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Word&Way News: July 29
Here’s the weekly roundup from Word&Way. In addition to a report that is free for anyone to read about potential 2024 Republican presidential candidates already seeking conservative White evangelical support, paid subscribers to A Public Witness received an analysis of Pope Francis’s apology to Indigenous peoples in Canada.
Top 5 at wordandway.org
The Christian Duty to Heal Our Democracy. Greg Carey argued that democracy in the United States is in a world of hurt and Christians who treasure democracy must make crucial contributions to the healing process.
Review: That We May Be One. Robert D. Cornwall reviewed That We May Be One: Practicing Unity in a Divided Church by Gary B. Agee.
An Interfaith Group in Oregon is Behind One of Nation’s Strictest Gun Control Measures. Alejandra Molina reported on a ballot initiative effort in the Beaver State facing opposition from the gun industry.
Paul Raushenbush: ‘Christian Nationalism is a Threat to the American Way of Life.’ Yonat Shimron talked with the new president of the Interfaith Alliance, an American Baptist minister and journalist.
‘Rescind the Doctrine’ Protest Greets Pope in Canada. As Pope Francis prepared to start Mass in Canada, two Indigenous women unfurled a banner at the altar of the National Shrine of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré that read: “Rescind the Doctrine” in bright red and black letters.
This week: Nathan Empsall of Faithful America
Another good podcast this week:
Other News of Note
Matt Shuham of Talking Point Memo wrote about Republican Pennsylvania gubernatorial nominee Doug Mastriano’s relationship with an antisemitic tech founder (and included a citation to a report by A Public Witness).
Samuel Perry appeared on CNN to explain White Christian Nationalism.
Diana Butler Bass wrote at her Substack newsletter The Cottage about needing a better historical understanding of Christian Nationalism and the United States:
Jayson Casper of Christianity Today reported on how the religious and geographical demographics of candidates for the next presidential election in Nigeria are sparking complaints from many Christians.
We’ve reported on various political candidates campaigning in churches in our “partisan pulpit” series this year. Here are three candidates who showed up in churches this week: Illinois Republican gubernatorial nominee Darren Bailey spoke during Sunday worship at Crusaders West Church in Chicago; Missouri Democratic U.S. Senate hopeful Lucas Kunce spoke during Sunday worship at Shalom Church in Florissant; and Missouri Republican U.S. Senate hopeful Vicky Hartzler held multiple events at churches this week and one at Summit Christian Academy in Lee’s Summit with U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley and Family Research Council head Tony Perkins.
by Brian Kaylor, Word&Way Editor-in-Chief
Wednesday night (July 27), author and activist Ron Sider died. A significant thinker over the past five decades, he pushed a vision of evangelicalism that valued social justice and actually took the words of Jesus seriously.
The first book of his I read was his classic tome Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger: Moving From Affluence to Generosity. I still remember being convicted and feeling like I had discovered a version of Christianity for which I’d been longing. I’ve read and appreciated many other books, including The Scandal of the Evangelical Conscience, Why Are Christians Living Just Like the Rest of the World? and If Jesus Is Lord: Loving Our Enemies in an Age of Violence.
Sider defied stereotypes about evangelicals and challenged Christians across the theological and political continuums. He was pro-life, but for him that meant more than just a fancy label for being anti-abortion. He actually cared about saving lives as he also advocated for health care access, reducing climate change, and ending the death penalty. And as an Anabaptist who believed Jesus meant it when he taught us to love our enemies, Sider inspired Christian advocacy for peace around the world.
Christianity Today once described Sider as “a burr in the ethical saddle of the evangelical world.” It’s a burr too many tried to ignore as they numbed their consciences and allowed partisan politics to trump theological convictions. The term “evangelical” has largely lost its value today thanks to ungodly politics. Ron Sider showed us another way. But like the prophets of old, he was too often dismissed by the religious elites.
We are worse off with him gone. But at least his words are still with us, convicting and inspiring us to finally live out those red letters of Jesus.
Photo of the Week
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