* A FIRST IN THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA: 10,000 Bibles placed on sale in the New China bookstore chain. With only word-of-mouth publicity, the Bibles sold out within days. They cost 13.50 yuan (U.S. $3.60), or between 5 and 10% of an average worker's monthly pay.

* TV MINISTER JERRY FALWELL announced plans to build a $210 million retirement center whose for-profit operations will help support his ministries. He envisions 3,000 residents, the creation of 1,800 new jobs, and an annual payroll of $9.3 million. First, he must convince local officials to rezone the 120 acres he's eyeing for it.

Did you miss out on "the rapture," September 12, 1988? So far I have heard of no one who got "snatched" away in a "rapture.'' But a lot of people got "snookered" into buying the book, "88 Reasons Why The Rapture Could Be In 1988." The author's "calculations" were "based on 18 cycles of numbers in the Bible." Olive, the false prophet, said "They ail conclude that September 12, 1988 is the date of the second coming of Christ." Many of those deceived were having "rapture parties" getting into the mood for the event. This kind of deception, with the multitudes of victims, has been going on since Jesus ascended. P.T. Barnum had it right: "There's a sucker born every minute," and this seems to be especially true in the religious area.

* ClergyCard INTERNATIONAL--The newest credit card is for the ordained or licensed clergy and others in the paid employment of churches or church-related organizations. For more information call: 1-800-8CLERGY. The advertising tells of some tremendous discounts and savings. It is not merely a credit card, but a verification for the many discounts available to those thus qualified. One work team going to South America saved about $900 each, a total savings of $10,800. Hotel/Motel chains, airlines, car rentals, theme parks and recreational areas, auto repair, and many other offers of discount and savings. I recommend it for the C of C Church/ICC Church clergy. They certainly all qualify; and there is no basic difference in position and function between them and the clergy in the other denominations. Well, maybe this difference: All the others acknowledge that they are clergy, and accept the recognition of reality, while C of C Church/ICC Church clergy aren't willing to admit and accept the truth of what and who they are.

* METHODIST DECLINE BLAMED ON FEMINISM. A parish expert says the "feminization" of local Methodist Churches has contributed to a loss of members. In an article, "The Vanishing Men in the United Methodist Church," the "Rev. Lyle Schaller says an inbalance began developing about 1960." Church programming "is increasingly oriented toward reaching women and children," he says. Schaller, a "parish consultant," says it is critical "to create places in the church where men feel wanted and needed."

* "CONTACT PERSONS"-- The number of "contact persons" is rapidly growing all over the nation. These are those who are willing to serve as a "contact person" others can call if they: would like to meet in homes to study the vital matters discussed in The Examiner, as well as other subjects. Many are meeting in homes to study God's word, sing, pray, observe the Lord's Supper, and encourage one another to love and good works. If you are willing to serve as a "contact person," please let me know. If you would like to know of a "contact person" in your area whom you can call to learn of meetings, let me know.

Getting all this information assembled and out to those requesting such has been a great task for me. Art Thompson has agreed to collect all the information and put it in a form we can use to send out. This will expedite matters.

Let me know if we can help. Send complete information about yourself - family, address, telephone, and full information about where you are as it relates to other cities around you. Thanks --CAH

* Dear Charles: I had to, I just simply, plainly had to write to you and thank you for the marvelous treatment of Faith/Grace versus Works/Law. (Sept. 88 issue). How plain and clear. It reminds me again of the crystal thinking presented by a young preacher in Indianapolis a few decades ago when debating one of our issues (orphan homes). Anyway, this was the best summary of grace and works I have seen in a long time. No, you didn't make matters any worse.

The teaching on grace I've heard and read among "us" recently seems to be a cloaked license to do as we please since the merciful God of grace will bless and forgive. Grace and works are not mutually exclusive. They are in complete harmony. Paul and James agree.--Steven Clark Goad