Saturday, December 13, 2008

What was the Star of Bethlehem?

What was the Star of Bethlehem? Currently making waves abroad and here in the Philippines are the website and DVD entitled “The Star of Bethlehem” by Frederick A. Larson, a litigation lawyer and professor at Texas A&M University. Essentially, Larson says that the star of Bethlehem was “the planet Jupiter crowning the star Regulus in a rare triple conjunction and then rendezvousing with the planet Venus.”

There are several reasons, however, why Larson's theory is wrong:

(1) Contrary to Larson's view, the vast majority of Biblical scholars and archeologists date Herod's death at 4 BC, based on the writings of Jewish historian Flavius Josephus. Larson's theory therefore has a significant problem since Herod would be dead by the time the Magi arrive.

(2) Larson's theory about the Star of Bethlehem emphasizes Jupiter's retrograde motion. Some astronomers have also emphasized this retrograde motion but have come up with different explanations and conclusions.

(3) Larson's theory is based on a gross misinterpretation of Revelation 12.

Read the complete article

Friday, December 12, 2008

Improve your church website or blog

RefTagger is an amazing, free new web tool that instantly makes all the Bible references on your website or blog come alive. Bare references turn into hyperlinks to the full text of the passage at, making it easy for your readers to access the text of Scripture with just a click.

Even better, RefTagger brings the text right to your readers by generating a tooltip window that pops up instantly when they hover over the reference. For example, try hovering your mouse over this verse [John 3:16] or the verses in the next paragraph and see what happens next.

RefTagger supports all of the Bible book names and their standard abbreviations. It will recognize and tag books with only one chapter whether you cite them with or without the chapter number (e.g., Jude 9 or Jude 1:9). To avoid false hits, RefTagger will not tag whole books like Luke or whole chapters of Scripture like John 10 unless you wrap them in the Bibleref markup (see below for instructions). It also handles multiple verses in a row (e.g., John 3:16-18, 22; 4:2-4), portions of verses (e.g., Ps. 1:1a; 1 Cor. 15:28c), and verses through the use of the f or ff abbreviations (e.g., Gen 3:15f; Job 2:1ff), and recognizes many other common abbreviations and formats (e.g., Lk 2:1; cf. 4:4; Gal 3:3; cf. vv. 8-10; Eph 3:1 and 4:2). Whether you use a hyphen (-) or an en dash (–), RefTagger will correctly recognize and tag your Bible references (e.g., Rom 5:1-10; Eph 2:8–9).

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Guide Network of Internet Evangelism Day, and Digital Japan

The Global Use of Internet and Digital Evangelism (Guide) Network is an networking resource, linked with “Internet Evangelism Day” and “Web Evangelism Guide”, Internet Evangelism Coalition, Global Christian Internet Alliance, Lausanne, and visionSynergy. Its purpose is enhancing global spread of the Gospel in multiple languages via the Internet and mobile digital devices, by networking with practitioners to share resources and information, encourage Kingdom collaboration, and help the body of Christ to embrace and engage in internet/mobile evangelism ”

The vision: Networking together for web and mobile evangelism

A special emphasis is assisting in the emergence of internet/mobile evangelism in more countries and languages beyond English, including the non-western world. There will soon be the ‘second billion’ web users outside the West, and even more have mobile phones right now. So our interest also includes the development of viral video clips and cartoons that can be used with mobile phones or online. We also wish to see increased convergence, synergy and collaboration between different electronic media, for instance DVDs and radio ministry, with the Web/mobile devices.

We also wish to help the cross-cultural missions community in developing digital evangelism and discipleship integrated with their ministries on the ground.

How the Guide network can help you

[1] Link you with others

Are you wishing to do web evangelism in a particular language? Are you planning a mobile phone initiative? Perhaps you are looking for training? We can probably link you with others working in the same area. With our involvement in the cross-cultural missions community as well as the new media, we do have a unique web of relationships to draw on. Or you may be a mission agency, just wondering whether to move into web or mobile ministry. Are you the editor of a Christian publication who wishes to interview people regarding web and mobile evangelism? Whatever your needs or questions, please write.

[2] Free articles for editors

A wide range of freely re-usable articles is offered to Christian print and web editors, and bloggers, like about web evangelism, MP3 interviews and talks, freely available for podcasting and broadcasting, and other articles which are seeker/skeptic-friendly for non-Christians, and features on broader evangelism issues for Christians.

Reaching Japan for Christ through the Internet

Digital Japan aims to link together anyone interested in any form of digital outreach to Japan including any combination of outreach websites, blogs, church sites, social networking, chat rooms, mobile phone evangelism, Bluetooth broadcasting, video clips, Manga comics, cartooning, teaching English online, podcasting, audio, gaming and anything else digital. It is is a private discussion group not listed in YahooGroups directory. Messages are only viewable by members, and are not spidered by search engines. Anyone with an interest in Japan is warmly invited to join.

Please share news, ideas, questions, and encourage others to join this group. Please link to the Digital Japan Network page from appropriate webpages and blogs. Digital Japan is linked with the Guide Network and Internet Evangelism Day's Japan resource page.

Join using the normal YahooGroup procedure (you will need to mention in a few words why you wish to join.)

Friday, December 05, 2008

How to create a blog for your church or ministry

A blog is a free, easy to use form of a website, capable of posting pictures and text. As of May 2008, according to Technorati (a popular blog search engine) there were more than 112.8 million blogs. You can use a blog for posting pictures and articles of your church events, announcements, etc. Through a blog, you can keep your sending church and supporting groups and individuals informed about what’s happening to your ministry.

How serious can blogging be? According to a Christianity Today article by Ted Olsen, Mark D. Roberts, one of the most prominent "pastor bloggers," announced that he was leaving his pulpit at Irvine, California, Presbyterian Church to become senior director at the Laity Lodge retreat in Texas and concentrate on his blogging. "My blog now becomes a part of my primary work," Roberts told his congregation.

To learn more about how to create a blog for your church or ministry, please view the YouTube video below.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _