Millions of readers, including not a few Christians, look into their daily papers for counsel and advice on life. Care and discernment are required to avoid the "wisdom" that is called "foolish" by God. Ann Landers was asked this question recently: "Do you believe in a Heaven and a Hell?." Showing her lack of depth, Aim began her reply thus: "It's a subject I haven't given much thought."
Does this sound like one who recognizes all the dimensions of life and of human longing? Should one take advice from another who has not given "much thought" to the eternal? In Hosea 4:6, God is said to lament, "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge." Not only should we give "much thought" to eternal questions, we should, as ambassadors of Christ, give voice to those eternal answers contained in the Word of God.
New Associate Editor
SBC LIFE is happy to introduce John Revell as its new Associate Editor. The Florida native is a pastor's son, and he and all three of his brothers now serve in vocational or voluntary ministry positions. He is a graduate of Denver Seminary and has served in full-time ministry more than twelve years, from Long Island to Florida. He comes to us from a successful cooperative effort new church start in South Florida, where he served seven years as pastor.
John sees the ministry of the written word as an extension of that of the spoken word. He is currently co-authoring a book on the Christian's civic duty which is expected to be released in January '98.
John and his wife Debbie have two sons, Micah (age 11) and Philip (age 8). We welcome them to the ministry opportunities the Lord has given them here.
Drugs and Driving
We've all heard about the perils associated with drinking and driving. But a new study by PRIDE found high school seniors are more likely to smoke marijuana and drive (20%) than drink and drive (16%). The nonprofit PRIDE group, which offers communities drug awareness and prevention services, has been tracking teen behavior for 9 years.
Their study of 129,560 sixth- to 12th-graders in 26 states also found that 74% who used pot got "very high," "bombed," or "stoned." They concluded the likelihood is twice as great for a substance abusing teen to be "beyond control" from marijuana than drunk on alcohol.
Boxing for Jesus
Evander Holyfield was considered a washed-up has-been, a 15:1 underdog, up against Mike Tyson, one of the most feared boxers in the game and the Heavyweight Champion of the World. Before the fight, Mr. Holyfield was insisting that he would win, telling reporters that God would give him the victory as a way to help convert unbelievers. Mr. Holyfield, a devout Christian, had widespread sympathy, but no one gave him a chance against the convicted rapist Tyson.
Mr. Holyfield knocked out Mr. Tyson in the 11th round and is now the new heavyweight champion. Sportswriters are describing the unlikely victory in terms of David and Goliath. Mr. Holyfield just says, "I give the glory to God. He gets the credit."
From World magazine
Abortion and Cancer Linked
A new study from Bauch College reveals that women who have had an abortion are 30 percent more likely to get breast cancer than women who haven't!
Professor Joel Brind compared 34,977 healthy women to 25,967 women with breast cancer. He concluded: "Having an induced abortion increases a woman's risk of developing breast cancer later in life by nearly one third." His findings are being published in Britain's Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.
Poignant Funeral Remarks Underscore Importance of Family
Virtually every pastor knows that death, and the trappings which surround it, causes some to reflect seriously on life and its meaning. Ben Stein, writer, actor, and social commentator was asked to speak a word during the funeral of a friend. Though his remarks are not expressive of Christian faith, they declare something of great significance; the cultural understanding of the importance of family. Perhaps they provide a pre-evangelistic understanding helpful in communicating with this generation.
Stein wrote, "I spoke about how Peter had taught me that the only thing that mattered was family That being cool meant nothing and being rich meant nothing and being famous meant nothing. What stuck to your bones was family
"The mourners nodded enthusiastically, and I suddenly realized that this family thing cuts across all lines. The hippies know it. The people who make TV in Hollywood know it. The people who are policy wonks at the AEI know it. The fanners know it. The soldiers and sailors definitely know it. The only ones who don't know it are lost souls out in the darkness at gyms, lifting weights obsessively and walking ever faster on the Stairmaster with empty apartments to come home to."
From "Death of a Friend" in The American Spectator
All What Nations?
Richard Showalter, in an article titled "All the clans, all the peoples" in International Journal of Frontier Missions, makes an important point about the extent of God's redemptive interest and our missions obligations.
That God has a missionary heart is evident in both the Old and New Testaments. In the Old Testament we read God's promise to Abraham in Gen. 13:1-3 to bless all the nations. In Mt. 28:19-20 we find God's purpose repeated. Both passages have the same Sender, the same command, the same mission, and the same object — the whole earth.
Over time, we have come to accept God's commission as one of discipling the nations. Is nations the right word, however? Various Bible translations render the Genesis term mispahot as tribes, nations, peoples, and families.
The Abrahamic promise is stated five times. Three times the word mispahot is used. Twice the Hebrew word is goyim, which is very close to the Greek ethne used in the Great Commission. Possible modern terms might be cultures for goyim and subcultures for mispahot.
Clearly, the more common use of nations is misleading. In ancient culture, nationalism as we know it didn't exist. A "nation with a territorial base was actually a functioning people group," linked not just by politics but also by blood and culture. A clan or people provided identity, social and political connection, religious life, marriage, etc."
God's concern, then, is a very detailed one of blessing all the peoples of the earth down to the smallest "individual subcultures."
From Current Thoughts & Trends
"Put first things first and we get second things thrown in; put second things first and we lose both first and second things." — C. S. Lewis