December 1 - December 31, 2008 
 Weekly News In Review
 Vol 3, Issue 36
In This Issue
Links Of Further Interest
Quick Links

Join our mailing list!

This newsletter will wrap up 2008. We have compiled our list of the top 25 news articles of 2008. You will find a link to this list under "Links Of Further Interest"

Thank you for your partnership with the work of Understand The Times, International. We hope and pray that you will have a great 2009!

 December 4 - Report: Israel Preparing to Strike Iran Without U.S. Consent
 Article: Israel And The last Days

Comment from UTT:
The situation in the Middle East is about to erupt soon and has the potential to bring about an attack of Islamic nations against Israel as the Bible fortells.

Israel is drawing up plans to attack Iran's nuclear facilities and is prepared to launch a strike without backing from the U.S., an Israeli newspaper reported Thursday.

Officials in the Israeli Defense Ministry told The Jerusalem Post that while they prefer to act in consultation with the U.S., they are preparing plans that would allow them to act alone. "It is always better to coordinate," a senior Defense Ministry official told the newspaper. "But we are also preparing options that do not include coordination."

Last month, amid mounting fears in Israel that the U.S. was doing nothing to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power, Ehud Olmert, Israel's Prime Minister, warned President Bush the last chance of destroying Tehran's nuclear bomb-making program was passing.

Iran dismisses the possibility of an Israeli strike.

"We think that regional and international developments and the complicated situation faced by Israel itself will not allow it to launch military strikes against other countries," Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hassan Qashqavi said, according to the Press TV Web site.

"Israel makes threats to promote its psychological and media warfare," Qashqavi said.

A report, published in September in Britain's Guardian newspaper, claimed that Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert requested a green light to attack Iran in May but was refused by Bush.

Read More .... 

 December 12 - Iran's Ahmadinejad says Israel is at end of its life
 Article: Israel And The Last Days

Comment from UTT:
According to the Bible Israel will not be wiped out by Iran nor any other nation. However, we are living in the days when we will see the nations coming against Israel.
TEHRAN, December 12 (RIA Novosti) - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Friday that Israel is in its last days and this knowledge is behind recent Israeli pressure on Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

"Zionists have lost the sense and philosophy of their existence and they know that they have reached the end of their life and passage," Ahmadinejad said at a rally in Tehran, which was held in support of Palestinians. He added that "the recent catastrophe in Gaza, inhumane crimes and inadequate behavior of Zionists prove they are frustrated by the realization of this fact."

A five-month truce brokered by Egypt in June between Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza was broken last month and led to the resumption of an Israeli blockade of the border with the enclave, cutting the supplies of essential goods to some 750,000 of its residents.

"The pressure of the Zionist regime on the people of Palestine is another attempt to improve its teetering position," he said.

Ahmedinejad is known for anti- Israeli rhetoric, which adds to Western concerns over Iran's nuclear program. Most notoriously he said Israel must be wiped off the map and called on Europe or North America to host a Jewish state.

Read More .... 

 December 14 - Globalization Needs 'Values' to Succeed, Says Blair
 Article: One World Religion

Comment from UTT:
Tony Blair continues to push for a global spirituality that is linked with economics and politics. This is similar to the Purpose Driven P.E.A.C.E. Plan that operates on a three-legged stool principal.
Globalization needs a "solid basis of values" to succeed, contended former British Prime Minister Tony Blair in a major address this past week. Faith is one way to provide a values system for globalization, but not the only way, he told hundreds of students and professors at Yale University after completing his first semester as a visiting professor.
Blair's hour-long speech on Thursday was focused on whether or not a value system could be introduced to globalization and how, according to the Yale Daily News.

"The problems we face today cannot be solved without alliances," he said. "And alliances won't work without common values."

Blair says his experience at Yale has strengthen his belief that religious, economic, and social globalization are linked.

Multicultural and multi- religious societies are the result of "pushing people together," and now "spiritual capital" and "human capital" need to be linked, he argued.

"Unless we find a way of reconciling faith and globalization, the world will be a more dangerous place," Blair said, according to The Associated Press.

Blair, who was an Anglican Christian, converted to Catholicism in 2007 after stepping down as prime minister of Britain. The former British prime minister will continue to teach at Yale for the next two years as part of a three year partnership between the university and his London-based Tony Blair Faith Foundation. Blair said Yale will be the headquarters for the U.S. operations of his foundation, according to the Yale Daily News.

Read More .... 

 December 14 - Anglicans Add Hindu Snowmen, Chinese Dragon to Christmas Displays
 Article: Ecumenical Movement Christianity Uniting With Other Religions

Comment from UTT:
When professing Christians choose to make Christmas into a forum for degrading Jesus Christ and promoting a global spirituality, apostasy has reached a new level that demands an outcry.
Some Anglican clergy have added a multicultural twist to Christmas decorations, adding Hindu snowmen, a Chinese dragon and a Jewish temple to the lawn where the traditional scene of a baby Jesus, angels, and the three wise men used to be displayed alone.

"We've done this as it creates a good opportunity for Christians to meet and hear about the stories of people of other faiths," said the Rev. Jane Hedges, a canon of Westminster Abbey, according to U.K.'s Telegraph newspaper.

"Christmas is an opportunity for everyone to stop and think and is a great opportunity of the different faiths to talk to one another," she said. "Wherever you're coming from there should be something to celebrate at Christmas."

The Abbey's canon pointed out that the story of Christ's birth is included in the Koran, and noted that the Hindu snowmen is meant to convey that Hindus have something to celebrate during Christmas too. "Strictly speaking, the message of Christmas is about the birth of Christ, but it has a much broader message of peace and goodwill," said Hedges.

Westminster Abbey will showcase life-size snowmen with turbans and bindi dots on their foreheads that is meant to express that Christmas is not exclusively for Christians.  The Diocese of Liverpool, part of the Church of England, will stage a nativity that features a Chinese dragon and lantern procession.

Read More .... 

 December 19 - Many Americans Say Christianity Not the Only Way to Eternal Life
 Article: One World Religion

Comment from UTT:
The fact that Jesus proclaimed there is only "one way" to heaven apparently has no meaning to many who profess to be Christian in our day. This of course is what we would expect based on the reality that the Bible warns about a last days apostasy. In fact those who stand by the words of Jesus are coming under attack by those who desire to make the narrow way wider.
Most American Christians believe many religions can lead to eternal life and among them, the vast majority says you don't even have to be Christian to go to heaven, a new survey shows.

Sixty-five percent of all Christians say there are multiple paths to eternal life, ultimately rejecting the exclusivity of Christ teaching, according to the latest survey conducted by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life.

Even among white evangelical Protestants, 72 percent of those who say many religions can lead to eternal life name at least one non-Christian religion, such as Judaism or Islam or no religion at all, that can lead to salvation.

Majorities among white evangelicals, white mainline Christians, and black Protestants who do not believe in the exclusivity of salvation say Catholicism and Judaism can lead to eternal life, Pew results show.

Smaller but still sizeable percentages (more than half) of white mainline Christians, black Protestants and white Catholics who say there are multiple ways to eternal life also say Islam can lead to salvation; among white evangelicals, 35 percent agree. And more than half of white mainline Christians and white Catholics who view heaven's gates as wide say Hinduism can lead to eternal life compared to 33 percent of white evangelicals and 44 percent of black Protestants.

Surprisingly, Christians also believe atheism can provide a ticket to heaven. Forty-six percent of white mainline Christians, 49 percent of white Catholics and 26 percent of white evangelicals who believe many religions lead to salvation say atheism can lead to eternal life.

Read More .... 

 December 18 - Emergent's Divergence - Leaders hope decentralizing power will revitalize the movement
 Article: Emerging Church

Comment from UTT:
While the following Christianity Today article promotes the idea that the emerging church movement is being reconstructed to give the appearance that the trend has come to an end, we would strongly suggest that caution should be exercised.  In fact, we can predict two important things - while the movement may deny leadership, the movement is being led towards Roman Catholicism and religious Babylonianism. Nothing has changed in this regard.

As one-time leaders of the emergent movement have recently distanced themselves from the term, the network itself dropped its organizational leader. The decision of Emergent Village's board of directors to eliminate its national coordinator position marked the latest sign that the movement is either decentralizing or disintegrating.

Board members said they eliminated Tony Jones's position October 31 in order to reclaim the Village's founding purpose as an "egalitarian social-networking organization." "We are gifting the power of Emergent back to the people at the grassroots level of the conversation," said Jones.

"We don't know how to run networks. [But we know] there's a place for leadership in networks." McLaren says there have been ongoing questions about the label itself. "For many people, the name emergent has allowed them to remain in the evangelical world," he said. For others outside the conversation, he admitted, the name has become an epithet for theological heresy or cultural trendiness.

Additionally, several thinkers once associated with emergent, including pastor Dan Kimball and professor Scot McKnight, have formed a new network provisionally called Origins, dedicated to "friends, pioneers, innovators, and catalysts who want to dream and work for the gospel together rather than alone."

Nevertheless, the Emergent Village board remains optimistic about the future. McLaren pointed to groups such as Presbymergent and Anglimergent as examples of conversations that are taking place outside of Emergent Village. Such groups encourage John Franke, professor of theology at Biblical Seminary and Emergent Village member. "We never thought we were the conversation," he said. "We're just a particular node of the wider conversation."

But Jones hopes decentralizing American emergent networks will give participants worldwide, who lack access to book publishing and other resources enjoyed by their American counterparts, more freedom to express themselves. "Any time you can dethrone an overeducated, loud, brash, white man," he said, "people just feel more openness for their own voice to be heard."

Read More .... 

 January 21 - Pope: Christmas, the solstice, and astronomy
 Article: Roman Catholic Church And The Last Days

Comment from UTT:
The fact that Pope Benedict XVI would connect the birth of Jesus with the winter solstice in a positive way reveals the influence of Babylonianism being promoted in the name of Jesus Christ.
Another very interesting point is made by the pope in the following article - the obelisk that is found in the middle of St. Peter's Square, provides an important object for the construction of a sun-dial that helps to determine when the solstice day occurs (the longest shadow and therefore the shortest day of the year) in Rome. 
Pagan religions were obsessed with the winter solstice because this was a day that there were often in communication with their gods. Combining paganism and Christianity has always been a part of the Roman Catholic tradition.
While there is certainly nothing wrong with celebrating a day to remember the birth of Jesus Christ, the idea that the birth of Christ can and should be celebrated on a day consistent with pagan worship, is inconsistent with the Word of God.
Vatican City (AsiaNews) - Benedict XVI today gave a brief lesson on the unity between faith and science, during the reflection offered before the Angelus with the pilgrims in St. Peter's Square. The pontiff began from the observation that "the feast of Christmas is connected to the winter solstice [which begins today, December 21], when the days, in the northern hemisphere, start to get longer again." This highlights the fact that Christ is the son of grace, who, with his light, "transfigures and ignites the expectant universe" (liturgy), and that the mystery of Christmas also has a "cosmic dimension," in addition to its "historical" one.

"In this regard," the pope said, "it may be that not everyone knows that St. Peter's Square is also a meridian: the obelisk, in fact, casts its shadow along a line that runs along the pavement toward the fountain under this window, and in these days the shadow is at its longest of the year. This reminds us of the function of astronomy in marking out the rhythm of prayer. The Angelus, for example, is recited in the morning, at noon, and in the evening, and with the meridian, which was used in ancient times to identify 'true noon', clocks were adjusted."

The memory of Galileo Galilei brings to the surface many controversies over the supposed enmity between the Church and science. In reality, the pope specified, "my predecessors of venerable memory included devotees of this science, like Sylvester II, who taught it, Gregory XIII, to whom we owe our calendar, and St. Pius X, who knew how to make sundials." There is therefore a friendship between faith and science, astronomy and faith.

Read More ... 

 December 22 - Russia Supplies Iran With Surface-to-Air Missiles, Possibly to Protect Nuclear Site
 Article: Wars And Rumors Of Wars

Comment from UTT:
An announcement that Russian-made missiles will be provided to help Iran to protect themselves, possibly from an attack against their nuclear program is very significant in light of Bible prophecy. In the book of Ezekiel we read about an end times alliance that occurs between Russia and Iran with a common goal of an aggressive attack against Israel.

MOSCOW -  Russia's state arms export agency said Monday it is supplying Iran with defensive weapons, including surface-to-air missiles, but did not say whether they include sophisticated long-range S-300 missiles.

Iranian media reported Sunday that Russia had begun supplying the S-300s - an action Israel and the United States have aggressively opposed.

"Russia is developing military-technical cooperation with Iran in strict compliance with its international commitments stemming from nonproliferation agreements. This cooperation cannot be a source of concern for third countries," the statement said.

Rosoboronexport spokesman Vyacheslav Davydenko confirmed that S-300 missiles were considered defensive, but refused to say whether they were being supplied to Tehran.

Israel and the United States fear that, were Iran to possess S-300 missiles, it would use them to protect its first nuclear power plant now under construction at Bushehr by Russian contractors. That would make any potential military strike on the plant much more difficult.

The Interfax news agency later quoted an unnamed Russian military official as saying S-300 missiles would be delivered to Iran soon from Russian Defense Ministry warehouses.

Read More .... 

 December 28 - Israel launches fresh strikes on Gaza
 Article: Israel And The Last Days

Comment from UTT:
The situation that is developing in Gaza has the potential to trigger an attack by Iran and other nations who are waiting for an excuse to attack Israel.
Hamas's main security complex has now been destroyed and Israeli tanks are poised on the edge of the Gaza Strip, prepared for a possible invasion of the impoverished enclave where 1.5 million Palestinians live.

In retaliation, militants fired some 80 rockets into Israel, emergency services said. In one of the deepest attacks, two rockets struck near Ashdod, a main port some 18 miles from Gaza, causing no casualties, police said.

Around 700 people were wounded on Saturday when Israeli warplanes mounted about 100 strikes which destroyed all of Hamas's security compounds. Hamas estimated at least 180 members of its security forces were killed, including police chief Tawfiq Jabber. At least 15 women and children died in the strikes as well as seven teenagers killed as they waited for a bus to take them home from school.

The UN Security Council has called for an immediate halt to all violence in the region but Israel has warned operations will continue until mortar attacks from Gaza cease. But Mark Regev, a spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, said: "Israel will continue (the campaign) until we have a new security environment in the south, when the population there will not longer live in terror and in fear of constant rocket barrages."

Ismail Haniyeh, the leader of Hamas which has controlled the coastal territory since June 2997, said: "Palestine has never seen an uglier massacre." He vowed revenge including suicide bombings in Israel's "cafes and streets".

Mr Barak said: "There is a time for calm and a time for fighting, and now the time has come to fight." He later ruled out any new truce with Hamas.

Read More .... 

We hope the Weekly News In Review has been a blessing to you.

Roger Oakland

Forward email

Safe Unsubscribe
This email was sent to ronpierotti@volcano.net by roakland@aol.com.

Understand The Times, International | P.O. Box 27239 | Santa Ana | CA | 92799