"Christians and the Internet" newsletter CATI, Vol. 1, No. 45: November 10, 2000. _______________________________________________________________ TABLE OF CONTENTS 1. FARESE.COM: AN UNUSUAL CHRISTIAN SITE THAT'S UNUSUALLY GOOD 2. FREE NIV *STUDY* BIBLE ON CD-ROM (WELL, ALMOST....) 3. CHRISTIAN HOME AND SCHOOL MAGAZINE ON THE WEB 4. SUBSCRIPTION INFORMATION FOR THIS NEWSLETTER _______________________________________________________________ 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 email@example.com. 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 firstname.lastname@example.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. _______________________________________________________________ 1. FARESE.COM: AN UNUSUAL CHRISTIAN SITE THAT'S UNUSUALLY GOOD Here's a Christian Web site that is more interesting than your typical Christian Web site: Farese.com http://farese.com/ 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." http://www.farese.com/about1.htm 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: http://www.farese.com/room/testmny.htm 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 paragraph?") http://www.farese.com/quiz.htm Christian Links http://www.farese.com/chr1.htm Johnny's Amazing Card Trick (easier to read at lower screen resolution) http://www.farese.com/trick/trick.htm Psalms, Hymns & Spiritual Songs (music links) http://www.farese.com/music/ Protect Yourself ("...and your family from unwanted adult materials on the Internet" -- links to some parental control software and family-friendly Internet Service Providers) http://www.farese.com/protect.htm Reformed Baptist Church Directory "the most comprehensive list of Reformed Baptist Churches on the Internet." http://www.farese.com/rbcd/usa.htm Reformed Links http://www.farese.com/rb1.htm Resources for the Disabled (links) http://www.farese.com/rftd1.htm Web Devotions "A comprehensive page that will link you to several of the top online devotional web sites found on the Internet." http://www.farese.com/webdev.htm 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." http://www.mountzion.org/spurgeon.html Confessional Reformed Baptist Church Web Sites "A list of RB Churches Web sites." http://www.iserv.net/~mrbill/cbc-1689.html 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." http://www.tbcnj.org/sermons/sermons1.html The Quiet Place "Mr. Bill Newcomer's Reformed Baptist Web Site." http://www.iserv.net/~mrbill/Quiet.html 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 Baptists." http://www.sermon.org Spurgeon Archives "The most comprehensive web site featuring the Prince of Preachers." http://www.spurgeon.org/ And here are some general Christian sites suggested by John Farese: Crosswalk "Comprehensive Christian web Resources." http://www.crosswalk.com/ 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." http://www.exodusintl.org/ Gateway to Joy "A practical, biblical radio program for women and men with popular author and speaking Elisabeth Elliott." http://www.backtothebible.org/gateway/core.html 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 http://www2.oneplace.com/ Live Radio by Name http://www2.oneplace.com/Live_Radio/ Ministry Listing by Program Title http://www2.oneplace.com/Ministries/ 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": http://www.farese.com/chr1.htm 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." http://www.persecution.com/ 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. Enjoy! _______________________________________________________________ 2. FREE NIV *STUDY* BIBLE ON CD-ROM (WELL, ALMOST....) 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 charges: FREE NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ON CD-ROM FROM ZONDERVAN! http://traver.org/cati/archives/cati39.htm#3 FREE NIV BIBLE--PLUS FREE SOFTWARE!--ON CD-ROM: AN UPDATE http://traver.org/cati/archives/cati44.htm#1 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 humanity.... "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: UnbeatableDeals.com http://unbeatabledeals.com/ 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 CATI! 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." http://www.unbeatabledeals.com/ubd/html/generic_descriptions/comp_bible.html 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." http://www.zondervan.com/comptons.htm 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 email@example.com." http://www.zondervan.com/ztech.htm 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. Enjoy! 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 disks." http://unbeatabledeals.com/ubd/html/company_information.asp 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.): http://www.unbeatabledeals.com/ubd/html/gcn/gcn.asp?affiliate_code=gcn Check it out! _______________________________________________________________ 3. CHRISTIAN HOME AND SCHOOL MAGAZINE ON THE WEB First, here's where you'll find the Web site for Christian Home & School magazine: Christian Home & School http://www.csionline.org/chs/ 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 organization: Christian Schools International (Reformed) http://www.csionline.org/ (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." http://www.csionline.org/chs/ 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." http://www.csionline.org/ 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 parents: "But Everybody Else Is Doing It!" by Donna R. Crossman (how to help children resist peer pressure) http://www.gospelcom.net/csi/chs/1999-12/feature.shtml "Gimme Shelter" by Elizabeth Stickney (keeping our children safe while preparing them for adulthood) http://www.gospelcom.net/csi/chs/2000-01/feature.shtml "The Internet" by Harry C. Blyleven (some thoughts on "Safer Surfing" as well as suggestions for "safe and sane sites for kids") http://www.gospelcom.net/csi/chs/1999-10/internet.shtml "Manners Matter" by Ida Rose Heckard (teaching children polite behavior) http://www.gospelcom.net/csi/chs/2000-10/feature.shtml "Search and You Will Find" by Harry Blyleven (using search engines on the Web) http://www.gospelcom.net/csi/chs/2000-05/internet.shtml "Winners & Losers" by Tim Antonides (teaching children a Christian view of competition) http://www.gospelcom.net/csi/chs/2000-03/feature.shtml 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 http://www.gospelcom.net/csi/chs/subscription_form.html (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> _______________________________________________________________ 4. SUBSCRIPTION INFORMATION FOR THIS NEWSLETTER 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 "Internet"). To subscribe, write to firstname.lastname@example.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 email@example.com. 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.