News round-up: July 29
A TV show making a difference?
The second season of reality TV Born This Way has started to air in the USA. While it sounds like any other reality show — cameras spy on a bunch of friends who are trying to make their dreams come true — Born This Way is a bit of a game-changer. Why? All seven of the show’s “stars” have Down syndrome. Commentators also have been struck by how Born This Way prompted some viewers to cancel abortions of their unborn children, diagnosed with Down syndrome.
Shock reminder of Europe’s Christian heritage
One of the more surprising outcomes of recent terrorism attacks in Europe is the observation that politicians and members of the public are reacting in a “Christian” way. This week’s murder of a priest in northern France sparked shock and outrage. But a BBC journalist observes how the lack of retaliation and calls for forgiveness and peace across France point to that nation’s laws and social values being founded upon Christian teachings. “Most French people will argue that these values – tolerance, respect between peoples, forgiveness, eschewal of violence – are part of the country’s enlightened secular tradition. But of course before that they were something else. They were Christian.”
Has the Garden of Eden been found?
Some Biblical scholars and archaeologists think the southern wetlands of Iraq might be where the Garden of Eden (recorded in Genesis 1-3) were located. But despite this area recently receiving a UNESCO World Heritage listing, there is a famous and prominent factor that might mean hopes of pinpointing Eden’s exact setting have been forever washed away.
Maids and taxi drivers are missionaries
Christian missionaries are not who you think they are or, even, who they used to be. Traditionally, missionaries have been Christians from “Western” countries travelling to other nations, to help spread the gospel of Jesus. But according to a global missions expert, missionaries are now coming more from the kinds of countries which used to be the destination of missionaries. And… many are working as maids, taxi drivers or other service jobs, to reach people where they are at.
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