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The World and Everything in It - May 3, 2022


WORLD Radio - The World and Everything in It - May 3, 2022

An effort in Kansas to expand public school choice; lessons China’s learning from the war in Ukraine; and the ESV Study Bible is May’s Classic Book of the Month. Plus: commentary from Kim Henderson, and the Tuesday morning news.

MYRNA BROWN, HOST: Good morning!

Students in Kansas could soon get to choose the school they want to attend. We’ll tell you about a growing trend in public school choice.

NICK EICHER, HOST: Also China’s watching Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and taking notes. We’ll find out what that could mean for Taiwan.

Plus our Classic Book of the Month for May.

And playing it safe on a reckless adventure.

BROWN: It’s Tuesday, May 3rd. This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Myrna Brown.

EICHER: And I’m Nick Eicher. Good morning!

BROWN: News is next. Here’s Kent Covington.

KENT COVINGTON, NEWS ANCHOR: Civilians rescued from Mariupol steel plant head for safety » More than 100 Ukrainian civilians are safe this morning after evacuating a bombed-out steel plant in the port city of Mariupol.

The group, including elderly women and mothers with small children set out in buses and ambulances for the Ukrainian-controlled city of Zaporizhzhia. That’s about 140 miles northwest of Mariupol.

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby confirmed the evacuations on Monday…

KIRBY: There has been some evacuations of civilians. We obviously urge the Russians to continue to work with the Red Cross and the Ukrainian government to allow those who want to leave to leave, and to do it safely without harassment.

The sprawling steel plant is the last stronghold of Ukrainian fighters in Mariupol.

Others who managed to escape the city described terrifying weeks of bombardment and deprivation.

At least some of the civilians were apparently taken to a village controlled by Russia-backed separatists. The Russian military said that some chose to stay in separatist areas, while dozens left for Ukrainian-held territory.

Since the start of Russia’s invasion, Ukraine has accused Moscow’s troops of sometimes taking civilians against their will to Russia or Russian-controlled areas.

Pelosi, lawmakers talk Ukraine aid with Polish president in Warsaw » House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and a group of a half-dozen lawmakers met with the president of Poland in Warsaw Monday—one day after traveling to Kyiv.

The group praised Poland for its considerable support for Ukraine. And Polish President Andrzej Duda said they discussed how to continue bolstering Ukraine.

DUDA: How to help them, what kind of support they need. This is very important. I can say—even this is crucial.

Colorado Congressman Jason Crow, a former Army Ranger, was among the lawmakers joining the delegation.

CROW: I came here as a member of the intelligence committee and the armed services committee and as a combat veteran myself with three areas of focus: weapons, weapons, and weapons.

President Biden has asked Congress for an additional $33 billion dollars in aid, including some $20 billion in weapons and military equipment.

Poland has played a key role in moving much of NATO’s military aid across the border into Ukraine.

Supreme Court rules against Boston in Christian flag case » The Supreme Court ruled Monday that Boston violated the free speech rights of a man by refusing his request to fly a Christian flag on a flagpole outside City Hall. WORLD’s Kristen Flavin has more.

KRISTEN FLAVIN, REPORTER: The high court unanimously ruled against the City of Boston. Justice Stephen Breyer wrote that Boston discriminated against Harold Shurtleff because of his “religious viewpoint.”

Shurtleff and his group, called Camp Constitution wanted to fly a white banner with a red cross on a blue background in September of 2017 to mark Constitution Day.

The city had approved almost 300 consecutive applications to fly various flags before rejecting Shurtleff's because it was a Christian flag.

The city said he could fly a different banner, but Shurtleff refused, and lower courts upheld the city's decision.

But the high court said the lower courts were wrong to back Boston’s double standard.

Reporting for WORLD, I’m Kristen Flavin.

Special grand jury selected in Georgia Trump election probe » Court officials in Georgia selected a special grand jury on Monday to investigate the actions of former President Donald Trump and others.

AUDIO: Eleven. Here, sir. Twelve …

Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney heard there, asking potential jurors if they’re prepared to serve.

The investigation has been underway since early last year, probing whether President Trump and others illegally tried to influence the 2020 election in Georgia.

Special grand juries focus on investigating a single topic and making recommendations to the district attorney, who then decides whether to seek an indictment.

Officials chose 26 jurors and 23 alternates on Monday.

New Zealand reopens to tourists » New Zealand is back in the tourism business after more than two years of closing its borders to visitors.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the move marks a “big moment” in her country’s reconnection with the world.

ARDERN: With our borders reopening to visitors from visa waiver countries, welcoming again tourists from the USA, UK, Japan, Germany, Canada, Korea, and Singapore.

Dozens of other countries are also on that list. Ardern said the return of tourism will further propel the country’s economic recovery.

Before the spread of COVID-19, more than 3 million tourists visited each year, accounting for more than 5 percent of New Zealand’s economy.

Its government enforced tight border restrictions as it first tried to eliminate and then tightly control the spread of the virus.

I’m Kent Covington. Straight ahead: school choice in Kansas.

Plus, exploring life’s boundary lines.

This is The World and Everything in It.

NICK EICHER, HOST: It’s Tuesday the 3rd of May, 2022.

Glad to have you along for today’s edition of The World and Everything in It. Good morning, I’m Nick Eicher.

MYRNA BROWN, HOST: And I’m Myrna Brown. First up: open enrollment.

Schools across the country are starting to return to normal, post-Covid. But now educators and parents are debating how to help students regain lost ground. And for many families, choice is part of the equation.

EICHER: Several states are debating proposals to expand school choice. In Kansas, lawmakers there are considering whether to give students the choice which public school to attend. Some advocacy groups say it’s especially helpful to students who’ve been disadvantaged.

But as with just about all school-choice measures, many school officials are pushing back. WORLD’s Lauren Dunn reports.

LAUREN DUNN, REPORTER: During the pandemic, parents got involved in their children’s education in ways many had never done before. As they struggled with their students through virtual schooling, some parents began to consider other options. Interest in school choice soared.

Many families switched to a private school, charter school, or homeschooling. Others looked within the public school system for options.

Shelby Doyle is with the National School Choice Awareness Foundation.

DOYLE: Open enrollment and public school transfers is the number one most popular type of school choice that people come to our site to research. And it's been that way for two years now.

Open enrollment policies allow public school students to transfer to another public campus, either within their own district or a neighboring district.

Doyle says families might choose a different public school for any number of reasons, including for specific classes or sports.

DOYLE: Open enrollment is for many families, the most accessible form of school choice, it is something that a lot of families don't realize they have access to, because sometimes the information that's put out about it is not parent friendly.

Kansas law currently allows districts to accept nonresident students, but it doesn’t require them to. In January, lawmakers introduced a bill that would allow Kansas families to choose the public school they want their children to attend, as long as it has the capacity to enroll new students.

Doyle says it’s not a small change.

DOYLE: They're not going incrementally up, this would be quite a change in their open enrollment policy. But we have seen states implement policies like this. Arizona and Florida both have unrestricted open enrollment. So it's not new, but it certainly would be new for Kansas.

Nearly all U.S. states allow for some kind of transfer policy. Like Kansas, many states allow districts to decide their own policies. But about half of states mandate open enrollment.

DOYLE: It's been an option for decades, but a lot of families aren't sure if they're eligible for it, or whether their school participates.

In February, a national survey found that 70 percent of Democrats and 63 percent of Republicans supported open enrollment within districts. As for students transferring between districts, 68 percent of Democrats and Republicans approved.

But Democrats in Kansas don’t share that position. No Democratic lawmakers supported the bill when it passed last week. Gov. Laura Kelly, a Democrat, hasn’t said whether she’ll sign it into law.

Shelby Doyle says concerns about open enrollment often revolve around funding or the logistics of adding students mid-year. Another common concern? Transportation.

DOYLE: In some places, the receiving school will arrange transportation for that student to get to that different school. And in some states, they leave it completely up to the parents to decide. Some states require the two schools that the student’s transferring between to figure out transportation amongst themselves. There's a huge factor of transportation that sometimes makes open enrollment accessible on paper, but not in practice for families who want to choose it.

Opponents to the Kansas bill also fear nonresident students will drive up costs. That might cause an increase in resident families’ property taxes. One parent who submitted written testimony said she worries families will leave her kids’ Title I school, and take a portion of school funding with them.

State education officials wrote that vague guidelines for determining capacity may only confuse districts. Some suburban districts say the transfer question should be settled locally and not at the state level.

Elizabeth Patton is the state director for Americans for Prosperity–Kansas. She thinks the final version of the bill addresses some opponents’ concerns. And districts have time to work out the details. The bill delays the implementation deadline by a year.

PATTON: It is highly unlikely that this will be something that would be untenable for any district. And if they think that droves and droves of students are going to be either coming or leaving from their school, I think that highlights a whole nother issue, and perhaps even more of an undercut reason for why we need this bill in the first place for some additional accountability, and perhaps even transparency.

Missouri is also considering a bill to allow some students to attend school in districts where a parent pays taxes, even if it is outside the district where they live. And Iowa senators voted for a measure last month to broaden qualifications for open enrollment.

Patton wants all families to have more choices for their children’s education. She says because local schools often do have a lot of autonomy, each district and school is unique. Families should be able to choose what works best for them.

PATTON: If you think about public pools or libraries, you know, we don't restrict those taxpayer institutions based on where kids live. So we don't say sorry, you don't live in this county or this town, you can't come to this facility. It's open to all taxpayers. So we think that in that way, that should be the case with public schools.

Reporting for WORLD, I’m Lauren Dunn.

NICK EICHER, HOST: Coming up next on The World and Everything in It: China.

The world’s attention is focused on Ukraine, where the war with Russia is into its third month with no end in sight. Western powers, especially in Europe, consider Moscow the greatest threat since World War II.

MYRNA BROWN, HOST: But to the East, another threat looms.

China had long had its eye on Taiwan and has all but announced plans for an invasion. Taiwan’s military and reserve forces hold regular drills to be prepared to fend off a military attack.

EICHER: For America’s part, U.S. officials have issued warnings to China not to attack Taiwan. But will those warnings be enough to deter Xi Jinping, given Vladimir Putin’s ignoring warnings over Ukraine?

Joining us now to talk about that is Mark Montgomery. He served more than three decades in the U.S. Navy, retiring in 2017 as a rear admiral. Now he’s with the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

BROWN: Good morning, sir!

MARK MONTGOMERY: Well, thank you very much for having me here.

BROWN: China has made no secret about its plans for Taiwan. What preparations has Beijing made toward an eventual invasion?

MONTGOMERY: Well, with a defense budget that’s significantly smaller than the United States, they have very effectively designed an asymmetric toolset with anti-ship ballistic missile,s with land attack ballistic missiles, with new destroyers, with old bombers, but with new missiles that can really challenge the United States armed forces inside the first island chain. And this military investment has been complemented by significant diplomatic and economic outreach throughout East Asia and South Asia. And you know, one of the more notable aspects of that is the Belt Road Initiative. But there's much more to their efforts that have really undermined the United States position as the economic and security partner of choice throughout all of South and East Asia.

BROWN: What lessons do you think Xi Jinping is learning from the West’s response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine?

MONTGOMERY: Well, I think in general, this, he has probably been surprised. He's been surprised at the resilience of the Ukrainians. And he's been probably been surprised at the agility and the speed of the combined U.S.-European effort led by the Biden administration, to respond to Russian aggression. One thing I think he won't take away, he won't think that his forces are going to be as unagile and poorly performing as the Russian army has been. I think probably his team is telling him that is a factor of, of Russian decision making and, and Russian investment in its military over the last two decades, that has not been replicated by the Chinese. So they'll feel that their readiness is at a much higher level than that's been seen in the Russian forces.

BROWN: You recently wrote that the United States should be learning some lessons here, too. What does the invasion of Ukraine have to teach us about dealing with China in the Taiwan Strait?

MONTGOMERY: Well, a coalition of the willing led by the Biden administration has done a lot to impact the warfight. But of course, our goal is always to deter a fight before it happens. And in that case, probably our biggest lesson learned is what we didn't do over the last three or four years. And what we should have been doing was making significant investments in Ukraine then. You know, we might have prevented this war, deterred this war, saved the 1000s probably 20 to 30 to 40,000 lives that have been lost, and the  hundreds of billions of dollars of economic dislocation and damage that we're now going to have to repair and potentially, you know, a famine inducing lack of agricultural delivery from Russia and Ukraine, to the Maghreb, to North Africa, and the Middle East. So all those things could have been avoided, if we deterred the war. But to deter a war, you have to make the investments ahead of time.

BROWN: What should the United States be doing now to deter an invasion of Taiwan?

MONTGOMERY: So I think we need to begin to do exercises with Taiwan's navy and their air force. Right now, if we were to fight side by side with Taiwan, so two plus two would equal three. What I mean is the combination of us would be lesser than the separate parts. We need to make it like if we were to fight alongside the Japanese or the British, where two plus two equals five, where the combination of our forces together is greater than the constituent parts. But the only way you can do that is to exercise with your ally and partner. And the one country that will be deterred, that will recognize what's happening, and thus be deterred by, potentially deterred by it is China, who studies U.S. and Taiwan operations very carefully.

BROWN: The invasion of Ukraine really galvanized Europe and its allies to take a strong stand against Vladimir Putin. Do you think Taiwan would see the same kind of backing from the world’s democracies?

MONTGOMERY: So I do think they would get technical support and potentially financial support. But the challenge is, what have we not done to Putin, you know, since he invaded? The truth is, the Europeans have not cut off their oil and gas purchases. So he's still receiving $1 or $1.1 billion a day in remittances or payments from the West for his oil and natural gas. In other words, they were not willing to significantly damage their economy in order to impose cost on Russia for what they did in Ukraine. So if you were to shift this paradigm over to China, will the United States take economic measures that are tough on our people, in order to impose costs on China? Will the Japanese do the same? Will the Koreans, will the Australians and will our European allies? And if we all act as the Europeans have with oil and gas towards Russia, if we all act with kind of that with timidity towards China, then we really won't be imposing much economic costs. And what it really comes down to, can the Taiwan's be as resilient as the Ukrainians have been and suffer the attacks from the Chinese as the Ukrainians have from the Russians, while we do a very, very slow sanctions punishing regime, which is what's happening right now?

BROWN: Mark Montgomery is an expert in cyber warfare and China at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. Thank you so much for joining us today!

MONTGOMERY: Thank you for having me.

NICK EICHER, HOST: An American family tried to bring an antique souvenir back home from Jerusalem, but wound up in hot water with Israeli authorities.

That was after their would-be souvenir set off panic within the airport.

AUDIO: In the longer version, at around the 9s mark, you hear in the distance “get back!” it might be good to bring me back in at around that point. It’s such a scene of chaos, I think one recognizable shout might be worth including. Your call.

Video showed passengers ducking and running for cover. And who could blame them.

The keepsake in question was an unexploded artillery shell, something they found in the Golan Heights.

Officers sounded a security alert at the airport when they discovered it.

Turns out, the shell may have been from a war more than half-a-century ago.

Authorities safely removed the shell and the family and they need to be happy about this. They were allowed to fly home—no souvenir—after answering a few questions.

It’s The World and Everything in It.

MYRNA BROWN, HOST: Today is Tuesday, May 3rd. Thank you for turning to WORLD Radio to help start your day.

Good morning. I’m Myrna Brown.

NICK EICHER, HOST: And I’m Nick Eicher. Up next on The World and Everything in It, our Classic Book of the Month for May. 

Today’s book might make a great graduation or wedding gift. But certainly, as Emily Whitten says, it’s a must-read for all of us.

EMILY WHITTEN, REPORTER: Do you know the top selling book of all time? Here’s a hint from the website esv.org.

CLIP: For God so loved the world that He gave His only son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.

Despite being one of the most banned books worldwide, the Christian Bible has sold as many as 5-7 billion copies. I spoke recently with Stephen Nichols, president of Reformation Bible College in Florida. He says we should not only read the Bible—Christians ought to be intentional in studying it. A good place to start might be a study Bible like our Classic Book of the Month, the ESV Study Bible.

NICHOLS: And the reality is God has given to His Church gifted teachers. And that's what a study Bible is, it's a product of gifted teachers that puts the material right there at your fingertips as you're reading the text. Like, it can't get any more convenient than that…

It’s true you don’t need a study Bible to study God’s Word. But they’ve been a great benefit to Christians over many centuries. Nichols says the first study Bible—the Geneva Bible—helped ignite the Reformation in the 1500s.

NICHOLS: These were all English scholars, but they were exiled from England. This is the days of Bloody Mary and the intense persecutions. And so these English theologians and Bible scholars found themselves in Calvin's Geneva and they produced the Geneva Study Bible….

The Geneva Bible differed from previous Bibles in a number of ways. It contained innovative maps, woodcut illustrations, and something called “the argument.”

NICHOLS: It was a way to sort of give a reader an overview of the book, and what they should expect to see as the main idea of the book and then how that main idea gets developed…

Nichols says an introduction can help readers with important Bible truths, such as how to see Christ in the Old Testament. He also thinks maps can serve a critical purpose.

NICHOLS: This is what puts the Bible in its own category from the Book of Mormon and its own category from the Qur'an and its own category from Eastern religious texts. God revealed himself in space and time. And the maps just sort of drive that home. They are visual representations of that.

Today, you can find many good study Bibles online or in your local bookstore. I chose the ESV Study Bible as our Classic Book of the Month for a couple reasons. First, it’s great for gift-giving—especially among young graduates and married couples. Second, it’s been pretty popular. Here’s student pastor Lonnie Free in his 2021 Youtube review.

FREE: It’s really been the standard for every other study Bible to live up to since it came out in 2008. Since then, I read that it has sold more than a million copies. This Bible is popular for good reason…

Why is it so popular? For one thing, the text is very readable. And the notes will appeal to a wide audience—it’s not focused on a narrow demographic like women or firefighters.

Another positive—over 95 evangelical Bible scholars contributed to the commentary, making it more balanced than some resources. Pastor Matthew Everhard says in one excellent Youtube review that the book’s contributors tend to be Reformed, but they offer a range of opinions on non-essentials.

EVERHARD: In the commentary on the book of Revelation, it does a great job of setting out for you the major views. It gives you the various views whether you’re post-mil, pre-mil, post-trib, pre-trib, it does set that out for you in fairness and allow the reader to decide.

The book includes nearly 250 maps and illustrations. I really like the detail on many of them—it helps me imagine the Jewish Temple or the clothing of Hebrew priests. Bible teachers may like the timelines. Here’s Everhard on the timeline for Galatians.

EVERHARD: They’ve got like an event, ‘The death and resurrection of Christ’, ‘Paul’s conversion, Paul’s visit to Jerusalem, Paul writes the letter to the Galations, Paul’s missionary Journeys…’ It’s kind of different from your linear line with a bunch of different stuff on one line. This puts it in a visual chart…very, very helpful stuff as a preacher.

Late theologian J.I. Packer served as Theological Editor of the ESV Study Bible. He says he personally read all of the book’s more than a million words of commentary. He summed them all up this way in 2008.

PACKER: The ESV Study Bible will do two things for you, which you badly need. It will tell you what the Bible text means at every point from Genesis to Revelation, and it will show you how to live by Bible truth and position yourself as a faithful Christian in the modern world.

One caution before I close. Stephen Nichols says people used to make a joke about the 1917 Scofield Bible. They would say, ‘You read the English Bible from left to right. You read the Hebrew Bible from right to left. And you read the Scofield Bible from the bottom up.’ In other words, the notes control what you think about God’s Word. Nichols says that’s always a temptation when reading a study Bible—and it’s one we need to resist.

NICHOLS: The text is inerrant, the notes are not. And so just keep that in mind as you read study notes. They're helpful, they're a helpful tool. But we always read the Bible top down, and the text is what's controlling.

Our Classic Book of the Month, the ESV Study Bible, can be a great gift for you or someone you love. But whichever Bible you choose, I hope you’ll do more than read it this summer. I hope you’ll study it.

I’m Emily Whitten.

NICK EICHER, HOST: Today is Tuesday, May 3rd. Good morning! This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Nick Eicher.

MYRNA BROWN, HOST: And I’m Myrna Brown.

If you’re the type of person who likes to play it safe, WORLD’s Kim Henderson understands where you’re coming from.

KIM HENDERSON, COMMENTATOR: I wasn’t a fan of the chorus that made its way through worship circles, the one that coupled “reckless” with God’s love. But I’m perfectly comfortable using that descriptive in regard to us, His fallen creatures.

In fact, I married a man who chose that very word to express himself in his senior yearbook. He could pick two adjectives out of the entire Webster’s dictionary, and that’s where he landed—reckless. Had my high school been into such things, my two words very well might have been “not reckless,” so there you go. Opposites do attract.

That’s why I was nervous when I got to glimpse a world he enters during the winter months, a sideline gig called boundary line painting.

In our neck of the woods, timber management companies own large tracts of land with property lines that must stay marked, so every few years they hire someone for the job. This boundary line business is not for the faint of heart, though. It’s active work—climbing hills and crossing gullies while splashing orange paint on select tree trunks.

First, we parked some place off the grid and unloaded equipment. Then he suited up in special overalls, a thick kind made to handle thorns and such. About that time, a crow flew solo overhead, cawing, and it sounded just like he was laughing at me. Maybe it’s because I didn’t have a pair of those overalls.

Moments later, my husband set off on foot, me following behind. He’d eye a tree with a faded orange mark, grab his paint brush, and take care of business on both sides. Then it was off to the next one about 30 yards away. I pushed through vines and soggy leaves, trying to keep any flying paint from finding me.

He was always looking for the next tree. I was just looking. Looking at coon tracks and creek banks, at trees with limbs that kissed the dirt. I was looking at a full display, a well-ordered, far-from-reckless expression of God’s love for us. It’s different out in the boonies, with the nearest distraction a mile away. No stolen glances here. Only staring, eyes wide open.

I did most of my walking in an old fire lane cut by some long ago crew. My husband was always a few yards away. Once, we came to a ditch, and he reached out an orange hand to pull me across. It was almost romantic. At the top of a hill, I asked him about his glasses.

“Wire mesh,” he replied, alluding to their ability to withstand briars. Then he showed me a bell he wears to warn hunters he’s not a deer. “Good,” I nodded, thinking how very prudent the high school version of my husband had become.

By mid-afternoon, the work was done, but along the way I found the skeleton of a wild boar and crossed a stream that went over my boots. I also recklessly got orange paint on my favorite flannel shirt. Now I wear it and remember.

I’m Kim Henderson.

NICK EICHER, HOST: Tomorrow: Texas BBQ. We’ll visit a roadside pit serving mouth-watering brisket with a side of hope.

And, World Tour.

That and more tomorrow.

I’m Nick Eicher.

MYRNA BROWN, HOST: And I’m Myrna Brown. Headin’ for Texas!

The World and Everything in It comes to you from WORLD Radio.

WORLD’s mission is biblically objective journalism that informs, educates, and inspires.

The Bible says: Rejoice in hope, be patient tribulation, be constant in prayer.

Go now in grace and peace.

WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.


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