Word&Way News: Oct. 14
Here’s the weekly roundup from Word&Way. In addition to a review of Freeing Jesus by Diana Butler Bass that is free for anyone to read, paid subscribers to A Public Witness received a report on an effort by pastors who preached against Christian Nationalism on World Communion Sunday.
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Review: The First Advent in Palestine. Robert D. Cornwall reviewed The First Advent in Palestine: Reversals, Resistance, and the Ongoing Complexity of Hope by Kelley Nikondeha.
What Exactly Is Biblical Wokeness? Rodney Kennedy considered biblical passages that concern what it means to become awake — a matter of being shaken out of apathy, the doldrums, or from being complacent.
PBS Docs Depict Paths of Freedom, Faith for Frederick Douglass & Harriet Tubman. Adelle M. Banks reported on new documentaries highlighting the faith of two abolitionists who gained freedom from slavery.
Baptist Pastor & Wife Kidnapped in Ukraine. Diana Chandler reported on efforts to find church leaders missing in a Russian-occupied part of Ukraine.
Michael Flynn’s ReAwaken Roadshow Recruits ‘Army of God.’ Michelle R. Smith and Richard Lardner reported on some of the rhetoric at the ReAwaken America Tour (exploring themes previously reported at A Public Witness).
This week: Doug Pagitt of Vote Common Good
Another noteworthy podcast this week:
State of Belief featured a conversation on Christian Nationalism with Sabrina Dent and Andrew Whitehead.
by Brian Kaylor, Word&Way Editor-in-Chief
As Pope Francis this week elevated two 19th century Italians to sainthood, he talked about the present. In doing so, he showed why it matters that we learn we from faithful Christians in the past.
The two men being honored both worked to help immigrants. Bishop Don Giovanni Battista Scalabrini founded an order to help Italians who immigrated to the U.S., Brazil, and elsewhere. Artedime Zatti was himself an immigrant to Argentina, where he cared for the sick.
As Francis praised the two men, he called on the faithful today to similarly care for those who leave their home countries. He criticized Europe’s treatment of migrants from Africa and the Middle East, and he noted the plight of Ukrainians fleeing war.
“The exclusion of migrants is scandalous,’’ Francis said. “Indeed, the situation of migrants is criminal. They are left to die in front of us, making the Mediterranean the largest cemetery in the world. The situation of migrants is disgusting, sinful, criminal. Not to open the doors to those who are in need. No, we exclude them, we send them away to lager [a German word for Nazi concentration camps], where they are exploited and sold as slaves.”
With his words, Francis demonstrated the value of reflecting on the lives and ministries of those who went before us. While we should honor them for what they did in their times, that rings hollow if we don’t then live similarly today. This great cloud of witnesses should inspire us to keep running the race.
Other News of Note
Brian Kaylor wrote an essay for Church & State Magazine as part of a series on “The Way Forward: The Supreme Court is Eroding Church-State Separation. Where Do We Go From Here?”
Anthea Butler wrote for MSNBC about how Georgia’s White evangelicals are selling their souls in a quest for power in Herschel Walker’s Senate bid (and Butler cited a report by A Public Witness).
Katie Glueck of the New York Times reported on criticisms of Pennsylvania gubernatorial hopeful Doug Mastriano for antisemitic rhetoric as he runs against a Jewish candidate.
Conservative columnist Cal Thomas wrote for the Washington Times about the problem of Christian Nationalism and the ReAwaken America Tour.
Sociologist Samuel Perry wrote for Sojourners about how Christian Nationalism differs from Jesus’s teaching in the “parable of the Good Samaritan.”
PBS News Hour interviewed historian Kristin Du Mez about Christian Nationalism and criticisms of church-state separation.
Crux reported about the controversy sparked by Brazil’s president visiting a Catholic basilica amid his presidential reelection campaign.
Vance Blackfox wrote for Good Faith Media about “why and how you should practice the ritual of land acknowledgment.”
Egan Millard of The Christian Century reported on an Episcopal church in Texas that opened its building to a synagogue damaged by arson.
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