Sunday, December 31, 2006

Top Religion Stories of 2006

Religion Today is part of the news section of and they have recently linked to what they think is their top news stories of 2006. These are all stories that have appeared as Religion Today articles. The whole list can be seen here or these individual links can be used:

1. Navy chaplain’s fight to pray in Jesus’ name

2. Darfur conflict ongoing; some Christian ministries leaving

3. Christian movies keep coming (End of the Spear, The Nativity, Facing the Giants (and it’s PG rating))

4. Christians on the forefront of aid during and after Israeli/Lebanese conflict

5. Gnosticism Returns (Gospel of Judas/Da Vinci Code film near-simultaneous release)

6. Muslims offended by Danish cartoons, Pope’s speech
(See Also: Pope Apologizes for Speech)

7. Breaks in the Episcopal Church….see ECUSA/Bishop Jefferts-Schori fallout
(See Also: ECUSA to Lose Its Largest Congregation

8. Rick Warren in the middle of divisive issues (global warming, AIDS, Syria, Obama)

9. Ted Haggard steps down from pastorate and NAE
(See Also: Haggard Scandal, Confession Shakes Evangelical Community)

10. Amish response to Pennsylvania schoolhouse shooting

Saturday, December 30, 2006

All Acts Great and Small

Chapter 9 of the book of Acts is an interesting study. Verses one through thirty focus on Saul/Paul's conversion, one of the major events of early Christianity. After verse thirty the focus changes to Peter.
I agree with many scholars that state the reason why Luke changed the focus from Paul to Peter was to show that many things were going on at the same time in the early days of Christianity including major events such as the conversion of Paul and minor events as Peter performs miracles with everyday people. God is with Paul as he begins his ministry and he remains with Peter as his ministry remains ongoing.

Luke's text tells us that Peter travelled twenty-five miles from Jerusalem to the town of Joppa where he performs two miracles. Peter first heals a paralyzed man by the name of Aeneas. Later Peter is asked to meet with a group of people who are mourning a woman's death. Her name is Tabitha though she is sometimes referred to as Dorcas. Tabitha had assisted the widow women in her area by making clothing for them. Peter is told about Tabitha's ministry. and he is shown the garments she had made. Towards the end of this interlude from Paul's monumental beginning of his ministry Peter enters a room and is alone with Tabitha's body. He prays to God and then asks Tabitha to get up.

I believe that this chapter from Acts serves as a lesson for us all to realize that all of us impact our local and world communities. Paul and Peter's work is given equal status as is Tabitha's ministry to the widow women of her area.

The main thing I take away from this chapter is we are all important in the family of God, and we all impact our community.
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