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, March 23, 2008

Front page of my local paper …

Knowing it’s Easter, I expected to find hundreds of good articles on faith choking my Google Reader, but I didn’t need to log on to find an excellent article on Christian baptism. A quick walk through the snow to my mailbox allowed me to find God's good news on the cover of the Lansing State Journal.

Kathleen Lavey’s story, titled “Born again: For many, baptism is new beginning,” took up two-thirds of page. I have admired Kathleen’s writing on faith since my days working full time for the Amy Foundation, and I have been watching for one of her stories to qualify for the Amy Writing Awards.

Today's article qualified with its sub-caption: "For we were buried with Him by means of baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ has arisen from the dead … so we may also walk in newness of life. -- Romans 6:4".

Kathleen writes:
Allison Davis was ready to make a statement about what she believes.

So she took a leap of faith last Sunday - into the baptismal font at New Hope Church in Haslett.

"It's me telling the world that I am a Christian and telling the world that I am committed to living a Christian life," said Davis, 22, of East Lansing.

Today, most Christians celebrate Easter, the holiest and most joyous holiday of the church season. It commemorates the day they believe Jesus - put on trial, beaten and crucified to redeem the sins of humankind - rose from the dead.

Davis is among a nationwide group of Christians who are using the Easter season to declare their faith through baptism or by formally joining a church.
Read More>>
What I have always liked about Kathleen’s writing is her even-handed, personal approach to faith issues, such as baptism. After starting with a current event (i.e., Allison Davis's baptism), she includes a section on the historical roots of baptism and explains both protestant and catholic perspectives.

Kathleen’s article ends where it begins with Davis’s testimony of why she decided to be baptized and what it means to her faith:
"I was the kind of person who would worry and stress about things. (Now) there is a higher power who takes the stress off of me," she said. "I try to live my life in a Christian sense. I've stopped gossiping about people. Certain things that seemed so important to me before seem to be like little things you don't need in your life now."
This is an engaging, well written, Amy Writing Award-qualifying article. Good job, Kathleen, keep up the good work!

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Qualifying article in the Journal Gazette / Times Courier

Here is a qualifying article in the Journal Gazette / Times Courier (serving Mattoon and Charleston, Illinois, by Pastor Brian Miller. The article is titled, “Abraham's story about faith lived in real life.”

Miller writes:

Abraham’s story is an honest one. It is a story about faith. And within this faith, there is sex and violence, mistakes and doubts, poor decisions and wrong decisions. It isn’t a religious faith. It is a faith lived out in a real life… like we have to do.

Faith is something we develop.

Faith is something that changes us.

Faith is so much more than a “yes” or “no” on God.

After 35 to 40 years of faith, God has asked Abraham to give up so much. He had to give up his home. He had to give up his extended family. He had to give up his first son, Ishmael. And that was no easy task.
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I am going to write Pastor Miller and let him know that, because his article includes identifiable scripture, it qualifies for the Amy Writing Awards. It is a good attempt to share God's word in the mainstream media.

Brian, keep writing!

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Interesting, Non-Qualifier

Here is an interesting article chronicling the reversal of fortunes between science and faith. Gail Holley, in the Northeast Missouri Daily Journal, in an article titled, “Science and Faith not mutually exclusive,” writes:
In the Middle Ages there was a phrase that largely summed up how people thought. It was "Faith seeking understanding."

Faith, in this age, was the great, unassailable "given," the basis for truth. Clearly, so the thinking went, God existed. His exploits were there for us to read in the Bible and, to the extent that it thought we needed to, the church was there to tell us how to understand him.

Humanity's understanding of nature, astronomy, and the human body, was, at best, in its infant stages. Philosophy and science were the helpmeets, the subordinates of faith and their roles were enobled by the extent to which they supported it. Figuring out how the world fit into the parameters of faith was the purpose of study and "science." Humans were gifted with intelligence so that they could flesh out exactly how or why God made things the way he did.
Read More>>
Holley does a good job drawing in readers and making the argument that science and faith aren’t necessarily juxtaposed.

Unfortunately, Holley didn’t include identifiable scripture. One passage on God’s “reasoning” comes to mind:
Come now, and let us reason together, says the Lord. Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be like wool. (Isaiah 1:18 AMP)
This verse reminds us that God doesn’t take issue humans trying to figure out his creation (i.e., science and reason); he just doesn’t want us to overlook our separation from him because of sin. He is more than willing to forgive us and accept us, even to extend an peace offering in the form of his Son, if we will just accept his truth.

Without a scripture citation, however, Holley’s well-written piece doesn’t qualify for the Amy Writing Awards. I am going to email Galen with information on how to write award-winning pieces in the future.

Keep up the good writing!