dr. Lamar Vest, chairman of the Board of Trustees, presented Rev. Dr. Graham with a magnificent custom-designed Steuben crystal sculpture of an open Bible in a pair of hands. Rev. Irwin said: “We want to present you with this first 'Heroes of the Faith Lifetime Achievement Award,' because you have brought the Bible to countless people. We at [ABS] want to pick up that energy, continue that impact, and, formally commemorate our spirit of partnership by honoring you for a lifetime of service devoted to proclaiming God’s Word... With ‘the Bible says’ you reminded listeners that you were not expressing an opinion, but you were imploring them, urgently and sincerely, on God’s behalf. With this marquee phrase you assured millions that your message from God was for them.” Dr. Graham responded: “I am honored and overwhelmed, and I feel hope that not long from now I can present this to Jesus. It is His Spirit that takes that Word and applies it to our hearts.”

Vatican Criticizes Marriages 'Willingly Made Sterile'

Couples who use natural family planning to have only one or two children allow "brief parentheses" in a marriage "willingly made sterile," said a new document from the Pontifical Council for the Family. Catholic News Service reports the document, "Family and Human Procreation," was released June 6 to mark the 25th anniversary of the council's establishment. "Never before has the natural institution of matrimony and family been victim of such violent attacks," said the document, signed by Cardinal Alfonso Lopez Trujillo, council president. The cardinal said "radical currents" are not simply promoting acceptance of new models of the family, but proposing them as positive alternatives to the family. While various factors are contributing to the problem, the document said, the root of the crisis is a lack of recognition of God as Creator of all human life. The document also said parents are called to educate their children in the faith and in values, including passing on to them an appreciation for the vocations of fatherhood and motherhood.