Word&Way News: Sept. 23
Here’s the weekly roundup from Word&Way. In addition to a review of Red State Christians that is free for anyone to read, paid subscribers to A Public Witness received an essay on politicians and lying.
Top 5 at wordandway.org
Gathering in Latvia, European Baptists Focus on War. Brian Kaylor reported from the European Baptist Federation meeting in Riga, Latvia.
Back in the Boat: Thoughts on a Church Set Adrift. Sarah Blackwell offered her thoughts on how the church’s model of the larger group tending to the few in need was swept away during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Trafficking Christ. Michael Woolf argued that while much of the criticism of recent political stunts using immigrants has rightfully focused on the deception and cruelty, Christians ought to take it one step further.
Review: Pathways to Hindu-Christian Dialogue. Robert D. Cornwall reviewed Pathways to Hindu-Christian Dialogue by Anantanand Rambachan.
How St. Louis Churches are Revealing the Disparities in the Air We Breathe. Britny Cordera reported on how churches are helping an effort to monitor and report air quality and environmental racism in St. Louis, Missouri.
This week: Jack Jenkins on Covering Religion & Politics
Another noteworthy podcast this week:
Beth Allison Barr was the guest on the CBF Podcast to talk about toxic masculinity.
by Brian Kaylor, Word&Way Editor-in-Chief
Most people will say they want peace. But not everyone means the same thing with that word.
Consider the war in Ukraine. Even the man most responsible for the illegal and bloody invasion, Russian authoritarian leader Vladimir Putin, says he wants peace. In a level of doublespeak straight out of the novel 1984, the former KGB agent actually claimed in February that he was sending forces into Ukraine to “maintain peace.”
For Putin, peace would mean he rules Ukraine and other former Soviet-bloc nations he doesn’t think should be independent. Trying to make peace by war is as foolish as seeking holiness by sinning more.
That’s why it remains important to be clear what we mean when we talk about peace. And that’s why Igor Bandura, vice president of the All-Ukrainian Union of Associations of Evangelical Christians-Baptists, says what’s really needed is “just peace.” He explained during the European Baptist Federation meeting this week in Riga, Latvia, that this includes not merely an end to fighting but also the withdrawal of Russian troops, reparations paid by Russia to Ukraine for war damage, and a restoration of all Ukrainian lands that Russia has occupied since 2014.
His words offer a reminder for us to be specific in our calls for peace so that we don’t sweep justice under the rug in an effort to create a false peace that benefits the oppressors. In the midst of injustices, to attempt neutrality is to side with the evil of the status quo. To call for peace without justice is to invite the rebuke of the prophet Jeremiah: “‘Peace, peace,’ they say, when there is no peace.”
Without just peace there is not really any peace.
Other News of Note
Danny Westneat of the Seattle Times offered updates about the high school football coach who recently won a U.S. Supreme Court case involving school prayer, adding that these developments cast new doubts about the majority opinion in the case.
Nathan Empsall of Faithful America wrote for NBC News to critique the merger of MAGA politics and religious expressions.
Jemar Tisby wrote at his Substack newsletter Footnotes about “The People Who Don’t Have Any Questions.”
Crux reported about how clergy in Brazil are taking sides in the upcoming presidential race.
Mark Wingfield reported for Baptist News Global that Adam Greenway is out as president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Texas, less than four years after he took the job following the firing of Paige Patterson.
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