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Edith Mae: America's Most Beautiful Girl

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From the footlights to the light of the Cross: The Story of Evangelist Edith Mae Pennington

The date was November 5, 1921, and the place was St. Louis, Missouri, at the final night of the contest to find the most beautiful girl in the United States. Nervous girls and family members held their breath as the judges announced that they had unanimously selected a 19-year-old Pine Bluff, Arkansas, schoolteacher, Edith Mae Patterson.
- Edith Mae: America's...

World's Oldest Christian Bible Codex Sinaiticus Online

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All 800 surviving pages from Codex Sinaiticus, the earliest surviving Christian bible, now freely available to scholars worldwide at New exhibition at the British Library tells the remarkable story of Codex Sinaiticus and reveals how cutting edge technology reunited the pages of the 1600-year-old manuscript

A remarkable collaboration between institutions in the UK, Germany, Egypt, and Russia has succeeded in reuniting virtually more than 800 pages and fragments from the world's oldest surviving Christian bible, Codex Sinaiticus.

Walter Rauschenbusch: The Heritage of the Social Gospel

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Walter Rauschenbusch (1861-1918) is synonymous with one of the most enduring legacies of Christian reform, the Social Gospel. The Social Gospel was a movement in American Christianity from approximately 1880 to 1920, represented by church leaders who applied Christian teachings to the social-economic problems of that era. Among the movement’s major figures were Washington Gladden, pastor of the First Congregational Church of Columbus, Ohio, Charles Sheldon, author of best-selling Christian fiction (and the man who popularized in his 1897 novel, In His Steps, the expression, “What Would Jesus Do?”), and Rauschenbusch.    

Born only a few months after the beginning of the Civil War, Rauschenbusch was raised by his German-immigrant parents, August (a fifth-generation Lutheran pastor who later became a Baptist) and Caroline, within a tradition of strict piety. After graduating from Rochester Theological Seminary, he spent eleven years as pastor of an impoverished German-immigrant church in the Hell’s Kitchen section of New York City. The experience of living in one of the poorest neighborhoods of the city served as Rauschenbusch’s single biggest influence. 

Reflecting on his ministry years later, he recalled the anguish he felt over the poverty in his church, and the pain he felt officiating at the funerals of little children who died from contagious diseases. “Oh, the children’s funerals! They gripped my heart—that was one of the things I always went away thinking about—why did the children have to die?”

By the early 1890s, Rauschenbusch became an advocate for municipal reform, including the building of public parks, and government legislation that would protect workers from exploitation in the nation’s growing “sweatshops.” He preached that Christians needed to do all in their power to work toward the improvement of social conditions on earth, noting “the best way to get the self ready for Heaven… is to get this world ready for God.” 

After years of poor health, including becoming almost totally deaf, Rauschenbusch turned to full-time teaching. From 1897 until his death in 1918, he served on the faculty of Rochester Theological Seminary, where he taught church history and wrote several influential books exploring the relationship between Christianity and contemporary social problems. Rauschenbusch’s 1907 work, Christianity and the Social Crisis, was one of the biggest selling non-fiction books on religion in the early 20th century, and had a major influence upon subsequent developments in American Christianity.

Rauschenbusch possessed a powerful Christian faith, rooted in prayer and spiritual discernment.  He never renounced the Christian piety that had long been part of his family heritage, and was never afraid to speak openly about his love for Jesus. Early in his career, he collaborated with Ira Sankey, the partner of Dwight L. Moody, in translating Sankey’s gospel hymns into German. While Rauschenbusch worried that Christian piety was no guarantee of a relevant ministry, social action alone was a poor substitute for a God-centered faith. During his lifetime, Rauschenbusch was accused by his critics of dismissing the key tenets of Christian belief, a criticism that continues to be leveled against him by some today. Yet even a cursory reading of his writings reveals the depth of his faith, and an awareness that the quest for justice was inseparable from a vibrant piety.


A. A. Allen: The Miracle Man

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The miracle man. That’s what many believers called evangelist A. A. Allen. That’s because he was bold and confident in the power of God to work miracles through his ministry. His television commercials professed, “See! Hear! Actual miracles happening before your eyes! Cancer, tumors, goiters disappear! Crutches, braces, wheelchairs, stretchers discarded! Crossed eyes straightened! Caught by the camera as they occurred in the healing line before thousands of witnesses.” To be sure, Allen was one of the most heralded evangelists in the Voice of Healing Movement. The miracle man was incredibly gifted, dramatic – and controversial. Allen was also a type of apostolic forerunner. Religious enemies launched so many attacks against Allen that he felt he was surely one of the most persecuted men in ministry just because signs, wonders and miracles followed him. But Allen thrived under the pressure and refused to back down from his calling.


Deep Dig Finds Confluence of Science and the Bible

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Did the Bible’s King David and his son Solomon control the copper industry in present-day southern Jordan? Though that remains an open question, the possibility is raised once again by research reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Industrial copper slag mound excavated at Khirbat en-Nahas. The building and layers above it date to the mid-9th century BCE; slag deposits below the building date to the 10th century BCE.

Watch a digital video of Levy discussing the evidence of Pharaoh Sheshonq’s military campaign through Khirbat en-Nahas.

Led by Thomas Levy of UC San Diego and Mohammad Najjar of Jordan’s Friends of Archaeology, an international team of archaeologists has excavated an ancient copper-production center at Khirbat en-Nahas down to virgin soil, through more than 20 feet of industrial smelting debris, or slag. The 2006 dig has brought up new artifacts and with them a new suite of radiocarbon dates placing the bulk of industrial-scale production at Khirbat en-Nahas in the 10th century BCE – in line with biblical narrative on the legendary rule of David and Solomon. The new data pushes back the archaeological chronology some three centuries earlier than the current scholarly consensus.

The research also documents a spike in metallurgic activity at the site during the 9th century BCE, which may also support the history of the Edomites as related by the Bible.

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Judge Napolitano: The Cause of Liberty

Judge Andrew NapolitanoJudge Andrew Naplitano Shares How We Can Re-establish Freedom in America Again. He is a freedom fighter, a liberty-seeker, and a straight shooter. He’s the youngest life-tenured Superior Court judge in the history of the State of New Jersey, the host of Fox’s Freedom Watch show, and the author of four books, including “Constitutional Chaos,” “The Constitution in Exile,” “A Nation of Sheep” and his latest effort “Dred Scott’s Revenge.”

Napolitano understands that our personal, civil, financial and religious liberties are under attack – and he understands what true freedom is. When you want insight into how to turn our country around, the judge is among the best people to ask.