Word&Way News: Feb. 10
Here’s the weekly roundup from Word&Way. In addition to a piece about history and dangerous balloons that is free for anyone to read, paid subscribers to A Public Witness received a report about Missouri executing a man without allowing his spiritual advisor to be present.
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Top 5 at wordandway.org
Black Writers Talk White Christian Nationalism. Jeremy Fuzy reported on comments by scholars Sabrina E. Dent and Obery Hendricks about White Christian Nationalism.
Refuse to Get Tired. Darron LaMonte Edwards wrote about how he is feeling weary from the announcement that another unarmed Black man was killed.
Review: The Scandal of the Gospel. Robert D. Cornwall reviewed The Scandal of the Gospel: Preaching and the Grotesque by Charles L. Campbell.
To Be Ordained, Would-Be PCUSA Pastors Had to Interpret the Worst Story in the Bible. Emily McFarlan Miller reported on the controversy after a Presbyterian exam featured a story in Judges 19.
Pope, Anglican, Presbyterian Leaders Denounce Anti-Gay Laws. Nicole Winfield reported on an ecumenical effort to decry laws that criminalize homosexuality.
This week: Daniel Buttry on Healing the World
Another noteworthy podcast this week:
Beth Allison Barr appeared on The Bible for Normal People to talk about criticism of her work about “biblical womanhood.”
by Brian Kaylor, Word&Way Editor-in-Chief
Back when comedian Jon Stewart hosted The Daily Show, he sometimes had a segment called “Great Moments in Punditry (As Read by Children).” It would feature elementary school kids reading the script of a recent uncivil cable news show. It was both humorous and criticized pundits for behavior we wouldn’t let kids get away with. But in hindsight, those days two decades ago seem pretty civil.
Consider the frequent heckling by some Republican members of Congress as President Joe Biden delivered his State of the Union address on Tuesday (Feb. 7). This type of behavior was considered shocking just a few years ago when a GOP member yelled at President Barack Obama during a congressional address in 2009. The offender faced criticism from both parties and even offered an apology to Obama.
But not today. Republicans yelled at Biden last year and again this year. And they remain unrepentant even after criticism by people Biden was honoring in his remarks. Rather than feeling shame, these politicians relish the attention, which helps explain why some seem to dress like they’re cartoon villains.
Adding to the problem, the worst offenders also claim to be Christians. But when the Golden Rule is replaced with childish antics, we all lose.
Other News of Note
Anna Campbell of the Jefferson City News Tribune reported on comments by Brian Kaylor during a Missouri Senate committee hearing about a bill pushing the Bible in public schools.
Rev. Darron LaMonte Edwards, a Word&Way board member, joined other Black clergy to advocate for a new superintendent of the Kansas City (Missouri) Public Schools.
Tish Harrison Warren wrote for the New York Times about the redemptive witness of civil rights icon Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth.
Kelsey Dallas of the Deseret News reported on why a painting of Jesus is behind a curtain at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy.
Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado suggested that God used her to stand up to House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, who she called a demon.
“Authoritarian tendencies from the far right and the far left share many traits, among the more prominent is a distrust of intellectuals and a desire to silence them lest they threaten their rule.” —Miguel De La Torre in a Good Faith Media column on “Legislating Ignorance.”
Kate Shellnutt of Christianity Today reported on a pattern of John MacArthur’s megachurch siding with abusive men even when abused women sought help from church leaders.
The Church of England is considering whether to switch to gender-neutral language for God.
Two Baptist schools in Texas are merging.
Ahead of the big game on Sunday, Bob Smietana appeared on NPR’s All Things Considered to talk about the “He Gets Us Campaign” that will bring Jesus to Super Bowl commercials.
During a recent trip to Amsterdam, David Gushee, a Word&Way board member, interviewed Ukrainian Baptist pastor and theologian Fyodor Raychynets about Russia’s war on Ukraine.
Diana Butler Bass reflected at her Substack newsletter The Cottage about visiting the National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery, Alabama:
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