Christian Daily News
Keep up with the news affecting Christians throughout the world.
The Literature of the New Testament
Michael O'Connell, Professor of English at UCSB, has developed valuable web resources for his English 116B course: The Literature of the New Testament. Materials include Early Texts, The Historical Jesus Controversy, Biblical History and Reference Materials, Biblical Research Tools, Bible Humor, and General Reference Resources.
Science and religion have always been at war with one another, right? Isn't that what we've all been taught? Isn't that what the trial of Galileo was all about? In fact this widely held view is a distortion of the historical truth. On the contrary, historians over the past fifty years have revealed that for most of history science and religion have been deeply entwined.
Historian Ronald Numbers, an expert on the relationship between science and religion, points out that for hundreds of years one of the most prevailing models in Western culture was what was known as the "two books" - these being the books of Scripture and the book of Nature. From the Middle Ages through the nineteenth century most people in the Western world believed that both books were the work of God, and so "it was impossible that the two should conflict."
A recent survey in the journal Nature revealed that 40% of American physicists, biologists and mathematicians believe in God -- and not just some metaphysical abstraction, but a deity who takes an active interest in our affairs and hears our prayers: the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. What late 20th Centurt science has to say about 19th Century philosophical materialism may surprise you.
NEW YORK -- Salvation: it is the heart of a centuries old debate between Catholics and Protestants. Both groups believe that it is the essence of Christ's purpose, they just don't agree on how to obtain it.
Protestants have long viewed salvation as a gift from God, gained through faith alone. Catholics, on the other hand, believe that salvation comes through a combination of faith and good works. It has been a matter of disagreement since the Reformation. That, however, is changing.
In a six-page statement released last week by a loose-knit group of Roman Catholic and Protestant theologians, Catholics endorsed the salvation by faith alone view.
"The Gift of Salvation" as the statement is called, reads, in part, "We understand that what we here affirm is in agreement with what the Reformation traditions have meant by justification by faith alone (sola fide) We agree that justification is not earned by any good works or merits of our own, it is entirely God's gift."
"This is the first time that evangelical Protestants and Roman Catholics have publicly agreed to a common understanding of salvation," commented Richard John Neuhaus of the Religion and Public Life Institute, a Roman Catholic signee and editor of the journal First Things.
The statement is a clarification of a 1994 initiative known as "Evangelicals and Catholics Together", which noted a growing convergence and cooperation between Evangelicals and Catholics.
Christian Daily News, November 18, 1997
Michael O'Connell, Professor of English at UCSB, has developed valuable web resources for his courses in Hebrew Scriptures (English 116A) and New Testament Literature (English 116B). Materials include Early Texts, The Historical Jesus Controversy, Biblical History and Reference Materials, Biblical Research Tools, Bible Humor, and General Reference Resources.
July 4, 1997
In a statement without precedent in American history, forty prominent Christian leaders have joined in a common statement declaring a crisis in the American constitutional order.
Affirming what the American Founders called this "experiment in ordered liberty," the signers accuse the courts, and the Supreme Court in particular, of promoting "disordered liberty" in a series of decisions.
The Court, they say, has violated the fundamental principle of democracy that "just government is derived from the consent of the governed." In addition, "judicial usurpation of power" with respect to the great moral questions of our public life has created a crisis in which "it seems that people who are motivated by religion or religiously-inspired morality are relegated to a category of second-class citizenship."
"We Hold These Truths" emerges from a February meeting convened by Mr. Colson and Father Neuhaus in Reston, Virginia. It follows upon a 1994 statement coordinated by Colson and Neuhaus, "Evangelicals and Catholics Together," which affirmed a "growing pattern of convergence and cooperation" between Roman Catholics and evangelical Protestants.
Conference Date: October 9-11, 1997
Keynote Speaker: Dr. Alvin Plantinga, Professor of Philosophy, Notre Dame
Conference Site: The University of Colorado Memorial Center in beautiful Boulder, Colorado.
The conference is designed to be an interdisciplinary conference and we encourage submission of papers from all the humanities, as well as the natural sciences. A large portion of the conference will be aimed at answering the uestion, what is it to do scholarship from a Christian perspective? It is not a conference of Christian scholars reporting on their current work in the disciplines; rather, it is a conference of Christian scholars reflecting upon what it is to be a Christian and do scholarship from that perspective in their discipline. The conference will especially examine the metaphysical and epistemological foundations of Christian scholarship, asking what specifically are the constituting factors of Christian scholarship and how do they reveal themselves within our work in the particular disciplines. Suggested topics:
Theism and the Scientific Enterprise
An Interdisciplinary Conference at the University of Texas -- Austin
Feb. 20-23, 1997
Sponsored by the Department of Philosophy at the University of Texas at Austin. Invited speakers included Michael Ruse (Philosophy, University of Guelph, author of Darwinism Defended), Alvin Plantinga (Philosophy, University of Notre Dame, author of Warrant and Proper Function), Frederick Grinnell (UT Southwestern Medical Center author of The Scientific Attitude, and Phillip Johnson (Law School, UC-Berkeley, author of Darwin on Trial and Reason in the Balance).
The conference was dedicated to fostering dialogue between naturalists and theists on the impact of social and philosophical predispositions on the development, interpretation and presentation of scientific knowledge. The goal was to have a program balanced between defenders and critics of naturalism in science.
There were 38 submitted papers on the program, including both philosophers and scientists, evenly balanced between defenders and critics of methodological naturalism.
"Reflections from an Organizer" is now available on-line. Full proceedings of the conference will be available in the future.
Featured articles in our library will include presentations given at the weekly Forum (see Calendar section for schedule of upcoming events), faculty essays, and articles by past and future guest speakers of the FSCF @ UCSB.
The Gospel According to the Jesus Seminar
"Jesus the 'party animal,' whose zany wit and caustic humor would enliven an otherwise dull cocktail party --this is the product of the Jesus Seminar's six years' research. In a sense the Jesus Seminar, with its ideology of secularization, represents a 'shadow image' of the old 'New Quest,' with its neo-orthodox theology -- and its ultimate bankruptcy."
Interested in finding more about the Jesus Seminar? Professor Emeritus of Religious Studies at UCSB, Birger Pearson, has plenty more where this came from.
Check out The Gospel According to the Jesus Seminar.
UCSB's Faculty/Staff Christian Forum announces the homepages of several prominent Christian scholars including:
Study tools and religious news summaries are now available on-line.
Thanks to Christian Leadership Ministries our library has been greatly expanded. It has recently been organized into the following categories. We welcome additional contributions.
Jeffrey B. Russell, Professor Emeritus of History, was awarded Christian Leadership Ministries' (CLM) 1996 Erick Nilson grant for his contributions to the Christian community at UCSB. CLM is a ministry to over 10,000 Christian faculty throughout the United States. Professor Russell donated the grant of $1,000.00 for the on-going work of the Faculty/Staff Christian Fellowship at UCSB.
The Faculty / Staff Christian Forum Website was officially launched in the annual Easter Proclamation, "He Is Risen," which appeared in the Daily Nexus on Monday, April 8, 1996.
Any member of the FSCF is welcome to submit their favorite scripture verse with a short commentary for inclusion in our "Word and Commentary" pages.
In order to encourage interested students to study the scholarly works of FSCF Faculty members, faculty are invited to link their c.v. to the Faculty and Staff page of this web site. Please submit appropriate URL to Webcontact@id.ucsb.edu. If your c.v. does not currently reside on a departmental sever, you are invited to forward a 3.5" disc to either Jeff Russell in History, John Kennedy in Chemistry, or Art Battson in Instructional Resources for inclusion on this site.
Updated September 12, 1998