News & Notes

Several years ago, Wayne Leeper wrote a book titled The Star of Jacob. Published and marketed by Gospel Advocate Company, this book is an examination of the scientific, historical, and biblical evidence for the Star of Bethlehem. Wayne Leeper is an excellent writer who researches his subjects thoroughly and is not hampered by traditional understandings. His book and video on the alleged contradictions concerning the events immediately before and after the crucifixion of Christ titled Prelude to Glory has been used by our program for many years.
We have had the opportunity to purchase all remaining copies of The Star of Jacob at a discount and are happy to make them available to our readers for $4.00 each postage paid. We also have requested another printing of Prelude to Glory and are glad to be able to continue to offer this excellent book also. To order either or both of these books, please fill out the order form below and return it to us. We will ship within a day or so after we get your request. Send orders to John N. Clayton, 1555 Echo Valley Dr., Niles MI 49120 (make check payable to the Dowagiac Church of Christ). As usual, we will be happy to refund your money if you do not wish to keep the book(s), but decide to return them to us.




Enclosed please find $______________ to cover the cost of:

_____ The Star of Jacob @ $4.00 each postage paid.

_____ Prelude to Glory @ $8.00 each postage paid

_____ Both books for $10.00 for the two postage paid.

In recent years, there have been a number of attempts to link homosexual behaviors of all kinds to inheritance and other biological causes. We have pointed out in this journal several times that even biological predisposition to a social problem does not demand that destructive behavior be displayed. Having chemical problems that lead to overactivity cannot be used to justify murder, for example. Now the scientific community is questioning the validity of some of these key studies that have been done in the past which claim to link gays to genetic predisposition.

The first of these is the study by Simon LeVay who attempted to show differences in the brains of homosexuals and heterosexuals No other researcher has been able to duplicate LeVay's work which was done in 1991. William Byne in attempting to duplicate LeVay's work feels that sexual dimorphism (difference in the size of men and women) explains what LeVay found and that no case can be made for genetically based differences between gay and straight males.

The second study is a famous study by Dean H. Hamer who studied nonidentical twin brothers and tried to show common genetic markers from their mothers. The Federal Office of Research Integrity is investigating Hamer because a former colleague claims he excluded brothers whose genetic makeup contradicted his findings. Another researcher, George Ebers has duplicated Hamer's study with no evidence of genetic links being found Those interested might wish to read the article in Scientific American which reported on these cases (November 1995, page 26).

"ROE V. WADE" PLAINTIFF JOINS PRO-LIFE MOVEMENT. Norma Leah McCorvey was the woman used by abortion advocates to pursue the court case against pro-life . She was a 21-year-old carnival barker who became pregnant for the third time and had claimed to be raped. She was used to oppose the anti-abortion statute in Texas in 1973, but her identity was not publicly revealed. Recently she was baptized and has now revealed her identity and her role in the "Roe v. Wade" decision. She says she is anti-abortion and pro-life and admits she was not raped and was living a very immoral life including a lesbian relationship for 2 years. Abortion rights advocates continue to have a difficult time providing evidence that they represent high moral values and respect and dignity for humans, and this latest revelation will not help their case. (Source: Christianity Today, September 11, 1995, page 70)

DIVORCED PREACHERS AND DENOMINATIONS. National and International Religion Report has revealed divorce figures from a Harvard Seminary study conducted in 1993 and 1994. The study found that the greatest number of divorced clergy are found in the Unitarian churches (47%) and Episcopal churches (30%). For the more conservative denominations, the figure was significantly lower--around 4% for most. Many conclusions might be drawn from this, but the fact the female clergy in these denominations was 3-5% higher than males might also be a clue. We would suggest that, when one can compromise on the truthfulness and inspiration of the Bible, one can also compromise on the moral teachings of God. We hear a lot about fundamentalist preachers every time they mess up, but the general statistics shows a generally higher regard for God and for his moral teachings.

Indiana Daily Student newspaper (Bloomington, IN, October 25, 1993, page 5) was a story about a human ear grown on the back of a mouse (including a picture). We have already seen a few atheists try to relate this to the lack of design in the creation, but we would suggest just the opposite. The mouse that was used is a specially produced mouse that lacks an immune system. When human tissue is implanted on the back of such a mouse, it will grow; and it will obey the genetic commands it has which are those from the human body. The mouse is simply serving to provide a medium in which the tissue can grow. What this shows is how absolute the design of the body is in making each part genetically unique and easy to be identified. Only because the mouse's immune system is not there to destroy it is the tissue able to grow. Researchers hope to grow other body cells in a similar way and have already succeeded with liver, skin, cartilage, hone, ureters, heart valves, tendons, intestines, blood vessels, and breast tissue.

SPACE PROBE LOOKS FOR LIFE ON JUPITER. December 7 will be a special day for the space program. A space probe which has been traveling to Jupiter for a long time and which has excellent camera and research equipment will explore Jupiter. This will include a probe to he dropped into the atmosphere of Jupiter to study its makeup and test for life. Scientists suspect that water vapor exists in a layer deep inside Jupiter's atmosphere, and some feel it might be capable of harboring microscopic life. The orbiting parent probe will take pictures of Jupiter's moons as well as the planet itself.

If life is found on Jupiter, it will simply show that God has used every place where life can be produced to supply the creation with living things. Not many scientists are optimistic, but the issue of life in space is not a biblical issue. It will be interesting to see what should be spectacular pictures from the Jupiter probe, and new data may help add chapters to the creation complexities that God has used to prepare the earth for man. More later when the data is in.

ACLU WINS BATTLES, LOSES WARS. We have referred to the American Civil Liberties Union as one of the more popular atheist groups in the United States, While some ACLU members might wish to argue that association, it is very hard to deny. The ACLU has about 275,000 members and a budget of over nine million dollars and has consistently opposed anyone or anything that suggests any kind of religious views or association. It is almost always opposed to any kind of moral stand by any taxsupported program. Recently they have opposed attempts to limit profanity and hate on computer nets and also opposed attempts to give police the power to respond to the Oklahoma City bombings. Several years ago, they defended the rights of Nazis to conduct marches and rallies in Jewish neighborhoods in Skokie, Illinois.

Recently the ACLU succeeded in banning a public prayer at graduation exercises at Peters Township High School near Pittsburgh because one member of the class opposed it. When the valedictorian Kerry Ann George (now at the U.S. Naval Academy) began the valedictorian address, she opened it with a prayer and the crowd roared its approval. The message, it seems to us, is that the ACLU represents extremists and those who wish to destroy the heritage and religious foundation of this country, but they do not represent most Americans, and they definitely do not represent the Constitution of the United States or what the founding fathers had in mind when they wrote it.

--Data from AP article by Jeffrey Bair, October 29, 1995

UPDATED SEXUAL REVOLUTION DATA. Here are some new numbers from the government and other sources that appeared in our local newspaper (South Bend Tribune,, August 30, 1995, page A-9). Chlamydia is the most commonly transmitted venereal disease in the U.S., now afflicting over three million Americans and rendering 11,000 women sterile. The human papillomavirus (HPV) is the leading cause of cancer in young women. At the University of California at Berkeley, 46% of the coed are infected with HPV. In the last four years, there has been a 70% increase in syphilis. The Federal Government gives Planned Parenthood $150 million a year for the organization's safe sex program. Since 1960, social spending by the Government has risen from $142 billion to $787 billion. During the same period, there has been a 560% increase in violent crimes, a 400% increase in illegitimate births, a quadrupling in divorce, a 200% increase in teen suicides, and a tripling of children in single-parent homes.

Back to Contents November/December, 1995 News and Notes