Word&Way News: Oct. 29

Here’s the top news of the week from Word&Way. In addition to a look at lawsuits among Christians and a photo essay on beating guns into garden tools that are free for anyone to read, paid subscribers to A Public Witness received an essay on the importance of Christian advocacy during the upcoming COP26 international climate talks.

A Public Witness
Changing the Climate
“By your powers combined, I am Captain Planet!” With those words, the environmental superhero announced his arrival on every episode of Captain Planet and the Planeteers. That weird cartoon from the early 90s, which both of us watched at least a couple episodes of as kids, tried to inspire the next generation of environmentalists. Episode after episode conveyed the message that, by working together, humans could halt the ecological destruction of the world…
Read more

Top 5 at wordandway.org

  1. Do Not Conform? Brian Kaylor reflects on the choice of Robert Jeffress as the keynote speaker for a pastors’ conference with the theme of Romans 12:2.

  2. A New Book on Faith from Popular Author who Died in 2019. David Crary reports on the new book coming out next week from the late Rachel Held Evans.

  3. Motion to Call for Missouri Baptist Sexual Abuse Task Force. Brian Kaylor reports on an unsuccessful effort to stop clergy sexual abuse (though similar motions passed at state Baptist conventions in Arkansas and California this week).

  4. Unsettled SBU Governing Documents a Topic at MBC Meeting. Brian Kaylor reports on the latest in the ongoing conflict over governing documents for Southwest Baptist University.

  5. Nearly Half of Churches & Other Faith Groups Help People Get Enough to Eat. Brad R. Fulton writes about research showing the important role religious groups play in running food banks and food pantries.

Other News of Note

A leaked recording by a former vice president at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, caught the school’s president, Jerry Prevo, saying that “getting people elected” is “one of our main goals.” Scott Lamb, who released the recording, says he was fired for raising concerns about such actions violating the 501(c)(3) status of the school and for questioning Liberty’s handling of reports of sexual assault and harassment. Prevo became president of Liberty last year following the resignation of scandal-plagued Jerry Falwell Jr.

Dangerous Dogma

This week: Angela Denker on Red State Christians

Quick Take

by Brian Kaylor, Word&Way Editor-in-Chief

Last night, the state of Oklahoma killed a man. They stretched out his arms, bound him, and stabbed him to inject an untested cocktail of drugs. And it didn’t go well.

It marked the first execution in Oklahoma in over six years after two botched ones. In 2014, Clayton Lockett writhed and groaned during the injection to the point that officials even halted it, but he died 43 minutes after it started. The state then killed Charles Warner in early 2015. During the execution, he announced, “My body is on fire.” An investigation later found the state used the wrong drug for one of the steps.

After a divided U.S. Supreme Court lifted a stay of execution yesterday, Oklahoma rushed to kill John Marion Grant. During it, he shook and convulsed about two dozen times and started vomiting all over himself. Associated Press reporter Sean Murphy, who was there and had previously witnessed 14 executions, said he hadn’t seen such a violent reaction during a lethal injection.

Despite the reports on a third botched execution in a row, the state issued a statement claiming it occurred “without complication.” Oklahoma can shroud their drug information in secrecy and offer new excuses for each torturous execution, but we shouldn’t let any of that complicate the matter: The state violently killed someone last night. That’s why we argued against the death penalty back in July even when it actually goes as planned. It’s time to kill the death penalty.

Photo of the Week

People gather for a vigil in Hart, Michigan, on Oct. 24, 2021, to pray for the return of 17 members of a missionary group who were kidnapped by a gang in Haiti on Oct. 16. Among those taken were four children and a parent from Hart. The missionaries serve in Haiti through Christian Aid Ministries, an Amish and Mennonite ministry based in Ohio. (Anna Liz Nichols/Associated Press)

Thanks for reading!

Like Us on Facebook