News Bites

Compiled By: Eric Tiansay


President Orders Faith-Based Initiative

President Bush has signed executive orders making it easier for religious groups to get federal funds for charity work, despite accusations by liberals that he circumvented Congress.

Bush's action in December puts into effect key elements of his faith-based initiative, a cornerstone of his agenda of "compassionate conservatism."

The initiative was blocked in the fall by Congress' failure to agree on the extent to which religious groups could mix their messages with charity work while accepting government money. Under Bush's order, groups that hire workers based on the individual's religious beliefs will not be barred from receiving federal money, as they have been in the past.

Two important elements of the president's initiative still need congressional approval. One would provide tax incentives to spur private charitable contributions for religious groups that deliver social services. The other would provide funding to help smaller faith-based groups compete for federal money to pay for the help they give the needy.
Source: Los Angeles Times


YWAM's Next President Chosen

Internationally known author and speaker John Dawson has been named the next president of Youth With a Mission (YWAM), one of the largest missionary organizations in the world. The New Zealander will take over the role from another Kiwi, Frank Naea, in September.

Dawson, 51, has served with YWAM for more than 30 years. He founded the YWAM ministry in Los Angeles and later was appointed the mission's international director for urban missions. He serves on the board of Aglow International and is chairman of March for Jesus North America.

A frequent speaker to citywide pastors' meetings, Dawson authored the best-selling Taking Our Cities for God, published by Charisma House, and Healing America's Wounds. In 1990, he founded the International Reconciliation Network, through which he has been asked to address government leaders on reconciliation issues.

"Surprised" by his election at the meeting of YWAM's Global Leadership Team in the fall, Dawson said he believed God wanted his three-year tenure to emphasize "healing grace, prophetic hope and the ministry of encouragement" in the mission.
Source: Charisma News Service


Seminary's 'Spiritual Statesman' Dies

Regarded as a spiritual statesman, a longtime president and chancellor emeritus at Dallas Theological Seminary (DTS) has died. Dr. John F. Walvoord, 92, died Dec. 21 after a brief illness.

"Dr. Walvoord was a spiritual statesman who had a profound influence on conservative evangelical theology," DTS chancellor Charles Swindoll said. "During his long tenure at Dallas Seminary, he trained thousands of pastors, missionaries, and seminary and Bible institute professors who have served in ministry around the world."

Walvoord was appointed president of DTS in 1953 and became chancellor in April 1986. During his presidency, seminary enrollment increased from 250 to 1,700 students, and the campus tripled in size. Under his guidance, the seminary became known worldwide as an outstanding institution in evangelical, dispensational and premillennial theology.

In May 2001, Walvoord, then 91, was appointed chancellor emeritus of DTS. He continued to teach courses, speak at conferences and write articles until becoming ill several weeks before his death.
Source: Dallas Theological Seminary

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