- Written by Kam Williams
Was Jesus Christ really God or merely a charlatan, and just one of the countless "false messiahs" who "tramped through the holy Land delivering messages of God's imminent judgment" during the 1st Century? That is the central question addressed by Zealot, a controversial biography by Reza Aslan.
Thanks to a contentious interview with the author on Fox News Television that went viral, the incendiary opus was catapulted to #1 spot on the New York Times best-seller list. On the show, Dr. Aslan promoted himself as a Professor of Religion in order to deflect suspicion that he might have an anti-Christian agenda.
Truth be told, he actually only teaches Creative Writing at UC Riverside. And his credentials are also suspect, since his Ph.D. is in Sociology. So, it only makes sense to approach this self-appointed expert on the life of Jesus with a healthy skepticism, especially when you factor in that he was born a Muslim, converted to Christianity as a teenager, and then back to Islam five years later.
- Written by Eric E. Vickers/NNPA News Service
If Islam is ever to be understood and appreciated by Americans, then Muslims will need to stop trying to convince them that it is a "religion of peace." Having just completed my 35th Ramadan – the month of fasting – I find it neither representative of nor true to the faith to portray it in any way as passive.
If America is to reap the vitality that Islam can offer a society, then Americans will have to look beyond Muslim terrorists to see a religion that blossomed in a remarkably short span of time from one man's vision in a cave to the world superpower that conquered the Persian and Byzantine empires and brought enlightenment to Europe. To understand this history as a continuing spiritual phenomenon Americans will need to understand the religion's founder, Muhammad, and the text he brought, the Qur'an.
The quote attributed to Jesus in the Book of Matthew provides an apt description of Muhammad's life: "I come not to bring peace, but to bring a sword." It was 600 years after the time of Christ and during Ramadan – the ninth month in the Islamic (lunar) calendar – that Muhammad, a 40-year-old Arab businessman, while meditating in a cave about the greed and corruption in society, had a revelation that he was called to preach the oneness of God.
LIVING THE LIFE I LOVE Dear Lucy: I am a breast cancer survivor. I had a mastectomy almost 20 years ago. I had chemo and radiation. Recently the cancer has come back. I changed my diet to strict vegetarian, I exercised, I totally changed my lifestyle. I am a praying woman and I just feel like this is unfair and scary. Is there something I missed?
– So Afraid and Tired
Dear Precious One: Please accept my outpouring of love to you. This is an often-repeated story with many types of cancer. There are many new and powerful treatments and diagnostic tools available today and I am sure that you have been a good steward of your physical health. I am also sure that you will consult and follow your physician's advice as one should always do as you seek direction through prayer. The opinion that I share with you is not intended to be medical in any way.
- Written by Tri-State Defender Newsroom
An Itinerant Elder in the African Methodist Episcopal Church, the Rev. Eddie Albert Brown Jr. – who served the AME Western Tennessee Conference for 40-plus years – died Aug. 5 at Methodist University Hospital.
Rev. Brown, who answered the call to preach at an early age, was led to the African Methodist Episcopal Church by Bishop Bettye J. Alston. Through her guidance, he became an ordained Elder. He developed an unwavering passion for justice and equality and was an outspoken supporter and defender of the rights of women in ministry.
The turbulent 60s were in full effect when Rev. Brown began his ministry. Although a youth at the time, he was mentored by civil rights icons Dr. H. Ralph Jackson, the Rev. James L. Gleese, and Dr. Henry Logan Starks. Under their leadership, Rev. he gained experience as a civil rights activist and found a niche garnering youth support of the 1968 Memphis Sanitation Strike.
- Written by John Daniels/The Root
Although many say the Bible's message is "come as you are," one pastor in Texas is taking the adage to a whole new level. A.J. Aamir, of Resurrecting Faith in Waco, recently told the women on the church's leadership staff not to wear weaves, reports Clutch magazine.
His reason? He believes that women who wear weaves present a false representation of themselves and could be thought to have low self-esteem.
Although Aamir can't legally ban weaves in his church, he does say that he plans on counseling the women in his congregation against it.
- Written by gospelevents.com
Come out and rejoice with the dynamic James Fortune & FIYA in their live recording on September 6,2013 in Austell, Georgia. This is an event you do not want to miss with special musical guests Israel Houghton, Isaac Carree, Tasha Cobbs, Zacardi Cortez and more. Tickets are $15, 7pm-10pm.
Word of Faith Church
212 Riverside Parway
- Written by Tri-State Defender Newsroom
The Sunday (Aug. 11) worship service at Cummings Street Baptist Church was filled with excitement as it was announced that the Eugene Waller Scholarships would be presented. While the students had been notified, the congregation was unaware of the recipients.
Many of those attending commented that they were proud to see young African-American men engaged in positive pursuits. The students themselves seemed happy and motivated to fulfill the late Rev. Waller's vision for "a powerful, educated, informed leadership to serve God and man!"
The 2013 Eugene Waller Scholarship recipients were: Tommie Biles, Myles Brooks, Andre Cleveland, Randall Hill, Victoria Neal, Ciara Oliver, Quentin Payne and Quinton Shaw.
LIVING THE LIFE I LOVE Dear Lucy: I am trying so hard to get my life together. But I am sick and tired of people criticizing me. Every time I think things will get better, someone close to me will lie to me or let me down. I am a good person and I try to help the people I love but nobody is helping me. Everybody says they want me to do better but nobody is willing to stick with me.
– It's not my fault
Dear Blameless One: There was more in your letter that we don't have room to print. Life is a journey with lots of core lessons to be learned. Some of us take longer than others to learn certain things. Two core lessons are Self-Respect and Self-Responsibility.
- Written by Elev8
Motown Gospel’s release of Tye Tribbett’s Greater Than debuts at #1 on Billboard’s Top Gospel Albums Chart, #4 on the Top Digital Albums chart and #9 on Billboard’s Top 200. Greater Than, Tribbett’s inaugural project with Motown Gospel, is his fifth recording and is the highest album debut in his recording career. This week, Tribbett’s hit single “If He Did It Before…Same God” moves up to #3 on Billboard’s Hot Gospel Song chart and has an accumulative listening audience of over 15 million.
“The critics and the fans have spoken loudly and clearly,” says Bill Hearn, President & CEO Capitol CMG. “Tye Tribbett is back with his best work to date. The entire team at Motown Gospel is very proud to help connect Tye and these incredible new songs with music fans all over the world. Together we are off to an amazing start.”
- Written by Lynette Holloway/The Root
A North Carolina pastor, Rodney Wills, faced the wrath of his congregation after attending a Rick Ross concert. Ross was described by a deacon in the church as "tearing down the kingdom of God," according to BlackAmericaWeb. Wills was also spotted nine months ago at a Lil Wayne concert.
(Twenty-six-year-old) Rodney Wills was fired from his position at a North Carolina church after he was spotted at a Rick Ross concert.
- Written by Kam Williams
"I was raised in poverty, surrounded by drug dealers, gangs and community violence. My mother was addicted to crack cocaine and alcohol. I rarely went to church... (Yet) somehow God's grace found and saved me when no one and nothing else could...
"God's Graffiti takes a look at young men and women in the Bible who overcame family and community challenges... Their stories give us some practical guidance for our own lives.
"You have the ability to do amazing things through your faith in God, the courage to try something different, and the help of a few committed people."
- Written by NewsOne
Living in the White House, with round the clock transportation, a movie theater, and bowling alley, it can be easy to take things for granted, and that is exactly why President Barack Obama (says that he is continuously teaching his daughters to be humble with what they have.
LIVING THE LIFE I LOVE Dear Lucy: I enjoyed the article about being sixty years old and enjoying life. I have heard you talk about recreating yourself. How does that work? I feel like that's what I need to do. – Looking for a new me
Dear Looking: Well, the first time I learned how to do a remake of Lucy was during a time in my life that I thought something must be wrong with everybody else. I was unhappy, bored and downright miserable. Then I read a self-help book that said something about changing myself if I wanted the world around me to change. It has taken me years to perfect my own formula for change but the first rule is still the same.