Author: Mildred Rhodes

Armed robber strikes Apple store at Scottsdale Quarter

An armed robber was still on the loose after holding up an Apple store in Scottsdale Friday evening, police said.

      

 

 

'Global heating'; 'climate crisis': Why one publication is shifting its language on environmental issues

UK publication the Guardian announces it’s changing the language it uses about the environment.

      

 

 

How Palestine Divides Messianic Jews

The complexity of the situation even presents a challenge to Jewish Christian unity.

Among Christians in America, Israel can be viewed as a fulfillment of prophecy, a democratic ally in a region of chaos, or an occupier oppressing stateless Palestinians. How to choose?

Given that 2 out of 3 US evangelicals have a positive perception of Israel, according to LifeWay Research, perhaps a better question is: How should evangelicals identify with the issues Israel faces?

Fortunately, there is a useful interpreter. “If the Christian community wants to understand Israel from a believing perspective,” said Jamie Cowen, an Israeli lawyer and a believer in Jesus, “going through Messianic Jews is best.”

However, the complexity of Israel divides even Messianic Jews in attitude toward Palestine, as illustrated by debate this year over an interview provocatively summarized as supporting ethnic cleansing.

“The only rights the Palestinians have are squatter’s rights,” Paul Liberman, executive director of the Alliance for Israel Advocacy (AIA), toldThe Intercept. He described how the lobbying arm of the Messianic Jewish Alliance of America (MJAA) was pushing for a shift of US funding from UN–administered Palestinian aid ($364 million in 2017) to an Israeli-led effort offering money to relocate from the West Bank. The goal: eventual annexation of the territory in a one-state solution with fewer Palestinian citizens, maintaining Israel as a Jewish state.

First adopted by the MJAA in 2015, the idea reverberated within Messianic Jewish circles once TheIntercept highlighted efforts to harness evangelical influence in Congress and the White House.

“It is not a removal. It is an opportunity for a much better life,” said Joel Chernoff, CEO of the MJAA. “But the demographic …

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Nominate a Book for the 2020 Christianity Today Book Awards

Instructions for publishers.

Dear Publisher,

Each year, Christianity Today honors a set of outstanding books encompassing a variety of subjects and genres. The CT Book Awards, along with our “Beautiful Orthodoxy” Book of the Year, will be announced in December at christianitytoday.com. They also will be featured prominently in the January/February 2020 issue of CT and promoted in several CT newsletters. (In addition, readers will have the opportunity to participate in a marketing promotion organized by CT’s marketing team, complete with site banners and paid Facebook promotion.)

Awards Categories:

  1. Apologetics/Evangelism
  2. Biblical Studies
  3. Children & Youth
  4. Christian Living/Discipleship
  5. The Church/Pastoral Leadership
  6. Culture and the Arts
  7. Fiction
  8. History/Biography
  9. Missions/The Global Church
  10. Politics and Public Life
  11. Spiritual Formation
  12. Theology/Ethics
  13. CT Women*
  14. The “Beautiful Orthodoxy” Book of the Year**

*Learn more about CT Women at https://www.christianitytoday.com/women/.

**Beautiful Orthodoxy is the core philosophy guiding CT’s ministry. It describes a mission, across all our publications, to proclaim the truth, beauty, and goodness of the gospel in a gracious, non-antagonistic tone. Learn more about the cause of Beautiful Orthodoxy from CT editor Mark Galli, in this essay and this interview .

CT Women and Beautiful Orthodoxy are special add-on categories. Books nominated in these categories must have first been nominated in one of the other main categories. (They will be eligible to win more than once.) The add-on fee is $15 for either CT Women or Beautiful Orthodoxy, or $30 for both.

What and How to Submit:

To be eligible for nomination, a book must be published between November 1, 2018 and October 31, 2019. We are looking for scholarly …

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Human remains found in Arizona identified as California man missing since 2017

The remains were discovered in 2018 when a hiker found a skull in the desert and contacted the Mohave County Sheriff’s Office.

      

 

 

Woman's body found in northern Arizona area being investigated as a homicide

The body was found Saturday afternoon at Bly Pit, according to Coconino County sheriff’s officials.

      

 

 

Making Missions Count: How a Major Database Tracked Thailand’s Church-Planting Revival

A movement in Southeast Asia shows how real-time reporting is building Great Commission connections.

Dwight Martin can tell you the exact number of churches in Thailand. At the start of 2019, his site reported 5,805. By the next week, the number would be different.

While missionaries overseas, and even Western churches, often rely on broad estimates, he can calculate exactly how many subdistricts in the Buddhist kingdom have no churches at all (5,509) and how many people live in communities without any Christian neighbors (62.5 million).

The American missionary-kid-turned-IT-guru oversees the most comprehensive national church database in the world, with corresponding maps indicating exactly which corners of the colorful Southeast Asian country are most desperate for the gospel.

Fluent in Thai from his childhood, Martin had presented his findings dozens of times to church leaders and missionaries over more than a decade serving as the official research coordinator for the Thai church.

When he initially shared the data with the founders of a growing Thai church-planting movement, they balked, wondering why a white man was trying to make them feel bad about the outlook for the church in their country.

But the Free in Jesus Christ Church Association (FJCCA) eventually invited Martin to give his presentation to 60 of their top leaders, a third of whom had converted to Christianity less than a year before. Once they saw Martin’s maps, with data drilled down to the village level, they realized just how unreached their own nation remained.

After 190 years of Protestant ministry in Thailand, 95 percent of 80,000 villages in the country still didn’t have a church. While their humble house church movement had begun to multiply across their province in Central Thailand, provinces all over the region—and to the east and …

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Pastor Parking Paves the Way for Controversial Church Taxes

Some congregations will file taxes for the first time to comply with a new 21 percent tax on employee parking.

A new provision in the corporate tax code has some churches and other tax-exempt nonprofits wondering if they’ll really be on the hook for paying a “parking tax” this year.

2018 was the first year nonprofits were subject to a tax of 21 percent on employee benefits like parking and transportation stipends, under tax reforms passed by the GOP-controlled Congress the year before. The new tax is expected to cost nonprofits $1.7 billion over the next 10 years.

Experts suggest that many churches do not meet the parking tax requirements, as described in an interim guidance released by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in December. But evangelical groups have still rallied in opposition. As recently as last month, the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission continued to lobby Congress to repeal what its president Russell Moore called a “deeply un-American tax on churches.”

“There has been a great deal of rhetoric but no results,” he toldBaptist Press. “We now find ourselves weeks away from the tax deadline while many elected officials seem to hope this issue will get lost in the circus of the daily news cycle.”

The Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA), the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE), and the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities joined the ERLC’s plea to lawmakers, as did Catholic, Orthodox Jewish, and Seventh-day Adventist leaders.

“The whole idea of tax exemption for nonprofit organizations that are doing charitable, religious, and educational work is for them not to be on the same playing field as for-profit businesses when it comes to taxes, in order to incentivize the good work they …

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Breathtaking photos of Arizona's storms, from monsoon rains to snowfall

Arizona storms can see lightning split the sky, dust and snow envelope the state, and sometimes it ends with a rainbow.

      

 

 

Schnepf Farms in Queen Creek offers reward after $20,000 worth of property was stolen

After 20,000 dollars worth of property was stolen from Schnepf Farms early Sunday morning, Maricopa County Sherriff’s Office is investigating.