SABER-TOOTHED DEER ALIVE IN AFGHANISTAN
ICR.org, 11/14/14, “Saber-Toothed Deer Alive in Afghanistan” [Excerpts]: A Danish survey team probably sighted musk deer while working in the remote regions of northeast Afghanistan in 1948, but that was the last official sighting—until now. A new survey team led by members of the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) recorded the species still alive.
Musk deer do not grow antlers, but males do grow fangs....enough is known about musk deer to note that the bucks use their characteristic tusks to tussle when competing for mates.
For all we know, they may also use their tusks in display communications as well. But what would a paleontologist think of finding a fossil musk deer’s fangs without the benefit of comparing it to modern species? If labeled a carnivore based on those tusks, [they] would be wrong.
"'WOMEN OF THE BIBLE' ON LIFETIME
Deadline.com, 10/29/14, “Roma Downey, Mark Burnett Land ‘The Women of the Bible’ on Lifetime” [Excerpts]: Add Lifetime to the rapidly growing list of TV networks ordering Bible projects from Roma Downey and Mark Burnett. Downey [narrated] the two-hour special The Women of the Bible, which Lifetime [debuted in] its December 7 world premiere of the network’s biblical miniseries The Red Tent.
The special [shares] the stories of Eve, Sara, Rahab, Mary Magdalene and Mother Mary, “with new insights from some of today’s leaders and scholars in the faith community,” the network said.
Interviewees include Christine Caine; Priscilla Shirer, Victoria Osteen [wife of Joel Osteen and Lakewood co-pastor]; Eva Rodriguez; Kay Warren, Co-Founder of Saddleback Church; and Joyce Meyer.
The Red Tent...tells the story of Dinah the daughter of Leah and Jacob, who is only briefly referenced in the Old Testament. The two-night, four-hour miniseries [is an] adaptation of the best-selling novel by Anita Diamant....Produced by Sony TV, the mini had been in development at Lifetime since 2011. Its green light coincided with intense interest in bible-themed TV projects in the wake of the blockbuster success of Burnett and Downey’s The Bible miniseries [and] its feature offshoot, Son of God.
In April , Burnett and Downey joined Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures and Paramount Pictures’ Ben-Hur. In December, they landed CBS’ first announced project—The Dovekeepers, a four-hour miniseries based on Alice Hoffman’s historical novel about the siege of Masada. That same month, NBC gave a formal green light to Burnett and Downey’s 12-hour miniseries A.D.,—a follow-up to their highly rated miniseries The Bible.
[TBC: Although Downey and Burnett may be sincere in their promotion of biblical subject matter, any attempt to translate the Scriptures into the medium of film will result in a distortion of biblical truth. A “biblical” movie cannot be made without adding to or subtracting from God’s Word. See “The Bible According to Hollywood 1 & 2.” TBC 07/13, 04/14]
THE AL AQSA LIBEL: A BRIEF HISTORY
FrontPageMag.com, 11/26/14, “The Al Aqsa Libel: A Brief History” [Excerpts]: [Claims] by Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas that Israel was attacking or otherwise threatening the Al Aqsa mosque on the Temple Mount, and Abbas’s calls for Palestinians and other Muslims to take action to defend Al Aqsa and “purify” the Temple Mount, have been a key factor in the latest spate of deadly Arab assaults on Israelis.
The false claims of Jewish threats against or damage to Al Aqsa have a long pedigree. They have been made by Mahmoud Abbas many times in the past and were a staple of Yasser Arafat’s screeds against Israel and against Jews more generally. Arafat labeled the terror war he launched in 2000 the “Al Aqsa Intifada.” He did so to cast the onslaught not as an aggressive campaign of mass murder of Israelis but as a struggle in defense of the Islamic holy site and to render the war not simply one of Palestinian pursuit of Israel’s destruction but as an Islamic fight against hostile, Al Aqsa-defiling non-believers.
In 1929, during the British Mandate, the rabidly anti-Jewish, British-appointed Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin el-Husseini, claimed that Jews were threatening Al Aqsa and sought to end Jewish prayer at the Western Wall. According to the Mufti, the Western Wall was an Islamic holy place and Jewish prayer there was both an affront to Islam and a step towards Jewish attacks against Al Aqsa. The Mufti is also reported to have distributed doctored photographs showing a damaged Al Aqsa, with claims that the Jews were responsible.
The Mufti’s incitement was accompanied by calls for the murder of Jews as revenge. Ensuing attacks by Arab mobs in Jerusalem and elsewhere in Mandate territory resulted in the death of 133 Jews and major injury to over 200 others. The most severely affected community was that of Hebron, where 64 Jews were slaughtered and another 85 injured.
WorldMag.com, 11/29/14, “Interpretive dance” [Excerpts]: The BioLogos Foundation is making a major, well-funded push to change the way Christians read Genesis and think about Adam and Eve.
BioLogos [is] a foundation pushing churches and believers to embrace evolution, and in the process change how they read the Bible.
The brainchild of Francis Collins, who now heads the National Institutes of Health, BioLogos has taken in nearly $9 million from the Templeton Foundation and millions more from other donors. BioLogos in turn offers grants to church, parachurch, and academic leaders and organizations that promote “evolutionary creation.”
The BioLogos website states, “Genetic evidence shows that humans descended from a group of several thousand individuals who lived about 150,000 years ago.”
BioLogos is now spending $3.6 million on 37 projects in the United States and around the world. [F]unds go to “projects that explore consonance between evolution and Christian faith.” Projects must not “reject the conclusions of mainstream science (e.g. old earth, common descent, etc.).” The requirement is not so stringent on the other side of the spectrum: Proposals cannot reject, but they can “helpfully inform…historic creedal Christianity (e.g. historical Resurrection, high view of Scripture, etc.).”
[TBC: We have reported on the Templeton Prize (and recipients) on a number of occasions. New-ager John Marks Templeton is uncompromisingly hostile to Scripture. See December 2011 TBC.]