Discover more from A Public Witness
Word&Way News: Dec. 3
Here’s the top news of the week from Word&Way. Paid subscribers to A Public Witness received an essay about the heroization of evangelical figures like Marvin Olasky, Russell Moore, and Daniel Darling.
Top 5 at wordandway.org
IRS Filing Offers New Insights into Patterson Nonprofit. Brian Kaylor reports on new financial information about Paige Patterson and ongoing Southern Baptist conflict.
Why ‘Sorcery’ was the Fastest-Growing Search Term on Bible Gateway in 2021. Emily McFarlan Miller reports on online Bible search trends in this unusual year.
Anti-Vax Christian Broadcaster Dies of COVID at 64. Bob Smietana reports on the death of Marcus Lamb, co-founder and CEO of the Daystar Television Network, after Lamb’s advocacy against vaccines and push for alternate treatments.
Cornerstone University’s New President is Under Fire. His Former Colleagues See a Pattern. Professors from two Christian universities criticize the leadership of Gerson Moreno-Riaño. As one former professor put it, “The cuts that I saw were where they used the budget to justify getting rid of people whose scholarship was not seen as being extreme-right enough, fundamentalist enough.”
Oh! Christmas Tree? Cardboard Display is the Talk of a Town. Convention Hall in Asbury Park, New Jersey, won’t have a fresh-cut natural Christmas tree this year as usual. Instead, they had a local artist make a cardboard tree. Some love it, but others are quite grinchy about it.
You can sign up to receive the rest of the daily devotionals each morning in your inbox: Unsettling Advent.
Other News of Note
Brian Kaylor penned a column published this week by the Kansas City Star that critiques comments by Missouri’s Secretary of State about democracy and God. The piece emphasizes the need to think more faithfully about how we live out our faith in the public square.
This week: Bill Trollinger on Righting America
Need a Gift Idea?
Struggling to find a perfect present for someone this Christmas? Give them the gift of expert analysis and original reporting — a gift subscription to A Public Witness! This gift will show up each week in their inboxes and give them access to the full archive. And it helps support the journalism ministry of Word&Way.
by Brian Kaylor, Word&Way Editor-in-Chief
On Saturday, the day before Advent started, my son got his second COVID-19 vaccine. Soon he’ll be considered fully vaccinated, which helps relieve a lot of the concerns we’ve had for months as we waited for the vaccines to open up for children.
The same afternoon as his shot, I hung Christmas lights outside. The next day, Advent started and we decorated inside with a tree, nativity set, and garland. Hope seemed to be peaking through in so many ways.
It’s the second time this year I’ve felt this way. I received my second COVID vaccine the day after Easter. That moment, less than 24 hours after I preached about the Resurrection, felt good (albeit with a slightly painful prick).
But like in the biblical stories of Jesus’s birth, hope isn’t the only thing present. While my son and two of my nephews are almost fully vaccinated, three more nephews are still too young to get vaccinated. Over 1,000 people are still dying each day in the United States. And the omicron variant is creating concerns about a new surge like the delta one we saw earlier this year.
A baby came. Angels announced his birth. But the troubles didn’t end. Herod still sat on the throne and even killed other babies. Hope peaking in, but more work still needed to bring about the Kingdom. That’s where we are today as we go through Advent in these unsettling times.
Photo of the Week
Thanks for reading!