Leben is fastest-growing publication of its kind
Leben Christian Magazine
Were the Founding Fathers Christians? Certainly not, according to the revisionists who have been rewriting America’s history schoolbooks. But neither were they all committed believers. The truth is that there was a battle raging for the hearts and minds of the new-born Republic in 1776 that continues to our present day.
That story, and many like it, are told powerfully and eloquently in the pages of a quarterly magazine of Christian history and biography called Leben. Each issue is a virtual collector’s item, lavishly illustrated, intelligently written and bringing to its readers stories of courage and faithfulness you simply won’t find anywhere else.
For a limited time, you can sample a six-month subscription to Leben absolutely free.
Leben Editor Wayne Johnson says the uplifting and inspiring stories in each issue of the magazine are out there – but just a little hard to find.
“The stories already exist,” he told WND. “This is our actual history. It’s just a matter of poring through centuries-old books and records and piecing the narratives together.”
He says many of the stories found in Leben once were common knowledge in America. But decades of secularization have erased them from the country’s collective memory banks.
“Some of them have been systematically buried for generations,” he said. “In other cases, we simply have better tools today to uncover and piece together facts using modern technology and the Internet. For example, we routinely correspond with small museums and libraries in Europe, and around the world for that matter, who share our passion for uncovering these unique and often quite amazing facts, stories, old woodcuts, paintings, etc. all of which we tie together to bring our readers a ‘you are there’ experience.”
Leben is what Johnson calls a “labor of love” of the students, faculty and friends of City Seminary in Sacramento, California.
“The seminary founded Leben five years ago as a way of teaching future pastors the importance of knowing the sacrifices and faithfulness of those who have gone before us,” explained Johnson. “Although the seminary is a very conservative evangelical school, the magazine has been widely embraced by readers coming from a broad range of denominational backgrounds. The church today is divided along so many fissure lines, but we can all celebrate the labors and sacrifices of the missionaries, patriots and martyrs who have gone before us. I think that’s why Leben seems to cross so many denominational barriers.”
And what about the name?
“Leben is a German word meaning ‘life,’ and was chosen not only because it is about the lives of those who have gone before us, but as a testimony to our new life in Christ,” Johnson said. “The seminary has its roots in the old Protestant churches of Switzerland and Germany, as well as the Pennsylvania Dutch settlers, and that probably gives us a slight bias in our story selection, but our goal is to produce a magazine that the believing church can embrace.”
Order your free six-month subscription to Leben now.
Get the book that charts history from that date through 70 AD
How old is the world?
Most people would say: “Nobody knows.”
But the author of the book frequently described as the greatest history book ever written,said the world was created Oct. 23, 4004 B.C. – making it exactly 6,011 last Monday.
In the 1650s, an Anglican bishop named James Ussher published his “Annals of the World,” subtitled, “The Origin of Time, and Continued to the Beginning of the Emperor Vespasian’s Reign and the Total Destruction and Abolition of the Temple and Commonwealth of the Jews.” First published in Latin, it consisted of more than 1,600 pages.
The book, now published in English for the first time, is a favorite of homeschoolers and those who take ancient history seriously. It’s the history of the world from the Garden of Eden to the fall of Jerusalem in AD 70.
Of course, there will be those who disagree with Ussher’s calculations of time – especially evolutionists who need billions of years to explain their theory of how life sprang from non-life and mutated from one-celled animals into human beings.
Ussher’s arrival at the date of Oct. 23 was determined based on the fact that most peoples of antiquity, especially the Jews, started their calendar at harvest time. Ussher concluded there must be good reason for this, so he chose the first Sunday following autumnal equinox.
Although the autumnal equinox is Sept. 21 today, that is only because of historical calendar-juggling to make the years come out right.
If you think this is a startling fact – an actual date for Creation – you haven’t seen anything until you’ve pored through the rest of Ussher’s “Annals of the World.” It’s a classic history book for those who believe in the Bible – and a compelling challenge for those who don’t.
The new edition of “Annals” is one of the most significant publishing events of the 21st century.
In this masterful and legendary volume, commissioned by Master Books to be updated from the 17th-century original Latin manuscript to modern English and made available to the general public, is the fascinating history of the ancient world from the Genesis creation through the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple.
- Why was Julius Caesar kidnapped in 75 B.C.?
- Why did Alexander the Great burn his ships in 326 B.C.?
- What really happened when the sun “went backward” as a sign to Hezekiah?
- What does secular history say about the darkness at the Crucifixion?
Ussher traveled throughout Europe, gathering much information from the actual historical documents. Many of these documents are no longer available, having been destroyed since the time of his research.
Integrating biblical history (around 15 percent of the text is from the Bible) with secular sources, Ussher wrote this masterpiece. Considered not only a literary classic, but also an accurate reference, “The Annals of the World” was so highly regarded for its preciseness that the timeline from it was included in the margins of many King James Version Bibles throughout the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries.
“The Annals of the World” is a necessary addition to any church library, pastor’s library, or any library – public or personal. The entire text has been updated from 17th-century English to present-day vernacular in a five-year project commissioned by Master Books. Containing many human-interest stories from the original historical documents collected by Ussher, this is more than just a history book – it’s a work of history.
- Important literary work that has been inaccessible in book form for over 300 years
- Includes CD of Ussher’s Chronology of the World – full of colored charts, graphs, timelines, and much, much more
- Translated into modern English for the first time
- Traces world history from creation through A.D. 70
- Over 10,000 footnotes from the original text have been updated to references from works in the Loeb Classical Library by Harvard Press
- Over 2,500 citations from the Bible and the Apocrypha
- Ussher’s original citations have been checked against the latest textual scholarship
- One of history’s most famous and well-respected historians
- Spent over five years researching and writing this book
- Entered college at age 13
- Received his master’s degree at age 18
- Was an expert in Semitic languages
- Buried in Westminster Abbey
About the book:
- Made of the highest quality material: Smyth sewn, gold-gilded edges, foil embossing on front, back, and spine
- Cover presented in the style of classic literary works
- Packaged in a beautiful box for display purposes and durability
- 8 appendixes
- Fully indexed
- Paragraphs numbered
This is one of the most important literary, historical and Christian works you’ll ever own, a treasure for any home library. It’s a must for your homeschool library.
For generations, this classic work was considered part of the essential reading for educated people. Now you can read it – in English.
As a very special added bonus, when you purchase “The Annals of the World” from WorldNetDaily’s online store, you can also receive – FREE – three issues of our acclaimed monthly Whistleblower magazine, which many have called the best news magazine in the world. That’s a $22.50 free value! (Offer good in the U.S. only.) Watch for the free offer during checkout. Order your copy of James Ussher’s extraordinary “The Annals of the World” from WorldNetDaily’s online store. If you prefer to order by phone, call WND’s customer service line toll-free at 1-800-4WND-COM (1-800-496-3266).
Film based on mom’s true story reaches new audiences, including Congress
By Drew Zahn
A movie based on the true story reported by WND of a woman trapped in the bathroom of an abortion clinic watching helplessly as her baby died after being born alive is being released to an increasing number of audiences, including the U.S. Congress.
The film, as WND reported, is called “22weeks,” made by a young, Puerto Rican filmmaker, Ángel Manuel Soto Vázquez. It has been shown to private audiences, screened in Puerto Rico, viewed on Capitol Hill and is now scheduled for two more public screenings this week, in Virginia Beach, Va., and San Diego, Calif.
Soto Vázquez told WND that one of the most important audiences – the actual mother depicted in the film – has already seen it and approves.
“Baby Rowan’s mom saw it and felt like it was accurate, professional, and sensitive to her, her children and women around the world who have suffered and lived through this,” said Soto Vázquez. “That was my biggest joy, knowing that I did justice to her and to the story.”
Pro-life activist and WND columnist Jill Stanek agreed that the short, 25-minute film was well acted and professionally produced. She was also stunned.
“I know the mom,” Stanek told WND. “When I saw the movie, I always had empathy for her, but when I saw the mom holding her little baby in the bathroom dying, I had a new sense of understanding. I felt her despair. I was traumatized for her. It’s definitely effective.”
Soto Vázquez told WND U.S. Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., also saw the film, “loved it,” and is now hoping to organize a full congressional screening on January 22, the anniversary of the Supreme Court‘s Roe v. Wade decision, which allows abortions through all nine months of pregnancy.
A young woman is locked in the bathroom of an abortion clinic after her aborted baby was born alive.
A film about decisions, their effects and the echos [sic] they leave behind. Based on the shocking WorldNetDaily article by Ron Strom, on victim’s testimonies, and real 911 calls about one of the most controversial subjects of our time, “22weeks” achieves to confront both sides of the spectrum and their perspective to the on going [sic] question: “what would you do?”
The film’s MySpace page adds, “This is the shocking true story about the reality behind abortion and the heroic struggle of a mother willing to do anything to save her child.”
The mother in the true story, identified only as Angele, since she has asked her last name not be used, was scheduled to have her 22-week pregnancy ended at the EPOC Clinic of Orlando Women’s Center in Orlando, Fla. Instead, Angele told WND, she delivered the baby alive in a restroom at the clinic and said her cries for help went unheeded by the medical staff, even when an employee saw that the tiny boy was moving.
Angele said she ran to a phone outside the clinic to call a friend for help, then curled up with her son for the full 11 minutes of his short life after birth. She bathed the baby, whom she named Rowan, and cut his umbilical cord. After medical staff demanded she surrender her son’s body, she blocked the door to keep them away and stayed trapped in the bathroom, praying and weeping, until the police arrived, she said.
Soto Vázquez told WND the film isn’t a pro-choice or pro-life agenda film, but rather the telling of a true story that allows audiences to reach their own conclusions.
“Even though the movie doesn’t take any side, the way I show it, I show both sides of the spectrum on the issue of abortion,” Soto Vázquez said. “I just let the spectator decide which side he’s going to take from the story, because it’s based on a true story.”
He said it’s a movie “about a woman who decides to get an abortion, and she gets an abortion. But it’s also the story of a woman who, after she gets the abortion, realizes what she has done when she has that mother-son connection.”
Jill Stanek warned WND that the movie is so powerful that some people may not believe it could possibly be based on a true story.
“Some people just aren’t going to believe it,” she said, “but this actually did happen, and this is not the only mother that I’m aware of who had a similar experience of aborting her baby and then when the baby was born alive having an instant change of heart, wanting everything done for her baby, and her baby dying. This is not something that doesn’t happen. It’s not isolated.”
Now Stanek hopes the film will educate the public about late-term abortions.
“There’s a segment of the population that I hope comes to grips with what they’ve just tolerated all this time. They don’t realize how far it has come,” Stanek told WND. “I’ve actually held a baby that was shelved to die because he was aborted – now we’re talking about infanticide.”
“22weeks” can be viewed by the public at a 7 p.m. and a 9 p.m. showing at Regent University in Virginia Beach, Va., on October 28. It will be shown at 3 p.m. at Ken Cinema in San Diego, Calif., on October 31. Future screenings, Soto Vázquez said, are planned in Kansas City, Dallas, and Los Angeles.
The film’s website, www.22weeksthemovie.com, has also added a feature where people can enter a request that the movie come to their zip code.
Sex-saturated Bacchanalia boiling up from underworld
Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed (Luke 17:28-30).
Whether it is the recent sexpidemic of teachers seducing students, the growing pansexual hedonism of Burning Man-like festivals worldwide, the flood of overtly sexual content on television and the big screen, the casual intimate ‘hook-ups’ of modern college kids, or the deviant sex acts celebrated by people parading fully nude on public streets in broad daylight, something has been lost between the innocent days of the Great Generation’s public standards and the rapid erosion of contemporary decency.
Now, a researcher and author whose new book has skyrocketed up best-seller’s lists warns that the growing trend of hedonism may be supernaturally motivated.
In “Nephilim Stargates: The Year 2012 and the Return of the Watchers,” Thomas Horn ties moral abandonment to an ancient spirit, known in antiquity as the Greek god Dionysus (Roman Bacchus) who represented the personification of unrestrained sexuality.
“Followers of Dionysus imagined him as the presence that is otherwise defined within man as the craving that longs to ‘let itself go’ and to ‘give itself over’ to outlaw desires,” says Horn. “What puritans might resist as the lustful wants of the carnal man or the temptations of the Devil, the followers of Dionysus embraced as the incarnate power that would, in the afterlife, liberate man’s soul from the constraints of the present world and from customs which sought to define respectability through obedience to moral law.”
According to Horn, worshippers of Dionysus attempted to bring themselves into union with the god through ritual casting off of the bonds of sexual denial and primal constraint by seeking to attain a “higher state of ecstasy.”
The uninhibited rituals of ecstasy (Greek for “outside the body”) employed lascivious behavior, ecstatic communal dancing to the drums and flute, flicking of the head backward (as found in most trance inducing cults), and overt consumption of wine to bring the followers of Dionysus into a supernatural condition which enabled them to escape the temporary limitations of the body and mind and to achieve an orgiastic state of “enthousiasmos”, or “outside the body and inside the god.”
In this sense, Dionysus represented a dichotomy in the Greek religion, as the primary maxim of the Greek culture was one of moderation; “nothing too extreme.” Yet Dionysus embodied the absolute extreme in that he sought to inflame the forbidden passions of human desire.
“As students of psychology will understand,” Horn continues, “the willful abandonment of social restraints, which defined Dionysus-worship, actually gave the god of wine and revelry a stronger allure, not weaker, among many ancients who otherwise tried in so many ways to suppress and control the secret lusts of the human heart. Dionysus was a craving that demanded one partake of ‘the forbidden fruit’ and who threatened madness upon those who denied him free expression. Conversely, persons giving themselves over to the will of Dionysus were promised the lie of unlimited psychological and physical delights.”
In Nephilim Stargates, Horn records how the Dionystic idea of mental disease resulting from suppression of secret inner desires, especially aberrant sexual desires, was later reflected in the teachings of Sigmund Freud. Freudianism is therefore the grandchild of the cult of Dionysus, Horn concludes.
Such mythical systems of mental punishment and physical rewards based on resistance and/or submission to Dionysus were symbolically and literally illustrated in the cult rituals of the Bacchae, as the Bacchae women (married and unmarried Greek women had the legal right to participate in the mysteries of Dionysus) migrated in frenzied hillside groups, dressed transvestite in fawn skins and accompanied by screaming, music, dancing, and omnisexual behavior.
When for instance a baby animal was too young and lacking in instinct to sense the danger and run away from the revelers, it was picked up and suckled by bare-breasted women who participated in the hillside rituals. Yet when older animals sought to escape the marauding Bacchae, they were considered “resistant” to the will of Dionysus and were torn apart and eaten alive as a part of the fevered ritual.
Horn points to parallels of this condition in today’s United States. “What at one time would have been unthinkable – deviant sex acts conducted openly in major U.S. cities – is become acceptable, while ‘resisters’ of the new Dionysian cult are increasingly labeled enemies of free expression and threatened with hate-crime legislation.”
Before the ancient Greek/Roman festival was outlawed in 186 BC by a decree of the Senate – the so-called “Senatus consultum de Bacchanalibus”-as having become too debauched, human participants were increasingly subject to public orgiastic extremes, as the rule of the Bacchanalia became “anything goes,” including public sex acts, S&M type torture, bestiality, and even pedophilia.
According to Horn, the devil was literally in the details, and the tempter was seeking souls for destruction.
“The Hebrew people considered Hades – the Greek god of the underworld – to be equal with Hell and/or the Devil, and many ancients likewise saw no difference between Hades, in this sense the Devil, and Dionysus. Euripedes echoed this sentiment in the Hecuba, and referred to the followers of Dionysus as the ‘Bacchants of Hades.’ Heraclitus agreed, writing that, ‘Hades and Dionysus, for whom they go mad and rage, are one and the same.’”
Horn wonders if the ‘god’ Dionysus, a spirit historically identified with Satan, is rising from the underworld in modern Bacchanalian eroticism. “Is a psychological or supernatural force behind the growing flood of debauchery? Are we seeing evil supernaturalism in the birth pangs of a new occult Dionysianism?”
Film recounts crucial moments of faith, doubt in influential evangelist’s young life
By Chelsea Schilling
“Billy: The Early Years of Billy Graham” releases Oct. 10
A new film celebrating the life of one of the most influential Christians of the 20th century – Billy Graham – is set for release today.
“Billy: The Early Years of Billy Graham” is a about the young life of a charismatic preacher who has reached more than 2 billion people in person and by television and radio with the gospel of Christ.
Producer Larry Mortoff told WND how the idea for the movie came about.
“Two years ago my business partner, Bill McKay, and I were talking about what movie to make next,” he said. “We started talking about stories about Billy and Ruth and said ‘You know, Billy’s turning 90. We should do some kind of a testimony to his life.’”
Mortoff said they decided to focus on Graham as a young man.
“We wanted to make a movie for young people about hope, choice, family and faith rather than simply tell a story about a man who had all these amazing accomplishments,” he said. “We did, in essence, the prequel to the Billy Graham evangelist story.”
Actor Armie Hammer, 22, great-grandson of business tycoon Armand Hammer, portrays Graham as a young man who has come to a defining moment in life in which he must decide between faith and doubt.
The movie, filmed in Nashville, Tenn., begins when Graham is a teenager at the family dairy farm in Charlotte, N.C. It is set during the Great Depression at a time where Graham heeds an altar call at a tent revival. In the 1940s, Graham is friends with a famous evangelist named Charles Templeton. The two grow apart as Templeton loses faith in an age of growing skepticism and declares himself an agnostic after attending Princeton Theological Seminary. Graham, by contrast, follows his calling toward evangelism.
In a behind-the-scenes look at the film, Hammer said he spent hours watching Graham’s sermons, reading his books and becoming thoroughly familiar with the evangelist.
“But even more than that, there was a lot of spiritual work involved with it,” Hammer said. “There’s a lot of biblical principles and a lot of spirituality that gets incorporated into this film, obviously because it’s Billy Graham. … [S]o there was a lot of reading the Bible, soul searching and getting comfortable with myself in that aspect so I could play that on screen.”
Actress Stefanie Butler played Graham’s wife, Ruth. In the film promotion, she said she read six or seven books about her and “grew to love this woman.”
“Ruth Graham was just an unbelievable woman, just really, really beautiful,” Butler said. “She had such a beautiful spirit and such a joy for life. She was just a thrill seeker and really adventurous and had a great personality.”
Mortoff praised the work of writer/producer Bill McKay, writer Jana Rutledge and producer Martin Shiel. He told WND working with Director Robby Benson on the film was a “dream.”
“He is an amazing man, and amazing artist, a gifted director,” he said. “We were all dedicated to carrying the torch of the Billy and Ruth Graham story.”
Stefanie Butler and Armie Hammer as Ruth and Billy Graham (courtesy: BillyTheEarlyYears.com)
“Billy: The Early Years,” with production costs of less than $5 million, is rated PG. It opens one month before Billy Graham’s 90th birthday on more than 300 screens in 80 cities in 20 states. Mortoff said those interested in seeing the movie may visit the website to find locations where it’s playing. If it’s not playing nearby, he said he encourages people to call their theaters and ask for it.
The movie soundtrack, released Oct. 7, features high-profile recording artists such as Brooks & Dunn, Third Day’s Mac Powell, Sara Evans, Alan Jackson, Roy Orbison, Brad Paisley, Michael W. Smith and Josh Turner.
While Mortoff acknowledged some smaller scenes and facts were embellished to improve the screenplay, he said the truth about Graham’s life is clearly conveyed in the movie.
“We did extensive research so nearly 95 percent of the movie is very accurate,” he said. “We did a little fudging with events and people for dramatic purposes. Billy was not present at Gigi’s birth, but we have him and Templeton there. There are a couple of things like that. We fudge a little bit because it worked better as a movie, and we’re making a movie, we’re not making a documentary. If you see the movie and you read Billy’s book and you read some history and check up the facts, you’ll see it’s really accurate.”
Gigi, Billy Graham’s sister, has seen the movie about 10 times. She told the Christian Post some facts are embellished, but it was only a technique to add humor to the film.
“People need to remember that the movie is fiction based on fact,” she said. “Daddy was not at my birth, but who cares?”
Mortoff said audiences will find Hammer’s portrayal of Graham convincing and inspiring.
“We believe we’ve done a wonderful homage to his story, to the love story with Ruth. We are honored and humbled to have been able to do this project. I’ve seen it 20 times, and I still marvel at what we’ve accomplished.”
‘Psychological Nudity’ features tales from radio host’s life and adventures
Radio host Michael Savage’s new autobiography, self-published and available on the MichaelSavage.com website, has surpassed the sales of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s recent publication, “Know Your Power: A Message to America’s Daughters,” officials report.
Officials for Savage’s radio show, which is heard by an estimated 8-10 million listeners weekly, confirmed to WND that publicly available sales totals for Pelosi’s book after one week were about 2,300, and while they wanted to withhold exact numbers, sales of “Psychological Nudity” had surpassed that significantly in its first week.
“The power of talk radio and the Internet is once again being ignored by the failing publishing and newspaper industries,” the officials said in a prepared statement.
Pelosi’s book was ranked No. 39,682 on Amazon.com, and had 159 customer reviews. Fifteen of those gave it a five-star rating, two were at four stars, one was at three stars, three were at two stars and 138 were at one star.
Publishers Weekly cited Pelosi’s project as a “graceful personal and political history.” In it she describes “growing up as the daughter of a congressman in an Italian-American Catholic world.”
Amazon.com customer reviews, however, held a slightly different tone.
“Ms. Pelosi’s devout religiousity is a constant theme in this book – she sings ‘How Great thout Art’ about herself for 175 pages,” said one.
“This is one of the worst things that I have ever seen in print,” added another.
Said a third, “It’s poorly written and turgid in phraseology. Moreover, it is a mystery to me why Pelosi needed to write this book.”
Savage’s book derives from his life experiences, from Fiji to the Bronx. The host of the nation’s third-largest nationally syndicated radio program has compiled more than 75 stories from his past, including “One Armed Frank,” “Love by the Sewer Plant,” “Tippy the Dog Dies and is Thrown in a Garbage Truck,” “The Yarn Man Gets Brain Cancer” and dozens of others.
“And they’re all told in Michael’s popular stream-of-consciousness style,” officials said.