More Religious Nonsense.  As modern denominations get further and further away from the Bible, their teachings become more and more diluted and absurd.  Articles are now appearing in papers around the world absolving Judas of Jesus' death.  Vatican scholars have joined others saying that blaming Judas for betraying Jesus "just does not add up."  The idea is that Jesus was too popular to have to be identified and that early Christians needed "a Jewish hate figure" and so they made up the story of Judas.  The politically correct line being propagated now is that "Judas was simply an innocent victim of religious persecution, racial prejudice and willful mistranslation."  There are so many problems with this assertion that we will not devote space here to go through them, but it is another example of how modern thinking attempts to alter and dilute the messages of the Bible.  --Source:   The Week, January 27, 2006, page 15.

Cheap Monday Jeans Anti-Christian.  Many times religious extremists make something out of a symbol or product that is not intended nor there. Over the years we have seen all kinds of claims against Proctor and Gamble, the FCC, etc., that turned out to be invalid.  In this case we have a product that attacks Christianity because the designer, Bjorn Atldax, believes that Christianity is a "force of evil" and brags that his jeans are "An active statement against Christianity."  The jeans have a skull with an upside down cross implanted on the forehead of the skull and the title "Cheap Monday" on the back. Some 200,000 pairs of the jeans have been sold in Sweden, Europe, and Australia.  Plans are to market the jeans in the United States in 2006.  One has to wonder what would happen if jeans with an anti-Muslim theme were put on the market, but we would at least like for parents and teens to know what the jeans are about as we turn the other cheek.  --Source:  A.P., December 31, 2005

More ACLU Lawsuits Against Christianity.  Leaders of the ACLU continue to try to maintain that their organization is not atheistic and determined to destroy Christianity, but the evidence makes it very hard to believe their claims.  In Georgia the ACLU has sued to stop bookstores from excluding the Bible from sales tax.  In reality the law excludes all books "commonly recognized as being Holy Scripture regardless of by or whom sold."  It would seem that the only groups that would object to that wording is atheists and agnostics.  The ACLU has a mission to secularize society and remove all religious influences, and while we have no problem with taxing all books, the mind-set of the ACLU seems rather clear.  It would seem that books that give moral guidance and instruction to our world at this very difficult time in human history should be encouraged.

Biblical Jebusites Vindicated.  Archeology is a great friend of the Bible.  Over the years critics have maligned the Bible on many historical facts, only to eventually have an archeological find prove that the Bible was correct.  For many years biblical minimalists have claimed that the Jebusites mentioned over 35 times in the Old Testament never existed--that they were a figment of the imagination of biblical writers.  Distinguished scholar Edward Lipinski has now offered strong evidence from his specialty of Semitic linguistic studies, that the Jebusites were a group of Amorites that were known at that time as the Yabusi'um.  The Semitic letter Y becomes a J in Germanic languages such as English and material from the archive at Mari in Mesopotamia backs up Lipinski's work.   The Mari material offers the first extra-biblical reference to the Jebusites.  --Source:  Biblical Archaeology Review, March/April 2006, page 17.

Natural Selection?  One of the cornerstones of evolution theory is natural selection.  The most elementary statement of this concept is that the more fit an organism is for a particular environment, the more likely it is to survive.  A white rabbit in a polar climate is more likely to survive than he would be in a tropical climate where his coloration would make the rabbit easy to see.  The problem with this fairly obvious concept is that it does not always work.  Recently a four-foot rat snake at Tokyo's Mutsugoro Okoky Zoo was getting attention because it was refusing to eat the frozen mice that were fed to it. Zookeepers decided to solve the problem by giving the snake a live hamster to eat.  Not only has the snake refused to eat the hamster, but according to zoo officials they have become great friends with the hamster crawling up on the snake's back to take his naps.  The two have been together now for five months, playing together, and nuzzling each other.  --Source:  The Week, February 10, 2006, page 4.

Radiation Studies Show Design of Earth.  We have known for a long time that there are certain dangers in space related to radiation.  As man begins to travel to outer space, studies have been done to see how much of a hazard this radiation is. It turns out it is far worse than anyone imagined.  We measure radiation in rems (an acronym for Radiation Equivalent Man.)  On the surface of the earth we get something between .02 and .04 rems a year depending on the elevation at which we live, and natural and man-made sources of radiation in our area.  Where jet airplanes fly the amount is 2.8 and where the Space Shuttle orbits the number is 10.  Measurements in interstellar space can run as high as 70 rems and even within the solar system the number can go as high as 25 rems and is no lower than 13 rems.  Exposure to cosmic rays and other radiation that permeate space is far too high for conventional shielding of humans to work.  This is a major problem for the space program, but it also speaks to how well designed planet earth is to allow us to exist in the hostile environment of space.  --Reference:  Scientific American, March 2005, pages 40-47.

Revised and Updated Bibliography Available.  We subscribe to about 100 periodicals and read a minimum of four books a month, many of which we review in this journal.  For 38 years we have had a four page bibliography available on request, that lists books that are usable for those interested in various facets of apologetics.  We have recently printed an updated version of this bibliography, and if you would like a copy of it, send us an envelope with a 39 cent stamp on it and we will mail one to you.  Mail your envelope to John Clayton, 1555 Echo Valley Dr., Niles, MI  49120.

Polygamy Pushed.  With gay activist getting the definition of marriage changed, the debate about what constitutes a family has shifted to another front.  It is estimated that 40,000 Mormons practice polygamy and an HBO series titled Big Love tells the story of a Utah businessman with three wives.  If you can justify gay marriage, you can also justify polygamy, polyandry, or anything anyone wants to do.  Polygamists have suits in the courts in Canada, Sweden, and the Netherlands.  God's way is the only standard that works, and when the definitions change and human needs do not, the results will be disastrous.  --Source:  The Week, March 24, 2006, page 18.

Textbook Wars Spread.  The battle over the teaching of evolution has gotten so much press in the past 25 years that other textbook issues have been ignored.  Jewish and Hindu groups have had a very strong influence over a variety of issues that have religious implications for Jews and Hindus.  The Hindu Education Foundation got California books to change statements about men having more rights than women in Hindu countries to say that men had different duties than women.  Jews have formed The Institute for Curriculum Services which is a group charged to look after historical references that Jews are sensitive to.  Textbook companies are complaining that this is a form of censorship, but it is inevitable that any book written will have problems with special interest groups of some kind.  I know from personal experience that writing any textbook that will please everyone in society is a virtual impossibility.  Christians need to teach children to read carefully and critically so their views are not skewed by things that special interest groups have gotten into the textbooks--and that of course includes evolution and creation concepts.  --Source:  Wall Street Journal, January 26, 2006 page A1.

Learning Is Not Unique to Humans.  We have tried to emphasize in this journal that the biblical definition of man and the scientific definition may not be the same.  The Bible says that man is that being created in the image of God, which is what gives man the ability to worship, create art, express feelings in music, feel guilt, be sympathetic, and the like.  What does not uniquely define man is thinking, learning, and reasoning.  Dean Pomerleau in Pittsburgh has taught a goldfish how to push a soccer ball into a goal, how to swim through a ring, and how to do the limbo with a rod.  We fishermen know that bass learn not to hit certain lures when they have been caught on those lures in the past.  Monkeys will stack up blocks or chairs to get a balloon fastened to the ceiling.  Animals think, reason, and learn.  It is the spiritual things animals do not do and those are the things that set man apart from other forms of life on this planet.

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