"Christians and the Internet" newsletter
CATI, Vol. 1, No. 45:  November 10, 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.


Here's a Christian Web site that is more interesting than your
typical Christian Web site:


The home page introduction may or may not sound that unusual:

"Blessings and welcome to FARESE.COM. This site is designed to
provide you with hope and encouragement through various links
and personal testimonies of individuals who have overcome the
difficult trials of life through faith in Jesus Christ the
Lord. My name is John Farese and I will tell you more about
myself throughout these pages."

Here, however, is some background on John Farese:

"John Farese is 44 years old and one of the oldest persons to
reach that age after being diagnosed from birth with Spinal
Muscular Atrophy. He is bedridden and uses speech recognition
software to operate his computer system, which enables him to
do everything from reading the Bible to creating Web pages for
his customers on the Internet.

"John lives with his brother Paul and sister-in-law, Janis,
along with their four children. John's family has provided
him with the love and support he needs to be able to live a
productive life. He enjoys watching sporting events, reading,
using his computer, and being with family and close friends.

"John writes, 'By the grace of God, I have an intimate
relationship  with my Heavenly Father, and Lord and Savior
Jesus Christ.' John is a charter member of Emmanuel Baptist
Church in beautiful Boca Raton, Florida."


John Farese "has been disabled since birth, is paralyzed in
both arms and legs, and has been unable to sit up for over
five years."  He was born with spinal muscular atrophy and
"the doctors told [his] parents that [he] would not live
beyond [his] eighth birthday," but now -- in spite of his
physical afflictions -- John Farese is alive forty-four
years later and testifying to the grace and goodness of God.
If you want to read the story of how John came to faith in
Jesus Christ, you can find his fascinating testimony here:


Johnny Farese's Web site is indeed a real source of hope and
hope and encouragement, especially for those people who may
be undergoing difficult trials, but for others as well.

Here's are some of the things you'll find on John's site:

Bible Quiz
("Can you find the names of 25 books of the Bible in this

Christian Links

Johnny's Amazing Card Trick
(easier to read at lower screen resolution)

Psalms, Hymns & Spiritual Songs (music links)

Protect Yourself
("...and your family from unwanted adult materials on the
Internet" -- links to some parental control software and
family-friendly Internet Service Providers)

Reformed Baptist Church Directory
"the most comprehensive list of Reformed Baptist Churches on
the Internet."

Reformed Links

Resources for the Disabled (links)

Web Devotions
"A comprehensive page that will link you to several of the top
online devotional web sites found on the Internet."

Incidentally, throughout the site you will see references to
"RB."  That's not an arcane reference to some fast-food "Roast
Beef" (I'll bet you didn't know that's how the chain Arby's
got its name ... if it did), but to "Reformed Baptist."  Thus
the site has many links to Web sites that may be of special
interest to Reformed Baptists (but of possible interest to
other Christians also), such as the following sites:

C.H. Spurgeon (An Audio Archive)
"Sermons in Real Audio."

Confessional Reformed Baptist Church Web Sites
"A list of RB Churches Web sites."

Online Sermons from Trinity Pulpit (Al Martin)
"Now you can listen to some selected sermons by Pastor A.N.
Martin of Trinity Baptist Churchill in Montville, New Jersey
using Real Audio."

The Quiet Place
"Mr. Bill Newcomer's Reformed Baptist Web Site."

Reformed Sermons
"Reformed Sermons is an index and collection of Christian
sermons and outlines, articles, meditations, and lectures,
from contemporary Reformed pastors, many of whom are

Spurgeon Archives
"The most comprehensive web site featuring the Prince of

And here are some general Christian sites suggested by John

"Comprehensive Christian web Resources."

Exodus International
"Exodus International is a Christian referral and resource
network founded in 1976 [whose] primary purpose is to proclaim
that freedom from homosexuality is possible through repentance
and faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord."

Gateway to Joy
"A practical, biblical radio program for women and men with
popular author and speaking Elisabeth Elliott."

Involved Christian Radio (OnePlace.com)
"With the Involved Christian Radio Network you get live
Christian radio broadcasts whenever you want. It's convenient
and it's FREE!"
OnePlace.com Home Page
Live Radio by Name
Ministry Listing by Program Title

Pilgrim's Progress Audio
"Listen to John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress online."  The Web
address for this site is outrageously long, so the easiest way
to get there is to go to John's site and click on "Pilgrim's
Progress Audio":

Voice of the Martyrs
"Christians are being persecuted every day in other countries.
Learn more about how you can help our brothers and sisters who
are making a stand for Jesus Christ and the gospel."

Johnny Farese's site is not a large one, but I think you'll
find that it is an unusual one with an unusual Webmaster and
that the site is unusually good.



In previous issues of CATI I told you how to get a free NIV
(New International Version) Bible (including free Zondervan
Reference Software) on CD-ROM, with no shipping and handling



Now that I've told you how to get the NIV (and useful related
software) for free, I can tell you where on the Internet you
can get (almost) for free the NIV Study Bible on CD-ROM (or
at least all of the NIV Study Bible book introductions and
verse commentary plus other useful Bible study tools).

If I were stranded on a desert island and were allowed to have
only one book with me, I think I'd like that book to be the
NIV Study Bible (unless perhaps it were the New Geneva Study
Bible, but we may talk more about the original Geneva Bible
and the New Geneva Study Bible in a future issue of CATI).

My "stranded on a desert island" comment may sound corny, but
it is true (other than perhaps the unlikelihood of finding
corn on a desert island):  The NIV Study Bible offers a rather
comprehensive Bible reference library that would be difficult
to find elsewhere in a single volume.

Here are some comments about the NIV Study Bible from Kenneth
L. Barker, the General Editor:

"Like the NIV itself, The NIV Study Bible is the work of a
transdenominational team of Biblical scholars.  All confess
the authority of the Bible as God's infallible word to

"Doctrinally, The NIV Study Bible reflects traditional
evangelical theology.  Where editors were aware of significant
differences of opinion on key passages or doctrines, they
tried to follow an evenhanded approach by indicating those
differences (see note on Rev. 20:2)....

"The result is a study Bible that can be used profitably by
all Christians who want to be serious Bible students."

  --Kenneth L. Barker, "Introduction," The NIV Study Bible.

Especially helpful are the introductions to each book of the
Bible and the verse-by-verse commentary on the whole Bible.
Here are the Biblical scholars who wrote such material:

Ronald B. Allen
Gleason L. Archer, Jr.
Kenneth L. Barker
Donald W. Burdick
John J. Davis
Raymond Dillard
Ralph Earle
Lewis Foster
Richard B. Gaffin, Jr.
R. Laird Harris
Roland K. Harrison
Gerald F. Hawthorne
D. Edmond Hiebert
Mark Hillmer
Philip E. Hughes
Walter C. Kaiser, Jr.
Earl S. Kalland
Derek Kidner
George W. Knight, III
William L. Lane
Arthur Lewis
Jack P. Lewis
Walter L. Liefeld
G. Herbert Livingston
Allan A. MacRae
W. Harold Mare
Thomas E. McComiskey
Alan R. Millard
Leon Morris
Robert Mounce
John H. Skilton
Elmer B. Smick
John H. Stek
J. Robert Vannoy
Larry L. Walker
Wilber B. Wallis
John Werner
Walter W. Wessel
William C. Williams
Marvin R. Wilson
Herbert Wolf
Edwin Yamauchi
Ronald Youngblood
John M. Zinkand

Some of these scholars I was privileged to have as teachers
while I was a student at Westminster Theological Seminary,
including Richard B. Gaffin, Jr., Philip E. Hughes, John H.
Skilton, and John M. Zinkand.  In addition, Raymond Dillard
was one of my classmates at that time.

All of this helpful material (book introductions as well as
the verse-by-verse commentary) is available (almost) for
free on CD-ROM!  (There is no cost for the CD-ROM itself, but
there is a charge of $4.95 for shipping and handling.)  If
that sounds like an "unbeatable deal," that's not surprising,
for that's where you can get this CD-ROM:


Important:  UnbeatableDeals.com has available a number of
different Bibles for "free" (plus $4.95 for shipping and
handling), including at least two based on the King James
Version (one is Compton’s Complete Multimedia Bible based
on the King James Version and narrated by James Earl Jones;
the other is SoftKey's The Bible: A Multimedia Experience),
so make sure you don't order the wrong one by mistake.

If you want the one which includes the NIV Study Bible book
introductions and verse-by-verse commentary, look for the
NIV version of Compton's Interactive Bible.  You will find
no mention, curiously enough, of the NIV Study Bible in the
description (nor does the product itself give a specific
mention to the scholars behind the "expert" notes, although
a very brief mention is made of the NIV Study Bible in the
introductory "Guided Tour"), so very few people know about
the NIV Study Bible material that is contained in Compton's
Interactive Bible, but _you_ know, because you read it in

It's almost as if Compton's wanted to keep this fact from
becoming known, because (as far as I have been able to tell),
the only mention of the indebtedness to the NIV Study Bible
is in a very brief spoken mention to "commentaries and
introductions from the NIV Study" in the "Guided Tour."  If
you check out Menu/About or Help/Credits & Copyrights, you
will find no specific credit given to the NIV Study Bible.

Likewise UnbeatableDeals.com fails to mention the NIV Study
Bible.  Here, in fact, is their complete description of
Compton's Interactive Bible - New International Version:

"Reflect, research, rejoice, immerse yourself in the richness
of the Bible. Experience the wonder of the Bible with
Compton's Interactive Bible - New International Version.
Whether you are studying the Bible or just exploring it, you
can instantly access the resources you need. Easily search
the complete Bible text and Concordance, retrace events on the
biblical Timeline, reflect on inspirational commentary, and
more. No other interactive Bible gives you so much information
and so many ways to explore it. System Requirements: IBM PC
and compatibles, 486DX2/66 MHz or better, hard disk with 70 KB
free space, double speed or higher CD-ROM drive, 256 color
SVGA, DOS 5.0 or higher, Windows® 3.1 or higher including
95/98, Windows compatible sound card, mouse, printer
(optional), modem (optional; required for online features
only). Software Publisher - The Learning Company."

I should mention that there are some things in the NIV Study
Bible that you won't find in Compton's Interactive Bible, and
vice versa.  Compton's, for example, does not include the
excellent cross-references found in the NIV Study Bible (but
Compton's does include a Nave's topical Bible which partially
serves a similar purpose).

Compton's has a number of interesting features, including
"Expert Introductions" and "Expert Commentary" (both from the
NIV Study Bible); "Inspirational Introduction," "Inspirational
Insights," and "Inspirational Insights" (unfortunately, no
information is given concerning their source); Nave's Topical
Bible; a "Dictionary of the Bible" (again, no information is
given concerning the source <sigh>); Bible reading plans; a
concordance; maps; and multimedia.

The multimedia is not impressive.  Yes, Michael Card is among
the narrative readers, but the multimedia may contain some
material that may not have been carefully chosen (in music,
the choice of "Ave Maria" by Bach/Gounod is a strange choice
for a product oriented toward evangelical Protestants; in
art, the pictorial representations of Christ may likewise be
offensive to some evangelical Protestants).  My advice is to
ignore the multimedia material for the most part and make use
of the wealth of resources that are genuinely helpful, such
as the "Expert Introductions" and "Expert Commentary" from
the NIV Study Bible.

I did discover some additional information about Compton's
Interactive Bible - New International Version from Zondervan's
Web site (Zondervan is the major publisher of the NIV):

"Families, students, pastors, and seekers can experience the
Bible interactively through linked topics, definitions,
videos, stories, maps, and more. Users will be equipped to
study the Bible in the New International Version (NIV), using
the most contemporary study tools available. Discover the NIV
using the following: NIV Complete Concordance (expanded), NIV
Study Bible notes and maps, NIV Student Bible notes, NIV
Compact Dictionary, NIV Nave's Topical Bible. See more than
20 minutes of Video. Hear many Bible passages narrated.
Compton's is a subsidiary of SoftKey International, Inc.,
the largest multimedia publisher in the world, known for
its top-selling Compton's Interactive Encyclopedia. The
partnership between Compton's and Zondervan Publishing House
makes Compton's Interactive Bible - New International Version
the premier interactive Bible."

Since Zondervan is a respected evangelical publisher, this
comment reinforces the impression that -- in addition to the
"Expert Introductions" and "Expert Commentary" from the NIV
Study Bible -- the other reference material in Compton's
Interactive Bible - New International Version is evangelical
in orientation as well.

By the way, note that Zondervan lists the price for Compton's
Interactive Bible - New International Version as $49.95!

Although I was unable to confirm this, my guess is that
Compton's "Inspirational Introduction," "Inspirational
Insights," and "Inspirational Insights" are taken from
Zondervan's NIV Student Bible (apparently different from
their NIV Study Bible), Compton's "Nave's Topical Bible"
is taken from Zondervan's NIV Nave's Topical Bible, and
Compton's "Dictionary of the Bible" is really taken from
Zondervan's NIV Compact Dictionary.  If anyone can confirm
or disprove my guesses, please let me know.

If you do decide to order this software, I recommend that
after you install it you delete from your desktop the icon
inviting you to subscribe to America Online.  Likewise you
may want to click on "Online Help" and use "Change Settings"
to designate your favorite Web browser (rather than leaving
AOL as the default setting).

Online help may or may not be available, but if you do need
help with the product, you can take advantage of Zondervan's
invitation on Zondervan's Web site:

"If you have questions about Zondervan Publishing House
computer products or if you are having problems with Zondervan
Publishing House computer products call the Zondervan
Publishing House Technical Support Team at 1-800-925-0316
(Mon - Fri, 8AM to 5PM EST) or Fax - 1-616-698-3454 or e-mail

After you install the software, the best way perhaps to become
familiar with it is to click on "Menu" in the top left corner
and then take the "Guided Tour."  After that, you can click on
"Help" at the bottom left to learn more.  As with other "free"
software from UnbeatableDeals.com, the product comes with no
separate printed documentation, but you should be able to find
all the documentation you need within the software itself.


P.S. You may also want to check out some of the other "free"
(except for the $4.95 shipping and handling charge per title)
software offered by UnbeatableDeals.com.  Here's the sales
pitch for their "free" software:

"Today, we offer hundreds of CD-ROM software titles for free
to over 4,000 affiliate partners and to YOU our valued members
of over 180,000. Our unique and strategic partnerships with
the world's top publishers, The Learning Company, Mattel,
Activision, Broderbund, GT Interactive, Pondview Production
and others allow us to offer award winning CD-ROM software
titles for free through bundling agreements. All of the
software titles come in an environmentally friendly package
and are backed by UnbeatableDeals.com's 30-day complete
satisfaction guarantee. The publishers offer full technical
support and operation manuals are burned directly into the

Here's a Web page where you can find UnbeatableDeals.com's
Bible software (NIV Bible plus two KJV Bibles) as well as
other types of software, including educational (American
Heritage Talking Dictionary, Compton's Encyclopedia 2000,
Reader Rabbit, Math Muncher, etc.):


Check it out!


First, here's where you'll find the Web site for Christian
Home & School magazine:

Christian Home & School

Second, there are two things you ought to know about Christian
Home & School magazine:

(1) The ampersand ("&") is important.  It is not a magazine
primarily dedicated to Christian home schooling (an impression
you might have if you read the title too quickly) but about
Christian schooling, especially intended for parents who have
their children enrolled in a member school of the following

Christian Schools International (Reformed)

(2) It, is, however, a magazine that contains articles that
should be of value to all Christian parents, whether their
children be Christian schooled, home schooled, or, for that
matter, public schooled.

Here's how the magazine describes itself on its home page:

"Christian Home & School is published six times per year by
Christian Schools International in order to promote and
explain the concept of Christian Education while encouraging
Christian parents in their daily walk as disciples of Jesus,
and helping them to improve their parenting skills as a form
of discipleship."

Since all Christian parents should be interested in Christian
education, whether their children are receiving that education
in the classroom or at home, they should be able to benefit
from Christian Home & School magazine.

The magazine will, of course, be of special interest to those
parents whose children attend a school that is a member of
Christian Schools International (CSI).  What is CSI?  Their
Web site provides the answer to that question:

"Christian Schools International is a dynamic and growing
organization of Reformed Christian schools throughout North
America and beyond.  CSI serves 475 schools, with a combined
enrollment of over 100,000 students, and has been doing so
since 1920."

Again, two things you should know about Christian Home &
School are (1) it is a magazine primarily oriented toward
Christian schooling (not home schooling), but (2) its goal
is such that it should be helpful to all Christian parents
who want to want their children to be educated according to
Christian principles.

Third, here's where you'll find some Christian Home & School
feature articles that may be of general interest to Christian

"But Everybody Else Is Doing It!" by Donna R. Crossman (how to
    help children resist peer pressure)

"Gimme Shelter" by Elizabeth Stickney (keeping our children
    safe while preparing them for adulthood)

"The Internet" by Harry C. Blyleven (some thoughts on "Safer
    Surfing" as well as suggestions for "safe and sane sites
    for kids")

"Manners Matter" by Ida Rose Heckard (teaching children
    polite behavior)

"Search and You Will Find" by Harry Blyleven (using search
    engines on the Web)

"Winners & Losers" by Tim Antonides (teaching children a
    Christian view of competition)

In addition to feature articles, Christian Home & School also
includes a number of regular departments, including reviews of
books (both for parents and for kids) and various media (film,
television, and books).

There are two other things I should mention:

(1) The Web site makes available only selected articles and
columns to give you an idea of what Christian Home & School
has to offer.  If you like what you read on the Web, you will
need to subscribe if you want to read the entire magazine:

Christian Home & School:  Subscription Information

(2) My comments may or may not be without bias.  The magazine
is expected to publish an article of mine about the Internet
in the March/April 2001 issue.  Even so, the senior editor,
Roger Schmurr, otherwise ordinarily exercises good editorial
judgment. <grin>



This is the forty-fifth 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

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.

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.