Oct 04, 2005
A disaster of 'biblical' proportions? Four biblical themes to ponder: Four biblical themes to ponder
CNN has chosen Vatican analyst Delia Gallagher to be the network’s first full-time faith and values correspondent.
Gallagher will report on breaking news from a religious angle, covering stories such as the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and the Supreme Court confirmation hearings. She will also produce in-depth features on subjects ranging from abortion to Islam.
Gallagher will not be national television’s first religion reporter. Early in 1994, ABC television network hired reporter Peggy Wehmeyer of Dallas to cover the beat, which she did for seven years.
For countless clergy and other mainline Protestant computer users who keep up with ecumenical and interfaith news announcements, one of their first Web site checks is likely to be www.wfn.org—the now-ten-year-old Worldwide Faith News.
Robert W. Funk, the New Testament scholar who founded the controversial Jesus Seminar, died September 3 at his home in Santa Rosa, California, of lung failure. He was 79. After academic stints that included the chairmanship of Vanderbilt University’s religion department and the position of executive secretary of the Society of Biblical Literature, Funk organized in 1985 a group of 75-100 scholars who assessed which sayings in the canonical and apocryphal Gospels most likely came from the historical Jesus.
In the face of Hurricane Katrina, pastors on the Gulf Coast were confronted with the challenge of protecting their families, serving their congregations, sheltering the displaced and finding some way to continue in ministry. Here are some voices from the midst of the crisis.
Since the publication of Dean M. Kelley’s classic study Why Conservative Churches Are Growing in 1972 it has become axiomatic for many people that the mainline denominations (Methodist, Episcopal, Lutheran, Presbyterian) are in decline while conservative denominations (Southern Baptist, Assemblies of God, Pentecostal and holiness churches) are growing.
Is leadership, specifically pastoral leadership, a spiritual practice? Dorothy Bass has defined practices as “those shared activities that address fundamental human needs and that, woven together, form a way of life.” Does leadership address a fundamental human need?
The writers of great hymns were deeply aware of the relationship between God and the forces of nature. “Time, like an ever rolling stream,/Rolls all its sons away.” The rolling stream has certainly rolled a few good sons away this week. “Our shelter from the stormy blast/And our eternal home.” There hasn’t been much shelter to be had from the stormy blast this week, and rather a lot of people have been looking for an eternal home, having been swept away from their earthly one. As Christians we are bound to ask, “Where is God in Hurricane Katrina?”
Great plays tend to make mediocre movies. The elements that make a play successful don’t always provide the plot and visuals that are the keys to memorable cinema. Complicating matters further is the fact that theater is, by design, dialogue-heavy. The screenwriter who plans to cram long monologues or extended dialogues into the script is doomed.
Rising tides: Environmentalist (and Century editor at large) Bill McKibben reports that according to one prediction up to 150 million people worldwide could become “environmental refugees” by the year 2050 because of rising waters. There is evidence “that tropical storms are lasting half again as long, and spinning winds 50 percent more powerful, than just a few decades ago. The only plausible cause: the ever-warmer tropical seas on which these storms thrive” (Newsday, Sept. 14).
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