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BP Ledger

EDITOR’S NOTE: BP Ledger carries items for reader information each week from various Southern Baptist-related entities, and news releases of interest from other sources. The items are published as received.

Today’s BP Ledger contains items from:
WORLD News Service
P&R Publishing
Campbellsville University

Role of Faith in Civil War Subject of New Gettysburg Museum

GETTYSBURG, Pa. (WNS) — The Old Dorm home sits on a ridge in the Gettysburg battleground. In the early summer of 1863, its residents fled the approaching fight. The son of the caretakers wrote that when they returned, they found the home “in use as a hospital, all the space in the large building was filled up with wounded soldiers.”

More than 600 Union and Confederate soldiers received treatment in that makeshift hospital. Old Dorm buildings also served as a surveillance post for Union General John Buford, commander of the cavalry. Starting on July 1, the 150th anniversary of the battle at Gettysburg, the Old Dorm home will reopen as Seminary Ridge Museum.

The completed project will cost $15 million, and is a joint effort of The Adams County Historical Society, the Seminary Ridge Historic Preservation Foundation, and The Lutheran Theological Seminary of Gettysburg, which owns the building.

According to TripAdvisor, Gettysburg is currently the 15th most popular attraction in the world, ranking above Spain’s Alhambra and China’s Great Wall. Museum visitors can explore the large field hospital, and view bones of an amputated hand, a knee joint, and surgical instruments of the time. With a guide, visitors can view the battlefield from the same vantage point as Buford did.

But the museum also invites visitors to see a side of Gettysburg history that few monuments and museums address —- an entire floor focuses on freedom and faith.

About 750,000 soldiers died during the Civil War, many of whom quoted from and carried the Bible. “Here were these young men, caught up in these events, and trying to be as faithful as they could be as good Christians,” said Maria Erling, professor of church history at the seminary. “They were consoled by those faith commitments.”

The museum asks visitors to think harder about what freedom means and the moral conflicts surrounding war. “People have found it comfortable to find a way to think about the Civil War in terms of valor and heroism,” said Barbara Franco, executive director of the museum. “We want to really look at these other parts of it.”


Marvin Olasky’s ‘Prodigal Press’ to be republished
PHILLIPSBURG, N.J. (P&R Publishing) — In 1988, Marvin Olasky’s “Prodigal Press” was one of the first books to explore the liberal and anti-Christian bias of the American news media. Since then, much has happened — including the rise of cable news, the advent of the Internet and the 24-7 news cycle.

But the changes, Olasky asserts, have created an environment in which anti-Christian bias is more pronounced than ever. Thus, on Sept. 3, P&R Publishing will release an updated 25th anniversary edition of “Prodigal Press: Confronting the Anti-Christian Bias of the American News Media.” The new edition includes Olasky’s original material, along with additional material and revisions by Olasky and Warren Cole Smith.

Syndicated columnist Cal Thomas notes, “Marvin Olasky gives new examples of anti-Christian bias, which ought to motivate more Christian young people to consider careers in journalism instead of cursing the growing darkness made worse by their absence.”

The original Prodigal Press was a seminal work that influenced a generation of Christian journalists and thinkers. One of them is Jeff Myers, now president of Summit Ministries. He said it was “one of the truly inspirational books I remember reading as a young believer.” Gene Edward Veith, now a journalism professor and provost at Patrick Henry College, said of the original edition, “Prodigal Press is a masterpiece of historical research, Christian analysis, and practical application.” The updated edition, he says, “adds new examples, addresses contemporary issues, and takes up the new information technology. But the original insights are as fresh as ever.”

Lee Strobel, former legal editor of the Chicago Tribune and author of “The Case for Christ,” says, “As someone who became a Christian while working as a journalist, [Prodigal Press] really helped crystallize things for me. It’s important and strategic to have this book updated and expanded for a new generation.”

The updated version of Prodigal Press considers the momentous technological developments that have changed the way people receive news. Cable news, in its infancy when the first edition came out, has now matured. The Internet, satellite radio and television, social media and the 24-7 news cycle have now revolutionized the news business. The updating includes a revision of chapter eight, “Perceptive Media Watching,” and a much more substantial revision of chapter nine, “Network News and Local Newspapers.” There is also an entirely new chapter — chapter 10, “The Devil in the Electrons” — that highlights both the promise and the opportunity provided by electronic media but also identifies how it allows new manifestations of anti-Christian bias to appear. Chapter 13, “A Christian Journalism Revival?” also has significant new material.

The point of the book, the authors explain, is not media-bashing, but a call to respond with deepened understanding, prayer, and action.

Marvin Olasky is editor-in-chief of WORLD News Group, which includes WORLD Magazine and the nationally syndicated radio news program “The World and Everything in It.” He holds the Distinguished Chair in Journalism and Public Policy at Patrick Henry College. Olasky studied at Yale University and obtained his doctorate in American culture from the University of Michigan. He is the author of more than 20 books, and Philanthropy magazine called his book The Tragedy of American Compassion one of “eight books that changed America.”

Warren Smith is vice president of WORLD News Group. He has written or co-written more than 10 books. His essays, reviews, interviews and articles also have been included in various books, including “Public Relations,” one of the most widely-used college journalism textbooks in the world.

Since 1930, P&R Publishing has been dedicated to promoting biblical understanding and godly living through excellence in publishing. The mission of P&R Publishing is “to serve Christ and his church by producing clear, engaging, fresh, and insightful applications of Reformed theology to life.” P&R has approximately 650 titles in print, with an average of 50 new titles per year.


Ventresco finds new purpose at Campbellsville
By Heather Hensley

CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. (Campbellsville Univ.) — “For nothing is impossible with God.” This scripture from Luke 1:37 has given new hope to Jordan Ventresco, a senior at Campbellsville University.

The Dublin, Ohio native has been spending the past couple of years sharing his life-changing experience with students not only on CU’s campus, but with other high schools, colleges and universities.

Ventresco said he made a life-changing decision during an Oasis worship event on CU’s campus by accepting Jesus Christ as his personal Lord and Savior.

Ventresco said the only style of religion he’d ever even known about before coming to CU was what he learned in his elementary school days at a private Catholic school. “During the services, it seemed like the same exact play getting rehearsed twice a week,” he said, referring to the church services he was required to attend each week at school.

He said his family didn’t go to church, but had put him in that particular school setting to get a better education than the public school system in his area.

He recalled his attitude after leaving the Catholic school system and moving into a public school setting.

“After being put in public school, I never looked back at wanting to learn about Christ,” he said. “I told everyone that I had learned everything I needed to know about religion, and I did not like any other churches besides the one I used to go to.” He said he only said that just because he wanted to stay away from something he didn’t understand.

Ventresco said that his journey at CU started because of being awarded a scholarship for his academic achievements and for being accepted on the university’s bowling team. He came in not wanting to learn any more about Christianity, but knew God had other plans.

He joked that he didn’t pay much attention during the freshman FIRST CLASS sessions but did enjoy the music that was being played by an actual band.

He said the turning event in his life was when the speaker he heard at Oasis the night that he accepted Christ made him think.

“It felt like the speaker was directing his message straight to me,” he said. “The main point of the devotion was not to put off God another day, for tomorrow is never promised.”

He said this made him think about losing a close friend during his senior year of high school and wondering what his friend would do if he had one more day on the earth.

After he accepted Christ, he changed his major to sports ministry and has been speaking at several different events and sharing his story of finding the Lord. He talked to one of his former football coaches and asked if he could share his story during a Tuesday night Bible study. He has shared his story with a bowler from Texas A & M University. He has even shared with a complete stranger.

G. Ted Taylor, professor of Christian studies and lead professor of the sports ministry program, said that it has been a joy to have him in the sports ministry program at CU.

“Every opportunity and challenge that I have put before Jordan, he has embraced it,” Taylor said.

Taylor also said Ventresco has spoken at FIRST CLASS large group sessions, facilitated sessions in Christian coaching and was a keynote speaker for Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) at Southwestern Pulaski County High School.

He has also been the “Crazy Love” Bible study leader on the bowling team, Taylor said.

Ventresco served as captain and spiritual leader of the CU men’s bowling team in 2012-13. He competed in the Team USA bowling trials in January in Las Vegas and plans to do so again in 2014 with hopes of going pro.

Later in January, he received his first career Top 5 finish for the Tigers by placing fourth at the Union College Bulldogs Classic in February.

In November, he received the United States Bowling Congress 11-in-a-row award, a laser-engraved crystal-style trophy, given to a bowler who is able to record 11 consecutive strikes in a single game when the score is 299 or less. This was at the BTM Striking Knights Classic in Louisville. Ventresco is the first Tiger bowler to earn the award during a tournament while competing for CU in a tournament.

Ventresco has worked in the Office of Broadcast Services as a camera operator for WLCU for “Dialogue on Public Issues,” “Perry Thomas Show,” “Inside CU Sports,” “Derby Rose Gala,” chapel services and live televised broadcasts of CU football, basketball and baseball games.

He has also worked behind the scenes and on-air with WLCU 88.7 FM, including broadcasting baseball games.

He is the son of Robert Ventresco of Baltimore, Ohio and Renee Sbrochi of Dublin, Ohio. He is a 2010 graduate of Hilliard Davidson High School in Hilliard, Ohio. He attends Living Grace Church in Campbellsville.

“Jordan is a story of faith development in Christ on the campus of Campbellsville University,” Taylor said. “He represents the transformation that takes place on our campus on a daily basis.”

Regarding future plans, Ventresco says that’s not up to him.

“I do not know what the future holds for me, nor am I planning anything besides graduating, and then letting the Lord take me where He wants me to go,” he said.

However, he did say he has been in contact with the president of the Golden Gate Seminary in California, who works with the San Francisco Giants.

“I cannot wait to see the opportunities the Lord has next for me!” he said.

Ventresco is spending his summer working at Camp Rockmount, a children’s camp in North Carolina, for the second year in a row.

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