Word&Way News: April 1
No tricks, just real news that points to the Good News!
Here’s the weekly roundup from Word&Way. In addition to an essay on the apocalyptic Christian Nationalism of Mark Meadows and Ginni Thomas that is free for anyone to read, paid subscribers to A Public Witness received a piece looking at Hillsong amid mounting scandals.
Top 5 at wordandway.org
Review: Tradition and Apocalypse. Robert D. Cornwall reviews Tradition and Apocalypse: An Essay on the Future of Christian Belief by David Bentley Hart.
Earliest Mention of ‘Yahweh’ Found in Archaeological Dump. An ancient tablet discovered near the Palestinian city of Nablus may contain the earliest known mention of God’s name in proto-alphabetic Hebrew.
Pastors’ Role in Education Funding Creates Uproar in Brazil. Diane Jeantet reports on a religious and political controversy ahead of the Brazilian presidential election later this year.
Ukrainian Archbishop: Minority Faiths at Risk if Russia Wins. Peter Smith reports on a warning from the top-ranking Ukrainian Catholic cleric in the United States.
Pope Makes Historic Indigenous Apology for Canada Abuses. Nicole Winfield reports on new remarks by Pope Francis.
Other News of Note
Rob Boston at the Wall of Separation wrote about a report from A Public Witness on politicking in churches: “In North Carolina, a Baptist church turned Sunday services into a campaign rally for a U.S. Senate candidate.”
With photos and stories, Joel Carillet of Christianity Today took readers “inside a Ukrainian Baptist church at war.”
Rob Schenck wrote a Religion News Service column on why “the World Council of Churches must act with courage and expel Kirill, Russian Orthodox Church.” A Public Witness made a similar call recently with a piece that included a quote from Schenck.
Annie Gowen of the Washington Post profiled Greg Locke, a controversial Christian Nationalistic preacher in Tennessee.
PsyPost reported on a new study showing that people who hold Christian Nationalist views also score worse on a quiz about the role of religion in American history.
Fredrick Clarkson at Religion Dispatches reflected on the life and work of Gary North, a significant Christian Right leader who recently died.
Tennessee lawmakers passed a bill exempting religious groups from public safety and health rules.
A group of clergy in the Church of England urged that a plaque honoring a slave trader be removed from the chapel at Jesus College, Cambridge.
Another good podcast this week:
A special new episode from last year’s show The Rise & Fall of Mars Hill looks at the failures of Christianity Today to handle internal allegations of sexual misconduct.
by Beau Underwood, Word&Way Vice President for External Affairs
Baseball is back! That sentence references the excitement arising around opening day. Every team begins the season in first place. This year, it also speaks to the relief of fans that a lockout threatening the integrity of the season mercifully ended.
Yet, the bitter taste of that labor dispute remains. While the owners played the role of the villains, the public image of the sport suffered from millionaires and billionaires arguing about how to divide up their spoils. After all, the main ingredient in baseball’s financial pie is the hard-earned money of fans who attend the games, watch them on TV, and buy officially-licensed merchandise. The new labor agreement set MLB’s new minimum salary at $700,000. Several players signed deals this offseason paying them tens of millions of dollars annually. All of this was funded from the wallets of fans in a country where the median family income was just over $67,000.
Meanwhile, the cost of visiting the ballpark is rising. In 2021, the average cost for a family of four to take in a game was $253. I’ll admit to being one of those fans willing to splurge. I’ve already got tickets to two different games for this summer. Soon, I’ll renew my MLB.TV package so I can watch the Chicago White Sox World Series run. I’ll also confess to feeling more resentful about these purchases than in years past. There’s a lot of ways sports resembles religion in its rituals, loyalties, sacred spaces, etc. I’m also aware that professional sports display the sins of the world, from enduring racism to inequalities of wealth. Sadly, I’m becoming less of a fan.
Photo of the Week
Thanks for reading!