With the Publicans at Hooters
Hooters restaurants are famous for several things, Bible study not among them.
That didn't stop a Christian singles group from meeting at a Hooters in Kennesaw, Ga., just south of Atlanta. Every Wednesday night, a dozen or so young adults order up sodas and chicken wings and discuss biblical perspectives on relationships, sex and other matters.
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Occasionally, a waitress in a white tank top and orange hot pants stops to take part.
"We're about reaching the lost, and I think we're called to do that," Rick Lamborn, leader of Christian Focus Atlanta, a nondenominational group, told the Associated Press. "Our attitude is to go where the un-churched and the de-churched are."
Some Christians don't think meeting people where they are should include visits to a sexually themed business. "Question is: Can the place where you're meeting . . . enhance what you're trying to accomplish, or does it distract?" said Terry Erickson, director of evangelism for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, a national campus ministry organization.
"I think someone who comes to Hooters is looking for something else."
A Lively Debate About Scrolls
A simmering debate over the Dead Sea Scrolls escalated last month when two Israeli archaeologists determined that the scrolls were not written at Qumran, where 1,000 ancient texts were discovered more than a half-century ago.
Yuval Peleg, one of the archaeologists, said coins, pottery and other artifacts unearthed over a 10-year period at Qumran suggest an affluent lifestyle, not the austerity associated with the Essenes, a Jewish sect with possible links to early Christianity. That finding supports a disputed theory that the settlement's residents were refugees from Jerusalem, who in A.D. 70 escaped the Roman attack on the city and hid the scrolls in caves.
Traditionalists countered with their own archaeological evidence, including inkwells and writing materials found at the ancient site. But the new evidence could have others questioning the "Qumran myth."
"The old consensus is not valid anymore," Yizhar Hirschfel, professor of classical archaeology at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, told the Associated Press.
A Hospital Gown for All Cultures
A conflict of cultures has caused the Maine Medical Center in Portland to redesign its hospital gown. Administrators decided to act after the hospital identified a high no-show rate for Muslim women from African countries, particularly Somalia.
Contacted at home, the women described the horror of being asked to wear the revealing gowns during outpatient procedures and while waiting in a hallway outside the radiology department. Islam teaches modesty in dress, and the women said the gowns went against their religious and cultural beliefs.
The old "johnny," as the gown is known, leaves a patient's backside and legs exposed. The new garment fully covers patients.
Answers to Biblical Questions
If you have ever wondered what things God hates, how many names Satan has or which animals are mentioned most often in the Bible, you'll learn the answers in "Find It in the Bible," a book of 51 lists for the scripturally curious.