Word&Way News: March 25
Here’s the weekly roundup from Word&Way. In addition to a report on church politicking in the U.S. Senate race in North Carolina that is free for anyone to read, paid subscribers to A Public Witness received an essay on inappropriate religious questions posed this week to Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson as she’s considered for the U.S. Supreme Court.
Top 5 at wordandway.org
God’s Mentions. Lauren Graeber reflects on writing about God online while using terms about God instead of referring to God by name.
Invitations to Abundance. Juliet Vedral reviews the book Invitations to Abundance: How the Feasts of the Bible Nourish Us Today by Alicia Akins.
Living Under Water. Robert D. Cornwall reviews the book Living Under Water: Baptism as a Way of Life by Kevin J. Adams.
High Court: States Must Allow Prayer, Touch in Executions. Jessica Gresko reports on an 8-1 Supreme Court ruling showing that religious liberty rights don’t end on death row.
Fallout over LGBTQ Spouses at Calvin University Captures Broader Evangelical Divide. Bob Smietana reports on a new controversy roiling an evangelical college.
Other News of Note
Kate Shellnut reported for Christianity Today about data from the Pew Research Center showing that while nearly all houses of worship have now reopened after COVID-19 closures, in-person church attendance hasn’t really grown since last fall.
Randall Lolley, a seminary professor and pastor who served as a key figure in resisting the rightward shift in the Southern Baptist Convention, died at 90.
This week: Jonathan Hall & Beau Underwood on Dear Son
Another good podcast this week:
On The Bible for Normal People, Anna Sieges talked about “the minor prophets & why we shouldn’t call them that.”
by Brian Kaylor, Word&Way Editor-in-Chief
A week ago, a group of Christian leaders took another pilgrimage to Mar-a-Lago. Politico reported on the meeting with former President Donald Trump as “a routine drop-in visit” with the man who lost the 2020 election and now considers running again in 2024.
As with the “evangelical” council during his presidency, these conversations are coordinated by Trump’s spiritual advisor, “prosperity gospel” preacher Paula White-Cain. Among those who attended the most recent gathering are longtime Trump supporters like Focus on the Family founder James Dobson, former Southern Baptist Convention President Jack Graham, and Faith and Freedom Coalition head Ralph Reed.
In the Politico article, Foxvangelist Robert Jeffress, who fêted Trump during a worship service the Sunday before Christmas, pushed back against the idea that it’s odd that evangelicals support Trump: “Evangelicals are not morons. They understand that [Trump] might not pray six hours a day or be able to quote the Bible backward and forward.” Jeffress is a bit too cute with his exaggerations as Trump brags he doesn’t even ask for forgiveness and doesn’t seem to know biblical passages beyond “an eye for an eye” and “Two Corinthians.” But Jeffress’s remark still gets right to the heart of the matter.
Such meetings should remind us that these religious leaders are focused on a political kingdom. Trump isn’t holding such conversations for spiritual guidance but political redemption. During the recent gathering he talked about his record in office and complained about President Joe Biden. And as they have done for six years, these “evangelicals” at the luncheon apparently ate it up.
Photo of the Week
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