News and Notes
Announcing a New Video Series for Children

In 1982, the Does God Exist? program began providing materials to teach children apologetic material at their own level (from birth through high school). Jean Wiebe, of Watertown, NY, has been our major resource person for providing materials on science and faith for children. Jean and her twin sister Jo Pennington prepared a video series to help Bible school teachers create meaningful lessons. This series is still available from us, but the major problem with it is that it requires a lot of work by the teachers, and many teachers of small children just do not have time to prepare the materials.

We have just produced a 20-lesson series titled God Made It All Perfect for Children on four VCR tapes or on DVD with Jean doing the teaching in 16 lessons directed at children. John Clayton has also done four programs for the children as a leadoff to the series. The videos may be shown with no material preparation by the teacher, and children can learn directly from Jean and John about how we can know there is a God and how to answer challenges to their faith. Like all of our materials, the series can be borrowed with a deposit or can be purchased on VCR tapes for $40 ppd. We would also like to remind our readers that we have a teacher's packet which includes two exhaustive guides for Bible school teachers of the God Made It All Perfect materials for $6 ppd. These materials will be especially useful for Christian schools and home schoolers as well as incorporation into Bible school classes. Send your order to us at our mailing address: John Clayton, 1555 Echo Valley Dr., Niles, MI 49120.

Petition 2493 Continues. For many years there has been a fictitious story going around that Madalyn O'Hair has a petition before the FCC to remove religious programming from television. The best efforts of the government, churches, and programs like ours have not been able to stop this nonsense from being spread over and over--most recently on the web. The FCC now has a new site for information about this petition. It is at:

Israelites in Egypt. One of the areas that skeptics have pounded on pretty hard over the years is the fact that there is no record in secular history of Israelites ever having been in Egypt. In Genesis and Exodus the Bible clearly maintains that Jacob moved his large family to Egypt to join his son Joseph, and that the Israelites were eventually forced into slavery. If the Bible is correct, why is there no evidence of Israelite occupancy in Egypt? Some have maintained that Egypt was essentially defeated by Israel when Moses led the Israelites into Canaan, and that nations do not keep a record of their defeats and humiliations. The fact remains that while the Egyptians might not record the presence of Israel, there should be some archeological evidence of thousands of people being in the area.

In US News and World Report (October 20, 2003, page 47) is a report of a structure being found near Luxor in Egypt that is identical to houses built in Israel from the 12th to the 6th century BC. People will continue to debate the Exodus story, but there is growing support for the credibility of the Bible in this matter.

More on translations. We have had a few great letters sent to us in reaction to our comments about translations. Pete Shaw made this comment that we thought might be useful to others: "Concerning some of the other modern translations, we need to warn churches about what is happening with the so-called gender-neutral/gender-inclusive techniques being used. It started seriously in 1990, when the New Revised Standard Version came out. If you examine one, you will see that everywhere it replaces a singular male pronoun with a neuter or plural pronoun such as `they' it will tell you in the footnote, `Gr., he or him.' So they even told you when they changed the Greek word to something different to make feminists feel better. In later gender-neutral translations such as The Message and the New Living Translation, they do not even put the footnotes in... As of January 2001 we have Today's New International Version, another, and more blatant, gender-neutral translation which changes the Scripture in other ways besides gender pronouns. There is considerable objection to the TNIV by conservatives... Just keep encouraging brothers and sisters in Christ to do like the Bereans."

Martian meteorite data. The question of whether a meteorite found on the earth came from Mars has been batted around quite a bit. Very few people have asked what it would take to get a hunk of rock going fast enough to escape the gravity of Mars so that it could travel to the earth. The answer to that question is that the rock would have to be accelerated at 3,400,000 meters per second per second in order to escape the gravity of Mars, and that is 350,000 times Earth's gravity. Obviously that would have to take place in some kind of explosion, but it adds another dimension to the question of whether life could survive being blasted from Mars to Earth. This is not a biblical or a faith issue, but it is an area where the media is careful not to inform the general public about how unlikely the scenario they are selling is. --Reference: Science News, August 9, 2003, page 95.

Origin of the moon. On a similar subject, there is a letter in the November 2003 issue of Natural History (page 12) by Harrison H. Schmitt concerning the origin of the moon. Schmitt is the only geologist to have ever visited the moon having been on Apollo 17 in December 1972. Schmitt says "the Moon is chemically primitive and could not have been part of either the early Earth or the impactor, nor could it have undergone the heating caused by a giant impact." Schmitt suggests that the moon was captured by the earth's gravity. Advanced as we are in many areas of astronomy, we still have no workable answer to the origin of the moon.

Struggling with the coma/conscious issue. Terri Schiavo is 39 years old and has not been fully conscious in 13 years. She seems to be able to follow some verbal commands and to control eye motion, but no one is sure what, if anything, she understands. You can see her response on She was 26 years old when she suffered cardiac arrest and had brain injury from lack of oxygen. Her husband wants to remove her feeding tube and her parents are fighting it. The legal battle has resulted in massive cost and even the involvement of the governor of Florida. The advancements in medicine are making this kind of situation more and more common. There are no easy answers to this kind of situation.

We would like to point out that from a Christian perspective there are a few things that need to be kept in mind. Man's definition of death is part of the problem. The Bible defines death as that point where the soul leaves the body. A person can be breathing, metabolizing, and moving muscles and still be biblically dead. Removing medical help like a feeding tube is not murder. Whether the person can live or not is still open to what they can do and to God's role. This is a tough issue however, that will continue and get more and more complicated.

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