Word&Way News: Feb. 24
Here’s the weekly roundup from Word&Way. In addition to a tribute to Jimmy Carter that is free for anyone to read, paid subscribers to A Public Witness received a report on three unusual Ash Wednesday services.
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Top 5 at wordandway.org
Antakya and Antioch. Angela Denker reflected on the aftermath of the worst earthquake in recent memory that struck Turkey and northwest Syria.
Review: Abraham Lincoln – Redeemer President. Robert D. Cornwall reviewed Abraham Lincoln: Redeemer President by Allen C. Guelzo.
Saddleback Church Deemed ‘Not in Friendly Cooperation’ With SBC. Leaders of the Southern Baptist Convention voted for removing the megachurch founded by Rick Warren.
Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod President Calls for Excommunicating White Nationalists. Jack Jenkins and Emily McFarlan Miller reported on comments by the leader of a conservative Lutheran denomination.
Citing Disruptions to School and Town, Asbury Authorities Move to End 13 Days of Revival. Fiona Morgan reported on shifts in the student revival at a college in Kentucky.
This week: Jeff Hood on Capital Punishment
Another noteworthy podcast this week:
We Dissent offered a deep dive into the “ministerial exception” to anti-discrimination laws, and the ways some Christian groups are trying to expand it.
by Brian Kaylor, Word&Way Editor-in-Chief
One year ago today, Russia launched a deadly invasion of Ukraine. Although Vladimir Putin apparently thought he could conquer his neighbor in a matter of weeks or even days, the war continues after a year of bombings, executions, and other war crimes by Russian forces.
How long, O Lord?
Sadly, this war has been waged with the support of many Russian Christian leaders, some of whom have long been aligned with Putin’s regime. Putin has for years been persecuting people for their religion, including Christians who aren’t part of the Orthodox Church. And that persecution continues as his forces damaged hundreds of Ukrainian houses of worship and seized clergy in occupied areas.
How long, O Lord?
Through it all, Ukrainian pastors have continued to minister. And churches throughout the region have opened their doors to refugees. In the midst of hell, God’s light still shines through these faithful Christians.
So on this anniversary and during this season of Lent, may we remember those sharing the love of God in the valley of the shadow of death. And perhaps we can sing a psalm of David with them.
How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? … How long shall my enemy be exalted over me? … But I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.
Other News of Note
Jeff Brumley of Baptist News Global reported on a webinar about religious freedom and public schools that featured Brian Kaylor and Maggie Siddiqi (director of the U.S. Department of Education’s Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships).
Annelise Hanshaw of the Missouri Independent reported on comments by Brian Kaylor and other religious leaders during a Missouri House committee hearing on a bill promoting discrimination by student groups.
Kristin Du Mez and Beth Allison Barr spoke about patriarchy and gender inequality in churches and academia during an event at Baylor University in Texas.
The president of Northern Seminary in Lisle, Illinois, is on a leave of absence after accusations he bullied multiple women.
Ruth Graham of the New York Times spoke with Jim Wallis and Kyle Meyaard-Schaap about how their evangelical faith drives them to advocate in the public square.
“If you’re tired of Lenten studies that stick to the personal — as if it weren’t intimately tied to the political — then you’ll appreciate the invitation to lean into the spiritual work of demanding justice.” —Julie McGongal of Broadview magazine as she recommended the devotional book Unsettling Lent as one of “3 radical reads for Lent.”
Gregg Brekke of Presbyterian Outlook reported from Kyiv about how Ukrainian churches have ministered in the midst of war.
Franklin Foer of The Atlantic wrote about a priest in Ukraine who became a gravedigger as Russians executed people in his town.
Diana Butler Bass wrote a Lenten reflection at her Substack newsletter The Cottage as she considered the “empty altars” left behind by removed Confederate statues.
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