Merry Christmas! Our next daily news posting will be Jan. 2.

  • Census Bureau: 4 family questions in the balance

    by Trey Dimsdale, posted Tuesday, December 23, 2014 (2 days ago)

    FORT WORTH, Texas (BP) -- Beginning in 1940, select households began receiving the American Community Survey, or ACS. This is the census "long form" with more detailed questions about Americans, their households and their socio-economic circumstances.

    Included on this form are four simple questions related to marriage. Questions 20-23 ask respondents to indicate marital status and marital history in very generic terms. There is no invasion of privacy or prying in these questions. This year, the Census Bureau has suggested the deletion of these questions, an omission that has the potential to hurt families. Read More

  • Bible's 2 Christmas accounts 'complementary'

    by David Roach, posted Tuesday, December 23, 2014 (2 days ago)

    Image from Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain
    NASHVILLE (BP) -- A historian named Julius Africanus was among the first Christians to wonder why the stories of Jesus' birth in Matthew and Luke differ slightly.

    Around the year 200, Julius apparently sought Jesus' living relatives to ask them why the genealogies of Christ in the two Gospels aren't exactly the same. Was one of the accounts in error? Read More

  • WWI truce: 'the most wonderful Christmas'

    by David Roach, posted Tuesday, December 23, 2014 (2 days ago)

    NASHVILLE (BP) -- On Christmas Eve 1914, Austrian soldier Leo Spitzl sat in a military fortification opposite hostile British forces. At dusk the usual sounds of gunfire ceased and an enemy soldier called out, "Hey, Red!" -- a reference to Spitzl's hair color -- "Remember me from London?" Read More

  • ARCHAEOLOGY: Just 3 miles from Bethlehem

    by Stephen Douglas Wilson, posted Tuesday, December 23, 2014 (2 days ago)

    PADUCAH, Ky. (BP) -- Israeli archeologists have uncovered an impressive entrance to Herod's palace at Herodium. Located only three miles southeast of Bethlehem, Herodium played an important part in the events surrounding the early life of Christ.

    The December announcement by Hebrew University archeologists Roi Porat, Yakov Kalman and Rachel Chachy dovetails well with the seasonal interest in the nativity accounts of Luke and Matthew in the New Testament. Read More

  • IMB's top stories: Great challenges, new opportunities

    by Staff/IMB, posted Tuesday, December 23, 2014 (2 days ago)

    RICHMOND, Va. (BP)-- Baptist Press asked the International Mission Board to select 10 of its key news and feature stories of 2014 as the year comes to a close. The following list for 2014 includes a brief description with each subject line and link. Read More

  • 'Gospel conversations' among NAMB's 2014 highlights

    by Staff/NAMB, posted Tuesday, December 23, 2014 (2 days ago)

    Photo by Susan Whitley/NAMB
    ALPHARETTA, Ga. (BP) -- As 2015 rolls in, the North American Mission Board reflects upon a year that included an increasing emphasis on helping Southern Baptists develop evangelistic conversations, the kickoff of its Send North America Experience Tour, and the launch of a new book designed to help believers see that "every life on mission matters." Read More

  • Sexuality, religious liberty draw ERLC's focus in 2014

    by Tom Strode, posted Tuesday, December 23, 2014 (2 days ago)

    Christians should address Americans "not by more culture-war posturing but by a Christ-shaped counter-revolution."

    -- Russell Moore

    NASHVILLE (BP) -- Addressing human sexuality and defending freedom of conscience gained high profiles in the work of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission in 2014.

    The Gospel and human sexuality constituted the subject of both the ERLC's first national conference and inaugural leadership summit during the last year, with speakers addressing such topics as sexual ethics, marriage and same-sex attraction. The entity also busily advocated for domestic and international religious freedom for all in the public square and in court. Read More

  • CHRISTMAS: Peace on earth - with teens

    by Ken Taylor, posted Tuesday, December 23, 2014 (2 days ago)

    NEW ORLEANS (BP) -- The angels' proclamation to the shepherds at the birth of Jesus included the phrase "Peace on earth" in Luke 2. Indeed the birth of the Prince of Peace ushered in the possibility of a new era of peace and tranquility.

    While it has been seldom realized in the political realm here on earth, in hearts of those who know and follow Christ there is a peace "which surpasses every thought" as highlighted in Philippians 4:7. Read More

  • Family carries on businessman's missions giving legacy

    by Marie Curtis, posted Tuesday, December 23, 2014 (2 days ago)

    IMB photo by Chris Carter
    SALINAS, Calif. (BP) -- Francis Murphy understood something important: Most people like tomatoes, in some form. They like them on hamburgers, in salads and with tacos. Whole, sliced or chunked, people want tomatoes, and Francis learned how to provide them year-round. Read More

  • VIDEOS: Missionaries thankful #becauseyougive

    by Staff, posted Tuesday, December 23, 2014 (2 days ago)

    RICHMOND, Va. (BP) -- It was a simple concept -- write one thing that happened because Southern Baptists give to international missions.

    Missionaries in various regions of Africa, Asia and Europe wrote on chalkboards, spoke via video or audio or posted to #becauseyougive on Twitter to record their "thank you" for support they receive from the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions. Read More