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Word by word, year by year

A look back at key coverage from WORLD


Illustrations by Krieg Barrie

Word by word, year by year

To celebrate 40 years of God’s World Publications, we’re running a three-part series on stories that have been fundamental to what GWP stands for. In this issue we’ll look at our coverage of two issues that emerge from Chapter 1 of Genesis. The next issue will show how we’ve tried to reflect God’s concern for the poor and the helpless. Part three of the series will show how we’ve covered the most helpless of the helpless, babies in the womb and those who try to protect them.

We have firmly stood by the Bible’s history of creation and opposed fashionable evolutionary doctrine. Chapter 1 of Genesis disallows all variants of Darwinistic materialism. It also rules out “theistic evolution” in which nature tosses a coin trillions of times, with God making it come up heads. Rachel Aldrich describes WORLD’s consistent coverage of God’s intelligent design of the entire universe in “Standing on Genesis” in this issue.

The closing verses of Genesis 1 are similarly clear about the nature of man and our relationship to the rest of God’s creation. Crucially, “God created man in his own image … male and female he created them” (Gen. 1:27). My wife Susan writes in “Translation manipulation” in this issue about the time 24 years ago that ardent feminists propelled the most-used Bible translation toward removal of pronouns and other usages that recognize the difference between the sexes.

It’s good to look back at our coverage of these two crucial areas and see how WORLD has remained consistent throughout the years. Zondervan’s charge against us in 1997 was that “WORLD seemed to be unconscious of its duty to protect the good names and reputations of Zondervan” and its publishing allies. To that I responded, “by the public relations standard, WORLD did act unethically. But I do not apologize for that. If telling the truth is unethical, we hope to be unethical next month, and the month after, and the month after that.”

Now, 289 months later, we receive similar criticism for not serving the public relations interests of companies, politicians, or even pastors who put dollars, votes, or egos ahead of the Bible. I hope and trust we will continue to be “unethical” by that standard. Thanks be to God for the way He’s protected God’s World Publications for 40 years.


Marvin Olasky

Marvin is editor in chief of WORLD and dean of World Journalism Institute. He joined WORLD in 1992 and has also been a university professor and provost. He has written more than 20 books, including Reforming Journalism.

@MarvinOlasky

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IWAN1851

Amen.
Wishing the World's unique biblically faithful journalism can shine regarding the former President Trump and the "Capitol Insurrection" event.

Salty1

Let me state first that World has done an excellent job on a number of fronts. They have reported on the concerns of Christians around the world keeping us informed about issues in Nigeria, Sudan, China, Burma, Canada, Russia, North Korea, and many other countries. They have reported well on issues of Creationism, Intelligent Design and science in general. They have reported well on the bakers, florists and other freedom of religion concerns. I could go on about their reporting on Christian movies, cultural defining moments and much more.

There is a big “but” here which you knew was coming. The last few years we have seen a divide grow between Christians in how to approach politics. It is a divide that has even impacted churches and denominations. It seems to be growing. But divides are not always bad where in the past it has forced the church to more closely define doctrines (teachings), to expand on our understanding of how to apply our faith, to better spread the gospel and much more.

I haven’t always said this in regards to this recent divide about politics. In one sense I believe this and in another I don’t. We must have dialogue so vilifying each other won’t necessarily help, but trying to understand what God is teaching us in this contentious debate should be our objective. At the same time I believe those who advocate an anti-Trump position are sadly deluded and even causing great harm to the church. If you give the rope to your enemies to hang you by taking away your religious freedoms, allowing them to steal elections, allow them to destroy your constitution, allowing CRT thinking in the church and so much more evil, are you not complicit in your own destruction? Are you not taking the phrase, “fools for Christ” completely out of context? But I digress.

World has helped bring about this divide by being irrationally anti-Trump. Now I understand that Trump is a fighter who always doesn’t say things nice, but he has fought our cause and given us nearly everything we could expect to get in this ungodly time. Yet World continues to demonize the man when he has fought our battles. Let me give an example to show this where Mindy Belz says this in the same magazine edition.

“The United States is gridlocked by partisan divisions, too, with democracy weakening as Democrats move further left into socialism and Republicans to nationalist Trumpism. The United States lost points in the Freedom House index for its lack of transparency, corruption, and the Jan. 6 storming of the U.S. Capitol, which disrupted congressional certification of election results.”

Oh really. The guy is fighting all our battles where before he was even elected the left in cahoots with the intelligence agencies went after him to have him removed! Why didn’t World call this an insurrection? Why didn’t they even significantly report on it? Why have you repeatedly pushed the leftists narrative and refused to address the conservative issues? Why didn’t you report on Biden’s son’s computer and all the incriminating evidence on it? Where was the article telling all the good Trump was doing for our country? Nothing!

So as Trump was attacked and eaten alive by the leftist media, attacked by Democrats in false impeachments, and so much more for defending our Christian cause, where was Word? They were out advocating for compassion! But what kind of compassion was it? It was siding with our enemies who are trying to vilify this nation, our imperfect heritage, our Christian heritage, and the rule of law.

As I think about the unjust attack Trump received by many on the left and right, when Trump was actually fighting our cause. I am reminded of a picture I recently saw.

https://www.quora.com/What-are-some-screenshots-that-deserves-1M-upvotes/answer/Muhammad-Khalid-708?ch=99&share=fc5037a2&srid=RvTgb

It is a sheepdog covered in his own blood sitting with the sheep where one sheep does seem to take notice. Wolves had attacked the sheep, but the sheepdog prevailed in driving them off, so he sits with his bloodied wounds afresh. Trump is very much like the sheep dog. He has teeth. He is a fighter. He has bloodied wounds afresh. And yet World still has the gall to treat him as the enemy. It breaks my heart.

But I have digressed again. This political divide World has helped bring about and I too sometimes have used strong language worsening the divide. Again, maybe this divide is not a bad thing for God is forcing us to evaluate how we should approach politics. Do we side with political leaders who may or may not be Christians who are effectively fighting for our Christian cause? What exactly is our Christian cause? How do we fight the cultural war? Or should we surrender this and just preach the “gospel”?

I would say that World has failed us by not bringing on articulate and faithful Christians who do side with Trump and allowing a healthy and open dialogue on these topics. God has allowed this divide, perhaps he wants to teach us something. Certainly there are dangers in extreme Trumpism but there are many other dangers too in giving our enemies the rope to hang us. I challenge World to make changes so the Trump side is better heard and acknowledge us as having some valid points that God would have us learn. Quit just “reporting” but allow some opinion articles from both sides so we better apply biblical thinking to our political times.

Deb OSalty1

Unfortunately, the "Trump side" of conservative Christians do not allow for those of us who are "never Trumpers" and still remain staunchly conservative Christians and independent. Your "side" has effectively driven me from politics by calling those like me "demoncrats" and "baby killers" and "socialist" when I am a conservative. I still vote my conscience however and increasingly local. And turn my eyes to Christ, who is neither Republican, Democrat or American.

Salty1Deb O

Hi Deb,
I know well that you are a Christian and I have never said anything different. You are a child of God no different than I or any other believer.

What I have said is that we need to assess the parties by the ideology (views they express) and compare them with what the Word of God says. Democrats support abortion, homosexuality, transgenderism, radical BLM ideology, feminism, homosexual rights over religious rights, a godless atheism, removing our basic religious rights, muzzling us on spreading the gospel, teaching evil things to our children, monitoring our social media for “hate speech”, shutting down our churches if our views aren’t acceptable to them, fining our businesses if we don’t participate in unholy matrimony, and so much more.

So I don’t understand why any Christian would want to support Democrats given all the evil that they are advocating. Maybe you can enlighten me but please show me anything good that they support? They are effectively pushing anarchy and will bring our nation to our knees if we keep following their agenda of big government, high taxes, defund the police, have our kids hate America, and so much more. If they have their way they will effectively remove our constitution with it’s rights and have us Christians thrown into prison. I don’t think this is overstated either, if you carefully watch what is happening behind the scenes.

I know some will say this is fear mongering, not trusting in God and other lies, but God calls us to live wisely and to protect ourselves from the godless and evil people. Esther acted when Haman sought to destroy the Jews. What was Mordecia’s response to Esther when she appeared to be wavering? So this ungodly notion that we just sit back and let God take care of it where we hide in our churches and ignore what is going on in culture, is the teaching of the Devil. Again, God expects us to show prudence and use our political clout to resist evil. There is nothing holy about shirking our responsibility and those who do so as teachers in the church should be called to account.

At the same time I say this, I recognize that there are Christians who are Democrats and we should love them and be patient with them. At the same time, it is legitimate to ask them why they support a political party that is contrary to the teachings of Christ.

The Republican Party has stood up for our Christian values and has resisted all the evil that the Democrats have pushed (some stated above). I know the GOP is not perfect but at present there is a clear distinction between parties of good and evil. Some will latch on to the criticism of Trump and say the man is unworthy of the office of president, but looking closely this criticism doesn’t hold up because much of it is pure lies and slander. For over four years the Democrats used our intelligence agencies and all kinds of other attacks to bring Trump down. They failed because there were nothing behind them. Even now they continue to go after him but Trump fights on pushing against a majority of the garbage that the Democrats push. Rather than be divided, we should understand that Trump is no savior figure, but he is a good man fighting our battles and protecting the church. Certainly, he is not perfect but he is the man God has chosen to use in these difficult times.

I am not advocating we turn our churches into political parties, by what I say above. Quite frankly, I don’t talk a lot of politics at church. I am not trying to drive out Democrats or anti-Trumpers from my church and I seek to help all Christians grow and mature in Christ. Deb, you would be welcomed into my church any time. But yes, my pastor will speak out against the moral issues confronting the church, at times. We are Gospel focused but we don’t neglect to speak on the sins affecting our culture too.

And one last thing. I would challenge you, not being a Democrat, to hold your nose and vote for the man who at least fights our battles - in the general election.
Blessings to you.

Laura W

Amen to that! :)