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.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Great place to start ...

Small town newspapers are a great place to start writing newspaper opinions that share God's truth. Here is a good example.

Darold L. Hill is the Pastor at Charlotte Free Methodist Church (just outside of Lansing, Michigan). The Charlotte Shopping Guide published his article, titled “Tragedies of 9/11 can be healed through God”, which the Lansing State Journal posted on its website.

What I liked about the article was the part where Hill talks about how hope can return after the destruction of 9/11 and he provides a good scripture reference and citation:

In the center of the lament, Jeremiah includes words of hope that rise out of the ashes of destruction. His words from Lamentations chapter 3, verses 19-23 are still quoted over 2500 years later:

I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall. I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me. Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

These words are so powerful that to this very day, on the 9th day of the 4th month of the Jewish calendar, these words of the ancient prophet are still read in synagogues all around the world.
Hill could improve the article by staying on the singular point of hope. His inclusion of the idea prayerful confession in the context of the Presidential Prayer Team, while interesting, detracts from his core message of hope.

Hill’s article qualifies for the Amy Writings Awards, and we plan to contact him and encourage him to enter. We also encourage others to follow Hill’s example and share God’s truths in their small town circulars.

Submitted by Gina Umpstead

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Cover Story ... Time Magazine

Here is a Time Magazine story about prosperity theology that is timely, and the authors, David Van Biema & Jeff Chu, know their subject.

The provocative piece, titled “Does God Want You To Be Rich?”, gets at the heart of a raging debate among American Evangelicals on what the authors call the “theology of money.”

This must-read article presents both sides of the debate in an equal and candid light. The authors also wrestle with the Biblical scriptures that fuel each side’s claim to spiritual superiority. Here’s a sample:
As with almost any important religious question, the first response of most Christians (especially Protestants) is to ask how Scripture treats the topic. But Scripture is not definitive when it comes to faith and income. Deuteronomy commands believers to "remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth", and the rest of the Old testament is dotted with celebrations of God's bestowal of the good life. On at least one occasion--the so-called parable of the talents (a type of coin)--Jesus holds up savvy business practice (investing rather than saving) as a metaphor for spiritual practice. Yet he spent far more time among the poor than the rich, and a majority of scholars quote two of his most direct comments on wealth: the passage in the Sermon on the Mount in which he warns, "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth ... but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven"; and his encounter with the "rich young ruler" who cannot bring himself to part with his money, after which Jesus famously comments, "It is easier for a camel to go through the
eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."
This is a sample of excellent writing on a relevant faith-based topic in the mainstream media that is reinforced with scripture (short, tight passages that get to the point).

This article is a top-flight candidate for the 2006 Amy Writing Awards. I’m going to write Van Biema and Chu and encourage them to enter AND keep up the good work!

Submitted by,
Bruce Umpstead