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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”

Brings Interviews;

Unexpected Questions

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

most accurate?”

How did Croteau


“For someone

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.



CIU Today