Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Presbyterians Week Headlines

[1] UK Labourites Block George Reid from Constitutional Commission Reviewing Devolution
[2] Dr. Dobson's Broadcast Nominated to Radio Hall of Fame
[3] Academic Freedom in the Balance
[4] Louisiana Fellowship of Christian Athletes Denied Use of Bus
[5] What's New At Inheritance Publications
[6] Influential Evangelical Theologian Latest To Split with Anglican Church

[1] UK Labourites Block George Reid from Constitutional Commission Reviewing Devolution

The United Kingdom Labour party vetoed the appointment of former presiding officer George Reid to the new body reviewing devolution.

Reid, who used to be a Scottish National Party (SNP) member of the Scottish parliament, was thought to be too "nationalist" for a position on the Constitutional Commission.

The Commission has been set up to review the powers of the Scottish parliament.

An SNP spokesman said: "George Reid's expertise on the powers and operation of the Scottish Parliament and his neutrality as presiding officer are widely respected around the world. "Vetoing his appointment because he was elected for the SNP exposes the petty nature of Labour in Scotland."

A spokesman for Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Nicol Stephen said: "Nicol is still enthusiastic about George Reid playing a role on the commission."

+ Sunday Herald, 200 Renfield Street, Glasgow G2 3QB

[2] Dr. Dobson's Broadcast Nominated to Radio Hall of Fame

Devon Williams reports that Dr. James Dobson, founder and chairman of Focus on the Family, has received a nomination for induction into the National Radio Hall of Fame.

Every year, the National Radio Hall of Fame Steering Committee, which includes radio executives, academicians, trade journalists and members of the National Association of Broadcasters, chooses nominees based on recommendations from the public.

The committee nominated Dr. Dobson in the "national active" category, alongside Bob Costas, Dr. Laura Schlessinger, and Howard Stern. To qualify, a broadcaster must have contributed to the radio industry on a national level for at least 10 years.

Dr. Dobson's internationally syndicated radio program is heard daily on more than 3,000 radio stations across North America. It also airs in 27 languages in more than 160 countries.

+ Focus on the Family Action Inc., 8605 Explorer Drive, Colorado Springs, Colorado 80920

[3] Academic Freedom in the Balance

On March 26, 2008, the Institute for Creation Research Graduate School (ICRGS) submitted documents to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) in Austin, Texas, in response to a request to provide institutional documentation that describes the Master of Science in Science Education program offered by the school. These documents were subsequently reviewed by the THECB as part of the ICRGS application for a Certificate of Authority to grant degrees in the state. At the THECB Commissioners meeting on April 24, 2008, Commissioner Raymund Paredes and his board voted to deny the ICRGS authority in the state to grant the M.S. degree in Science Education. Dr. Paredes read into the record his recommendation at a committee meeting the day before, expressing his belief that the ICRGS promoted a viewpoint different from perceived science standards in the state, based on his non-public consultations with yet-to-be-identified science educators.

The ICRGS believes that the decision by the state of Texas unnecessarily discriminates against Texas residents seeking the type of education that the ICRGS can uniquely fulfill and has successfully offered for more than 25 years to students throughout the country.

+ Institute for Creation Research, 1806 Royal Lane, Dallas, Texas 75229

[4] Louisiana Fellowship of Christian Athletes Denied Use of Bus

Jeff Johnson reports that Christian students in one Louisiana school district are going to court after administrators denied them the same opportunities as other non-religious students.

The Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana, public schools allow all student clubs to use school buses for field trips -- all student clubs, that is, except the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA). Josh Bolinger, litigation counsel with the Alliance Defense Fund, says he tried to make administrators understand they were allegedly violating the law.

"We tried to work with school officials to resolve the situation. When they failed to respond favorably to our letters and contact attempts, we proceeded, then, to file suit in federal court," Bolinger explains.

The lawsuit asks the court to issue a temporary restraining order, forcing the school district to allow the FCA to use the buses to attend an upcoming event. It also seeks permanent relief that would require the district to provide equal access to buses for all student clubs.

+ American Family Association,

[5] What's New At Inheritance Publications

New books for 2008 include:

· And They Sing A New Song by C. Van der Waal - About Psalms and Hymns

· My Rock and My Salvation by Clarence J. VanderVelde - Meditations on Forgiveness, God's Providence, and the Christian Life

· The Dort Study Bible - An English translation of the Annotations to the Dutch Staten Bijbel of 1637 in accordance with a decree of the Synod of Dort 1618-1619

+ Inheritance Publications, Box 154, Neerlandia, Alberta, T0G 1R0 Canada

[6] Influential Evangelical Theologian Latest To Split with Anglican Church

Douglas Todd reports that James Packer, one of the world's most famous evangelical theologians, quit the Anglican Church of Canada last week because he believes many of its bishops are "arguably heretical" for adhering to "poisonous liberalism."

James Packer, whom Time magazine recently named as one of the planet's 25 most influential evangelicals, said he hesitated before using the harsh terms to describe the Anglican bishops, but believed he must do so in the name of truth.

Vancouver-based Packer, who has sold more than four million copies of his many books, said he and 10 other B.C. Anglican clergy left the national denomination this week to operate under the authority of a South American Anglican archbishop because they felt they were being "starved out and worn down."

Oxford-trained Packer was interviewed at a Friday gathering of about 300 members of the breakaway Anglican Network in Canada, which officially welcomed South American Anglican Primate Gregory Venables to Canada as their spiritual leader -- against the express wishes of Canada's top Anglican, Primate Fred Hiltz.

Packer urged Anglicans who are adamantly opposed to liberal developments in the Anglican church in Canada and the U.S. to remain "tough" as they re-align themselves under Archbishop Venables into a new non-geographically-based form of Anglicanism.

+ The Vancouver Sun, #1 - 200 Granville Street, Vancouver British Colombia C V6C 3N3, Canada