In The World—August 21, 2016

August 21, 2016 No Comments »
In The World—August 21, 2016

By Melissa Wuske

Biblical Engagement Among Millennials

While millennials overall are most likely to be skeptical of or neutral toward the Bible, Christian millennials who practice their faith are more likely than believers of any other generation to read the Bible several times a week and believe that the Bible came from God. The data is from a study by American Bible Society (ABS) and Barna Group.

“This research challenges the assumption that younger Christians are less biblically literate than previous generations of Christians,” the report said. “For the most part, where believers maintain Bible literacy, they do so across generations.”

The report also shows the prevalence of technology in biblical engagement. Nearly half of all adults who read the Bible have done so online, and more than three-quarters of millennials have read on a mobile device. “The growing popularity of digital technologies represents an enormous opportunity for those who seek to increase Bible engagement—especially among millennial Bible readers, who are most likely to report using digital versions of the Bible.”

Prison Ministry and Local Churches

LifeWay Research surveyed 1,000 Protestant ministers about their involvement in prison ministry. Most (83 percent) have visited someone in prison, and nearly all believe churches should help the families of people who are incarcerated and care for people getting out of jail. But many cite lack of training, volunteers, and finances as hindrances to prison ministry.

Additionally half of the ministers said no one in their congregations have been incarcerated in the last three years. “When half the pastors haven’t had someone from their church sent to jail, then prison ministry isn’t on their ministry radar,” said Scott McConnell, Vice President of LifeWay Research.

“These are messy, long-term ministries,” said McConnell. “You really have to demonstrate biblical faithfulness to be involved with them. It’s a lot easier to pick a ministry where there are quick rewards, but you would miss out on the opportunity to impact families and communities.”

Life on Europa?

NASA’s research has determined that Jupiter’s moon Europa may be able to support life. Its chemical balance is similar to Earth’s, including a cycle of hydrogen and oxygen in the salt water under Europa’s icy surface.

Kevin Hand, a researcher at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab, said the chemical interactions between the chemicals on the surface and in the water act as a battery that could potentially power life. “The oxidants from the ice are like the positive terminal of a battery, and the chemicals from the seafloor, called reductants, are like the negative terminal,” he said. “Whether or not life and biological processes complete the circuit is part of what motivates our exploration of Europa.” NASA is planning to send a probe to Europa sometime in the 2020s.

Couple Fosters Babies Suffering Drug Addiction

Bill and Kathy Friend have fostered more than 30 babies born with drug addictions in nearly two decades through the Children’s Shelter of San Antonio. Caring for infants who are detoxing from drugs is challenging. “They can cry for months, for hours at a time,” said Kathy.

Over the years, Kathy said she’s learned compassion for the babies and their mothers. “If their infant is having a hard time withdrawing, what must it be like for them? . . . I’m more humble. I have much more empathy. I have much more sympathy for the families, for the babies, for everyone involved.”

“When a baby comes into our home,” Bill said, “they are part of our family. They’re no different than anyone else in our family. Whatever we can do to help, we’re there.”

Melissa Wuske is a freelance editor and writer. She and her husband, Shawn, live and minister in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts. Find her work online (melissaannewuske.com).

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