Daily briefs of the top news stories impacting Christians around the world.
In today's edition:
Study: Recent So. Baptist Seminary Grads 3 Times More Likely to be Calvinists
Nearly 30 percent of recent SBC seminary graduates now serving as church pastors identify themselves as Calvinists, according to data presented during the opening session of a conference on Reformed theology and the Southern Baptist Convention, Baptist Press reports. By contrast in the SBC at large, the number of pastors who affirm the five points of Calvinism is around 10 percent, Ed Stetzer, director of LifeWay Research, said. Such data, Stetzer noted Nov. 26, perhaps gives an indication why a conference such as "Building Bridges: Southern Baptists and Calvinism" is taking place.
Jordanian Church Leaders: International Community Must Do More about Iraq War Problems
The international community must increase its humanitarian assistance to Iraqis displaced by the ongoing U.S.-backed war, a group of Jordanian religious and human rights leaders told a visiting delegation of U.S. Christian journalists Nov. 4, ASSIST News Service reports. “There has always been a refugee numbers problem for Jordan, primarily Palestinians,” said Fr. Nabil Haddad, a leading spokesman for the Greek Melkite Catholic Church and founder of the Jordanian Interfaith Coexistence Research Center, but now it so big with the Iraqis – the equivalent of 60 million refugees arriving in the U.S. in two years time.” Wafa Fawzy Goussous, director of the Middle East Council of Churches (MECC) office in Amman said, “Jordan is suffering now with a big burden. Because we have acted as a good neighbor does not absolve the international community of greater responsibility – Jordan did not create this problem.” Sen. Aqel Biltaji, a longtime government official and official advisor to King Abdullah II, says that the situation is jeopardizing Jordan’s status as “an oasis of tolerance, acceptance and mutual respect.” “This is a sad time for us because it was the Americans who brought us education, democracy, medicine and critical thinking,” he said.
Church Attacked in Chhattisgarh, India; Young Man Killed
Compass Direct News reports that a mob allegedly led by a Hindu extremist group demolished a house church and beat the pastor and believers on November 19 in Chhattisgarh state’s Bastar district. The following day, a young relative of the pastor allegedly kidnapped by the extremists was found dead in a nearby jungle. The attack on the Christ Missionary Movement church took place in Mandwa village near Jadgalpur area of Bastar. The body of 21-year-old Aayatu Kashyap, a Christian and distant relative of the church’s pastor, Suduru Kashyap, was found about 15 kilometers (nine miles) from the village. The superintendent of police of Bastar district, G.P. Singh, confirmed the incidents but denied that Hindu extremists were behind the attack, claiming local villagers unrelated to militant groups assaulted the Christians and calling the murder an unrelated incident.
Lutzer Tackles Most Common Misconceptions of Christ
Dr. Erwin Lutzer, senior pastor of the Moody Church in Chicago, has written a new book titled, Slandering Jesus: Six Lies People Tell About the Man Who Said He Was God (Tyndale House). According to Lutzer in a OneNewsNow.com story, today's culture is ripe with false portraits of Jesus, and the situation isn't helped when celebreties such as Oprah Winfrey color the playing field. "The thing is that Oprah teaches that Jesus is one way among many, and that God is more interested in our hearts than he is in whether or not we believe in Jesus. And she is a microcosm of what happens in America, a microcosm of what Americans believe, that Jesus is great, but he's not the only way to God," Lutzer says. "And the point that I make is that once you grab the seriousness of sin, of necessity, Jesus is the only way to the Father." Dr. Lutzer cites a serious erosion of biblical doctrine as the primary factor behind the confusion about the Christ of the Bible.