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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 the former editor in chief of WORLD, having retired in January 2022, and former dean of World Journalism Institute. He joined WORLD in 1992 and has been a university professor and provost. He has written more than 20 books, including Reforming Journalism.

@MarvinOlasky

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