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Word&Way News: May 26
Here’s the weekly roundup from Word&Way. In addition to a review of The Other Evangelicals that is free for anyone to read, paid subscribers to A Public Witness received a piece exploring the lasting implications for a Christian college that benefited from a racist act.
Top 5 at wordandway.org
Review: The Sacred Meaning of Everyday Work. Robert D. Cornwall reviewed The Sacred Meaning of Everyday Work by Robert H. Tribken.
Marijuana and the Church. David Rice reflected on the need for Christians to consider how to respond to medical and recreational marijuana.
The Cross and the Rainbow Flag. Rodney Kennedy reflected on the meanings of two well-known symbols.
Using ‘He/Him,’ ‘She/Her’ in Emails Got 2 Dorm Directors Fired at Small New York Christian College. Bobby Caina Calvan reported on a controversy at Houghton University, a Wesleyan school in New York.
Devotion Infuses Kansas Legislature, with Spiritual Adviser and Daily Prayers. Rachel Mipro reported on prayers and other religious expressions in the statehouse of the Sunflower State.
Another noteworthy podcast this week:
Amy Kalmanofsky appeared on The Bible for Normal People to talk about “dangerous sisters” in the Old Testament.
by Jeremy Fuzy, Word&Way Digital Editor
My home state of Missouri has decided to add an extra lane to all of I-70, which spans the entire state from St. Louis to Kansas City. While this might seem on the surface to be a good thing — a state investing in transportation infrastructure — it stuck out to me as something else entirely: climate change denial.
We already know that cars (and those trucks/SUVs that keep getting bigger) are bad for the planet and we will need more than just electrification of the personal automobile to solve our current environmental crisis. But why don’t we act like it?
Now, I don’t want to get bogged down in the particularities of how spending billions of dollars on more asphalt will just motivate more people to drive more and therefore won’t even solve traffic congestion. Because this issue got me thinking in the larger sense about how strong the allure of “business as usual” really is and how difficult it is to even recognize that pull sometimes.
There are plenty of actions we could take to directly address the environmental problems we face, but that requires altering how we currently do things. And we’re all really comfortable being stuck in our ways. But as Christians, we should feel compelled to serve as prophetic voices when it comes to stewardship of this planet. After all, love of neighbor and love of planet are inextricably intertwined. If we truly want to preserve our natural home for future generations, we’re going to need the moral imagination that religion affords us.
All of this has reminded me about an important aspect of how philosophers discuss feminism. It cannot be reduced to the mere belief in the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes because embedded in its definition is also the requirement to advocate for those things. I would love to see a world where Christians take the same approach to creation care. It cannot only be a feeling of concern about the environment; we must also individually and collectively take actions aimed at protecting it. Because the status quo is driving in the opposite direction.
Other News of Note
Kacen Bayless of the Kansas City Star reported on the Missouri legislature's passage of a bill pushing Bible classes in public schools (and quoted Brian Kaylor, who testified against the legislation).
Robert Downen and Brian Lopez of the Texas Tribune reported on the evangelistic goals of a figure behind a bill in Texas pushing chaplains in public schools. Meanwhile, a bill to post the Ten Commandments in public schools in the Lone Star State failed to pass.
“Why should distant male relatives share our family’s wealth that we accumulated over the years with my daughters? This is surely not fair.” —Nuhad Matalka, who is among the Christians in Jordan advocating for changes to the law to let them give equal inheritance to male and female children.
A seven-year investigation by the Illinois attorney general’s office into sexual abuse by Catholic clerics in the state identified 451 people who abused nearly 2,000 children — more than four times the number of abusers previously acknowledged by Catholic leaders.
Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church in New York City is taking steps to honor one of its original members — who was enslaved by the church’s first pastor.
A 1,750-year-old fragment of a New Testament translation has been discovered.
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