Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Yahoo News - Bird flu explodes in Indonesia
AP reports, "Indonesia averaged one human bird flu death every 2 1/2 days in May, putting it on pace to soon surpass Vietnam as the world's hardest-hit country." [Pestilence, Luke 21:11]
Yahoo News - Forecaster expects active hurricane season
AP reports, "The Atlantic hurricane season that starts Thursday will be active, but it shouldn't be as destructive as last year's record-setting season, one of the nation's top hurricane forecasters said Wednesday. The latest forecast from William Gray's team at Colorado State University calls for 17 named storms for the 2006 season. Nine storms are expected to become hurricanes, and five of those are expected to have winds of 111 mph or greater, the forecasters said." [Roaring Seas and Tides, Luke 21:25]

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

My Way News - U.S. Military Joins Indonesia Quake Relief
AP reports, "U.S. Marines joined an international effort Tuesday to deliver aid and medical equipment to some 200,000 Indonesians left homeless by a devastating earthquake, as hopes faded of finding more survivors." [Quakes, Matthew 24:7]
Yahoo News - Tests find bird flu kills in Indonesia
AP reports, "Preliminary tests have found that bird flu has killed another person in Indonesia, as the country struggles to get a grip on a spike in cases, a local health official said Wednesday." [Pestilence, Luke 21:11]

Comments: The human-to-human transmission of the bird flu remains the tripwire in this potential pandemic, these cases need to be examined carefully.
Yahoo News - Security Council meeting degenerates
AP reports, "Syrian and Iranian diplomats traded barbs with Israel's U.N. ambassador on Tuesday, as a routine Security Council meeting on fighting terrorism degenerated into insults and accusations."

Commentary: I expect more calls from the anti-Western axis for transparency in Israel's nuclear program and continued efforts to generate sympathy for the Palestinians. Where does Israel and the status of Jerusalem rank on the international agenda? Is it among the top ten issues? The top five? The number one issue? The answer to that question provides something of a marker as we count down to the end of this age.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Yahoo News - 'Da Vinci' Opens Amid Hoopla and Rage
AP reports, "The director huffed, offended believers protested and the critics carped as 'The Da Vinci Code' premiered and started its march around the world Wednesday. [...] The screen adaptation, like the novel, suggests that Jesus Christ was married to Mary Magdalene and fathered a child." [False Christs, Matthew 24:4; Persecution, Matthew 24:8]

Commentary: There is a debate in Christendom about how to approach this movie. Some would prefer to boycott the movie, agitate against it, and seek to derail it. Others would rather see the movie and engage with the culture and use it to witness for the validity of the gospels and the deity of Jesus. I side with those who see this as a teachable moment, a time to take this piece of pop culture and use it to proclaim the gospel. Let's remember Peter's advice (1 Peter 3:15):
Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.
This is a model for sharing faith, not for lecturing, not for protesting, not for confrontation, but peacefully and calmly sharing the Good News of salvation through Jesus.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

The Jesus Dynasty: How to Explain Away the New Testament - Christianity Today Magazine

This review of a work (by one James Tabor) that closely parallels the work of Dan (The DaVinci Code) Brown is quite timely. Tabor offers us an entirely human Jesus, in whom one can reconcile the competing doctrines of Christians, Jews, and Muslims. Such a figure would be a false Christ figure--indeed, a false prophet (Revelation 13:11-18)--literally, another monster of the same kind as the military monster from the sea.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Yahoo News - Scientists Test Tsunami-Warning System
AP reports, "Scientists tested the Pacific Ocean's tsunami-warning system Tuesday, sending alarms about imaginary earthquakes to more than 30 countries at risk for another disaster like the one that swept the Indian Ocean in 2004." [Roarings Seas & Tides, Luke 21:25]
Yahoo News - Moscow, China Won't Back Force Vs. Iran
AP reports, "Russia and China will not vote for the use of force in resolving the Iranian nuclear dispute, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Tuesday after meeting with Chinese officials." [Rumors of War, Matthew 24:6]

Friday, May 12, 2006

SpaceWar - Israel Seen As World's Sixth Nuclear Power
AFP reports, "Israel, which Tuesday warned Iran against any future attack, is regarded as the sixth country in the world to acquire nuclear weapons -- a title its government has never confirmed or denied. Despite its ambiguous position, the Jewish state is widely regarded as owning at least 200 atomic warheads, making it the only nuclear power in the Middle East."

Thursday, May 11, 2006

WND - North Korea trying to weaponize bird flu
World Net Daily reports, "The pariah state of North Korea is trying to weaponize the bird flu virus, making it the ideal threat for al-Qaida, the British intelligence agency MI6 has learned." [Rumors of War, Matthew 24:6; Pestilence, Luke 21:11]
NYT - Christian Foes of 'Da Vinci Code' Mull Tactics
The New York Times reports, "Many Christian leaders across the country are girding themselves for battle with "The Da Vinci Code," the movie based on the blockbuster novel by Dan Brown that opens on May 19...But they are not at all in agreement on how to best respond to a movie that one leader called 'blasphemy on steroids.'"

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Yahoo News - Israel Offers Outline to Divide Jerusalem
AP reports, "Israel's new government is drawing up a blueprint for dividing the holy city of Jerusalem — a once inconceivable notion — giving the Palestinians nearly all the Arab neighborhoods while holding onto Jewish areas and disputed holy shrines." [Holy Place/Temple Mount, Daniel 9:27, Matthew 24:15 & 2 Thessalonians 2:4; Status of Jerusalem, Ezekiel 38:8, Zechariah 12 & 14; Luke 21:20]

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Yahoo News - Chaos Feared in Pandemic Flu Plan
AP reports, "President Bush's plan for dealing with a flu pandemic warns that the federal government won't be able to bail out communities reeling from illness and economic upheaval, and calls on businesses and individuals to take steps now to keep vital services running." [Pestilence, Luke 21:11]
Washington Post - Business Plan for a Pandemic?
WaPo reports, "More than half of US companies think there will be a global flu epidemic in the next two years. Two-thirds think it will seriously disrupt their operations as well as foment social unrest. But two-thirds also say they aren't prepared." [Pestilence, Luke 21:11]

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

ABC News - Iran Threatens Israel if U.S. Attacks
AP reports, "A top Iranian Revolutionary Guards commander said Tuesday that Israel would be Iran's first retaliatory target in response to any U.S. attack." [Rumors of War, Matthew 24:6]

Monday, May 01, 2006

Yahoo Groups - U.S. Sends Diplomat for Darfur Talks
AP reports, "Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick was dispatched to Africa on Monday to push for a peace agreement to end political and ethnic conflict in the Darfur region of Sudan. [...] By some estimates, at least 200,000 people have been killed and 2 million driven from their homes since 2003 in the western Sudan province." [Nations in Distress, Luke 21:25]