Wednesday, July 16, 2008

16 July 2008

[1] Death of Reverend Imre Bertalan
[2] Erskine College Fire Damages Two Buildings
[3] Classis Southwest US Meets in California
[4] Death of Sir John Marks Templeton
[5] Westminster Professor Suspended from Teaching
[6] Reformed Family Worship Book
[7] Venezuela’s ‘Reformed Catholic Church’ Repudiated
[8] Planned Parenthood Front Groups Lobby for Abortion in Health Care Reform
[9] McDonald’s Says Opposition to Homosexuality is Hate
[10] Bible Publishers Sued for Sexual Sin References

[1] Death of Reverend Imre Bertalan

Rev. Mr. Imre Bertalan died on the morning of 10 July. Colleagues described him as “a prime mover in the Hungarian Reformed community for many decades, as pastor of local congregations and President of the Hungarian Reformed Federation of America.” Survivors include a son, the Reverend Imre A. Bertalan, and daughters Sara and Vickie.

+ Rt. Rev. Sandor Szabo, Hungarian Reformed Church in America, 1053 East Sixth Street #32, Ontario, California 91764

+ Hungarian Reformed Federation of America, 2001 Massachusetts Avenue Northwest, Washington DC 20036-1011,

[2] Erskine College Fire Damages Two Campus Buildings

A 10 July evening fire at Erskine College in Due West, South Carolina caused by a faulty dishwasher damaged the Moffatt Dinning Hall and Founder’s Hall, disrupting several current and upcoming summer programs. Campus dining services have temporarily moved to the Due West Retirement Center. School president Randall Ruble assisted with retrieving portraits of past college presidents from the firefighters who retrieved them from Founder’s Hall, and following an interview continued to hold an umbrella over a television news reporter as she taped her report. Ruble said 11 July that the fire damage will be covered by the school’s insurance policy.

+ The Greenville News, 305 South Main Street, Greenville, South Carolina 29602, 800-800-5116

+ WYFF 4, 505 Rutherford Street, Greenville, South Carolina 29609, 864-242-4404

+ Erskine College, Two Washington Street, Due West, South Carolina 29639, 888-359-4358

[3] Classis Southwest US Meets in California

The Rev. Bradd L. Nymeyer, Clerk of Classis Southwest US, United Reformed Church (URCNA) reports that their meeting was convened 30 June at First United Reformed Church of Chino, California, by the consistory of the High Desert United Reformed Church of Apple Valley. All 12 churches of classis were fully delegated. The delegates were led by URCNA ministers chairman Mike Brown and assistant Marcelo Souza.

The main order of the day was the candidacy examination of Mr. Jonathan Moersch of Oceanside United Reformed Church. Moersch was examined in all the areas prescribed by the Church Order and unanimously sustained the examination.

Rev. Jay Fluck from the Western Classis of the Reformed Church in the United States was present to give ecumenical greetings on behalf of that denomination.

The delegates also heard synodical committees reports and a report on the initial work toward a new church in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The next classis will be convened by the Chino United Reformed Church on 13-14 January 2009.

+ United Reformed Church (URCNA), 5824 Bowwater Creek Northwest, Calgary, Alberta T3B 2E2, Canada, 403-286-0521, Fax: 403-286-0759,

[4] Death of Sir John Marks Templeton

Sir John Marks Templeton succumbed to pneumonia 9 July at a Nassau, Bahamas hospital. He was 95. Templeton was a pioneer in international mutual funds in the mid-1950’s, eventually becoming a billionaire. He founded the Templeton prize in 1972, first awarded to Mother Teresa, and in 1987 founded the Templeton Foundation that provides $70 million each year in academic research grants.

A longtime supporter of the Presbyterian Lay Committee, Templeton encouraged ministerial students to study business to better understand the elders with whom they would be working in local congregations.

Templeton is survived by two sons, a stepdaughter, three grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

+ Los Angeles Times, 202 West First Street, Los Angeles, California 90012, 213-237-5000, Fax: 213-237-7679

+ Catholic News Service, 3211 Fourth Street Northeast, Washington, DC 20017, 202-541-3250, 202-541-3255,

[5] Westminster Professor Suspended from Teaching

Westminster Theological Seminary Professor of Old Testament Peter Enns was in March suspended from teaching by the institution’s board of trustees and will face a four-day hearing scheduled in August to determine whether or not the tenured faculty member will be dismissed from the seminary.

Enn’s book Inspiration and Incarnation: Evangelicals and the Problem of the Old Testament precipitated the suspension due to its contentions about supposed contradictions and inconsistencies in Scripture, inferences that parts of the Bible are taken from literature from Israel’s neighboring lands, and allegations that New Testament authors take certain Old Testament passages out of context when they are attribute them to prophesy of the coming of Jesus Christ.

Westminster frames the issue as being whether or not Enns violated the oath he took when he joined the faculty which pledges that faculty will not inculcate, teach or insinuate anything contrary to the Westminster Confession of Faith, which proclaims the infallible truth and entire perfection of Holy Scripture whose sole author is God.

+ The Philadelphia Inquirer, 400 North Broad Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19130, 215-854-4500

+ Westminster Theological Seminary, Post Office Box 27009, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19118, 800-373-0119, Fax: 215-887-5404

[6] Reformed Family Worship Book

Ginny Youmans of ReformingMinds has written the Reformed Family Worship Book that includes introductory material about Reformed theology, the Heidelberg Catechism, the Catechism for Young Children, and the Westminster Shorter Catechism with school year catechism study schedules, and Robert Murray M’Cheyne’s Calendar for Daily Bible Reading. It is available for $19.95 plus shipping from the web site.

+ ReformingMinds

[7] Venezuela’s ‘Reformed Catholic Church’ Repudiated

A group of former Lutherans, Anglicans, and Roman Catholics supporting President Hugo Chavez announced itself last month as the “Reformed Catholic Church” in Venezuela.

Both Rome and the Anglican Communion have disavowed the group’s legitimacy and condemned its use of the descriptor ‘Catholic’.

Rome describes the group as “using the same symbols, vestments, nomenclature, titles and sacramental and liturgical services as the Catholic Church”, so clearly it is not ‘Reformed’ either.

+ Zenit, Post Office Box 467603, Atlanta, Georgia 31146

+ Anglican Communion, St Andrew's House, 16 Tavistock Crescent, London W11 1AP, England, 44-0-20-7313-3900, Fax: 44-0-20-7313-3999,

+ Roman Catholic Church, 39-06-698-83712

[8] Planned Parenthood Front Groups Lobby for Abortion in Health Care Reform

A press release from the Virginia Society for Human Life (VSHL) references an 8 July article in the Richmond Times-Dispatch announcing a campaign by Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) financed group Health Care for America Now, and in Richmond the Virginia Organizing Project, to lobby in 50 cities nationwide for fully federally funded abortion-on-demand to be included in any new national health care reform plans.

According to their own figures, PPFA-affiliated clinics killed 289,750 unborn children through abortion in 2006. Other PPFA information reveals that abortions in the United States have decreased by 25% between 1990 and 2006 while increasing 224% in PPFA-affiliated clinics.

+ Virginia Society for Human Life, 6767 Forest Hill Avenue Suite 270, Richmond, Virginia 23225, 804-560-8745, Fax: 804-560-8746,

+ Planned Parenthood Federation of America, 434 West 33rd Street, New York, New York 10001, 212-541-7800, Fax: 212-245-1845

+ Richmond Times-Dispatch, 300 East Franklin Street, Richmond, Virginia 23219, 804-649-6990

[9] McDonald’s Says Opposition to Homosexuality is Hate

When the American Family Association (AFA) wrote McDonald’s in opposition to its obtaining membership in and a seat on the Board of Directors of the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) for a $20,000 contribution, their spokesman Bill Whitman responded by saying that those who oppose homosexuality are motivated by hate.

AFA Chairman Don Wildmon dismissed that characterization by emphasizing that the focus is upon McDonald’s choosing “not to remain neutral but to give the full weight of their corporation to promoting the homosexual agenda, including homosexual marriage."

+ Christian News Wire, 2020 Pennsylvania Avenue Northwest, Washington, DC 20006, 202-546-0054,

+ American Family Association, Post Office Drawer 2440, Tupelo, Mississippi 38803, 662-844-5036

+ McDonald’s Corporation, 2111 McDonald's Drive, Oak Brook, Illinois 60523, 800-244-6227

[10] Bible Publishers Sued for Sexual Sin References

Bradley LaShawn Fowler, a Michigan homosexual, is suing Zondervan Publishing Company for $60 million and Thomas Nelson Publishing for $10 million for scriptural passages in the Bibles that they publish that identify homosexual behavior as sin.

U.S. District Judge Julian Abele Cook Jr., who will hear Fowler’s case against Thomas Nelson, says the court “has some very genuine concerns about the nature and efficacy of [Fowler’s] claims."

+ Newsmax, Post Office Box 20989, West Palm Beach, Florida 33416, 561-686-1165, Fax: 561-686-3350

+ Zondervan Publishing, 5300 Patterson Avenue Southeast, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49530

+ Thomas Nelson Publisher, Post Office Box 141000, Nashville, Tennessee 37214, 800-251-4000