Christian News from Scotland

News stories from Scotland and beyond

Thursday, April 27, 2006

The Gospel According to Bono

The gospel according to U2 and Bono

read full story in The Scotsman Online

THE SCOTSMAN - By STEPHEN MCGINTY - April 3, 2006 - BONO has declared that he is not a man of the cloth, "unless that cloth is leather". But the words of the charismatic U2 front man are nevertheless ringing out from pulpits across the United States.

The Irish rock band's songs and lyrics are being used by the Episcopal Church in so-called "U2 Eucharists" as a means of attracting young people who relate to the group's social activism.

Earlier attempts by churches to connect to youth culture have usually involved ministers in open-toed sandals strumming acoustic guitars and singing Kumbaya to the general embarrassment of all. Yet, in parishes from California to Maine, worshippers are flocking to hear U2 classics such as Beautiful Day, Pride and Peace on Earth rolled into a service of prayer.

However, ear plugs are passed out with the Bibles and hymn sheets for those who prefer organ music.

As an opening hymn, the service played one of the U2's earliest hits, Pride (In the Name of Love).

On a screen behind the altar, pictures of famous believers such as the Rev Martin Luther King Jr. were flashed up as the music played.

read full story in The Scotsman Online

"Missing Link" is a fishy story

April 10, 2006 - 'Missing link' claim for fossils debunked by creationist group

Full Story from the Baptist Press

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)--Not missing a beat, a leading creation science organization responded quickly to the latest well-publicized "missing link" claim by evolutionary researchers.

This time, The New York Times, USA Today and other media outlets trumpeted the discovery of fossils near the North Pole said to belong to a 375-million-year-old fish. The finding by a team of researchers, led by Neil H. Shurbin of the University of Chicago, initially was reported in Nature magazine April 6.

...The fish, known as "Tiktaalik," "is a long-sought missing link in the evolution of some fishes from water to a life walking on four limbs on land," as described by The New York Times. The Times also described the fossils as being "widely seen by scientists as a powerful rebuttal to religious creationists, who hold a literal biblical view on the origins and development of life."

David Menton, an Answers in Genesis lecturer who served as a biomedical research technician at the Mayo Clinic, helped craft the creationist rebuttal.

..."[Tiktaalik] is not an amphibian or a reptile," said Menton, who holds a Ph.D. in cell biology from Brown University. "It belongs to a group of fish called lobe-fin fish."

The lobe-fin fish have bones similar to other vertebrates. Tiktaalik, Menton said, is not unique in having these bones because other lobe-fish, such as "coelacanth" fish, also have them. Evolutionists say the lobe-fin fish became extinct millions of years ago.

Coelacanth, in particular, supposedly vanished 135 million years ago before its hyped 1938 discovery in waters near Madagascar, Menton noted...

...None of the lobe-fin fish, including Tiktaalik, have bones attaching their fins to the axial skeleton, Menton said.

"This means that these limbs would not be weight bearing," he said. "I don't believe the fish walked because the fins that are attached to these bones are delicate."

Full Story from the Baptist Press

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

New Scottish Coordinator for OM

Operation Mobilisation have appointed a new Scottish Coordinator.

Sharon Rose is no stranger to OM, having previously served with them in Eastern Europe.

A Newsletter introducing Sharon can be downloaded here

Sharon's Contact details are:-

  • Operation Mobilisation
    c/o International Christian College
    110 James Road, Glasgow G4 0PS
  • (0141) 572 0050
  • 0780 108 8768

Kirk Backs Stem-Cell Research

An embryonic and adult stem cell research study, to be placed before the General Assembly in May, backs the limited use of surplus embryos from fertility treatments in stem cell therapy research.

The Society, Religion and Technology Project (SRT) examined the issue on clinical and theological grounds.

The report, issued by the Kirk's Church and Society Council, recognised that for some in the church "the embryo already has the same human dignity as a person who has been born".

The SRT working group included stem cell scientists, doctors, ethicists and theologians. Case studies looked at treating conditions such as neurodegenerative disorders, diabetes and blood diseases.

According to Doctor Donald Bruce, the Project convener, it is a matter of considerable debate as to at what stage in development one can talk about human beings having the full attribute of personhood. But the majority of the group are reported as taking the view that "the moral status of the human embryo" was not established until some time into its biological development after conception.

The group recommended that surplus human embryos arising from in-vitro fertilisation or pre-implantation genetic diagnosis should be used in stem cells research, subject to a 14-day limit.

It opposed the deliberate creation of human embryos for research by IVF methods or nuclear transfer cloning, except into serious diseases and only under exceptional circumstances.

Speaking on BBC Radio Scotland's Good Morning Scotland programme, Doctor Bruce said "It's one thing to take an embryo that's now regarded as surplus to IVF and will be destroyed anyway and make some practical use of it.

"It's quite a different matter to actually create one, but the General Assembly will decide this in a month's time when it debates this formally, so we will wait to see whether they accept that viewpoint."

He added: "It is a matter of considerable debate as to at what stage in development one can talk about human beings having the full attribute of personhood and that is something we have been examining in real depth in this report."

SRT is a project of the Church of Scotland working with Action of Churches Together in Scotland and with the support of the Episcopal, United Reformed and United Free Churches.

The General Assembly meets in Edinburgh between Saturday 20th May and Friday 26th May 2006.

Web Links

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Cardinal targets nuclear weapons

Cardinal Keith O'Brien, leader of Scotland's Roman Catholics, has urged Britain to scrap its nuclear weapons programme.

As UK ministers consider their choices for replacing the ageing Trident nuclear missile system, the cardinal used his Easter Day message at St Mary's Cathedral in Edinburgh to rally public support for his nuclear stance.

He said the money needed to build and maintain nuclear weapons, estimated at 20 Billion Pounds, should be used to help the poor.