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Video games studied in new theological framework

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (BP) -- Matt Millsap admits he made up the word "theoludology" for his doctoral dissertation in systematic theology. Google theoludology (pronounced theo-lude-ology) and literally every result includes Millsap's name. Broken up into its roots, his dissertation topic becomes clearer, even if doesn't become easier to pronounce. "Theo-" and "-ology" are clear enough. "Ludo" is the Latin root for "game" or "play." Mashed together, Millsap created a new discipline: thinking about video games from a theological point of view.

Joplin’s devastation becomes family’s call to mission field

JOPLIN, Mo. (BP) -- Thousands of people have given their time and resources to help the city of Joplin rebuild after last year's devastating tornado. But one family answered God's call to do even more, moving from their home and steady jobs in Kentucky to help coordinate volunteers in the devastated Missouri town. When the EF-5 tornado struck last May 22, 161 people were killed and thousands of homes and businesses were destroyed or damaged. The tornado also stirred the heart of Jackie Jacobs, a math teacher in Science Hill, Ky. He had sensed God's call on his heart, but hadn't known how or what it might mean. "My heart immediately went out to the people and I began praying for something I could do even though I lived 12 hours away," Jacobs said. "As soon as school was out, I took my sons with me to rebuild what we could with the time we had." Jacobs' church gave him some money to buy gas and food and sent him on his way in the middle of June last year when mangled buildings, uprooted trees and debris still dominated any major signs of cleanup and recovery. But connecting his skills to cleanup jobs, especially ones he could do with his sons, was a challenge. Jacobs didn't know where to start, so he contacted his local director of missions in southern Kentucky, who forwarded him to the Kentucky Baptist Convention, then to the Missouri Baptist Convention, then Spring River Baptist Association and its director of missions, Steve Patterson. Patterson and the association were connected enough to point volunteers like Jacobs in the right direction, but the challenge was overwhelming. "I was getting hundreds of phone calls a day," Patterson said. "It was more than I could handle." One week in Joplin turned into two for Jacobs. "There was just a sense of calling," Jacobs said. "I told people I was going back to Kentucky, but just to visit, and that I'd be back [here] in a little while."

Joplin volunteer influx gets open door

WEBB CITY, Mo. (BP) -- Any church would be thrilled to see its Sunday School rooms packed with strangers. But these strangers also have unrolled their sleeping bags and settled in for a week.

Anthony Allen elected as HLGU president

HANNIBAL, Mo. (BP) — After a seven-month long search, Hannibal-LaGrange University trustees unanimously elected Anthony Allen as HLGU’s 17th president. The announcement came at the end of spring commencement May 5 at the Hannibal, Mo., campus. Allen was elected in a special called business meeting May 4. Allen, senior vice president of administration and chief […]

Jim Wells to join Mo. convention staff

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (BP) — Jim Wells, registration secretary for the Southern Baptist Convention, is joining the Missouri Baptist Convention executive board staff as Cooperative Program state missionary for strategic partnerships. Wells has been director of missions for Missouri’s Tri-County Baptist Association in Nixa for nearly 12 years. Beginning June 1, Wells will serve as […]

Church uses ‘Manly Night’ as outreach

WILDWOOD, Mo. (BP)--Burgers, motorcycles, a Super Bowl champion, a former player for the St. Louis Cardinals and a marathon-running retired Army officer. No wonder they called it "Manly Night."