This blog is maintained on behalf of the Amy Foundation for the purpose of tracking the best Christian journalism we find on the Web. Our posts regularly identify those news articles or opinions in the mainstream media that represent good faith-based writing and example them for other Christian journalists.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Thank you to Terry Fielder of the Twin Cities' Star Tribune for his extensive and balanced feature on faith in the work place. Had Terry included a scripture reference, his article would have been a great entry in the Amy Writing Awards. Check out his piece at www.startribune.com. Here's a sample:

Where faith, work meet
From quiet prayers to open displays of devotion,
more Christians are bringing their religion into the workplace.

Terry Fiedler, Star Tribune
Last update: February 26, 2006 – 11:50 PM


It's 6:30 a.m. at the Fridley headquarters of Medtronic Inc., and a small cluster of employees is gathering in a spare conference room to praise their leader.

It's not CEO Art Collins.

Palms upraised and eyes closed, the workers sit in silent adoration around a conference table as religious music plays on a laptop computer. One member suddenly drops to his knees in rapt devotion.
...


Thanks, Terry!

Tonya Maxwell of the Chicago Tribune published an excellent article today on the opening of a new and innovative church in Chicago. Not only is Tonya's article well-written, it also includes a scripture reference. I hope she submits it to the Amy Writing Awards for consideration. Here's a sample of her work:
Church born of faith and music
3 pastors bring plan to fruition in Pilsen
By Tonya Maxwell, Chicago Tribune staff reporter
February 27, 2006

The mountain has moved in Pilsen.

For months, three Protestant pastors have been using mesmerizing jazz fusion beats to capture the imaginations of Pilsen residents. They beat bongos and thumped bass at the tiny Cafe Mestizo on Ashland Avenue, creating camaraderie in music.

But always these young men of God had a plan for creating camaraderie in Christ though an informal, music-laden church service.
...

Great job, Tonya!

Thursday, February 23, 2006

A big congratulations to Charlotte Allen for her op-ed piece in the LA Times (2/23). She presents a persuasive defense of Anne Rice's new historical novel on Jesus' life, a work that relies heavily on scripture and biblical scholarship without giving in to the recent trend toward "demythologizing" the biblical record. If only Charlotte had included a scripture verse, this would have been a great Amy Writing Awards entry. Here's a taste of the article:

Jesus skeptics on the run
Anne Rice's latest novel
relies on a biblical scholarship more trusting of the New Testament.

By Charlotte Allen, Charlotte Allen is author of "The Human Christ: The Search for the Historical Jesus." She co-edits the InkWell blog for the Independent Women's Forum.

ANNE RICE'S "Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt," her novel about the boy Jesus whose family has not gotten around to telling him that he is the messiah, is a national bestseller. That's not surprising. Rice is a seasoned storyteller whose 26 previous novels on subjects ranging from vampires to sadomasochistic erotica have sold more than 75 million copies. With "Christ the Lord," she transferred her flair for the supernatural to a new market of Christian believers who share the faith she has re-embraced.

What is interesting — and portentous — is that just as "Christ the Lord" was nearing release in early September, Robert Funk, founder of the Jesus Seminar, died. The Jesus Seminar is still going strong. But Funk's death and Rice's novel constitute a kind of symbolic marker of the passing of a brand of dogmatic hyper-skepticism toward the Gospels and the rise of a new and more generous biblical scholarship that holds, contra the seminar, that the Gospels and other New Testament writings constitute virtually our only record of what Jesus said and did. These scholars contend that there is no point in trying to deconstruct the Gospels to find the "real" Jesus. They maintain there is nothing in the historical or archeolological record of the 1st century that makes the Gospel accounts of Jesus' life inherently implausible.


Check out the rest of the article on www.latimes.com

Monday, February 20, 2006

Important article, no scripture

Thank you to Clay Carey of The Tennessean for the following article:
Monday, 02/20/06
Faith shines after act of spite
Hateful words bring thoughts of forgiveness by congregation
By CLAY CAREY
Staff Writer

As he has for 35 years, the Rev. Alfred Brooks stood before churchgoers yesterday morning to deliver God's message at St. Bellview Missionary Baptist Church.

As they have many times before, the predominantly black congregation near Millersville joined its pastor in prayer, petitioning the Lord for wisdom and understanding.

But this Sunday, the atmosphere in the small northern Davidson County church was different. Scribbled on the wall behind its pulpit were words you'd never expect to see in a house of God.
...

Clay wrote an excellent article highlighting the faith and courage of an African-American congregation who showed up to worship Sunday morning despite racist graffiti on the wall behind the pulpit and other damage to their church. Had Clay include a scripture verse, the article would have qualified for the Amy Writing Awards.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Amy Writing Awards Criteria

It may be helpful to post the Amy Writing Award criteria on our blog for easy reference (also found at the Amy Foundation website):


AMY WRITING AWARDS
(Awarded Annually)
  • $10,000First Prize
  • $5,000 second prize
  • $4,000 third prize
  • $3,000 fourth prize
  • $2,000 fifth prize
  • Ten prizes of $1,000 each
The Amy Foundation Writing Awards program is designed to recognize creative, skillful writing that presents in a sensitive, thought-provoking manner the biblical position on issues affecting the world today.
To be eligible, submitted articles must be published in a secular, non-religious publication and must be reinforced with at least one passage of scripture.
RULES - ELIGIBILITY
  • To be eligible, the article must have been published in a mainstream, non-religious publication, as determined by the Awards Panel.
  • To be eligible, the article must contain at least one passage of scripture.
  • The article must have been published between January 1 and December 31 of the current calendar year.
  • Books, poetry, fiction, manuscripts and/or online materials are not accepted.

RULES - CONTENT

  • God's word must be quoted directly from the Bible.
  • Such quotations must be acknowledged as coming from the Bible.
  • Biblical quotations must be taken from an accepted and popular edition of the Bible, such as the New International Version, The Living Bible, the King James, or the Revised Standard Version.
  • The article must present the biblical position on an issue as relevant, timely and deserving of thoughtful consideration.
  • Examples of issues for consideration, but not limited to these, are family life, divorce, value trends, media and entertainment character, pornography, political morality, U.S. National interests, abortion, religion and addiction to drugs and alcohol. The biblical impact on individual character and outlook are also appropriate issues.
  • The need for obedience through biblical truth should be evident

RULES - JUDGING

In addition to content, qualified articles will be judged on the following primary considerations:

  • Persuasive power of the article.
  • Author's skill in relating God's word to current interest issues.
  • Author's sensitivity in presenting a biblical response to the intensified search for meaning in life.
  • Decisions by the Judges and Awards Panel will be final.

RULES - SUBMISSION

  • The entry must be in the form of the actual full page(s) or tear sheet(s) containing the publication name and date.
  • The number of qualified entries that may be submitted by a single author is limited to ten.
  • All entries must be postmarked on or before January 31 of the following year.
  • Entries cannot be returned.
  • Articles may be submitted to: The Amy Foundation Writing Awards, P. O. Box 16091, Lansing, MI 48901-6091. Winners are notified by May 1.