Facts & Trends: Top Ranked Virginia Led by Biblical Principles, Faithful Coach
The Virginia Cavaliers began the season unheralded and unranked. They ended it as the no. 1 team in the country and a favorite to win the national championship—much of that due to their faith-fueled coach. Tony Bennett has been around basketball for much of his life, due in part to his father and retired coach Dick Bennett. But a love of basketball is not all the elder Bennett passed down. Tony Bennett watched his father develop a way to coach basketball that honored Christ. He has built the Virginia program around the biblical principles of “humility, passion, unity, servanthood, and thankfulness”—what he calls the “Five Pillars.” Those principles have brought Bennett success on and off the court and lead him to pray for his players. “It’s my hope that they’ll be able to find the truth in their lives that has transformed my life,” he told Decision magazine. “But I realize they’re all on a journey, and I certainly try to be respectful of that.”...LINK
HEADLINES AND ARTICLES —  Friday, March 16th, 2018
Dallas News: First Baptist Dallas Pastor Robert Jeffress— Evangelicals Don't Care if Trump Had Sex with Porn Star 
Dallas megachurch pastor Robert Jeffress found himself in a familiar position last week: defending evangelicals' support of President Donald Trump following actions that would seem to be at odds with evangelical principles. Last week, the leader of downtown's First Baptist Dallas appeared on Fox News to discuss whether it was valid to call evangelicals hypocrites if they backed a man who is alleged to have committed adultery with an adult-film actress. Jeffress' take: A strong no.....LINK
CBN News: Like 'Lung Association Being Forced to Promote Cigarettes'— State Turns Pro-Life Clinics into Abortion-Pushers
Josh McClure started the Pregnancy Care Clinic in San Diego with a desire to support women facing unplanned pregnancies and help save lives. The clinic estimates that 75 percent of the women it serves who are at risk for choosing an abortion end up choosing life for their babies. So McClure was concerned when he learned that state lawmakers were considering a bill that would require pro-life crisis pregnancy centers to post information on how to get an abortion. He immediately began plans to head to the state capitol in Sacramento to protest the legislation. That protest turned out to be short-lived...After lawmakers passed the bill, McClure and more than 100 pro-life pregnancy centers in California discovered they would have to either post an abortion notice in their waiting rooms or give clients notice. ....LINK
Thomas Kidd: Evangelicalism After Billy Graham
As soon as word broke about the death of Billy Graham, the most influential Christian evangelist of the twentieth century, scholars and admirers began asking: “Will there ever be another Billy Graham?” The consensus seems to be “no.”  Scholars note that evangelical Christianity and our dominant media culture are both too diverse for anyone to take on a singular role like Graham’s again. Admirers contend that Graham’s relentless devotion to Christ and to the gospel also made him a unique figure. Were Billy Graham around to hear this discussion, I am confident he would remind us that God made Graham into the titanic figure he was. Thus, if God chooses to raise up “another Billy Graham,” then there will indeed be another. But commentators on Graham’s uniqueness are missing another, more mundane point. Some scholars say that our media environment is too diffuse for someone like Graham to capture its attention. But we could turn that argument on its head....LINK
Christian Post: Parents Barred From Questioning 'Gender Identity' Changes at Virginia School District Meeting
Concerned parents in a Virginia suburb of Washington, D.C. were barred during a recent committee hearing from questioning a motion to replace the terms "biological sex" and "biological gender" with the phrase "sex assigned at birth" in public school curriculum.....LINK
Radical Atheist Who Trashed Billy Graham after His Death Is Set to Become a Navy 'Chaplain'
Radical atheist Jason Heap is hoping to become a Navy chaplain. The US Navy is seriously considering the approval of this anti-Christian activist for a spot in its Chaplain Corps.....LINK
Washington Post: What Stephen Hawking Said About God, His Atheism and His Own Death
British theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking schmoozed with popes during his lifetime, even though he was an avowed atheist. The famous scientist, who died Wednesday in England at 76, was often asked to explain his views on faith and God. During interviews, he explained his belief that there was no need for a creator.....LINK
Christian Post: Franklin Graham, Ken Ham Respond to Death of Atheist Stephen Hawking
Franklin Graham, Ken Ham, Ray Comfort share their reaction to the death of outspoken atheist and physicist Stephen Hawking.....LINK
Religion News Service: A Brief History of Stephen Hawking’s Atheism
....“What could define God (is thinking of God) as the embodiment of the laws of nature. However, this is not what most people would think of that God,” Hawking told Diane Sawyer in 2010. “They made a human-like being with whom one can have a personal relationship. When you look at the vast size of the universe and how insignificant an accidental human life is in it, that seems most impossible.”....LINK
Baptist Press: Embargoed Billy Graham Documents To Be Released
.....Starting Monday (March 19), two new collections about his ministry, including notebooks documenting Graham's personal relationship with each U.S. president from Harry S. Truman to Barack Obama, will be opened to the public. Maintained by the Billy Graham Center Archives at Wheaton College in Illinois, the collections also cover Graham's interactions with other world leaders, his evangelistic campaigns, his work with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, and a wide range of other topics. ....LINK
Howard Green: Christians, Get Ready for Persecution in the West
I firmly believe there is a trend being established in the Western world. It's subtle in nature but if you are carefully watching what is going on, you will discern that the tide of public opinion is rapidly turning against true Bible-believing Christians. It is time for followers of Jesus to get ready for persecution in the West.....LINK
Christian Post: Steve and Jackie Green Share 'Phenomenal' Responses to Museum of the Bible From Public
Hobby Lobby owners Steve and Jackie Green opened up about the "phenomenal" response they've seen from the Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C. and revealed they're just at the "starting line" when it comes to fulfilling their mission of sharing the Gospel around the world. The Greens, who co-founded the Museum of the Bible, told The Christian Post they've been pleasantly surprised by the success of the museum, which has welcomed more than 350,000 visitors ­since its opening in November.....LINK
CBN News: Bodies of 21 Christians Beheaded by ISIS to be Returned to Egypt
The bodies of the 21 Egyptian and Ghanaian Christians who were brutally beheaded by ISIS on the shore of a Libyan beach will be returned to their families in Egypt, according to Al Arabiya English. Libyan Attorney general Abdul Qader Juma Radwan agreed Wednesday to return the remains at the request of Egyptian Attorney General Nabil Sadek. The decision came after the Libyan government confirmed it found and identified the remains of the martyrs in October 2016.....LINK
Baptist Press: Loneliness— Pastors Highlight Need for Community
Las Vegas, Washington, D.C., and Denver were named America's loneliest cities in a recent study, but pastors in those cities are not surprised. They say the transient nature of modern life, along with selfishness and technology contribute to people feeling alone despite being surrounded by people. Various reports indicate a rise in the number of people who report feeling lonely, and in Great Britain earlier this year Prime Minister Theresa May appointed a minister for loneliness. ....LINK
Van Kicklighter: When God TakesYou On a Detour
....Sometimes God takes our lives on a detour, at least from the plans we have laid out and from the destinations we were headed toward. And trying to get back to the old road, the former route, is to miss what God wants to do in our life. As one author puts it, the detour has become the new road. What do we make of this? Is God playing a mean trick on us, or has He changed His mind about His purpose........LINK
Samuel Sey: A Better Country For Mom
....Mom has a good home. She’s persevered. But she’s suffered. Mom taught me all I know about sacrifice. She taught me that because Jesus suffered, she must suffer too. She taught me that because she sacrificed everything for me, I must also sacrifice everything for others. When I was a boy, mom worked in the morning and at night, it was my responsibility to wake up early in the morning and prepare myself and my little siblings for school. It was my responsibility to give up whatever after-school activities I wanted to participate in. I had to pick up my little siblings from their babysitter and bring them home to take care of them. I couldn’t do many things. I couldn’t have many friends. And I couldn’t complain, because mom never did.....LINK
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HEADLINES AND ARTICLES —  Thursday, March 15th, 2018
Christian Post: Turkey Seeks Life Sentence for Imprisoned Pastor Andrew Brunson
The Turkish government is seeking a life sentence for American Pastor Andrew Brunson, who rights advocates say has been unjustly imprisoned since December 2016 on false charges of espionage and terrorism.....LINK
Christian Journal: Scientists Now Resort To Calling Christians Crazy — ‘New Study’ Attempts to Establish a Link Between Religious Fundamentalism and Brain Damage
Scientists from Northwestern University published a study in the journal Neuropsychologia attempting to establish a link between religious fundamentalism and brain impairment. The findings suggest that religious fundamentalists have less cognitive flexibility, in addition, the study states that damage to particular areas of the prefrontal cortex indirectly promotes religious fundamentalism. In other words, science is now attempting to say that those who believe the Bible have brain damage....LINK
Daily Signal: Joy Behar Apologizes on ‘The View’ for Mocking Mike Pence’s Faith
A month after mocking Vice President Mike Pence for his Christian faith on an episode of ABC’s “The View,” co-host Joy Behar publicly apologized on air. Behar did so on Tuesday’s show shortly after she apologized to Pence in a telephone call and the vice president said he forgave her. “Vice President Pence is right. I was raised to respect everyone’s religious faith, and I fell short of that,” Behar told her audience. “I sincerely apologize for what I said.” The apology came one month to the day after Behar, a comedian and liberal commentator, compared Pence’s Christianity to mental illness.....LINK
Christian Post: Free Speech Endangered If Twitter, Facebook, Google Continue Censorship, Conservatives Warn
Leading tech companies like Facebook, Google and Twitter are censoring the online posts of Christians and conservatives — and if this trend continues, it won't be long before free speech in America is gone, conservative leaders have warned.....LINK
Fox News: Stephen Hawking, Famed Physicist, Dead at 76
“I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail. There is no heaven or afterlife for broken down computers; that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark.”....LINK
Christianity Today: Joni Eareckson Tada— Why Suicide Is Everybody’s Business
.....The vast majority of suicides of elderly or terminally ill people or those with disabilities occur quietly within homes and institutions, far from the media, the courts, and the public eye. These are hurting, despondent people who never make the news and only rarely appear on your Facebook feed. These are the ones living a quiet desperation: The woman with cancer, seesawing in and out of remission.....LINK
Wall Street Journal: Elderly in U.S. Are Projected to Outnumber Children for First Time
The milestone would be the latest marker of the nation’s aging, which has accelerated with baby boomers’ move into their senior years and recessionary effects on births and immigration over the past decade. The shift deepens challenges for fiscal policy and economic growth. Trends in birth and immigration have also slowed the rate at which the country is becoming more diverse. Whites who aren’t Hispanic will begin shrinking as a group by 2024. They would drop below half of the population by 2045, two years later than estimated........LINK
National Review: ‘God Bless You’ Listed Among Anti-Muslim ‘Microaggressions’ 
According to an “Anti-Oppression Library Guide” written by a group of librarians at Simmons College in Boston, “saying ‘God bless you’ after someone sneezes” is a microaggression against Muslim people.....LINK
Chris Watson: The Real Problem with Gun Violence 
....Despite the claims of some, the recent plethora of school shootings do not demonstrate that guns are the problem. Guns are a tool to be used for good or for evil. The problem is much darker. The problem is the human heart. “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9  When I desired revenge, I was demonstrating a sick, dark heart. That heart, if we are honest with God and with ourselves, exists in all of us. The propensity to do evil is there, whether we admit it or not.....LINK
Breaking Israel News: Did Geologists Discover ‘Fountains of the Deep’ From Genesis Flood?
A team of scientists studying diamonds found as far as 500 miles underground has discovered a form of crystallized ice that has never been observed in nature before. The discovery indicates that huge water reserves flow through the earth’s mantle in a manner that very much resembles the “Fountains of the Deep” mentioned in the book of Genesis. ...LINK
Eileen F. Toplansky : The Ongoing Plight of Christians
In the CQ Researcher issue titled "Religious Persecution," dated November 21, 1997, Kenneth Jost highlighted the "well-documented cases of churches being bulldozed or burned down, clergy and lay leaders [being] arrested and imprisoned and clergymen being murdered by [Sudanese] government troops."  In the 21 years since this article was printed, global Christian persecution has increased exponentially.  The following is a small sampling of what Christians are facing........LINK
space.com: NASA Twins Study Verifies Long-Term Health Effects of Space Travel
The Twins Study went a step further, including surveying the brothers’ genomes and collecting data on Scott and Mark’s physical and psychological health. In the case of Scott, some of the changes to his body disappeared only a few hours or days after landing, while some remained after six months. Here are some of the major new findings........LINK
David French: Intersectionality, the Dangerous Faith
The demise of religion among American youth is greatly exaggerated. It turns out that America isn’t raising a new generation of unbelievers. Instead, rising in the heart of deep-blue America are the zealots of a new religious faith. They’re the intersectionals, they’re fully woke, and the heretics don’t stand a chance.....LINK
National Review: The True Sin of American Evangelicals in the Age of Trump
....Until the progressive community understands the gravity of its attacks on Evangelical institutions, there is little hope for understanding — much less changing — an increasingly-polarized American political culture.....LINK
Breaking Israel News: Will Turkey Lead An End-of-Days Global Islamic Jihad Against Israel And The US?
....the Turkish president’s call for 57 nations to join together to form an anti-Israel army of Islam could create the most formidable military force on the planet. One Israeli expert on Islam stated emphatically, “make no mistake; this is war,” and lest the message is missed, he also emphasized that this call for jihad includes a direct threat against the US. Once warm, relations between Turkey and Israel have been shaky in the last decade. But this call for a religious war against Israel is a relatively new development.....LINK
David Murray: Good Theology Is the Answer to Bad Technology
The longer I’ve wrestled with the challenges of digital technology in my life and in the lives of others, the more convinced I’ve become that the ultimate answer is not “no technology” or “more technology” but “more theology.” If we want a deep, lasting, and spiritual solution, we need to learn and teach deep, lasting, and spiritual truths. Digital theology is the answer to digital technology; the oldest truths are the best rebuttal to the newest challenges.....LINK
Heather Peacock: Eight Ways to Welcome People with Disabilities into Your Church 
Welcoming people with disabilities is less about having special programming and more about gracious and compassionate people who look for ways to be inclusive and accommodating.   Ask a family how you can best serve them and have them into your home! This extends fellowship to them that pulls them out of isolation.  We are often asked if our daughter is able to get into homes without a........LINK
Amy Medina: Why is 'Work' a Bad Word?
....Work came before the Fall of Man, not after. Adam was given a job in the Garden. And there's no reason to believe that in Heaven we're going to sit around on clouds all day. We'll be working. Indeed, the sweat and pressure of work is a result of sin, but not work itself.....LINK
David Cloud: The Normal-Literal Method of Interpretation vs. Allegoricalism
The “normal-literal” method of Bible interpretation refers to the manner in which human language is ordinarily interpreted. We use figures of speech, such as metaphors, in normal speech, but we understand that these are figures of speech by the context and we know how to interpret them. If I say, “I’m going for a run,” we know that this means that I am literally going to go running. But if I say, “I’m going to run down to the store,” we know this is a figure of speech, and it simply means that I am going to the store, whether by walking, driving, etc.  The same is true for Bible prophecy. It contains figures of speech, but the Bible makes it clear that these are figures of speech and teaches us how to interpret them either by the context itself or by comparing Scripture with Scripture.......LINK
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