"Christians and the Internet" newsletter
CATI, Vol. 1, No. 8:  February 25, 2000.
Unless otherwise indicated, all material in this newsletter is
Copyright (C) 2000 by Barry Traver, All Rights Reserved.  For
permission to reproduce material from this newsletter, contact
Barry Traver at cati@traver.org.  Permission is hereby granted,
however, to pass along this issue to others, provided that (1)
no changes are made and (2) it is passed along in its entirety.

To subscribe, write to cati@traver.org, including "Subscribe to
CATI" in the Subject line and including in the body your real
name and the email address to which you wish CATI sent.  (To be
removed from the emailing list, also write to cati@traver.org,
but include "Remove from CATI List" in the Subject line.)
Everyone is familiar with the Jewish Holocaust, which occurred
over 55 years ago:  the execution of 6 million Jews under
Adolph Hitler.  That was a great and shameful tragedy on the
pages of human history.  We can do nothing to change the past,
but we can resolve to do our best to prevent the happening
again of a Jewish Holocaust.
Not as many people, however, are familiar with the Christian
Holocaust, something that not only occurred in the past but
also is taking place today:  the persecution of Christians
around the world.  Right now "more than 20 million people in
over 60 nations are being denied their basic human rights for
one reason only:  they are Christians."
That fact comes from the Rev. Johan Candelin, Director of the
Religious Liberty Commission, World Evangelical Fellowship, in
a discussion of "The Persecution of Christians Today":
Few people realize that more Christians were martyred for their
Christian faith in the 20th century than were killed in the
preceding nineteen centuries combined (and the 21st century
does not seem to show any signs of significant improvement).
By the way, if you are not familiar with the World Evangelical
Fellowship, it is more or less an international version of the
National Association of Evangelicals in the U.S. (and in fact
uses essentially the same statement of faith).  To give you an
idea of the organizations involved, here are a few of the WEF
Associate Members:  
Campus Crusade for Christ International
Christian and Missionary Alliance
International Bible Society
Jews for Jesus
Luis Palau Evangelistic Association
The Navigators
Nurses Christian Fellowship International
Open Doors with Brother Andrew
Presbyterian Church in America:  Mission to the World
Ravi Zacharias International Ministries
The Salvation Army
Scripture Union International Council
United States Center for World Mission
Youth for Christ International
For those who are interested in learning more about how and
where the Church is being persecuted today, the WEF site has
some helpful information, including "News Items Concerning the
Persecuted Church":
Later I'll mention a number of other helpful sites in this
First, some observations....  Christians of the New Testament
had an awareness of -- and concern for -- the suffering of
other Christians who may have been geographically removed from
them.  Galatians 6:10 exhorts us all, "Therefore, as we have
opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those
who belong to the family of believers" (NIV), and the various
churches of the New Testament did not restrict the family of
God to the local congregation (see Revelation 5:9).  Thus
many congregations outside Jerusalem (Berea, Thessalonica,
Philippi, and Corinth) were involved with providing practical
help to the suffering Christians in Jerusalem (see Romans
15:25-28; 1 Corinthians 16:1-4; 2 Corinthians 8:1-7).
Hebrews 13:3 commands, "Remember those in prison as if you were
their fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated as if you
yourselves were suffering" (NIV).  As it was then, so is it
now.  There are Christians who are mistreated (discriminated
against in education or employment, perhaps beaten, perhaps
imprisoned, perhaps executed or murdered) today, and we are
called to respond to our brothers and sisters in Christ who
are hungry, thirsty, strangers, naked, sick, or in prison (see
Matthew 25:31-40, a passage which does not teach that we can
earn our way into heaven by helping fellow believers, but
does teach that if our faith is genuine it will result in our
showing practical concern to others in God's family -- see
James 2:14-17).
Since we (unlike the early Church) have available to us the
resources of the Internet, there is little or no excuse for
us to be ignorant of how Christians are being persecuted today
in various countries around the world.
What can we do?  The site for the International Day of Prayer
(IDOP) for the Persecuted Church is helpful here, in helping
us see what we should know and what we can do:
(IDOP began in 1996 through the efforts of WEF.)
One thing we can do is pray for the persecuted Church around
the world.  Actually, the IDOP site is not concerned with
encouraging prayer just one day a year, but each day, for it
includes daily prayer suggestions:
Here, for example, is the "Situation" (background) and the
suggested "Prayer Point" for this past Sunday, February 20,
"Situation: A church in Makola, Sri Lanka was attacked on
January 15. Not only was the church demolished, but all the
Bibles were burned.  The lives of the pastor and his family
have been threatened.  At a police inquiry on January 21,
Buddhist monks represented the attackers and stressed that
they would not allow a church service to be conducted in the
village.  The police tried to get assurance from the pastor
that the church would not be rebuilt in order to preserve
"Prayer Point:  Praise God that no one was seriously injured in
this attack.  Pray for the safety of this pastor and his family
and the encouragement of the congregation.  Pray that the
church would be able to forgive their attackers and 'love their
enemies.' Pray for the attackers."
Persecuted Christians exist today in Afghanistan, Algeria,
Bhutan, Brunei, Burma, China, Colombia, Cuba, Djibouti,
Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Laos, Libya, Maldives, Mauritania,
Morocco, Nigeria, North Korea, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia,
Somalia, Sudan, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, Yemen, and elsewhere.
Below you'll find some Web sites and some suggested reading
that you may find helpful:
Some Suggested Web Sites:
The Bible League (formerly World Home Bible League)
 Get Involved:  Persecuted Church Awareness Kit (two free 
   programs for churches)
Christian Freedom International
 Front Line News Page
A Cry in the Lion's Den 1999
 Overview of Christian Persecution from Focus on the Family
   (Dr. James Dobson)
International Christian Concern (ICC)
The International Day of Prayer (IDOP) for the Persecuted Church
 IDOP Site Map (Next IDOP:  November 12, 2000)
 What You Should Know
  The Situation (with links to photo gallery and different
  Latest News (links to news from Newssource and Compass
  FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
  Theology of Persecution (links to Ravi Zacharias and others)
  Resources to Order (including "Four Faces" video for $15)
  International Day of Prayer Monthly Email Newsletter
 What You Can Do
  Pray (Daily Prayer Calendar)
  Contact Advocacy Groups
  Support in Other Ways
  Write Letters of Encouragement or Protest
Open Doors with Brother Andrew
 Worldwatch News and Highlights
The Voice of the Martyrs (Richard Wurmbrand)
 Global Prayer Map (click on country name and then on
   "Additional Information")
World Evangelical Fellowship
 News Items Concerning the Persecuted Church
 The Persecution of Christians Today
Some Suggested Books:
Hefley, James.  By Their Blood:  Christian Martyrs of the
 Twentieth Century.  Baker Book House, 1994.
Marshall, Paul.  Their Blood Cries Out:  The Growing Worldwide
 Persecution of Christians.  Word Books, 1997.
Schlossberg, Herbert.  Called to Suffer, Called to Triumph:
 True Stories by Persecutions.  Foreword by Brother Andrew.
 Multnomah Press, 1990.  (Unfortunately out of print.)
Schlossberg, Herbert.  A Fragrance of Oppression:  The Church
 and Its Persecutors.  Crossway Books, 1991.
Shea, Nina.  In the Lion's Den:  Persecuted Christians and What
 the Western Church Can Do About It.  Broadman and Holman, 1997.
I am indebted to CATI subscriber Andy Day for suggesting this
item for the current issue.  Before I tell you the exciting
details, let me tell you at the beginning that there are some
"conditions for ordering the free CD" from the E4 Group at
http://www.e4.net/ :
"There is no technical support. Only one CD per family. You
can only order for yourself (friends and secretaries cannot
order for you). You cover the $7.95 shipping (obviously our
family cannot afford to cover the shipping for thousands of
CDs). Agree to tell three other Christians about the free CD
by email, flyer or verbally."
Yes, the "E4 Group" ("E4" stands for "Ephesians Four," with a
special reference to Eph. 4:11-14) is a "family" (Bob and Lisa
Brown) in addition to being a "501(c)3 nonprofit organization."
Bob interrupted his seminary studies for the sake of this
commendable project to get good Christian literature into the
homes of Christians today.
I was unable to find a list of the people who are on the Board
of Directors and Staff of the Ephesians Four Group, but here
are some comments from Christian leaders who have endorsed the
"This free CD will provide a solid foundation in the great
truths of the Christian faith.  I highly recommend it!"
  --Jerry Bridges, author of The Pursuit of Holiness
"This free CD will be enormously helpful to pastors and lay
leaders everywhere.  I commend it with great enthusiasm!"
  --J.I. Packer, author of Knowing God
"These books have shaped the thinking and preaching of
ministers and millions of lay-people."
  --D. James Kennedy, pastor and author of Evangelism
"A true classic not only stands the test of time, but also
serves two vital purposes.  It instructs and it inspires. A
classic points us outward to our evocative God and we respond
in awe and worship.  This free CD puts such classics at your
fingertips and then into your heart."
  --R.C. Sproul, author of The Holiness of God
"A great wealth of resources...in an easy-to-use format.  I
eagerly commend it to all students of Scripture."
  --John MacArthur, pastor and speaker on Grace to You radio
Here's a list of the twenty free books included on the CD, many
of which are published by Banner of Truth:
The King James Version Bible
  (NIV, NASB, NKJV, Greek, Hebrew, and Latin texts are also on
  the CD, but they are not free; they can be unlocked by Logos
  Research Systems for an appropriate fee if desired)
The Westminster Confession of Faith and Catechisms
a Brakel, Wilhelmus. The Christian's Reasonable Service (vols.
  1 and 2)
Baxter, Richard. The Reformed Pastor
Dabney, R.L. Systematic Theology
Edwards, Jonathan. Jonathan Edwards on Revival
Guthrie, William. Your Salvation
Haldane, Robert. Commentary on Romans
Hodge, A.A. The (Westminster) Confession of Faith 
Hodge, A.A. Outlines of Theology
Hodge, Charles. Commentary on Ephesians
Hodge. Charles. Sermon Outlines
M'Cheyne, R.M. Memoirs and Remains of R.M. M'Cheyne
Owen, John. The Glory of the Trinity
Ryle. J.C. Holiness
Smeaton, George. Paul's Doctrine of the Atonement
Spurgeon, C.H. All of Grace
Spurgeon, C.H. A Collection of Sermons
Vincent, Thomas. A Family Instructional Guide
Witherow, Thomas. The Apostolic Church, Which Is It?
The Ephesians Four Group believes that "...these are some of
the most Christ-centered, solid Bible study tools available
from the last 400 years."  They further state, "We wanted to
make this free Library the highest quality possible, so we took
the greatest care in choosing which books to publish. Each book
is a proven masterpiece, hand-selected for its impact in the
hearts and lives of Christians in the past."
The books are essentially Christian classics in the Reformed or
Presbyterian tradition.  (Yes, J.C. Ryle was an "Evangelical
Bishop" in the Church of England, but his theology was really
basically Reformed in perspective, and the same could be said
of a Baptist author like C.H. Spurgeon or a Congregationalist
author like John Owen.)
The CD also includes "a 10,000-subject topic index that allows
you to access the 20 Christ-centered free books as if they were
one large topical encyclopedia, giving you instant quotes and
teaching by subject or verse using the Logos 2.1 Bible software
What is this Logos Bible software system?  It "is an electronic
standard by which print publishers share a common display,
search and retrieval engine for electronic editions of their
books or periodicals....  Searching for a topic, word, or
phrase may extend the search to a single book, a group of books
or even the entire electronic library at the same time."  The
Logos software is included free on the CD for those who do not
already have it.
Here's the home page for the Ephesians Four Group Web site:
The easiest way to go through the site is to start on that page
and then click on "Next" after you read each page.  You'll also
find additional information about the Logos software on the
following pages:
  Endorsements of the Bible Software included with E4's Free CD
  More Details about Logos Bible Software
Finally, "Additional Libraries from E4" are described on this
page, for those who decide they want to go beyond the library
of Christian classics on the basic CD:
Note, however, that these additional libraries (although they
are worthwhile) are NOT free:  they are instead available for
"purchase" for an appropriate "donation" ($39 each, except for
vol. 1 of the Edwards Library).  (I'm not sure how "purchase"
and "donation" fit together -- to me they seem to be somewhat
contradictory in meaning -- but the Ephesians Four Group is
not the only non-profit organization I've seen to require a
gift of a suggested amount!)
My advice is to try out the free CD, and perhaps to add a
genuine donation of $5 or $10 to the $7.95 shipping charge
to encourage Bob and Lisa Brown in their worthwhile project.
For the free CD, the donation is explicitly "optional," so
I included a $10 donation when I ordered my CD.  (For some
reason I'm happier about donating when I'm told that it is
really "optional" <grin>.)  You're free to donate more or
donate less than I did:  the decision is yours, and you are
in fact not required to donate anything for the basic CD
(although you are expected to pay shipping costs).
When I checked the Web site for The Banner of Truth, I found
that they had a suggested retail price of $35.99 for R.M.
M'Cheyne's Memoirs and Remains (essentially letters and
sermons plus Bonar's life of M'Cheyne), and that is just one
of the twenty free books included on the free CD from the
Ephesians Four Group.  So here is indeed a rare opportunity to
add great titles (Christian classics) to your library by such
authors as Richard Baxter, A.A. and Charles Hodge, John Owen,
J.C. Ryle, and Charles Spurgeon.  Enjoy!
In the previous issue of CATI, I mentioned the article "Keeping
Kids Safe Online" by Sharon Nash, an article which appeared in
the August 1999 issue of PC Magazine:
That article mentions not only the site GetNetWise (which I
looked at in last week's CATI), but also the site Surf Monkey:
We'll take a look at Surf Monkey this week.
Here's what Nash had to say:
"If you...want to find a safe jumping off point for your kids
to use the Internet, consider SurfMonkey.com. A kids' portal
that offers a free filtering product, Surf Monkey promises to
block inappropriate content for kids as well as inappropriate
communication with strangers online."
Here's how Surf Monkey describes itself:
"The first-of-its kind, a FREE navigational tool that guides
and protects kids during their Internet journeys. This
protective cyber shield, which resides unobtrusively at the
bottom of a browser, incorporates comprehensive safety features
for ensured safe cyber travel. In addition, the animated Surf
Monkey character is provided as the kids' guide and companion
as they freely surf the Internet. The Bar can be turned on or
off to allow maximum flexibility for parents."
Note:  Unlike Cyber Patrol (mentioned in CATI 1/6), SurfMonkey
is FREE.  Some parents may prefer the increased flexibility and
control of Cyber Patrol, but other parents may find SurfMonkey
adequate for their purposes (and -- if it meets your needs --
you certainly can't complain about the price!)  
Surf Monkey continues its description as follows:
"For optimum safety, the Bar uses SurfMonkey.com's proprietary
in-page filtering for on-the-fly blocking of inappropriate
language, both words and phrases, on Web sites, in email and
during chat sessions. It also blocks communication with
strangers and steers kids away from inappropriate Web pages.
In addition, SurfWatch technology is integrated into the Bar
to block more than hundreds of thousands of inappropriate Web
sites and 5,000 news groups. Because the blocking and filtering
technology utilized in the Bar is server based, updates to the
approved and blocked lists are made automatically each time a
child queries a Web site -- without requiring any intervention
from parents or teachers."
In addition to protecting children from inappropriate sites,
Surf Monkey directs them to sites considered appropriate:
"The Surf Monkey Bar guides kids to safe, fun and educational
Web sites. For a complete online solution, kids can use the Bar
to instantly link to the Surf Monkey Kids Channel for access to
the best education, entertainment, community, and shopping
content. While visiting the Kids Channel, children can take
advantage of its features, such as private chat rooms, private
message boards, and email - all from their parent-approved
CyberFriends list - with the filtering and blocking technology
from the Bar enforced."
A couple of comments here....  First, what is "kid-safe" may
or may not be defined by SurfMonkey in the same way it may be
defined by a Christian parent (see "Family-Safe Internet" item
in CATI 1/7 for a discussion of this).  Second, note that
SurfMonkey Kids Channel provides "access to the best...shopping
content."  I may be wrong, but my guess is that one way that
Surf Monkey can afford to provide this "free" software is that
it includes ads that bring in money for the site.  (I could be
wrong about that, so I present it only as a guess.)
There is a serious limitation, however, related to Surf Monkey.
It requires that you use Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0.1 or
higher and that you use Windows 95b or Windows 98.  That is,
Surf Monkey at the present time does NOT work with other Web
browsers (such as Netscape) and does NOT work with Windows
95a or Windows NT or with Macintosh computers.
If you're running Windows 95 and you are not sure whether it is
"95a" or "95b," Surf Monkey suggests that you check here "to
find out which version of Windows 95 you are using":
Unfortunately, that page (like many others at Microsoft's site)
isn't very helpful.  Yes, it can help you find your "version"
number of Windows 95, but "95a" and "95b" are not mentioned on
the entire page <sigh>.  
The software comes in three editions:  Surf Monkey Bar only
(380 Kb), Surf Monkey Bar and Character (1.8 Mb), and Surf
Monkey browser (a whopping 13 Mb!):
The software requires that you have a Pentium (100 or 133 MHz)
system or better, so that is another limitation to consider.
Even if you don't use the software, however, you may find the
Surf Monkey Kids Channel "portal" (that is, doorway) to other
sites to be useful.  Here's where to find some "Cool Sites":
These are all sites which Surf Monkey considers to be safe
for kids, and indeed some great sites for kids are included
here (check it out!).  A word of caution, however:  parents
must ultimately decide for themselves on the appropriateness
of a particular site, especially if it involves coverage of
certain controversial topics (such as creation vs. evolution
or some contemporary social issues such as abortion or the
gay/lesbian lifestyle).
Example:  If you choose "Brainy," "Religion," and then
"Christianity," you'll be given a list of sites including
Mormon (LDS) and Jehovah's Witness sites!  Evangelical
Protestants would deny that such represent Christianity.  
Having given that warning, let me say that such problem sites
are in the minority and parents should still find many of Surf
Monkey's "cool sites" to be excellent places for kids to visit
while online.
Surf Monkey Kids Channel is one of the more important sites
for kids on the Web.  This site, in fact, was chosen by the
February 4, 2000 issue of PC Magazine to be one of "the Top
100 Web sites."  Here's where you can find the entire list:
"The Top 100 Web Sites," PC Magazine, February 4, 2000
And here's where you'll find PC Magazine's one-paragraph
descriptions of their top five Web sites in the area of
"Family / Education":
Family / Education
(Note that Ask Jeeves for Kids is another family site that is
recommended by PC Magazine.  See my comments about Ask Jeeves
for Kids at the end of my "Family-Safe Internet" item in CATI
Bottom Line:  The Surf Monkey Kids Channel Web site can be a
very useful resource for parents if used with an appropriate
measure of common sense and discretion.  In addition, if you
are running Windows 98 (or a later version of Windows 95) you
may want to give the free Surf Monkey software a try.  (If it
doesn't meet your needs, there are many other options open to
parents, and we hope to continue to provide information on
them in future issues of CATI.)
Last week's issue of CATI included a list of "Some Christian
Web Sites" in which you may be interested.  The Web is always
changing, so there have been a few changes in that list.
These two addresses at the Mount Zion site did not seem to be
working for a couple of days, but I'm happy to report that
whatever problems existed have apparently been fixed:
C.H. Spurgeon:  An Audio Archive
Pilgrim's Page:  A John Bunyan Archive
The address for the C.S. Lewis and the Inklings site was not
working, but I was able to contact Dr. Bruce Edwards (who is
now in Africa on a Fulbright scholarship) and he gave me a new
working address:
C.S. Lewis and the Inklings
Here is another excellent C.S. Lewis site:
C.S. Lewis:  20th Century Christian Knight
And here are a few more Christian Web sites that may be of
possible interest:
E4 Group (discussed elsewhere in this issue)
Richard Baxter Homepage
The Shelter:  A Francis A. Schaeffer Site
Finally, there is a better address (sometimes called "URL" for
"Universal Resource Locator," which is just a fancier way of
saying "Web address") for this site:
A Guide to Christian Literature on the Internet (Pointing the
Pointing the Way: A Guide to Christian Literature on the
The address I gave in the previous issue works, but it takes
you to a particular section of the Web page.  THE URL was the
same, except that it added "#books" to the end.  If you see
a "#" symbol near the end of a Web address, it is what is
called a "bookmark" to a particular section on the Web page.
Without the bookmark, you are taken to the top of the page,
which is what I really had intended for this site.
This is the eighth issue of a free newsletter devoted to
"Christians And The Internet" ("CATI," pronounced "Katy," 
but spelled with a "C" and an "I" for "Christians" and the 
"Internet").  If you are not yet a subscriber and would like 
to become one, send an appropriate note to cati@traver.org.
Privacy policy:  The information in the "Christians And The 
Internet" mailing list will NOT be sold, rented, or given to
others.  (Let them make their own lists! <grin>)
Past issues:  you'll find archives of past issues of CATI
available online at http://traver.org/cati/ .  ("It's not a
pretty site," but hopefully it may be a useful one.)
Unless otherwise indicated, all material in this newsletter is
Copyright (C) 2000 by Barry Traver, All Rights Reserved.  For
permission to reproduce material from this newsletter, contact
Barry Traver at cati@traver.org.  Permission is hereby granted,
however, to pass along this issue to others, provided that (1)
no changes are made and (2) it is passed along in its entirety.

To subscribe, write to cati@traver.org, including "Subscribe to
CATI" in the Subject line and including in the body your real
name and the email address to which you wish CATI sent.  (To be
removed from the emailing list, also write to cati@traver.org,
but include "Remove from CATI List" in the Subject line.)