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Articles by Michael Foust

Found 32 Articles by Michael Foust

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Contesting a key claim of the so-called "Jesus tomb," a leading Israeli scholar says one of the ossuaries contained not the bones of Mary Magdalene but instead the bones of two unknown women named "Mariame" and "Mara."

The Mary Magdalene claim is one the most controversial ones in The Lost Tomb of Jesus documentary that aired on the Discovery Channel March 4. The documentary translated one of the ossuaries (or bone boxes) found in Jerusalem to read "Mary, known as Master." The program then used a document written centuries after Christ to claim the Mary on the ossuary in fact was Mary Magdalene and was married to Jesus, whose ossuary the documentary says was found in the tomb.

The names, though, were among the most common in the era, and the overwhelming majority of scholars — both Christian and non-Christian — have dismissed the claims.

Stephen J. Pfann, a biblical scholar and archeologist at the Universi...

A Turning Point for Pro-Life Democrats?

The election of several pro-life Democrats in the November election may have marked a defining moment in the future of the pro-life movement in the party, the head of Democrats for Life of America says.

Election Day saw Democrat Bob Casey Jr., son of the late outspoken pro-life Pennsylvania governor and a pro-lifer himself, win a U.S. Senate seat from the Keystone State. In the House, a handful of Democratic pro-life candidates — including Heath Shuler of North Carolina and Joe Donnelly and Brad Ellsworth — also won. All of them were key to the Democrats taking control of the House and Senate.

Although the Democratic Party is still led by supporters of abortion rights who back the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, and although its platform says Democrats "stand proudly for a woman...

In an annual meeting marked by repeated calls for cooperation in evangelism and missions, Southern Baptists June 13-14 in Greensboro, North Carolina, elected a new president, stressed increased giving through the Cooperative Program, and remembered the late Adrian Rogers, whose widow urged the denomination to "graciously work for unity in the body of Christ."

The meeting marked the final one for SBC President Bobby Welch, whose "Everyone Can" emphasis set a goal of baptizing 1 million in one year. The twelve-month push began last October and runs through the final week of September, which marks the end of the SBC's church year.

For the second straight year, more than eleven thousand messengers attended the meeting. The official total of 11,639 ...

2006 Southern Baptist Convention

With the focus on evangelism and the goal of winning and baptizing 1 million people in a year, Southern Baptists will gather at the Greensboro Coliseum in Greensboro, North Carolina, June 13-14, for their annual meeting.

It will mark the fifth meeting in North Carolina for the denomination but the first since 1916 (Asheville). Southern Baptists never have met in Greensboro.

"My quest is going to be to keep the collective head, heart, and eyes of the messengers on our main business of witnessing, winning, and baptizing," Southern Baptist Convention President Bobby Welch told Baptist Press. "... I think that's especially critical in light of the ACP report."

The most recent ACP, or Annual Church Profile report, showed Southern Baptists baptizing 16,000 fewer people in 2005 compared to 2004.

It will be the second consecutive year Southern Baptists have gathered under the banner of "Everyone Can" —...

Churches can support proposed constitutional marriage amendments without any fear of losing their tax-exempt status, an attorney with a religious liberty organization says.

Seven states are scheduled to vote on marriage amendments this year, and conservatives in two others — Arizona and Colorado — are gathering signatures with the goal of being added to that list.

Gary McCaleb, senior counsel with the Christian legal group Alliance Defense Fund, said pastors can voice support for the amendments from the pulpit and churches can assist in petition drives without fear of reprisal from the Internal Revenue Service.

"In respect to their Internal Revenue Service tax exemption, they have a lot of liberty and leeway to support a ballot initiative," McCaleb told Baptist Press. "As long as what they do is an insubstantial amount of their total budget, they're pretty much free to do whatever they want in support or opposition to the ballot ini...

A New Day for Cooperative Program

A committee charged with studying a range of financial solutions within the Southern Baptist Convention is recommending that entities promote the Cooperative Program by continually referencing and promoting it in publications and printed materials.

The SBC Funding Study Committee issued its fourth interim report to the Southern Baptist Executive Committee February 20, saying that more needs to be done to educate younger generations about the benefits of the Cooperative Program — Southern Baptists' method of funding missions, seminary education, and other ministries.

The committee released three recommendations, one of which is to request that the Executive Committee and entities include "motivating references" about the Cooperative Program "noticeably and continually on all regularly issued printed materials, characterizing it as a most efficient way of fu...

With the chief executives of Southern Baptists' national entities standing behind him in support, New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary President Chuck Kelley, September 19, thanked Southern Baptists for their "sacrificial commitment" to repairing the hurricane-ravaged campus.

Southern Baptists, he added, have a rare and unique opportunity to impact the city for Christ.

He spoke to Executive Committee members minutes after a historic vote ensured that several million dollars will assist in repairing the seminary, which was badly damaged by the flooding of Hurricane Katrina and has moved its offices temporarily to Decatur, Georgia.

"I want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart for what you have done ... in helping us climb a mountain that looks awfully high ...

Under the banner of "Everyone Can," Southern Baptists June 22 launched an ambitious effort to baptize one million people in a year, capping an annual meeting that also saw an end to the Disney boycott, a special recognition of Billy Graham, and an address via satellite from President Bush.

It was the first time since 1914 that the meeting was held in Nashville, Tennessee, with the largest number of messengers since 2000. The 11,641 registered messengers were the most since 11,918 registered for the meeting in Orlando, Florida, five years ago.

Although messengers dealt with a handful of contentious iss...

The political battle over same-sex "marriage" in California heated up December 6 when state legislators introduced competing bills — one legalizing "gay marriage," the other banning it within the state constitution.

The bills were introduced two weeks before a California state judge is scheduled to hear a case by activists seeking to legalize same-sex "marriage." That case, along with the two bills, means that California will remain front-and-center in the national "gay marriage" debate in 2005.

In fact, the issue shows no signs of disappearing nationally.

A New Jersey appeals court heard a same-sex "marriage" case December 7. Washington state's Supreme Court is scheduled to hear a same-sex "marriage" case in March. In Massachusetts — the only state with legalized "gay marriage" — the legislature is expected to consider a marriage amendment sometime in 2005. All tot...

If same-sex "marriage" is legalized nationwide in America, as some believe it will be, then the liberal views of teenagers and young adults are sure to play a large role.

This view is widespread among same-sex "marriage" supporters, who constantly cite polls showing what they claim are America's changing attitudes. Teens, they say, are embracing homosexual "marriage."

Deb Price, who works for The Detroit News, wrote a column last year about two high school students, Amanda Blair and Stephanie Haaser, who fought to change their respective schools' attitudes on homosexuality. Price, a homosexual, believes same-sex "marriage" may be inevitable.

"The gay-friendly generation of Blair and Haaser will eventually take control of the most powerful jobs in the corporate, political, and educational worlds," she wrote.

Others agree.

Recently, during a protest against marriage laws in Illinoi...