September 23, 2008

Adventist leader James Standish has been named the new executive director of a federal panel that advocates for global religious liberty. The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom announced August 20 that Standish would lead the independent, nonpartisan federal agency. He has been director of legislative affairs for the Seventh-day Adventist Church for seven years. Standish succeeds Joseph Crapa, who died last year. “Standish’s academic and professional background in human rights and religious freedom advocacy has made him a respected leader on Capitol Hill” and among other constituencies in the field, said Felice Gaer, who chairs the panel created by a 1988 law.

Investigative journalist and broadcaster Amy Goodman, who hosts the radio and television program Democracy Now, will receive a special Communication for Peace Award from the World Association of Christian Communicators, the Toronto-based group has announced. Goodman will receive the award during WACC’s 2008 congress in Cape Town October 6-10. Goodman, 51, graduated from Harvard University in 1984 with a degree in anthropology. Her many awards for social justice stories and reports from Nigeria and East Timor include the George Polk Award and the Robert F. Kennedy Prize for International Reporting.

New Testament professor David M. Scholer, an American Baptist scholar known for his advocacy for women in ministry and for continuing to teach at Fuller Theological Seminary during his six-year struggle with cancer, died August 22 at his home in Pasadena, California. He was 70. Scholer, who joined the Fuller faculty in 1996, taught “Women, the Bible and the Church,” for years the school’s most popular elective course as judged by its long waiting lists of students. “His passion for New Testament scholarship was contagious, and he modeled in his life the joy of the truths he taught, even through suffering,” said Fuller president Richard J. Mouw. Scholer published a bibliographic guide for New Testament exegesis and edited two volumes of the Nag Hammadi Bibliography, the third volume of which is in press.