Weekly religion rail, with items on Christian books, a Hindu tradition newly permitted in Britain, a survey about religion and Hollywood, and more.
Christianity Today annually recognizes books that spotlight the people, events and ideas that shape evangelical life.
The judging process began with 472 titles submitted by 72 publishers. Here are the winners in five categories.
1. Apologetics/evangelism: “God Is Great, God Is Good: Why Believing in God Is Reasonable and Responsible” by William Lane Craig and Chad Meister, editors (InterVarsity Press)
2. Biblical studies: “Sin: A History” by Gary A. Anderson (Yale University Press)
3. Christianity and culture: “Souls in Transition: The Religious and Spiritual Lives of Emerging Adults” by Christian Smith with Patricia Snell (Oxford University Press)
4. The church/pastoral leadership (tie): “Deep Church: A Third Way Beyond Emerging and Traditional” by Jim Belcher (InterVarsity Press), and “Why We Love the Church: In Praise of Institutions and Organized Religion” by Kevin DeYoung and Ted Kluck (Moody)
5. Christian living: “I Told Me So: Self-Deception and the Christian Life” by Gregg A. Ten Elshof
For the full list, visit www.christianitytoday.com.
Court to allow funeral pyre for Hindu man
Davender Ghai, 71, a devout Hindu, won a court fight that will allow him to be cremated in Britain on an open-air funeral pyre.
According to wire reports, the Court of Appeal ruled the ceremony could be carried out as long as the pyre is surrounded by walls and a roof with an opening.
Ghai believes that a pyre is essential to "a good death" and for the release of his spirit into the afterlife.
Two-thirds of Republicans (67 percent) say Hollywood and the makers of movies and TV shows are unfriendly toward religion, compared with 48 percent of independents and just 31 percent of Democrats.
Likewise, 61 percent of those who attend church at least weekly say Hollywood is unfriendly, compared with 39 percent of those who attend less often.
-- Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life
“Reading Philosophy of Religion,” edited by Graham Oppy and Michael Scott
This book offers a diverse collection of carefully chosen classical and contemporary texts in philosophy of religion accompanied by detailed and insightful commentaries as well as questions to stimulate further study.
The readings reflect central topics of study: religious language; the existence of God; reason, argument and belief in God; divine properties; and religious pluralism. The 22 excerpts span the philosophical spectrum and include such thinkers as Alston, Anselm, Aquinas, Ayer, Berkeley, Boethius, Clifford, Hume, Paley, Pascal, Plantinga, Putnam and Rowe.
With its combination of thoughtfully chosen texts and illuminating analysis, “Reading Philosophy of Religion” is the ideal choice for any individual curious about the philosophical study of the nature of religion.
Get to Know …
Rebecca St. James, 32, is a multiple Dove Award and Grammy Award-winning Christian pop rock singer, songwriter, musician, published author, actor and an outspoken teenage sexual abstinence and pro-life advocate.
She has received RIAA certified gold album awards for her groundbreaking album “God” and her Grammy Award winning project “Pray,” certified gold in 2006.
In addition to music, St. James has more than a half-dozen books to her credit, including “Wait For Me.” Her ‘08 book “Pure” reached Top 10 on the CBA Bestseller List in February 2009.
She starred in the direct-to-video “Sarah’s Choice,” which carries an anti-abortion message.
Pantheism, Pantheist: From the Greek words "pan" (all) and "theos" (God). God is all. The belief that every existing entity (humans, animals, etc.) together, is a part of God. The entire universe is divine. They do not view God in personal terms, as having a personality, having the ability to make decisions, able to interact with humans, etc. – religioustolerance.org
Religion Around the World
Religious makeup of Luxembourg
Roman Catholic: 87 percent
Other (includes Protestant, Jewish, and Muslim): 13 percent
- CIA Factbook
GateHouse News Service