Travel with the Presidents

The six presidents of the Southern Baptist Convention seminaries invite you to join them and their wives as they lead a thirteen-day study tour of the original sites of the seven churches of Asia Minor, July 17-29, 1999.

Under the guidance of leading evangelical scholars, you have the opportunity to trace the origins of biblical prophecy and eschatology as they visit the ancient sites of the seven churches identified in the Book of Revelation, in the cities of Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamon, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea.

The tour, offered through Wilcox World Travel and Tours, offers package rates that range from $3,600 to $3,800. Also, an eleven-day tour of Israel and Jordan is scheduled for July 27 – Aug. 6, 1999 at a cost of $3,100.

As part of the tour of Israel and Jordan, participants will travel by plane from New York to Tel Aviv and then drive to Tiberias. During the eleven-day tour, vacationers will visit Nazareth and Jerusalem and take a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee, Jordan River, and Dead Sea. Participants in the basic study tour to Turkey and Greece have the option of joining this group in Jerusalem and Tiberias.

"We anticipate that a host of Southern Baptists will join the SBC seminary presidents as they present on-site analysis at each of the seven churches of the Book of Revelation," said Paige Patterson, president of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Wake Forest, N.C. "God's message delivered through John to the first-century church has remarkable applicability for believers in the 21st century. We will also re-examine the doctrine of 'end-time prophecy' in teaching sessions on board the ship. Your seminary presidents are preparing diligently, seeking the most up-to-date research and information to share."

For more information about package rates and availability contact Wilcox World Travel and Tours at 1-800-438-5828 or by e-mail at [email protected].



Gambling Stats


While the Atlantic City gambling industry has paid more than $7 billion in taxes and spawned thousands of spin-off jobs, the city's unemployment rate – 12.7 percent last year – remains among the nation's highest.

AP, May 11, 1998


Las Vegas, which has the highest suicide rate in the nation, had 497 suicides in 1990 – 187 more than expected in a city that size. Visitors to Las Vegas also kill themselves at a higher rate – four times the national average.

In 1975, three years before legalized gambling in Atlantic City, the expected number of suicides in a city that size was forty-five; Atlantic City had fifty-two, a statistically insignificant difference. By 1990, with gambling in place for twelve years, the expected number of suicides was still forty-five, but the actual number jumped to sixty-four.

AP, December 16, 1997

The Cost

• For every dollar received in taxes from gambling, socioeconomic expenses caused by gambling total at least $3.
• The ABCs of gambling are addiction, bankruptcies, and crime and corruption.
• Drug-abuse problems cost the U.S. $70 billion per year, and the cost is decreasing. Gambling abuse costs the U.S. $80 billion per year and the costs are rising.
• Pathological gamblers – between 3 percent and 8 percent of the population – almost always resort to crime to support and cover their gambling habits. The 35-mile radius or 'feeder area' around casinos experience a 100 percent increase in crime following the opening of a casino.
John W. Kindt, professor of commerce and legal policy at the University of Illinois, Champaign

• More than 30 percent of children have gambled for money before the age of 11.
• During the past year, more than fourteen million juveniles have gambled, and two million have serious gambling-related problems.
Durand Jacobs, psychologist, Redlands, Calif.

• Sixty percent of Americans over sixty-five gamble as a social pastime, but there is a growing number, especially women, with gambling disorders.
– Psychologist and Jesuit priest, Dennis McNeilly

Baptist Press, September 24 1998, from conference in St. Louis, September 18-20, hosted by the National Coalition Against Legalized Gambling and National Coalition Against Gambling Expansion



Purpose Driven Church in China

This past summer, Rick Warren and staff from Saddleback Community Church traveled to China to lead Purpose Driven Church seminars and explore opportunities for long-term leadership training. They were welcomed by churches, the China Christian Council leadership, seminaries, and even by the government.

The visit was prompted by popular response in China to Warren's best-selling book. This past year, the Chinese translation of The Purpose Driven Church sold 40,000 copies in Hong Kong and Taiwan, and a simplified Chinese script version was distributed in the People's Republic of China.

While in China, Warren met with leaders at three seminaries (Nanjing, Shanghai, and Beijing), held several meetings with the national China Christian Council members and Three Self Church leaders, met with provincial church leaders, met with the Amity foundation, taught two Purpose Driven Church seminars, and preached to overflow crowds in three of the largest churches in the country.

As a result of the visit, Warren received invitations from the highest levels in China to provide on-going church leadership.

Warren reported that the trip's highlight was the opportunity to proclaim the Gospel during a luncheon with a high-ranking official from a major Chinese university who is suffering with a cancerous brain tumor. Warren said, "In that intimate lunch setting, I was able to share a simple explanation of God's plan of salvation through Christ. He responded that he wanted to trust Christ for his salvation – right then. So after lunch, we all held hands and I led him in a sinner's prayer, which he prayed aloud. There was not a dry eye among us."



Updated Baptist Faith and Message

The updated Baptist Faith and Message, including the Family Article, is now available at $0.25 each. To order, call 800-458-2772.(ISBN 0-7673-9424-0)



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