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Weekly News In Review

January 1 - 7, 2006
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The following articles were posted at this past week:

Pope Warns of 3 Key Threats to Peace - Terrorism, Nihilism and Fanatic Fundamentalism
'Palestinians agree': Wipe Israel off map
Ahmadinejad: Israel created to complete Holocaust
Artifacts with links to Bible unearthed
Emerging Church - Evangelism Parties
Famine threatens 11 million in Horn of Africa
Ed Stetzer: Understanding the emerging church

This Weeks Commentary by Roger Oakland
Kingdom Now Or Apocalypse Next

Article: Roman Catholic Church and the Last Days

January 01, 2006 - Pope Warns of 3 Key Threats to Peace - Terrorism, Nihilism and Fanatic Fundamentalism

VATICAN CITY, JAN. 1, 2006 - Benedict XVI says that terrorism, nihilism and fanatic fundamentalism are the current threats to world peace.

The Pope's words echoed in St. Peter's Basilica on the first day of 2006, crowded with faithful, during his homily on the solemnity of Mary the Mother of God. The Church today also observed World Day of Peace.
"In the face of the situations of injustice and violence that continue to oppress different areas of the earth, in the face of the new and more insidious threats against peace -- terrorism, nihilism and fanatic fundamentalism -- it is more necessary than ever to work together for peace," the Bishop of Rome exclaimed during the homily.

The Holy Father reflected on the ideas he expressed in his first message for a World Day of Peace, the theme of which is "In Truth, Peace."

Benedict XVI appealed for a "thrust of courage and confidence in God and in man to opt for undertaking the way of peace."

"It is something that all must do: individuals and nations, international organizations and world powers," he said.

In particular, the Holy Father referred to the United Nations,
calling it to a "new awareness of its responsibility in the promotion of the values of justice, solidarity and peace, in a world ever more marked by the widespread phenomenon of globalization."

Attending the concelebrated Mass were ambassadors of 172 countries that maintain diplomatic relations with the Holy See, in addition to representatives of the Russian Federation, the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Order of Malta.

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Article: Israel and the Last Days

January 1, 2006 - 'Palestinians agree': Wipe Israel off map

A senior Palestinian official says Palestinians share the sentiment of Iran's president that Israel should be "wiped off the map," or at the very least, moved to Europe.

The statement from Mahir al-Tahir, representative of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, was reported by the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting News Network.

In November, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad threatened to "wipe Israel off the map."

Then in December, he suggested European nations should give up some of their territory if they believed the World War II-era Holocaust took place, noting, "certain European countries would have the world go with their stand that Hitler killed millions of innocent Jews in furnaces and have passed laws punishing anyone who says anything to the contrary."
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Article: Israel and the Last Days

January 1, 2006 - Ahmadinejad: Israel created to complete Holocaust

Hard-line Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who said the Nazi attempt to eradicate Jews in the Holocaust was "myth," has now charged that European countries sought to complete the genocide by establishing Israel, a Jewish state in the midst of Muslim countries.

"Don't you think that continuation of genocide by expelling Jews from Europe was one of their (the Europeans') aims in creating a regime of occupiers of Al-Quds (Jerusalem)?" the official Islamic Republic News agency quoted Ahmadinejad as saying. "Isn't that an important question?"

Ahmadinejad said Europeans had decided to create a "Jewish camp" as the best means for ridding the continent of Jews and said the camp, Israel, now enjoyed support from the United States and Europe in what he termed the slaughter of Muslims.

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Article: Biblical Archaeology

January 02, 2006 - Artifacts with links to Bible unearthed

JERUSALEM -- Israeli archaeologists, screening tons of rubble scooped out of this ancient city's sacred Temple Mount, have discovered hundreds of artifacts and coins, as well as jewelry, some with biblical links dating back more than three millennia.

Among the unusual finds extracted by Bar-Ilan University's Gabriel Barkai and his team of students and volunteers is a "bulla," or seal impression, thought to be used to close cloth sacks of silver.

"It bears the name Gedalyahu Ben Immer Ha-Cohen, suggesting that the owner may have been a brother of Pashur Ben Immer, described in the Bible [Jeremiah 20:1] as a priest and temple official," Mr. Barkai said.

That verse says: "Pashur, the son of Immer the priest, who was also chief governor in the House of the Lord, heard that Jeremiah prophesied these things."
The team's discoveries span 10,000 years "and belong to all the historical periods that transpired in Jerusalem," Mr. Barkai said.

One of the finds is a stone weight equivalent to four shekels (an ancient Hebrew measure, about 2 ounces), marked with words written in the ancient Hebrew alphabet.
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Article: Apostasy

January 01, 2006 - Emerging Church - Evangelism Parties

Still can't operate that MP3 player your son-in-law gave you for Christmas? Ever wonder what your 17-year-old really does on her computer during homework time? Perhaps they feel equally left out by the doctrines and customs known as "church" that you adhere to.

The Church of the Apostles in Seattle is doing something about it. Thanks to a $90,000 grant from Trinity Church-St. Paul's Chapel in New York, COTA is one year into its Ancient Future Common Prayer Project, a three-year outreach to share its wisdom and creativity with parishes seeking to reconnect longstanding traditions and beliefs with emerging cultures, communities and media.

An incarnation of the emerging church movement among several Protestant denominations, the COTA community began in a coffee shop and has since grown to include home church groups, theology pubs and other inclusive forms of worship. The church's ministry is based on welcoming and engaging seekers of all ages who have felt excluded from more familiar mainline Protestant practices. According to its website, COTA "shares a spiritual kinship with all those who affirm the most ancient Christian confession 'Jesus is Lord'" and is part of the Anglican and Lutheran "tribes."

...Through day-long Emerging Church Learning Parties, COTA leaders introduce dioceses to the post-denominational emerging-church movement. Sharing their own parish's experiences and practices in liturgy, song, mission and service, the parties offer practical resources and ideas for fresh expressions of outreach, worship and spiritual formation that existing congregations can adapt for their local contexts.

...Both Spellers and Ward believe most churches have yet to address a postmodern cultural shift that began in the 1960s and continues full force in North America. "Our culture today is both pre- and post-Christian, steeped in new media technology, spiritual yet wary of organized religion, distrustful of institutions and hierarchy," says Ward. Believers seek ways to share and reflect on their own spiritual experiences before they join a church and practical help in shaping their response to the call of God in Jesus Christ, she adds.

"Emerging generations are not impressed by technology (like baby boomers), or wary of it (like many in the silent generation), but are free to use it or not," she continues. "At COTA, we are just as likely to worship unplugged, with chant and drums, without any technology as we are to use all kinds of technology."

...COTA's first music CD, Ordo, with songs and hymns for the Eucharist, is available at ...

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Article: Signs of the Times

January 7, 2006 - Famine threatens 11 million in Horn of Africa

ROME - An estimated 11 million people in the Horn of Africa "are on the brink of starvation" because of severe drought and war, with some deaths already being reported in Kenya, the United Nations said Friday.

People in Somalia, Kenya, Djibouti and Ethiopia need food aid, water, new livestock and seeds, the Rome-based Food and Agriculture Organization said in a statement.

"Millions of people are on the brink of starvation in the Horn of Africa due to recent severe droughts coupled with the effects of past and ongoing conflicts," the agency said.
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Article:  Apostasy

January 6, 2006 - Ed Stetzer: Understanding the emerging church

ALPHARETTA, Ga. (BP)--It's been interesting to watch the emerging church conversation over the last few months. Important issues are being discussed. Unfortunately, like many conversations, good things are lumped together with bad and important conversations are lost in more heat than light.
My own observation as one who speaks at some events classified as "emerging" is that there are three broad categories of what is often called "the emerging church." Oddly enough, I think I can fairly say that most in the emerging conversation would agree with my assessments about the "types" of emerging leaders and churches -- and just differ with my conclusions.

In this too brief article, perhaps I can make a few suggestions on how conservative evangelicals should view these types of emerging churches. I believe that some are taking the same Gospel in the historic form of church but seeking to make it understandable to emerging culture; some are taking the same Gospel but questioning and reconstructing much of the form of church; some are questioning and revising the Gospel and the church.

-- Relevants

-- Reconstructionists.

-- Revisionists...

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Commentary: Creation-Evolution

Kingdom Now Or Apocalypse Next

Some news headlines attract my attention. This one certainly did: “Lutheran leader calls for ecumenical council to address growing biblical fundamentalism.”

Now, to explain what this headline means, I will quote from the article:

The leader of the nation’s largest Lutheran denomination has called for a global Christian council to address an identity crisis on how churches interpret and understand the Bible. Presiding Bishop Mark Hanson of the Evangelical Church in America called for Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, Anglican and Lutheran churches to come together to combat a fundamentalist-millenialist-apocalypticist reading of the Scripture.”


Perhaps you may be wondering: How significant is this statement? Who is Bishop Mark Hanson and what is he really advocating?       
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