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Word&Way News: Feb. 18
Here’s the weekly roundup from Word&Way. In addition to an essay on Russian religious persecution that is free for anyone to read, paid subscribers to A Public Witness received a report on U.S. Christian politicians praising the Unification Church at recent events.
Top 5 at wordandway.org
SBU Partners with Formerly-Oppositional Church for Controversial Conference. Brian Kaylor reports on a shift in the saga at Southwest Baptist University ahead of a conference with the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood.
Loving Our Neighbor Means Thinking About the People Behind Our Clothes. Lizzy Case urges Christians to consume less and consume mindfully as a way of living out our faith with integrity.
Families Sue West Virginia School District Over Christian Assembly. Leah Willingham reports on the latest in a controversy over students at a public school being required to attend an evangelistic service.
How White Christian Nationalism is Part of the ‘Freedom Convoy’ Protests. Christine Mitchell writes about the use of biblical verses and Christian messages in the trucker protests in Canada.
In Two Years, This Mainline Denomination has Paid Off $100 Million in Medical Debt. Emily McFarlan Miller reports on an initiative of the United Church of Christ to cancel medical debt.
Other News of Note
Russell Moore wrote for Christianity Today about “how Putin’s politics threaten the Church’s witness.”
Guthrie Graves-Fitzsimmons & Maggie Siddiqi penned a CNN column about how “a Tennessee couple’s struggle to adopt shows religious freedom is under siege in America.”
John D. Pierce wrote at Good Faith Media about how “among global evangelicals, Americans are ‘odd one out.’”
An Iowa state senator is sponsoring a bill that promotes Bible classes in public schools.
BJC wrote about the recent controversy surrounding Missouri Gov. Mike Parson’s “Christian values” comments (and the piece quoted Brian Kaylor).
Another good podcast this week:
by Beau Underwood, Word&Way Vice President for External Affairs
The stack of books on my nightstand is quite tall. I intend to read all of them ... someday. A new volume that arrived in January sits on the very top. Living Under Water: Baptism as a Way of Life by Kevin J. Adams intrigued me by its title alone. I judged this book by its cover.
In arguing that “baptism isn’t merely a one-time ceremony but something to be lived and affirmed throughout one’s life,” Adams’s book promises a challenging rearticulation of baptism that is ultimately closer to its original meaning than our modern spiritualization of the ritual. At least, that’s what I suspect to find when I actually open its pages.
David Gushee, a Christian ethicist at Mercer University (and a Word&Way board member), recently made a similar argument on his podcast, Kingdom Ethics. The episode featured a class he taught based on his new book, Introducing Christian Ethics: Core Convictions for Christians Today. He emphasized that our confession into the faith involved a commitment to believing in Jesus as savior AND following him as Lord. He then noted how many American Christians emphasized the former while minimizing the latter. Like Adams, Gushee is offering the Church the opportunity to relearn what following Jesus is all about.
I’m thrilled that he’ll bring that message to an intimate webinar hosted by Word&Way on the morning of Saturday, April 23. I hope you’ll seize the opportunity to learn from Gushee not just about the faith we profess, but about our commitment to a particular way of life. Visit wordandway.org/gushee to reserve your spot before March 1 and save $25 off the registration price.
Photo of the Week
Thanks for reading!