As shoppers dropped money in the kettle, some sang along or
danced to the rhythm of the bells.
“People are so generous,” Williamson said. “People have put
in a lot of money.”
Williamson’s statement was later confirmed by the Salvation
Army. When the final tally for the day came in, $1,186.02 was
raised by CIU.
“Urban Legends of
the New Testament”
CIU Professor of Greek and New
Testament, Dr. David Croteau, spent a
lot of time on the phone in October.
His latest book “Urban Legends of
the New Testament – 40 Common
Misconceptions” drew so much media
attention, that he did over a dozen radio
interviews about the book, many on
secular stations with News/Talk formats.
Croteau also did two interviews with
Columbia TV stations in December.
Croteau says the book challenges what
many people believe the New Testament
“For example, in the Christmas story, the
Bible never says there were exactly three
wise men, that they were from the Orient,
or that they were kings like the lyrics in a
popular Christmas carol state,” Croteau
said. “By challenging those thoughts,
many inside and outside the church have
their curiosity piqued.”
In the interviews, Croteau says he was
asked some questions totally irrelevant to
the book, including whether or not Jesus
was married. He was bewildered by one
question from a radio interviewer: “What
part of the Bible do you believe is the
How did Croteau
who believes in
the authority of
Scripture, and all
of Scripture, this is
the equivalent of
asking, ‘When did
you stop beating
your wife?’ If I
referred to a certain
section or passage
of Scripture, then I
would be declaring
some of Scripture to be less accurate.
The Lord provided the words at that
moment, so I said ‘All of it!’ This wasn’t
the answer he was looking for, I’m sure,
but it was the right one.”
Epic Day of Bell Ringing
It’s not unusual to encounter a lone Salvation Army bell ringer
outside your local Wal-Mart at Christmas. But that was not
the case for the shoppers at a Columbia Wal-Mart on Dec.
1. Instead, entire groups of CIU students gathered in front of
the familiar red kettles ringing the bells and singing Christmas
songs at the top of their voices. The proclamation of Christ
through music was heard well across the massive parking lot.
The “Epic Day of Bell Ringing” was organized by the CIU
Student Senate with students taking two-hour shifts between
10 a.m. and 8 p.m.
Among those manning the kettle and singing “Hark! The
Herald Angels Sing” was freshman Joseph Knight who said his
motivation for coming out was “To spread the joy of Jesus at
“Make people smile, and tell them what Christmas is about,”
added freshman Erica Williamson who wore a contagious smile,
a red Salvation Army apron – and flip flops. The Minnesota
native was enjoying the South Carolina Christmas weather.
“I’ve never worn flip flops in December in my life!” she
exclaimed with delight.
Dr. David Croteau interviewed live by news
anchor Dawndy Mercer Plank on WIS TV in
Ringing at Wal-Mart are CIU students (left to right) Abigail
Cotton, Abe Vazquez, Bonnie Bryant, Chris Collins.