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ReligionNewsBlog.com, July 26, 2003

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  • Anton Hein
    ReligionNewsBlog.com, July 26, 2003 July 26, 2003 [Islam] Challenging the Qur’an http://www.religionnewsblog.com/archives/00003797.html ... Luxenberg—a
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 26, 2003
      ReligionNewsBlog.com, July 26, 2003

      July 26, 2003
      [Islam] Challenging the Qur’an
      :===Begin Quote===
      Luxenberg—a pseudonym—is one of a small but growing group of scholars, most of
      them working in non-Muslim countries, studying the language and history of the
      Qur’an. When his new book is published this fall, it’s likely to be the most
      far-reaching scholarly commentary on the Qur’an’s early genesis, taking this
      infant discipline far into uncharted—and highly controversial—territory. That’s
      because Islamic orthodoxy considers the holy book to be the verbatim revelation
      of Allah, speaking to his prophet, Muhammad, through the Angel Gabriel, in
      Arabic. Therefore, critical study of God’s undiluted word has been off-limits in
      much of the Islamic world. (For the same reason, translations of the Qur’an are
      never considered authentic.) Islamic scholars who have dared ignore this taboo
      have often found themselves labeled heretics and targeted with death threats and
      violence. Luxenberg, a professor of Semitic languages at one of Germany’s
      leading universities, has chosen to remain anonymous because he fears a fatwa by
      enraged Islamic extremists.
      :===End Quote===

      [Hate Groups : Scientology] L. Ron Hubbard-inspired teacher training center
      opens in county
      :===Begin Quote===
      In a multimillion-dollar complex overlooking the Mississippi River, a company
      called Applied Scholastics International has opened its national headquarters -
      a training center for teachers, tutors and business trainers.

      The center uses methods developed by L. Ron Hubbard, the late science fiction
      writer and founder of Scientology.

      Scot Danforth, who oversees teacher education for the University of Missouri at
      St. Louis, said he searched a database of four decades of published educational
      research and could find no study on L. Ron Hubbard's instructional techniques.

      "In my opinion, they are involved in the worst kind of deception. They make
      grandiose claims about the effectiveness of their methods and materials ... with
      data that has never been published in a legitimate educational research
      journal," he said.
      :===End Quote===
      NOTE: See Scientology v. Education <http://studytech.org/home.php>, a site that
      examines the cult's front groups and their claims.

      [Yezidis] Faith that preceded Abraham goes its own way in Kurdistan
      :===Begin Quote===
      Scholars believe that the Yezidis' strange and ancient religion is one of the
      last surviving offshoots of a faith even older then Judaism or Zoroastrianism,
      which it heavily influenced.

      Known as "the cult of the angels", this early Indo-European faith held that
      there was only one God but that he created seven angels to serve him. Chief
      among these, for Yezidis, is the angel who disobeyed his maker: the fallen
      :===End Quote===

      [Kingston Clan] Polygamist arrested on incest charge on Pioneer Day
      :===Begin Quote===
      A member of the polygamous Kingston clan sought on an incest charge was arrested
      at a Pioneer Day family gathering, investigators said.

      The incest charge stems from Kingston's alleged 1995 marriage to his
      first-cousin LuAnn Kingston when she was 15 and he was 24. After five years,
      during which time two daughters were born, LuAnn Kingston left the marriage and
      asked the state to prosecute.

      She said it took over a year for her to get the courage to meet with prosecutors
      after leaving Jeremy Kingston.
      :===End Quote===

      [Christianity] Catholic, traditional Protestant writers criticize 'Left Behind'
      :===Begin Quote===
      Some Roman Catholics and conservative Protestants are attempting a counterattack
      against those fabulously popular "Left Behind" novels with plots depicting the
      End Times that will occur in the near future.

      The Catholic bishops of Illinois, the state where the novels' publisher,
      Tyndale, is based, charge that the novels are "anti-Catholic in content and
      form" because the scenario unfairly depicts a future pope who establishes a
      false liberal religion linked with the Antichrist.

      Beyond denominational polemics, however, the bishops object because the novels
      reject traditional Christian beliefs about the End.
      :===End Quote===

      [Mormon Church] Book Reviews: Under the Banner of Heaven / Predators, Prey and
      Other Kinfolk
      :===Begin Quote===
      For readers who know nothing of even the mainstream Mormon past, Krakauer
      presents details that sound stranger than fiction: how the angel Moroni told
      Joseph Smith Jr. of 1,400-year-old solid gold plates bearing scripture, buried
      in upstate New York; how the Mormons fled from a place called Nauvoo (in
      Illinois); how a ‘‘peep stone’’ can provide magical visions; how even the
      deceased can be inducted into the fold.

      This history is complex enough for the book to warrant many long footnotes,
      enough to indicate organizational difficulties. It becomes even more tangled in
      investigating fundamentalist sects and splinter groups devoted to plural
      marriage as a holy principle and to the abundance of dangerous self-proclaimed
      prophets like Dan and Ron Lafferty. Ron, who once tried to kill Dan because God
      told him to, also believes that God has said to him: ‘‘And surely I will fulfill
      all my promises unto my servant Ron.’’

      Dorothy Allred Solomon, who comes from a prominent line of polygamists, puts a
      more human face on this subject by describing her own experience as the 28th of
      her father’s 48 children. She was raised by seven mothers and remembers a time
      ‘‘when Daddy went away to college,’’ actually when he served five years in
      prison for illegal cohabitation.
      :===End Quote===

      [USA] Nuns sentenced to prison for anti-war protest
      :===Begin Quote===
      Calling them "dangerously irresponsible," a federal judge sentenced three nuns
      to at least 21/2 years in prison Friday for vandalizing a nuclear missile silo
      during an anti-war protest last fall.

      Despite his strong words, U.S. District Judge Robert Blackburn gave the women
      less than the six-year minimum called for under sentencing guidelines.

      Jackie Hudson was sentenced to 21/2 years, Carol Gilbert to two years, nine
      months, and Ardeth Platte to three years, five months.
      :===End Quote===

      [Benny Hinn] Believers tout the healing powers of evangelist Hinn, critics
      dispel them
      :===Begin Quote===
      Hinn rarely grants interviews, and his ministry did not respond to a half-dozen
      requests for this story.

      "Benny Hinn is not somebody that many evangelical leaders think about or talk
      about with any regularity because he is considered marginal and controversial
      and not credible," said Tim Morgan, a senior editor for Christianity Today
      magazine. "Christian critics have problems with everything from his worship
      service to his financial accountability to his theological views.

      "At the same time, he's very much a hero in the charismatic Pentecostal
      movement. It's easy to say that he's a polarizing figure. People react
      positively or negatively, but they can't ignore the fact that Benny Hinn is
      coming to town."
      :===End Quote===

      [Middle East] Christians differ over 'road map'
      :===Begin Quote===
      Christian groups in the United States have adopted sharply different stances on
      President Goerge W. Bush's peace plan, which envisions the creation of a
      Palestinian state by 2005.

      While the majority of churches—Roman Catholic, Orthodox, mainline Protestant and
      some evangelical groups—generally welcome the "road map," a vocal segment of
      evangelical Protestants are lobbying the Bush administration to abandon it
      because of their belief that it rewards terrorism and violates God's promise in
      the Biblical book of Genesis to give the Jewish people the historic land of

      So-called Christian Zionists also see the modern state of Israel as a
      fulfillment of biblical prophecy—and a precondition of the second coming of
      Jesus Christ. Setting up a Palestinian state is seen as undermining these end
      times events.

      "Because of their apocalyptic interpretation of the Bible, they view the
      initiative as a betrayal," said Randall Balmer, a religion professor at Columbia
      University. "They've threatened to derail the whole thing."
      :===End Quote===

      ApologeticsIndex.org / ReligionNewsBlog.com
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