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THE THE THE THE THE THE TIMELESS TIMELESS TIMELESS TIMELESS TIMELESS TIMELESS WORKS WORKS OF WORKS OF WORKS WORKS OF OFOF WORKS OF Dr. D. James Dr. D. James Kennedy Dr. Dr. D.Dr. James D. James Kennedy Kennedy D. James Kennedy Dr. D. James Kennedy

DJamesKennedy.com The best of Dr. Kennedy through Dr. Michael Milton joins In DJamesKennedy.com DJamesKennedy.com Dr.Dr. Michael Dr. Michael Milton Milton joins Truth joins Truth In Action Action In Action MinMinThe best The ofbest Dr. of Kennedy Dr. Kennedy through thethe years! the years! DJamesKennedy.com DJamesKennedy.com Dr. Michael Milton joins Truth InTruth Action MinDr. Dr. Michael Michael Milton joins Truth In In Action MinMinThe best The The of best Dr. best of Kennedy Dr. of Dr. Kennedy Kennedy through through through thethrough years! the the years! years! DJamesKennedy.com Michael Milton joins Truth InTruth Action MinThe best of Dr. Kennedy through years! DJamesKennedy.com Min-DJamesKennedy.com Dr. Michael Milton joins Truth In Action The best of Dr. Kennedy through the years! istries, istries, moving moving into our into Truth our Truth That Transforms That Transforms Kennedy Kennedy Classics Classics includes includes Dr. Kennedy’s Dr. Kennedy’s the years! 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Milton bringsmessages. the same passion for articles and more from Dr.biblical Kennedy as we seek relevant, biblical Watch Sundays atET 10am onon the Church to preserve to preserve all of his all of vital his biblical vital works works for for     Channel, Channel, and 9pm and 9pm on ET the NRB the NRB network. network. to preserve to preserve to preserve all of all his of all vital his of his biblical vital vital biblical works biblical works for works for for       Channel, Channel, Channel, and 9pm and and 9pm ET 9pm on ET the ET on NRB the on the NRB network. NRB network. network. to preserve all of his vital biblical works for   Channel, and 9pm ET on the NRB network. to preserve all of his vital biblical works for   Channel, and 9pm ET on the NRB network. Kennedy. applying the Word of God toNRB every generations generations to come. come. come. Watch Watch Sundays at at 10pm ET on the NRB the NRB generations generations generations to come. to to to come. 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biblical messages.

Watch Sundays at 10am ET on the Church Channel, and 9pm ET on the NRB network.

Watch Sundays at 10pm ET on the NRB network.

KENNEDY KENNEDY KENNEDY KENNEDY KENNEDY KENNEDY CLASSICS CLASSICS CLASSICS CLASSICS CLASSICS CLASSICS with withwith with with with Dr. D. Dr. James D. James Kennedy Kennedy Dr. D.Dr. James D. James Kennedy Kennedy Dr. D. James Kennedy 24 CONTENTS.indd 2 Dr. D. James Kennedy

TRUTH THAT TRUTH TRUTH TRUTH THAT THAT THAT TRUTH THAT TRUTH THAT TRANSFORMS TRANSFORMS TRANSFORMS TRANSFORMS TRANSFORMS TRANSFORMS with withwith with with with Michael Dr. Michael Milton Milton Dr. Dr. Michael Dr. Michael Milton Milton Dr. Michael Milton Dr. Michael Milton

website features a growing collection of sermons, books, articles and more from Dr. Kennedy as we seek to preserve all of his vital biblical works for generations to come.

THE THE THE THE TIMELESS TIMELESS TIMELESS TIMELESS TIMELESS TIMELESS WORKS OF WORKS WORKS WORKS OF OFOF WORKS OF WORKS OF Dr. D. Dr. James D. James Kennedy Kennedy Dr. D.Dr. James D.D. James Kennedy Kennedy Dr. James Kennedy 11/12/13 10:10 AM Dr. D. James Kennedy

THE Available at DJamesKennedy.com THE


Contents N o v e m b e r 3 0 , 2 0 1 3 / VO L UME 2 8 , N UMBER 2 4

cov e r s to ry

34 What goes into the mouth The material symbol of God’s blessings at Thanksgiving time is a table laden with food, but many of us have trouble accepting grace. As legitimate concerns about obesity rise, so does the danger of turning healthy eating into an idol f e at u r es

40 Dying of old age Obamacare is crushing the people it needs most— young adults

44 Not Annie The Musical

The little-discussed side of adoption is the crisis some families face with traumatized children

48 Game ender

A Hollywood franchise in the making falls flat over its author’s commitment to traditional marriage

dispatch es

7 News 16 Quotables 18 Quick Takes

52 Men on the street

Many praise street evangelism, others dislike it. Our reporter watched and spoke with many street evangelists, compared those who discuss with those who rant, and discovered more variety than meets the eye

revi ews

23 Movies & TV 26 Books 28 Q&A 30 Music

7

notebook

COVER illustration by krieg barrie

61 Lifestyle 63 Technology 64 Science 65 Houses of God 66 Sports 67 Money 68 Religion

23

44

voices

5 Joel Belz 20 Janie B. Cheaney 32 Mindy Belz 71 Mailbag 75 Andrée Seu Peterson 76 Marvin Olasky

61

visit our website—wng.org—for breaking news and more!

world (ISSN 0888-157X) (USPS 763-010) is published biweekly (26 issues) for $59.95 per year by God’s World Publications, (no mail) 12 All Souls Crescent, Asheville, NC 28803; (828) 232-5260. Periodical postage paid at Asheville, NC, and additional mailing ­offices. ­Printed in the USA. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited. © 2013 WORLD News Group. All rights reserved. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to world, PO Box 20002, Asheville, NC 28802-9998.

N o v e m b e r 3 0 , 2 0 1 3 • W O R L D 

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Thousands of native missionaries in poorer countries effectively take the gospel to unreached people groups in areas that are extremely difficult for American missionaries to reach.

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Fe e l i n ’ d ow n ?


Joel Belz

Pesky reminders

Monthly bills and concrete consequences will keep the Obamacare crisis from fading

>>

RON SACHS/PICTURE-ALLIANCE/DPA/AP

I’       — most folks point to Ronald Reagan—who earned the term “Teflon President.” Whoever it was, he’s been royally upstaged over the last few years by Barack Obama. To the perpetual dismay of his political opponents, our current president’s approval ratings have seemed impervious to his blunders with the IRS, his Department of Justice, his foreign policy (including Benghazi in Libya), and other stumbles. Until now. I too have marveled over Obama’s remarkable ability to shake off even the most serious missteps. But I want to propose here that the up-front failures of Obamacare almost certainly represent a bridge too far for this arrogant and overreaching man. If he recovers at all, he will be a badly diminished president. Until now, Obama has always had the opportunity, standing at his “bully pulpit,” to contradict, deny, or reshape the facts that seemed so obvious. Did he leave his ambassador in Benghazi vulnerable and helpless? The evidence seemed damning. But then he found witnesses who claimed the evidence was ambiguous. Did the White House order the IRS to make things hard for conservatives? The evidence seemed damning. But then he found witnesses who said the evidence was ambiguous. And on and on; the scenario always played out the same frustrating way. No matter how bad his blunder, the incredible magician escaped again. What’s very different with the Obamacare train wreck is that we’re no longer talking about distant abstractions. This time around, virtually every American is already experiencing, or will soon experience, the concrete consequences—up close and personal. Every American has his or her own health to worry about. That involves processing specific doctors’ and hospital bills. It involves health insurance, and highly specific insurance policies. It involves co-pays, rate increases, cancelled policies, higher deductibles. It’s the very specificity of all those factors that makes the current crisis different from what

Email: jbelz@wng.org

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has gone before. It’s easy to forget what happened at Benghazi; most of us had never heard of it before the attack. The sneaky IRS subterfuge, illegal and shameful as it was, fades into the background. But when those monthly bills keep coming, they serve as never-ending reminders that Obamacare was a tricky ruse. This one just doesn’t sink into the sunset. When you find that Uncle Sam, for all Obama’s promises, has indeed forced you to shift to another doctor, you’re not inclined simply to say, “Well, I don’t understand it, but I guess it will all be OK.” That’s what Obama and his fellow sponsors of this terrible measure face now—a constant drumbeat of anger while millions of Americans are reminded incessantly how they were deceived and duped into inferior coverage and care at significantly heightened costs. It won’t just go away. None of this will require the active opposition of Obamacare’s opponents. We’re talking instead about a built-in drip-drip-drip of Chinese water torture that, by its very nature, won’t let the issue go away. Every day, every week, every month of every year, millions of frustrated citizens will be reminded a few more times of what a bum deal they’ve inherited. And don’t think for a minute that Obamacare’s website is its main problem. What’s dawning on folks around the country is that the plan itself is terribly flawed—that the federal effort to control the healthcare decisions of millions of people just isn’t smart or able enough to carry off such an assignment. All of which is why voters in Virginia started running scared in the early November gubernatorial election, almost defying the polls that had ignored the effect of Obamacare on that race. It’s also why Democratic officeholders across the nation have been begging Obama to do something to reassure voters that this isn’t as bad as everyone says. It is that bad, though—and maybe even worse. “Try really hard for the next  seconds,” the old psychological game challenged us, “not to think about pink elephants.” The Obama team has a much harder assignment: “Try really hard,” they’re telling us, “not to think about the coverage, the co-pays, and the doctor you used to have. Try not to think about the president’s repeated reassurances that if you liked what you had before, “you can keep it. Period.” Try really hard, for the next  seconds, not to think about that. A

NOVEMBER 30, 2013 • WORLD

11/13/13 10:54 AM


FAITH

CREDIT

The Bible is absolute Truth and the foundation for our Christian faith and living. BJU is committed to helping you build your faith. That’s why we infuse a biblical philosophy into all that we do— from our academics to campus life to extracurriculars. To learn how you can build your faith at BJU, visit us at go.bju.edu/build.

For graduation rates, the median debt of students who completed the program and other important info visit go.bju.edu/rates. (12043) 8/13

Build

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11/12/13 10:12 AM


Dispatches News > Quotables > Quick Takes

DONDI TAWATAO/GETTY IMAGES

‘State of calamity’ Aid groups struggle to reach desperate survivors of one of the worst typhoons in the Philippines’ history BY JAMIE DEAN

NOVEMBER 30, 2013 • WORLD

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11/13/13 11:21 AM


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Inside the Redemptorist Catholic Church in Tacloban, thousands of local residents packed into the church’s low, wooden benches, waiting for rice and water after Typhoon Haiyan barreled across the central Philippines on Nov. 8. The cathedral was one of the city’s few structures left intact. At another local church, where residents had fled for shelter before the storm, the scene was different: The church grounds remained scattered with the corpses of those who drowned inside. It was one of the tragic dynamics of a terrible disaster: Even places of shelter weren’t safe as a storm surge of unexpected proportions rushed inland and destroyed miles of homes and buildings, leaving residents desperate for food and water. Officials estimate the typhoon affected as many as 9.5 million people. President Benigno Aquino declared a “state of calamity,” as scientists reported the typhoon was one of the

strongest ever recorded: The storm packed sustained winds of up to 195 miles per hour, with gusts up to 235 miles per hour. But it was the typhoon’s 13-foot storm surge that engulfed seaside villages and created what some observers called tsunami-like conditions. (Indeed, huge ships forced ashore evoked memories of similar scenes in Japan’s disastrous 2011 tsunami.) Though as many as 750,000 residents had evacuated their homes before the storm, many shelters—like churches, schools, and government buildings— couldn’t withstand the massive wall of water. A UN official said the surge had also destroyed some of the region’s prepositioned disaster supplies, as water

surged through warehouses full of food and emergency provisions. Though initial estimates indicated the death toll could reach 10,000, President Aquino suggested the count

OVERWHELMED IN TACLOBAN: A mother weeps beside the dead body of her son in a flooded church (below); survivors collect water from a broken water pipe (above); a father and his children wait for food relief outside their makeshift tent (above center); a large ship washed ashore by strong waves (above right); residents walk past destroyed houses and dead bodies (right).

church: NOEL CELIS/AFP/Getty Images • water: Dondi Tawatao/Getty Images

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Visit our website—wng.org—for breaking news and more 

11/13/13 11:22 AM

tent: DENNIS M. SABANGAN/EPA/LANDOV • ship: Aaron Favila/ap • street: TED ALJIBE/AFP/Getty Images

: n water n e, oon ave power 0,000 est ar. ges)

Dispatches > News


tent: DENNIS M. SABANGAN/EPA/LANDOV • ship: Aaron Favila/ap • street: TED ALJIBE/AFP/Getty Images

church: NOEL CELIS/AFP/Getty Images • water: Dondi Tawatao/Getty Images

could be closer to 2,500. But as many communities remained isolated from outside help, and some residents dug mass graves, it was unclear if the president’s low estimate would prove accurate. (One woman told The New York Times nearly half of the 5,000 residents in her hometown seemed to be missing, and possibly washed out to sea.) Meanwhile, badly damaged roads and airports slowed the flow of relief, and desperate residents looted many local stores within days. Aid organizations mobilized to deliver food, hygiene kits, and medical care to stranded communities. The groups included Christian organizations serving in the predominantly Catholic nation. Campus Crusade for Christ (Cru) maintains more than 200 staff members in the Philippines, and reported, “Many of our staff have been directly affected by the typhoon and have lost almost everything.” The ministry reported it would assess needs and deliver aid. Operation Blessing Foundation Philippines—the local outreach of the Virginia-based Operation Blessing International—maintains at least 40 staff members in Tacloban alone. The ministry reported it would offer medical care, help clear roads, and supply chlorine generators to provide hundreds of thousands of gallons of clean water. Other Christian ministries working with local churches to offer relief included World Vision, The Salvation Army, Tearfund, Samaritan’s Purse, and World Relief. Beyond the desperate physical needs, many survivors also face coping with grief and devastating loss. One woman, eight months pregnant, told the Reuters news service that 11 family members vanished in the storm, including two of her daughters. “I can’t think right now,” she said. “I am overwhelmed.” A

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N ove m be r 3 0 , 2 0 1 3 • W O R L D  

9

11/13/13 11:22 AM


Dispatches > News T h u r s d a y, O c t .  

We d n e s d a y, O c t .  

Sox win again

Communion crackdown

RED SOX: DAVID J. PHILLIP/AP • NYPD: SHIHO FUKADA/AP • SEBELIUS: EVAN VUCCI/AP • PHILLIPS: HANDOUT

One year after a -loss season, the newly managed Red Sox roared back to win the team’s third World Series title in  years. The Sox beat the St. Louis Cardinals in six games, each game a battle between two iron-clad pitching staffs. Boston’s David Ortiz also hit the ball just about every time he came to bat, ending the Series with a . batting average.

Sebelius testifies

Human rights groups said a Christian received  lashes in Iran for drinking communion wine, and three other Christians were sentenced to lashes for the same crime. Drinking alcohol is not illegal for non-Muslims in Iran, but Behzad Taalipasand, who received the lashes, is a convert from Islam. The punishment underscored a continuing crackdown on house churches in Iran, despite new president Hassan Rouhani’s promises to respect human rights.

 

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius testified at the first of several congressional hearings on the disastrous rollout of Obamacare. Sebelius issued an apology for problems people experienced trying to sign up for insurance through the federal insurance exchanges. Sebelius has said the agency is hoping to get the site working normally by Nov. .

Resigned Doug Phillips resigned as president of Vision Forum Ministries on Oct.  after admitting to engaging in an extramarital relationship with a woman. Phillips announced he is canceling all speaking engagements and would no longer act as a ministry leader, although he will continue as owner of the forprofit Vision Forum Inc. Phillips said he did not “know” the woman in a biblical sense, but he called the relationship “romantic and affectionate.” Phillips and his wife, Beall, have eight children.

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WORLD • NOVEMBER 30, 2013

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11/13/13 12:14 PM

TSA: DAVID MCNEW/GETTY IMAGES • INCOGNITO: G. NEWMAN LOWRANCE/AP • MEHSUD: ISHTIAQ MEHSUD/AP • WARSAME: ENNIFER SIMONSON/MINNESOTA PUBLIC RADIO/AP

Stop-and-frisk win The nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals blocked a lower judge’s ruling that the New York Police Department’s stopand-frisk policy was unconstitutional, and in a rare decision removed the lower judge from the case. The appeals court said that District Judge Shira Scheindlin had “run afoul of the code of conduct” governing judges “by a series of interviews and public statements” she gave after her ruling that showed a bias against the city. Judge Scheindlin declared stop-and-frisk unconstitutional because the policy tended to target minorities. The policy allows officers to stop and frisk anyone who looks suspicious. Despite the win for stop-and-frisk, the policy’s future does not look promising. The new mayor-elect of New York, Democrat Bill de Blasio, opposes the policy and will probably drop the appeal.


S a t u r d a y, No v. 

RED SOX: DAVID J. PHILLIP/AP • NYPD: SHIHO FUKADA/AP • SEBELIUS: EVAN VUCCI/AP • PHILLIPS: HANDOUT

TSA: DAVID MCNEW/GETTY IMAGES • INCOGNITO: G. NEWMAN LOWRANCE/AP • MEHSUD: ISHTIAQ MEHSUD/AP • WARSAME: ENNIFER SIMONSON/MINNESOTA PUBLIC RADIO/AP

Bully ball The NFL announced that it was suspending Miami Dolphins guard Richie Incognito after allegations that he harassed rookie offensive tackle Jonathan Martin and called him a racial slur. On Sunday Martin turned over texts and voice mails from Incognito to the league. Veteran players including Incognito also allegedly forced Martin to pay thousands of dollars for the veterans to travel to Las Vegas. Martin eventually had an emotional breakdown and went on the F r i d a y, N o v. 

Airport attack A passenger shot and killed a TSA agent at a pre-security checkpoint at Los Angeles International Airport and injured two other agents. Federal officers shot the suspect, Paul Ciancia, , of Los Angeles, and he remains in critical condition. Ciancia has no history of mental illness but sent worrisome text messages to his father in Pennsylvania shortly before the shooting. His father alerted police, who contacted police in Los Angeles, who arrived at Ciancia’s home soon after he had left for the airport.

Abortion ruling

Drone kill

The th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reinstated most of Texas’ new abortion restrictions after a district judge had tossed them out. The ruling revived the law that requires abortionists to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals. The appeals court did toss out the law requiring doctors to abide by FDA regulations in prescribing the abortion drug regimen RU-. The rulings were temporary, until the court hears the case in full later.

A U.S. drone killed the head of Pakistan’s Taliban, Hakimullah Mehsud, who had been tied to the attack on a CIA outpost in Afghanistan that killed seven Americans. The strike was a long-sought victory for U.S. intelligence but also added strain to relations with Pakistan. Mehsud had been preparing to enter peace talks with the Pakistani government.

injury list. Various NFL players have vented to the press that Martin should have handled the bullying privately. “What people want to call bullying is something that is never going away from football,” wrote former Dolphins player Lydon Murtha. “This is a game of high testosterone, with men hammering their bodies on a daily basis. You are taught to be an aggressive person, and you typically do not make it to the NFL if you are a passive person.” The NFL is investigating the allegations.

Elected Abdi Warsame,, , became the highest-elected Somali in the United States on Nov.  after winning a seat on the Minneapolis City Council. Warsame, a community organizer endorsed by the liberal Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party, settled in Minneapolis in , more than a decade after scores of Somalis began arriving in the city to escape civil war in their native country. Somalian voters played a key role in helping Warsame defeat a -year incumbent. “I’m an American who happens to be Somali. … This is my base and I’m proud of that,” he said.

NOVEMBER 30, 2013 • WORLD

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11/13/13 11:47 AM


Dispatches > News Tu e s d a y, N o v. 

Dangerous move American Iranian Pastor Saeed Abedini was moved from the frying pan to the fire; Iran had imprisoned Abedini in the notorious Evin prison, but moved him Nov.  to the dangerous Rajai Shahr prison, populated with murderers who often kill fellow prisoners. “This prison is where prisoners are sent to disappear,” said Ann Buwalda of the Jubilee Campaign. “I am more concerned now about his safety than at any other time during his imprisonment,” said Abedini’s wife, Naghmeh, in a statement. “He is truly defenseless in this prison. … I am grateful for everything our government has done in the past, but now during this most dangerous and uncertain time I once again call on our government–including President Obama–to fight for Saeed’s life and his freedom, to fight for this U.S. citizen.”

Abortion ruling, II

The Supreme Court, after initially granting its first case on abortion regulations since , declined to hear arguments on Oklahoma’s regulation of the abortion drug RU- and let the lower court ruling striking the regulation stand. The court simply said the case was “improvidently granted,” with no further explanation. The justices may be looking for a broader case to address the proliferation of new state abortion regulations.

From India to Mars India’s space agency launched its first satellite with Mars as its destination, and with a much smaller price tag than similar NASA missions. The project has a budget of  million, compared to NASA’s  million Mars satellite set to launch in late November. If successful–the journey will take  months–India would be the first Asian country to reach Mars. China and Japan’s attempts to reach Mars have failed.

NAGHMEH: ADELLE M. BANKS/RNS • MCAULIFFE: ALEX WONG/GETTY IMAGES • INDIA: ARUN SANKAR K/AP • RU-486: MANOOCHER DEGHATI/AFP/GETTY IMAGES • CATHY: RIC FELD/AP

M o n d a y, N o v. 

Retired Chick-fil-A president and CEO Truett Cathy, , is retiring after  years on the job. Cathy, a devout

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WORLD • NOVEMBER 30, 2013

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CREDIT

Christian, began the fast-food giant in  and built it to more than , stores in  states—all of which remain closed on Sundays. Cathy will remain as chairman emeritus while his son, Dan Cathy, takes over as president and CEO of the chain that brought in more than . billion in . A company statement said Truett Cathy will now focus on entrepreneurial work, including Truett’s Luau, a new restaurant opening in Fayetteville, Ga. in December.

Wng.org: Your online source for today’s news, Christian views

11/13/13 11:50 AM

OBAMA: EVAN VUCCI/AP • ARAFAT: BRENNAN LINSLEY/AP • BONGINO: BRIAN WITTE/AP

Election Day In Virginia, Democrat Terry McAuliffe won the governorship in an unexpected nail-biter with Republican Ken Cuccinelli. The Republican Party had largely abandoned Cuccinelli in terms of resources, and McAuliffe outspent him -to-. Cuccinelli asserted that the failure of Obamacare’s launch brought him within striking distance of McAuliffe. In New Jersey, Republican Gov. Chris Christie floated to reelection by a wide margin over Democratic state Senator Barbara Buono. Christie won big in one demographic typically difficult for Republicans: Hispanics. Christie may only serve a couple years of his new term if he decides to run for president in .


F r i d a y, No v. 

Middle East murder mystery

So sorry

OBAMA: EVAN VUCCI/AP • ARAFAT: BRENNAN LINSLEY/AP • BONGINO: BRIAN WITTE/AP

NAGHMEH: ADELLE M. BANKS/RNS • MCAULIFFE: ALEX WONG/GETTY IMAGES • INDIA: ARUN SANKAR K/AP • RU-486: MANOOCHER DEGHATI/AFP/GETTY IMAGES • CATHY: RIC FELD/AP

T h u r s d a y, N o v. 

Swiss scientists investigating the  death of former Palestinian National Authority President Yasser Arafat concluded that he died of radiation poisoning, likely by ingesting the radioactive substance polonium. A Soviet team confirmed that Arafat died “by toxic substance.” Arafat’s body was exhumed earlier this year so investigators could determine whether he was poisoned. It had been believed that Arafat died from an illness. The question now is, Who poisoned him? Palestinian leaders point to Israel. Palestinian investigator Tawfik Tirawi called Israel “the first, fundamental, and only suspect in the assassination of Yasser Arafat.” Yigal Palmor, a spokesman for the Israeli Foreign Ministry, denied Israeli involvement: “Let me state as simply as I can: Israel did not kill Arafat.”

President Barack Obama apologized that many Americans had lost their insurance policies after his repeated promise that they wouldn’t under his healthcare law. “I am sorry that they are finding themselves in this situation based on assurances they got from me,” he said in an interview with NBC News. In  Obama had said, “If you like your healthcare plan, you’ll be able to keep your healthcare plan, period. No one will take it away, no matter what.” Obama said his staff was looking into administrative options for helping those who had lost insurance and couldn’t afford the available policies.

Navy crimes Navy officials revealed that a massive internal bribery case continues to expand in scope, as they arrested a third senior Navy official and opened a probe into two admirals. The case centers around a Navy contractor, Glenn Davis Marine, whose Malaysian CEO Leonard Glenn Francis allegedly bribed Navy officials with prostitutes and money. In exchange, officials allegedly helped Francis hold onto his contracts, and overpaid him in millions of dollars. According to prosecutors, several Navy moles may have leaked classified information to Francis so he could avoid investigators.

Declared Former Secret Service agent Dan Bongino, , has declared his candidacy for Congress, saying Americans

CREDIT

would be shocked to know what’s happening inside the Obama White House. Bongino quit the Secret Service after  years amid a “fog of scandals” that he claims are “worse than people know.” Bongino, who failed in a bid for the U.S. Senate last year, will run as a Republican against incumbent Maryland Democrat John Delaney. The Secret Service says Bongino is only trying to draw attention to himself: His book, Life Inside the Bubble, comes out this month.

NOVEMBER 30, 2013 • WORLD

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11/13/13 11:50 AM


Dispatches > News M o n d a y, No v.  

S a t u r d a y & S u n d a y, No v.  -  

Talking to Iran

Sunday delivery The cash-strapped U.S. Postal Service (USPS) plans to test Sunday delivery for Amazon packages in New York and Los Angeles in an effort to earn some money as e-commerce grows. USPS didn’t disclose the financial terms of its deal with Amazon, but package services are one profitable slice of its business. Earlier this year USPS had tried to cut back mail delivery service on Saturdays to save money, a proposal that Congress rejected. USPS lost almost  billion last year.

Korean killings North Korea publicly executed  people for minor offenses, according to a South Korean newspaper and a North Korean defectors’ group. The charges ranged from watching South Korean videos to possessing a Bible. One report said thousands of North Koreans were forced into a stadium to witness the brutal machine gun executions. The executions were evidence that young Korean dictator Kim Jong Un is no less brutal than his father, Kim Jong Il.

GENEVA: /JEAN-CHRISTOPHE BOTT/AP • KIM JONG UN: KYODO/AP • USPS: DAVID GOLDMAN/AP • ORTLUND: HANDOUT

Nuclear talks between Iran and the major world powers fell apart in Geneva after the United States had shown optimism that an accord was within reach. Initial reports said that France had scuttled the deal, but U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry disputed that account. He said Iran objected to a deal that the major powers including France had agreed on. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had criticized the talks even before any deal took shape. The negotiators plan to meet again to try to find an interim settlement. Separately, Iran said it would allow UN inspectors into two of its nuclear facilities.

Died Anne Ortlund died on Nov.  at age . Ortlund served for  years on staff at Lake Avenue Church in Pasadena, Calif., where her husband, Ray—the voice of the “Haven of Rest” worldwide radio broadcasts—was senior pastor. Ortlund traveled the world speaking with her husband and the two wrote  books together. Ortlund carried on the couple’s ministry, Renewal Ministries, after her husband died in . Ortlund’s son, Ray Ortlund Jr., now runs the ministry.



WORLD • NOVEMBER 30, 2013

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11/13/13 11:59 AM

AIRPORT: SUSAN WALSH/AP • PUTIN: MIKHAIL KLIMENTIEV/PRESIDENTIAL PRESS SERVICE/AP • TURKEY: FOSTER FARMS/AP • CANADA: LARRY MACDOUGAL/AP HEALTHCARE.GOV: ANDREW HARRER/BLOOMBERG/GETTY IMAGES • SEC: HANDOUT • INHOFE: RYAN JACKSON/COURTESY OF SEN. JAMES INHOFE/A[P

Very few served As anticipated, the first enrollment numbers for the federal healthcare insurance exchanges were meager due to the dysfunctional website healthcare.gov. Only about , people have enrolled, according to federal officials, less than a th of the number officials had projected at this point. That number doesn’t give a picture of who actually bought insurance, because it includes users who simply put insurance plans in their online shopping carts. Meanwhile, more than . million Americans have reportedly had their insurance plans cancelled due to Obamacare mandates. The exchanges, which launched Oct. , cover  states and exist for individuals buying their own insurance.


Nov. 25 Russian President Vladimir

Putin will travel to visit Pope Francis today in Vatican City. The audience marks the first meeting between Putin and the current leader of the Roman Catholic Church. The meeting could improve relations between the Catholic Church and the Russian Orthodox Church, of which Putin is a member.

Tu e s d a y, No v.  

GENEVA: /JEAN-CHRISTOPHE BOTT/AP • KIM JONG UN: KYODO/AP • USPS: DAVID GOLDMAN/AP • ORTLUND: HANDOUT

AIRPORT: SUSAN WALSH/AP • PUTIN: MIKHAIL KLIMENTIEV/PRESIDENTIAL PRESS SERVICE/AP • TURKEY: FOSTER FARMS/AP • CANADA: LARRY MACDOUGAL/AP HEALTHCARE.GOV: ANDREW HARRER/BLOOMBERG/GETTY IMAGES • SEC: HANDOUT • INHOFE: RYAN JACKSON/COURTESY OF SEN. JAMES INHOFE/A[P

US and American After suing to block the merger between US Airways and American Airlines in August, the Justice Department said it had reached a settlement and would allow the merger to go forward. Under the agreement the newly merged airlines will have to give up some of their flight slots at major cities like Boston, Dallas, New York, and Chicago, which could result in fewer flights to smaller communities. The Justice Department said the slots would allow in more competition and flights from smaller carriers like Southwest Airlines and JetBlue. The merger comes as American is emerging from bankruptcy, and is part of a pattern of consolidation in the airline industry.

   . Keep up with the latest news on the storm recovery in the Philippines and the Obamacare rollout in the United States, and check out online commentary by Marvin Olasky, Janie B. Cheaney, Andrée Seu Peterson, and Cal Thomas.

LOOKING AHEAD

Nov. 28 Going to grandmother’s house

for Thanksgiving is getting easier every year in the United States. According to the Census Bureau, millions of Americans are already living at grandmother’s house. In , the United States had . million multigenerational households.

Nov. 30 When healthcare.gov, the

president’s portal for healthcare exchanges under Obamacare, failed to launch on Oct. , the administration promised that all things would be running smoothly by Nov. . But many computer and healthcare experts are expressing doubts the president’s “tech surge” will be able to resuscitate the patient in time.

Nov. 29 Before Canadian Prime Minister

Stephen Harper carries forth plans to expand the nation’s energy infrastructure by completing pipeline projects like the Keystone XL, he must first quell objections of environmentalists and native peoples. For more than seven months, a representative of Harper has met with First Nation leaders and environmentalists to listen to concerns. The representative’s report is due on Nov. .

Dec. 7

If recent history is any indication, the winner of today’s Southeastern Conference championship game will play in college football’s National Championship Game on Jan. . Since , the SEC champion has earned a berth in the high-profile game, winning it six times. Since , the only time the SEC champion didn’t become national champion was in  when SEC champion Louisiana State lost to SEC runner-up Alabama.

Died Perry Inhofe, , son of U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., died Nov.  in an airplane crash near Tulsa. Inhofe, an orthopedic surgeon, was flying a  Mitsubishi aircraft when it went down five miles north of the Tulsa International Airport. Jim Inhofe, , who had quadruple bypass surgery last month, has been a pilot for more than  years and sometimes flies his own plane to campaign stops around the state. In September, Perry Inhofe’s -year-old son, Cole, made his first landing to continue the family tradition. Available in Apple’s App Store: Download WORLD’s iPad app today

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Jim (left) and Perry

NOVEMBER 30, 2013 • WORLD

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11/13/13 12:01 PM


Dispatches > Quotables ‘[T]he threat and risk potential is limitless.’

DAVE WILSON, elected in November to the Houston Community College Board of Trustees, on not being sorry for ads that falsely implied he was black. The white Wilson won election in a predominantly black district.

‘$31.5 million’

‘We’re lending money we don’t have, to kids who will never be able to pay it back, for jobs that no longer exist.’ MIKE ROWE of Dirty Jobs fame on what he believes is American society’s overemphasis and overspending on higher education.



WORLD • NOVEMBER 30, 2013

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The price paid by an UNIDENTIFIED BUYER at a Nov.  Christie’s auction in Geneva, Switzerland, for a .-carat orange diamond. Christie’s international jewelry director David Warren told the AFP news service that the diamond is “the largest recorded vivid orange diamond in the world.” The buyer will reportedly have to pay an additional . million for taxes and commission.

‘His mayoralty has been an experiment in what would happen if you had a feral 16-year-old boy for mayor.’ Toronto resident and writer STEPHEN MARCHE, on the city’s controversial mayor, Rob Ford. The subject of a police investigation, Ford confessed on Nov.  that he recently smoked crack cocaine, “probably in one of my drunken stupors,” but he vowed to continue in office.

ROWE: EVAN VUCCI/AP • TRENKLE: GOVERNMENT CIO MAGAZINE • WILSON: KHOU • DIAMOND: FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/GETTY IMAGES • FORD: STAN BEHAL/TORONTO SUN/QMI AGENCY/NEWSCOM

‘Every time a politician talks, he’s out there deceiving voters.’

Download WORLD’s iPad app today; details at wng.org/iPad

11/13/13 11:42 AM

CREDIT

TONY TRENKLE, the official in charge of healthcare.gov security efforts, in a Sept.  memo on security problems with the website. According to CBS News, Trenkle never signed off on authorization for the site, but his boss, Marilyn Tavenner, did. Trenkle resigned in November. Security experts warn that the Obamacare website may prove fertile ground for hackers seeking users’ personal and financial information.


CREDIT

CREDIT

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11/12/13 2:08 PM


Dispatches > Quick Takes  

    Bears? Cliffs? No matter. Yusuf Alchagirov isn’t one to back away from a fight. In late October, the -yearold Russian shepherd survived a bear attack—and a nasty spill off

  A recent complaint from a woman in Bismarck, N.D., has local police scratching their heads. The unidentified woman phoned authorities on Oct.  to complain that someone had broken into her home through a bedroom window. According to police, the bandit raided the fridge and little else. The woman said the intruder had apparently taken some bacon, fried it, and departed with three Bud Lights. The bandit did not clean up his mess.

field near the Russian border with Georgia, Alchagirov was confronted by a large bear. Alchagirov began pummeling—and head-butting—the animal. After having its fill of the spritely -year-old, the bear tossed Alchagirov off a nearby cliff. But the fall was about as effective in sidelining the shepherd as the bear was. Alchagirov survived both with some cuts, bruises, and a few broken ribs.

  After dropping off a fare on Oct. , German taxi driver Thomas Gunter noticed something in his backseat. The elderly couple he had dropped off at their Wurzburg, Germany, home had accidentally left a large envelope. Peeking inside the package, Gunter saw , euros (more than ,) in -euro notes. Rather than keep the money, Gunter went back to the home so he could return the package to the then-distraught couple. After all, keeping the money “would probably be the downfall of the old couple,” he told Local. And though he was offered a reward for returning the lost nest egg, the cab The Local driver turned that down too.



WAGENEN: HANDOUT • NECKLACE: ZHENGQUANER/ISTOCK • BEAR: HANDOUT • SKILLET: EERIK/ISTOCK • CASH: MARK WRAGG

a cliff. Picking raspberries in a

WORLD • NOVEMBER 30, 2013

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LOTT: HANDOUT • CAT: HANDOUT • BRITNEY: ETHAN MILLER/GETTY IMAGES FOR ABC • LICORICE: JUANMONINO/ISTOCK • FABERGÉ: HANDOUT

Last year, eighth-grader Maya Van Wagenen wasn’t very popular. To fix the problem, the Statesboro, Ga., teen thumbed through the pages of a dusty copy of the  book Betty Cornell’s Glamour Guide for Teens, which promised the secrets to greater popularity. Vowing to follow all the advice within its pages, Maya endeavored to change her image. She also decided to keep a journal of her peculiar experiment. After a year of following the book’s directives on girdles and strands of pearls, it seems the gambit has paid off. Earlier this year, Penguin Books offered her six figures to turn her journal into a memoir. And in October, DreamWorks bought film rights to the memoir. She’s now rich, but did the book help her to become popular? Of course. Maya says the best advice from the etiquette guide was simply to treat others kindly.


  If Xavier Lott ever gets pulled over again, he may think twice about using a fake name. On Oct. , Oklahoma City police pulled Lott over because he had a broken tag light. When the officer asked Lott for his name, the Oklahoma man feared he might have a warrant for his arrest. So he provided the officer with his brother’s name. What he didn’t know was that his brother also had a warrant for his arrest. Police eventually sorted the confusion and charged Lott with one count of false personation.

 ’  Wine for cats? In Japan, where the human population is falling, feline luxury is apparently rising. Pet supplement manufacturer B&H Lifes began rolling out nonalcoholic cat wine on Oct.  for Japanese pet owners. According to the company, the cabernet-tasting beverage contains no alcohol but plenty of catnip. B&H suggests owners use it to celebrate holidays or birthdays with their feline companions.

WAGENEN: HANDOUT • NECKLACE: ZHENGQUANER/ISTOCK • BEAR: HANDOUT • SKILLET: EERIK/ISTOCK • CASH: MARK WRAGG

LOTT: HANDOUT • CAT: HANDOUT • BRITNEY: ETHAN MILLER/GETTY IMAGES FOR ABC • LICORICE: JUANMONINO/ISTOCK • FABERGÉ: HANDOUT

  In the ongoing war against pirates off the Horn of Africa, British merchant navy captains have a new secret weapon: Britney Spears. Loudspeakers blasting hits like “Oops! I Did It Again” and “Baby One More Time” have successfully warded off Somali pirates attempting to board cargo vessels traversing the Indian Ocean. Second Officer Rachel Owens told the Mirror that the Western pop culture oozing from Spears’ singles is often enough to repulse the marauding pirates: “Her songs have been chosen by the security team accompanying our tankers because they thought the pirates would hate them most.”

  It’s not only a question of who, but why? Police in Orkelljunga, Sweden, are on the lookout for a thief with an old-school sweet tooth after a recent licorice heist. The culprit made off with  pounds of licorice candy from the back of a truck in late October as the driver took a nap. The identity of the thief, who pilfered half a pallet worth of the much-maligned sweet, remains a mystery to police.

Download WORLD’s iPad app today; details at wng.org/iPad

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  A small wooden box found in an attic in Rhinebeck, N.Y., held a grand treasure inside—a Fabergé figure of Nikolai Nikolaievich Pustynnikov, Cossack bodyguard to Empress Alexandra Feodorovna. Tsar Nicholas II had the elaborate little figure made in  for his wife Alexandra. After the Russian Revolution, the figure was acquired by tycoon Armand Hammer. In  a gallery sold it to George Davis for ,. Davis apparently passed it down to his children, George and Betty Davis of Rhinebeck, who didn’t know its value and kept it wrapped up in their attic. The executor of their estate found it there last spring. The price it fetched at a recent auction: . million.

NOVEMBER 30, 2013 • WORLD

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11/12/13 4:03 PM


Janie B. Cheaney

A perfect political storm A disastrous Obamacare may damage liberalism rather than sink it permanently

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WORLD • NOVEMBER 30, 2013

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on the website (provided we can get there) because its exemption from many privacy rules make it a “hacker’s dream.” Abuse-of-power concerns, as we experienced with Fast and Furious and the IRS intimidation of opposition groups. The projected millions of Americans kicked off their current insurance plans is only the beginning; wait until medical rationing kicks in. Moral concerns raised by the administration’s homosexual policies and birth-control mandates. Abortions could be subsidized under Obamacare, despite promises to the contrary. What other monuments to sexual irresponsibility and deviancy will taxpayers be forced to support? Because of its immediate impact on lifestyles and bank balances, some commentators see Obamacare as a tsunami roaring in from the sea to sweep away liberalism as a political force, at least for the next  years or so. That’s how long it took for it to build up to its current muscle-flexing, public-swaying power. Like any system based on a false view of human nature, liberalism is bound to fail or falter. The excesses of the French Revolution met a bloody end in the Reign of Terror, and War on Poverty programs slowed a bit during the Reagan years. At the same time, many commentators tell us, conservatism is slowly growing as more individuals identify with conservative positions (at least the fiscal variety) than in the s. Well, maybe. Contemporary liberalism is due for a takedown, but not death. It’s one of those basic human yearnings that can’t be killed this side of eternity: something for nothing and the checks for free. But this sort of liberalism is only plausible in the stable, prosperous societies that conservatism builds. And conservatives have their signature fault, too: not overreach but complacency. Both are prey to totalitarianism, which could be the second perfect storm if there aren’t enough freedom-loving people around to pick up the pieces after the first. A

KRIEG BARRIE

W I    I read and reread an old collection of Grimm’s Fairy Tales that was unaccountably sitting on the shelf (kids never wonder where those books come from, or who bought them, but I’m wondering now). One of my favorites was “The Flounder,” several versions of which appear in many cultures. In the Grimm version, a poor fisherman catches a flounder that turns out to be magic. She grants him a wish in return for her life, but he can’t think of anything he needs. So he simply lets her go— because who wants to eat a talking fish? Upon hearing the fisherman’s tale, his wife calls him a fool and demands he go back to request a nicer house. The flounder grants that wish, but the wife isn’t satisfied: She wants to be duchess, then queen, then empress, then pope. The flounder grants all these, with more and more elaborate trappings, until the wife wants to be master of the universe. Instantly, all her accoutrements disappear, and she’s back in a smoky hovel with her long-suffering husband. She should have counted herself lucky. Similar ambitions worked out much worse for Satan. Icarus flew too close to the sun, and a certain rich man determined to build bigger barns to hold his bountiful produce. It’s called overreach, a well-known phenomenon in human history—both in individuals and in political systems. In fact, many political commentators have remarked recently how overreach is a peculiar weakness of liberalism, with the spectacular failure of the Obamacare rollout as Exhibit A. It would certainly seem so, but Obamacare is more like a perfect storm, in which all the worries and warnings about Big Government join together in one mighty wind. Such as: Incompetence concerns, of the sort that plague any enterprise with a huge pot and a multitude of cooks. Healthcare.gov was put together in too short a time with too many last-minute decisions that screwed up previous decisions, rammed through (like the law itself) by an administration that was dead set on launching it, ready or not. Security concerns like our uneasiness about NSA spying and big-data collection. Cybersecurity experts are advising us not to leave any personal information

Email: jcheaney@wng.org

11/7/13 2:10 PM


This Christmas Equip a Native Missionary Janak* is a native missionary who works among the Tamang tribe in the Himalayan Mountains of Nepal. Journeying by foot to isolated settlements, he shares the good news of the Savior in areas previously unreached with the gospel. Your gifts can provide Janak and other indigenous workers with the tools they need to establish a witness for Jesus Christ in some of the most remote corners of the earth. From evangelistic materials to bicycles to community development projects, these resources equip missionaries to advance God’s kingdom and impact lives for eternity. GIVE ONLINE: www.2013GiftCatalog.com or contact us to request a copy of our printed catalog. *name changed

Christian Aid Mission is a non-profit organiza-

Christian Aid Mission P. O. Box 9037 Charlottesville, VA 22906

tion that supports more than 800 ministries with over 80,000 indigenous or native missionaries that reach more than 3,000 different people groups worldwide. Our focus is on reaching the unreached — areas in the world KRIEG BARRIE

where there are few Christians or where Christians suffer because of poverty or persecution. Christian Aid Mission is a 60-year-old agency and one of the first organizations to support native missionaries overseas.

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Like us on Facebook at facebook.com/CAM53

434-977-5650 www.christianaid.org info@christianaid.org

Follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/LoveTheBrethren Read our blog at ChristianAid.org/blog Follow us on Linkedin ChristianAid.org/linkedin

Christian Aid Mission is a member of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability OXMAS13-61:077

11/7/13 2:07 PM


fox searchlight

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11/12/13 10:06 AM


Reviews Movies & TV > Books > Q&A > Music

Family and forgiveness fox searchlight

MOVIE: A dazzling cast and timeless values propel Black Nativity by Sophia Lee

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If you’ve ever been to a black Baptist church, you know you’re in for a cascade of full-body, full-spirit praise and dance. Now imagine that performed as a Christmas musical drama—a mishmash of classic Christmas hymns, soul-stirring gospel, and ­contemporary rap—and you’ve got the film Black Nativity. Black Nativity (rated PG for thematic material, language, and a menacing situation) is adapted from Harlem Renaissance poet Langston Hughes’ most celebrated play, an all-black cast remake of

the nativity story. The play was first performed Off-Broadway in 1961 and still appears in various theaters across the nation. The on-screen version hopes to appeal to the mainstream public with the addition of a high-caliber cast that includes award-winning actors Forest Whitaker (The Last King of Scotland) and Jennifer Hudson (Dreamgirls). Like the play, writer/director Kasi Lemmons swaths old-time carols with hand-swaying, foot-stomping enthusiasm, brilliant colors, and Afrocentric percussion. That nativity scene plays

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Thor: The Dark World by Emily Belz

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Thor: The Dark World, colloquially known as Thor 2, is another Marvel Comics movie in the prolific family of The Avengers, The Incredible Hulk, Captain America, and Iron Man, but audiences aren’t tired yet, judging by Thor 2’s first box office returns. Thor 2 (rated PG-13 mainly for ­violence that is a bit more intense than in Avengers) won’t be in any college film classes, but it sure is fun. Come for Tom Hiddleston’s performance as Loki, and stay for the final battle scene. Along the way the audience will have to deal with a messy plot strung across nine worlds–with some mental leaps, the story hangs together, barely. Here the complexity of a Lord of the Rings storyline meets Star Wars, Norse mythology meets science fiction. The screenwriters also worked on The Chronicles of Narnia movies. Stir all of that together with Marvel, and ta-dah: Thor. The story begins with thousands of years of prehistory involving a battle among Thor’s (Chris Hemsworth) people, the Asgardians, and the Dark Elves who are seeking the Aether, a floaty substance that would give the leader of the Dark Elves universe-destroying power. The Asgardians win, and bury the Aether. Centuries later when the nine worlds align and portals between worlds open, the Aether somehow escapes into the body of Thor’s human love interest, Dr. Jane Foster (Natalie Portman). Heimdell (Idris Elba), the fantastic guardian of Asgard with an all-seeing eye, notices that Foster is in trouble and Thor rushes to Earth.  All of this sounds quite serious, but one of the Marvel franchise’s strong points is that the superheroes aren’t allowed to take themselves too seriously. In one scene Thor arrives in a London apartment, pauses at the entryway, and hangs his hammer on a coat hook.  Then there’s the ­movie’s strongest asset: Loki, Thor’s evil adopted brother. Loki completely overshadows the scary Dark Elves who appear to exist only for the final battle scene. In a predictable superhero movie, Loki is the one unpredictable character. “I wish I could trust you,” Thor says at one point. “Trust my rage,” says Loki.

2013 MVLFFLLC. TM & © 2013 Marve

out in a dream sequence, but the main story is meet the grandparents. Teenager Langston (played by precocious 17-year-old Jacob Latimore) travels from Baltimore to Manhattan on a Peter Pan bus, with little more than a heavy parka and a backpack. He and his single mother, Naima (Jennifer Hudson), are being evicted, so his mother sends him to her estranged parents in Harlem for Christmas. Standing pie-eyed among flashing billboards, glinting ­skyscrapers, and pushing crowds, Langston has never felt lonelier. He doesn’t understand his prim-and-proper grandparents, Rev. Cornell and Aretha Cobbs (Whitaker and Angela Bassett), and they don’t understand him. His grandfather, all dapper in a plaid coat, black vest, and pocket watch, criticizes his low-riding jeans during grace at dinner. His grandmother, elegant and handsome in a rich-textured sweater and pearls, embraces and studies him with sad eyes, but is otherwise a nervous hummingbird, flitting around trying to soothe tensions between grandpa and grandson. Don’t watch Black Nativity for the thrill or suspense: Despite some story “twists,” the plot is as predictable as the story of Baby Jesus. No, watch it for the dazzling scale of ­talents: Hudson’s clear-waterfall vocals dueting with Bassett’s silky baritone to “He Loves Me Still.” Grammy-winning Mary J. Blige in a snowy Afro, belting out a new rendition of “Rise Up Shepherd and Follow” with rapper Nas. And Latimore— boy, can that teen trill a heartache. One of the major themes in Black Nativity—forgiveness and redemption—is central to the least likely character of the movie: the Reverend. Stern and sorrowful at home, Rev. Cornell transforms into an exuberant preacher of God’s forgiveness on the pulpit—but then in front of his congregation he reveals his past mistake and begs his daughter’s forgiveness. It’s a powerful, joyful, yet tear-jerking scene. Executive producer Bishop T.D. Jakes, who edited the script to reach “a wider faith-based audience,” said he wanted Rev. Cornell to be “believable as a human, without being ­disrespectful.” It’s a side of the clergy not often revealed in Hollywood—and Whitaker nails it, humanizing the church leader with sympathetic rawness. Whitaker said he drew inspiration for his character from his own upbringing as a Baptist preacher’s grandson and a church elder’s son. He also watched sermons of famous preachers online, read the Scriptures, and tried to channel the charisma of Martin Luther King Jr. “The big challenge was how to embody the character of a preacher in an honest way,” Whitaker said. “It’s a high-scrutiny job. A pastor is an important model in the church and community … but that doesn’t always translate into all areas in his personal life.” Like any other feel-good holiday movie, Black Nativity highlights timeless, universal values that reflect across all races, cities, and religions: family and forgiveness. As for the message to a faith-focused audience, Bassett said, “It’s about knowing that you’re imperfect, but that God still extends his grace and brings fellowship to you.” A

MOVIE

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Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

Reviews > Movies & TV


MOVIE

The Book Thief   

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I     where smartphones and selfies are our culture’s ubiquitous ornaments, a film like The Book Thief comes as a much-needed reminder of the value of stories, of books, of words, and of life itself. The film, based on the New York Times bestseller by Marcus Zusak, and directed by Brian Percival (Downton Abbey and North and South), tells the tale of -year-old Leisel Meminger, whose mother, fleeing Nazi persecution, sends Leisel and her little brother to live with foster parents in Germany in the years prior to World War II. On the journey to their new home, the little boy dies, leaving Leisel alone in the world. The themes of loss and dying pervade the PG- film, with Death himself acting as the narrator. Some might find this morbid, but Zusak’s Death character is not as much

BOX OFFICE TOP 10     . - according to Box Office Mojo

2013 MVLFFLLC. TM & © 2013 MARVE

TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX FILM CORPORATION

CAUTIONS: Quantity of sexual (S), violent (V), and foul-language (L) content on a - scale, with  high, from kids-in-mind.com

S V L 1 Thor: The Dark `

World* PG-13 ..............................  

2 Bad Grandpa R .........................  ` 3 Free Birds PG ............................ ` 4 Last Vegas PG-13 ..................... ` 5 Ender’s Game* PG-13.............  ` 6 Gravity* PG-13 ...........................  ` 7 12 Years a Slave* R ................ ` 8 ` Captain Phillips* PG-13 .........  9 About Time R ............................ ` 10 Cloudy with a Chance `

       

       

the Grim Reaper as he is a Dickensian spirit who observes the comings and goings of man and takes them out of the world when they complete the full number of their days. Death is not the star of this show; little Leisel and her love for books is. When she arrives at the home of Hans and Rosa Hubermann, Leisel is in shock from the death of her brother and loss of her mother. She cries herself to sleep every night, clutching a little book. Her foster father, Hans, with small acts of kindness, slowly brings Leisel out of her sorrow. He quickly realizes she can’t read and offers to teach her if she’ll help him be a better reader too. Together they go through the booklet she keeps beside her at night—The Grave Digger’s Handbook—a book she stole from the graveyard when her little brother was buried. Each time Leisel encounters a new word, she writes it in the “dictionary” Hans made for her. Little do they know that these words, and Leisel’s love for them, would minister to a young Jewish man named Max, who comes to Hans for shelter from the Nazis. Max tells her that his religion teaches that “words are life itself.” Christians should heartily agree. In the Old Testament, God creates language and then uses words to communicate His character and eternality to His chosen people (I AM). In John :-, He uses the title “the Word” to express

His incarnation. And in James , we learn that words, as articulated by the tongue, hold the power of life and death. Words are life, particularly when used in a story. If God used the story form (the Bible) to communicate His love and redemption to His people and Christ used the story form (parables) to transmit specific truths about God’s

kingdom, there must be something inherently powerful about it. Nevertheless, popular wisdom in the church holds that if you have an hour to read, it should be spent on instructional literature or books of theology. Christian hipsters need to relearn what older generations of Christians knew well, that stories are not an extravagance or indulgence. They make us more human. They transmit values and morality. They broaden our horizons. They bring us hope. Stories, as we poignantly discover in The Book Thief, are life itself.

of Meatballs 2 PG....................   

See all our movie reviews at wng.org/movies

*Reviewed by WORLD

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NOVEMBER 30, 2013 • WORLD

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11/13/13 9:38 AM


Reviews > Books

An oldie but goodie

Those who relish Matthew Henry’s commentary will enjoy a new biography of the English pastor BY MARVIN OLASKY

Matthew Henry

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M H’ sixvolume Commentary on the Whole Bible has long been an evangelical favorite for its combination of thoroughness, specific detail, and price: It’s never been hugely expensive, and its Kindle edition now sells for  cents. Those who relish it—I’m one—will profit from Allan Harman’s readable new biography, Matthew Henry: His Life and Influence (Christian Focus, ). Henry was a DPK, a dissenting preacher’s kid: In , the year Henry was born, a London government edict ejected from the pulpit Philip Henry and , other Puritan-oriented pastors who refused to take an oath of conformity to Anglicanism. Matthew was close to his father, and learning to preach well was the best revenge, so when regulations eased in  six Presbyterian ministers ordained him. He was soon preaching in Chester, a town  miles northwest of London. Henry knew affliction, losing to death a young wife and three daughters. Henry also had professional problems: Arsonists who didn’t like his Reformed preaching tried to burn down his chapel in , and Harman writes that “from within his congregation he was discouraged when he tried to

carry out any reproof or discipline.” He maintained a sense of God’s providence, and when robbed in  wrote of his thankfulness to God that having “travel’d so much, yet I was never Rob’d before now.” Henry died in  of a stroke, while on a preaching tour, but left behind his almost-completed Commentary. Other pastors, working off his notes, finished it. That year also saw the birth of the greatest th-century preacher, George Whitefield, who later wrote of how he read through the six volumes four times, the last time on his knees. The leading th-century preacher, Charles Spurgeon, said, “Every minister ought to read it entirely and carefully through once at least.” One fan in  praised Henry’s combination of “brevity and wit that makes his Commentary such racy and delightful reading, and so memorable.” The word racy then meant a book filled with specific detail, although Henry’s exegesis of chapter  of Genesis shows why “the war between the sexes” should be a benevolent peace: “The woman was made of a rib out of the side of Adam; not made out of his head to rule over him, nor out of his feet to be trampled upon by him, but out of his side to be equal with him, under his arm to be protected, and near his heart to be beloved.”

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The one time I went in person on Bill O’Reilly’s Fox News show, a producer pleaded with me to “get him mad.” Should the bestseller Killing Jesus, by O’Reilly and Martin Dugard (Holt, ), make Christians mad? I think not, although the authors underplay Jesus’ miracles, state that before the Last Supper “panic is overtaking” Jesus, and leave out most of the last words spoken from the cross. The good news is that O’Reilly and Dugard tell the story dramatically enough that some book buyers may want to learn more by reading the real good news brought out by Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. If Killing Jesus helps imbibers of atheism to realize that something extraordinary happened two millennia ago, it serves a useful purpose—but a much better book to give curious people is Tim Keller’s Encounters with Jesus (Dutton, ). Keller takes aim at the ideas that we should will ourselves to faith in Jesus, then follow in His steps, then have lives that go well. No, Keller writes: Faith in Christ is “impossible for anyone without outside intervention,” Jesus does not “model for us the answers to the big questions” (for He is the answer), and Jesus, after being “loved and affirmed and empowered by God … is ushered into the clutches of the devil. … No one is exempt from trials and tribulations.” —M.O.

Email: molasky@wng.org

11/7/13 2:41 PM

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Another Jesus bestseller


NOTABLE BOOKS Four recent Christian novels > reviewed by  

The Outcast Jolina Petersheim In this modern version of The Scarlet Letter, Rachel Stoltzfus lives within a community of Old Order Mennonites. She has had a child out of wedlock, and the scorn she experiences begins to dissolve her relationships, including her close friendship with her twin sister. When her longtime suitor, Judah, offers to marry her and give her a new beginning, Rachel puts him off, choosing instead to seek independence outside the community. But soon, an unexpected illness pushes her to reach out to those she left behind. Like Hawthorne, Petersheim clearly dramatizes the weight of sin, but she deviates from the original by leaving room for repentance. Clear Winter Nights Trevin Wax Trevin Wax is known primarily for his nonfiction, including two books and many articles with publications like Christianity Today. But in his first work of fiction, which he terms “theology in story,” Wax uses the tale of a doubting Thomas named Chris to convey sound, biblical theology in an engaging way. While the book isn’t as artistic as C.S. Lewis’ The Screwtape Letters,, it does contain many of the same positives. Chris wrestles aloud with his questions about Christianity (Aren’t all religions the same? Would Jesus really condemn homosexuals?), while his grandfather lovingly answers them with hard-won wisdom from the pastoral trenches. An entertaining and beneficial read.

The Merciful Scar Rebecca St. James and Nancy Rue Grammy-winning Christian recording artist Rebecca St. James says she has spoken with many young women who struggle with cutting—a form of self-injury used to cope with stress. Joined by seasoned teen author Nancy Rue, the two bring the practice to light through the story of Kirsten, a college architecture student who ends up in a local hospital after a cutting accident. The kindness that Kirsten is offered through a campus minister and others is moving, and her attempts to recover on a working farm lead to romance and newfound strength. Her journey toward freedom—from cutting as well as the brokenness that drives her behavior—is centered on her own experience, without Christ or His Word.

KEAN COLLECTION/GETTY IMAGES

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A Land Without Sin: A Novel Paula Huston When veteran photographer Eva sets out to find her brother in rural Mexico, she takes a job photographing Mayan ruins to avoid suspicion. Mexican landowners and local peasants have been in armed conflict for some time, and since both mistrust Americans, she discreetly searches for clues about her brother’s whereabouts. While the book contains drama, Eva’s growth throughout the story is the real focus. She is deeply affected by the piety of her employer’s family, and her brother’s letters, among other things, challenge her selfish worldview. Despite questionable theology and offensive language, the book wrestles masterfully with ideas of grace and redemption.

To see more book news and reviews, go to wng.org/books

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SPOTLIGHT The Greatest Gift: Unwrapping the Full Love Story of Christmas by Ann Voskamp brings the author’s unique writing style—grace-filled, powerful, and poetic—to the subject of Christ’s advent. Using the tradition of the Jesse Tree (which includes printable ornaments on her website), The Greatest Gift offers  Scripture readings and meditations, as well as poignant quotes and a to-do section with small ways of “Unwrapping More of His Love in the World.” As she works through the Old Testament preparation for Christ, Voskamp invites readers to peel back layers of sin and sentimentality that cloud our vision during the Christmas season and savor again God’s salvation. Some readers may balk at an occasional strained metaphor, such as calling the Christian a “womb” in which Jesus may dwell. But for those who appreciate Voskamp’s emotional, literary style, The Greatest Gift may itself be a gift worth unwrapping. —E.W.

NOVEMBER 30, 2013 • WORLD

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11/7/13 2:41 PM


Reviews > Q&A

Town crier

The disconnect between the country and Washington, says reporter MARK LEIBOVICH, is unsustainable and perverse BY MARVIN OLASKY

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brand. People see one of those jobs as a ticket to be punched for life: You just stay in Washington. Some politicians complain about lobbyists and say, “Let’s have a reform bill.” Is talk of reform realistic as long as Washington swims in so much money and power? Won’t folks go where the money is? They will. That’s a huge problem now. There have always been greedy, opportunistic, ambitious types drawn to

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country is moving to the left.” These are all assumptions bred by the same conversation in the same echo chamber. You’re a member of a conservative (that is, moderate) Jewish congregation in Washington, Adas Israel, and the journalist who wrote about your membership said, “I haven’t seen him bring it up much but it doesn’t seem faked either.” I guess that’s good, right? I think it’s genuine. I don’t think it’s faked. But Washington hosts a lot of fakery? Faith is often used as a political, social climbing pose in Washington, and that’s one of the reasons I start This Town at the funeral of Tim Russert in . I was struck by all the invocations of God in a lot of the tributes: “In heaven’s green room people are now watching Tim.” I thought it was ridiculous. You write in This Town how so many former senators or cabinet secretaries “stick to Washington like melted cheese on a gold plated toaster.” It’s true. Our founders imagined a capital where people would go, serve, and then return to their communities and immerse themselves in the farm or medical practice or general store. Now people just stay. Once you’ve been elected to the Senate or you get a plum White House position and something that gets you on TV, you can build a

‘This town leans left and assumes like-mindedness so it tends to be especially tough on its own if respect is not paid.’ Washington, but now there is so much money in the political system, and Washington is by far the wealthiest metropolitan area in the United States, with seven of the  wealthiest counties in the United States. The local economy did not hiccup during the recession of the rest of the country. Once you’re in Washington you can cash in in any number of ways.

CREDIT

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M L, a New York Times Washington reporter and author of the hotselling This Town (Penguin), is the most honest mainstream journalist I’ve met concerning reporting in Washington. Here are edited excerpts of my interview with him in front of students at Patrick Henry College. You’ve written critically about Washington’s journalistic culture, in which you’re a major player. Why? I don’t mind making people uncomfortable. I wanted to start a difficult conversation because the level of distrust and dissatisfaction out in the country for Washington now, compared with the level of selfsatisfaction and decadence inside Washington, is unsustainable and perverse. For  years a lot of people have seen in Washington a huge amount of groupthink, often of an ideological cast—not a conspiracy, but a common way of perceiving things. Do you see that? I think so. Washington itself is a tiny town. When people talk to the same  people every day, as many people who cover Washington do, and many people who work in Washington on either side do, it nourishes a bunch of assumptions, whether it’s “America’s not ready for a black president,” or “There are weapons of mass destruction in Iraq,” or “The

How can we trust reporters when so many are angling for jobs in the Obama administration? It happened in the Clinton and Bush administrations to some degree, but much more now. It makes it harder for those of us still on this side of the fence to convince people that we don’t have an agenda and are not looking for the next job inside the administration. In the case of Obama, it nourishes everyone’s worst suspicion about the press being completely in bed with Obama and favoring him. You write that the Obama folks in  “offered themselves as incorruptible canaries that would fly above the fi lthy fl attery minds of D.C. They would refuse to play. They would stay humble and focus on their work.” What

Email: molasky@wng.org

11/8/13 9:29 AM


happened? They failed—to be perfectly blunt. Most of the people who put his campaign together were people who live in Washington or political insiders who had been through any number of campaigns and packaging and messaging efforts. Maybe that was just the flavor of the

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and assumes likemindedness so it tends to be especially tough on its own if respect is not paid.” I knew you were going to read that passage. I’ve gotten into all kinds of trouble for it. I think it’s true. Look at the voting records. I live in northwest Washington and don’t know a lot of evangelical conservatives in my neighborhood. I don’t know of any in my newsroom. There could be this completely secretive world that exists and doesn’t talk to me, but I just haven’t seen it. I know a lot of deeply religious people who live in Washington or around Washington. They’re in politics, and you’d have to talk to them about whether they feel like outsiders here. But I’m just trying to speak honestly about the world I’m covering. I don’t mind getting heat for this. But it’s a fact. You mention that “Obama’s Super PAC reversal brought a few days of predictable indignation from the right over his

hypocrisy and handwringing from the left over his impurity, but after everyone got over their shock and outrage, this town celebrated the fl ip-flop. It was not only foreseen, but great for business.” The more power comes to Washington, the more money comes to Washington. Th at’s great for the business of journalists, media people, and consultants in Washington. Sure. People can decry this all they want. Hundreds of millions of dollars come flowing to a lot of the media companies and strategists who are paid directly by these super PACs. One of the biggest disconnects there is economic. You wonder who’s working for whom and what job they have their eye on and whether it’s the job they were elected to do or what might come next. You note that political consultants refer to rich, self-funded candidates as “checkbooks.” Any other terms we should know? The larger point you’re making, and I was making, is that many in Washington have contempt for their customers. They see American voters as pawns to be manipulated. A

CREDIT

month and it got them there. Obama himself has said his inability to change anything has been one of his biggest failures. I honestly don’t know how hard he tried. In This Town you don’t spend much room on ideology, but you do say, “Th is town leans left

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11/7/13 3:59 PM


No average guy Lou Reed mixed a nihilistic anti-aesthetic with sentimental sweetness By arsenio orteza

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It’s hard, for instance, to imagine anyone but an acolyte of Warhol’s repetitive superficiality making an album such as Reed’s notorious 1975 feedback noisefest Metal Machine Music or his obnoxiously heckler-baiting 1978 live set Take No Prisoners. And surely the transgressive subject matter for which Reed became best known would’ve remained taboo for longer than it did had Warhol not made it chic. Indeed, Reed’s 1972 hit “Walk on the Wild Side” was a jaded tribute to regulars at Warhol’s studio, the Factory, and the debauchery manufactured there. But by 1980 a more well-rounded Reed had emerged. The man who’d ­celebrated heroin in a song of the same name and led many to believe he was homosexual was now drug free and heterosexually married. “I’m just an average guy,” he sang on his 1982 album The Blue Mask. Given his circumstances, it was possible to suspend disbelief. Reed’s average-guy phase peaked with 1984’s masterly New Sensations, but it didn’t last. By 1989’s New York, he’d morphed into a snarky cookiecutter liberal, devoting his deadpan

PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA/AFP/Getty Images

The massively influential rock poet and guitarist Lou Reed died on Sunday morning, Oct. 27, at age 71. Appreciators of coincidence will note that “Sunday Morning” is also the title of the first song on the first album by the proto-punk band in which Reed first came to prominence, the Velvet Underground. The Velvet Underground & Nico was produced by Andy Warhol, the group’s original manager, and bore a peel-off Warhol banana print. Warhol and the band soon parted ways, but Reed’s affection for his pop-art mentor endured. “I really admired him,” Reed said in 2003. “I mean, I still do because he was so smart—so smart, so talented, absolutely good at everything, incredible.” Reed had other heroes: the writers Delmore Schwartz (under whom Reed studied at Syracuse University) and Edgar Allan Poe (upon whose works Reed based his 2003 album, The Raven). But it was Warhol’s cynical and often nihilistic anti-aesthetic that left the deepest mark on Reed’s prodigious output.

delivery to what often sounded like Democratic Party talking points. As late as 1996’s Set the Twilight Reeling, he was attacking Rush Limbaugh, Bob Dole, and “right-wing” Republicans in general with profanity-laced rage. But throughout his career Reed also nurtured an almost sentimental sweetness. Just one album after Metal Machine Music, he was rhapsodizing about his Brooklyn youth in the beautiful (and, uncommonly for Reed, beautifully sung) “Coney Island Baby.” The flip side of “Walk on the Wild Side” was the romantic masterpiece “Perfect Day.” And “Vanishing Act” and “Who Am I? (Tripitena’s Song),” from The Raven, are every bit as reflective and tender as “Hello It’s Me,” the moving final track on the 1990 Andy Warhol– based song cycle that Reed recorded with his former Velvet Underground bandmate John Cale, Songs for Drella. Then, of course, there’s “Jesus,” the inexplicably meditative prayer from the Velvet Underground’s eponymous third album. (Reed was Jewish.) But perhaps most beautiful of all was “Sunday Morning.” Maybe—just maybe—Reed’s softer side can be traced to his affection for another one of his heroes, Dion DiMucci, the doo-wop rock-and-roller-turnedCatholic-Christian whom Reed inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989. “It was the kind of voice you never forget,” said Reed of Dion in his speech. “Whenever I hear it, I’m flooded with memories of what once was and what could be.” Listening to Reed’s music now that he’s gone, his many fans will know exactly how he felt. A

Email: aorteza@wng.org

11/12/13 2:11 PM

associated press

Reviews > Music


NOTABLE CDs

Recent classical or semi-classical releases > reviewed by  

Beethoven: Complete Works for Cello and Piano Colin Carr, Thomas Sauer One way you can intelligently approach this twodisc recording is to read the pianist Thomas Sauer’s erudite liner notes, which emphasize the  years of artistic development these compositions reveal, and listen along, seeing how many of the details that Sauer describes you can detect. (It’s easier than you think.) Another is to enjoy the five frontloaded sonatas as “heavy” entertainment and the three subsequent variations as “light” encores. Either way, you’ll be one up on the masses who know only Beethoven’s Fifth and “Für Elise.”

The Valley Sings: Choral Music by Composers of the Hudson Valley Kairos, a Consort of Singers Under the conductor Edward Lundergan, these singers achieve one a cappella epiphany after another, showcasing not only the Hudson Valley composers mentioned in this album’s subtitle but also the Christian themes and classic poetry those composers set to music. Among the former: Aaron Copland’s “Thou, O Jehovah, Abideth Forever,” Panaiotis’ “Arise, My Love,” and James Fitzwilliam’s “A Rose of Sharon.” Among the latter: Jonathan Russell’s and Lundergan’s James Joyce and Walt Whitman poems respectively. And in Peter W. Sipple’s Gerard Manley Hopkins trilogy, faith and poetry merge.

Recital Nigel Kennedy

The double dedication to Yehudi Menuhin and Stephane Grappelli foreshadows what the British violin virtuoso Kennedy and his guitarbass-drums-violin/viola quartet are aiming for— namely, to establish once and for all (as Kennedy writes in the liner notes) “that music can be both serious and fun at the same time.” Four Fats Waller tunes and the Dave Brubeck Quartet’s “Take Five” meet the concept halfway, and Ze Gomez’s “Por Do Sol” is lovely. But it’s Kennedy’s Bach-inspired “Allegro” and “Vivace” that hit the target.

SPOTLIGHT The attempt to help great poetry survive into the iPod age by setting it to classical music continues. And although the music to which it’s set on Tin Hat’s E.E. Cummings project the rain is a handsome animal (New Amsterdam) and Kristin Linklater and Martin Gonschorek’s Shakespeare Looking East: A Selection of Sonnets and Yun Flute Solos (Music Agents Red Label) isn’t “classical” per se—it’s serious enough (and, when necessary, playful enough) to keep this most deserving of trends going. Linklater, a Scottish thespian and then some, and Gonschorek, a flautist, take the daring tack of juxtaposing the recitation of Shakespeare sonnets (Elizabethan West) with Isang Yun’s Korean flute music (th-century East) and hoping the twain shall meet. They don’t, at least not obviously. But even that they could intimates eternity. Meanwhile, the virtuosic, avant-gardist flexibility of Tin Hat and its vocalist Carla Kihlstedt do Cummings’ greatest hits a justice that one has to hear to believe.

ASSOCIATED PRESS

PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

The Golden Age of Hollywood 4 Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

Don’t be fooled by the no-frills cover art or the indiscriminate inclinations of the RPO: Naxos of America (the label on which this album appears) hasn’t (yet) diversified to the extent that it will put its name on just anything. These faithfully rendered and creatively arranged soundtrack compositions from  famous films circa - exhilaratingly transcend both Muzak and nostalgia. And “Walk on the Wild Side: Suite” is a timely reminder that Elmer Bernstein beat Lou Reed to Nelson Algren’s best-known concept by a decade.

To see more music news and reviews, go to wng.org/music

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NOVEMBER 30, 2013 • WORLD

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11/12/13 11:15 AM


Mindy Belz

Waiting on the platform

Egypt’s trains are running again, and Sara Labib is ready for her country’s future

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Median age in Egypt is . years old, compared to T      C, and . years in the United States. As Sara points out, “I Sara Labib is optimistic: “Now I can travel from am  and most government members are older than Cairo to Alexandria to see my family.” Egypt has  years. They are the ones drafting the constitution I been at a standstill, she said, “especially with will live under.” curfew. It’s very difficult to cope with.” Too often the older leaders take Sara’s generation as Since the latest round of unrest and government the face of terrorism, the source of violence. While there upheaval began in June, daily life for Egyptians—rich, is some truth to that—the Arab Spring began with a poor, and in between—is a series of negotiations. The -year-old street vendor setting himself ablaze in rail shutdown stalled over  million passengers a day, Tunisia—millions more are like her: They have multiple but the country’s interim government said trains posed degrees, speak multiple languages (Sara is fluent in security risks and halted service for over two months. Dutch, Arabic, and English), work hard, and stay curEgypt is the largest country in the Middle East, and rent, all while navigating rail closures, street  percent of its people are under age . curfews, and food shortages. In short, they Unemployment among youth aged - are powerhouses willing to broker presruns at  percent and higher. Rail serent hardships toward better futures. vice shutdowns and other upheaval They also think differently than only makes it worse. Sara Labib has their elders. Sara appreciates the a job but at  acutely feels the muscle of the internet and social disadvantages of her age bracket. media to transmit and shape pubBorn in Alexandria, Sara spent lic opinion. She’s connected via high-school and college years smartphones with G (even in studying in Europe. She just finCairo) and Wi-Fi to a vast network ished a master’s degree in economof Cairo residents plus Egyptians ics and international law in Belgium. overseas. She’s looking to a constituDespite the uncertainty and violence tional process for her future, not a crony in Cairo, she returned to make it her system based on whom she knows. home again this year. You will find Sara Labibs not only in Sara works as a law intern while lendCairo, but in Baghdad, Tripoli, Damascus, ing her intellect to the important political Kabul, and Tehran. They deserve attendevelopments in Egypt as part of a new tion, nurture, and a way into the political nonprofit called Young Voices. She closely — process. This is where international orgafollows daily developments in the interim nizations, including faith-based groups government’s faltering progress toward a and churches, have vital roles to play. Young Voices new constitution and elections, using her “small platstarted last year to “empower young, eloquent, libertyform,” she says, to speak up for Egypt’s youth. She is a minded people,” said its Berlin-based director Fred faithful chronicler via her own blog (tabulasara. Roeder. Sara is just one of its stars. blogspot.com/), plus writes for U.S. and international Coptic and evangelical churches, both in Egypt and think tanks and makes television appearances. abroad, function as more than centers for religious “To be honest this is a time where people are tired. worship and study, Sara told me. Many, including People are tired of hoping,” she told me. But politics Kasr el Dobara Church in Cairo just off Tahrir Square, remains “the first thing we talk about” when she gets serve the city’s youth all day long. It has sports together with friends. facilities and provides meals every day. It and others A generation of young men and women are coming offer job services and language classes. of age in the Middle East’s post–Arab Spring turmoil. Besides a good witness, these programs offer Crony political networks have managed to secure young Egyptians a bridge to older society and its gatepower across the region—even where revolution led to keepers. Nongovernmental organizations, as well as dramatic changes in Egypt, Tunisia, and Libya. They U.S. aid efforts, should focus on reviving the hope of are too slow to tap into their largest age demographic, young strivers like Sara. A their country’s young people.

‘PEOPLE ARE TIRED OF HOPING.’

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HANDOUT

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Email: mbelz@wng.org

11/12/13 4:06 PM


The Joy of Mathematics Taught by Professor Arthur T. Benjamin lecture titles

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1. The Joy of Math—The Big Picture 2. The Joy of Numbers 3. The Joy of Primes 4. The Joy of Counting 5. The Joy of Fibonacci Numbers 6. The Joy of Algebra 7. The Joy of Higher Algebra 8. The Joy of Algebra Made Visual 9. The Joy of 9 10. The Joy of Proofs 11. The Joy of Geometry 12. The Joy of Pi 13. The Joy of Trigonometry 14. The Joy of the Imaginary Number i 15. The Joy of the Number e 16. The Joy of Infinity 17. The Joy of Infinite Series 18. The Joy of Differential Calculus 19. The Joy of Approximating with Calculus 20. The Joy of Integral Calculus 21. The Joy of Pascal’s Triangle 22. The Joy of Probability 23. The Joy of Mathematical Games 24. The Joy of Mathematical Magic

Understand the Fun and Beauty in Mathematical Concepts Humans have been having fun and games with mathematics for thousands of years. Along the way, they’ve discovered the amazing utility of this field—in science, engineering, finance, games of chance, and many other aspects of life. The 24 half-hour lectures of The Joy of Mathematics celebrate the sheer joy of mathematics, taught by a mathematician who is literally a magician with numbers. Professor Arthur T. Benjamin of Harvey Mudd College is renowned for his feats of mental calculation performed before audiences at schools, museums, conferences, and other venues. His teaching has been repeatedly honored by the Mathematical Association of America, the nation’s largest professional mathematical society. Throughout these lectures, Professor Benjamin shows how everything in mathematics is magically connected—how the beautiful and often imposing edifice that has given us algebra, geometry, trigonometry, calculus, probability, and so much else is based on nothing more than fooling around with numbers. handout

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11/12/13 10:16 AM


What goes into the mouth The material symbol of God’s blessings at Thanksgiving time is a table laden with food, but many of us have trouble accepting grace. As legitimate concerns about obesity rise, so does the danger of turning healthy eating into an idol by Sophia Lee

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figures: “We have already seen literally thousands of people on our campus as a result of involving these physicians who would never have otherwise visited.” Question: Is the gospel so weak that it needs health and diet celebrities to attract people to the church? What happens to the church when it becomes full of attendees primarily motivated to improve their bodies rather than seek after God? Has the true purpose behind Daniel’s diet—distinction and purity from contemporary, godless lifestyles—been lost? The line can be subtle. At The Daniel Plan group in Temecula, the 12 members sit in a half-moon at a classroom with their Bibles and Daniel Plan study guides. They start with a prayer, read the Scripture, then watch a short clip of Rick Warren’s video sermon about taking care of the body God gave us. Attached to the sermon is Warren’s interview with Dr. Mark Hyman about functional medicine, an alternative health approach that takes an integrative outlook on the human body and the environment.

warren & oz: Carlos Delgado/Orange County Register/ZUMA PRESS/newscom

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and Daniel Amen (a psychiatrist)—because none of them shares the church’s Christian beliefs and values. Oz, for ­example, ­follows a jumble of Muslim, cult-Christian, and New Age ­ideologies, and has a wife who’s a master of Reiki (a Japanese life force mojo). He rose from heart surgeon to TV personality via Oprah and promotes questionable products and alternative treatments with adjectives like “miracle” and “breakthrough.” Saddleback leaders posted a response assuring Christians of the medical expertise of these doctors, and emphasizing the evangelistic benefits of working with such high-profile

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Saddleback: Ana P. Gutierrez/The Orange County Register/ZUMA PRESS Temecula Daniel Plan group: Priscilla Montgomery

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t’s not at all unusual in Southern California to overhear a group of tanned, good-looking women discussing their favorite organic raw chocolate and gluten-free recipes over Starbucks coffees. But the 10 women in their 30s and 40s (and two husbands) gathered on a Wednesday evening are members of a six-week Bible study, offered by Rancho Community Church in Temecula. And they’re not going off-topic. That night’s ­discussion was “See Your Health as a Stewardship,” the third session of Rick Warren’s “The Daniel Plan” curriculum—as in the biblical Daniel, who refused the king’s rich, meaty diet—and so should we, the plan advises. Warren created the program after baptizing 858 people. After dipping the 500th body into the water, Warren’s aching arms led him to conclude, “We’re all fat.” He later elaborated to his congregation: “Now, I know pastors aren’t supposed to be thinking this while baptizing, but … that was what I thought: ‘We’re all fat!’ And then I thought, ‘But I’m fat! I’m a terrible model of this.’” That epiphany led to “The Daniel Plan,” now popular at Saddleback Church and ­others across the nation that already ­emphasize small groups for spiritual support—so why not use these groups for Weight Watchers–esque support? After all, nearly a third of Americans are obese, and the rate of morbid obesity (meaning at least 100 pounds overweight) has jumped by more than 350 percent over the past 35 years. Millions of us face that fact with desperation and anxiety, throwing money into the coffers of the billion-dollar health and fitness industry and swallowing advice after advice on what to eat, how to eat, and when to eat. The most natural mechanism of the human body—eating—has become a maze of confusion, contradiction, and controversy. Saddleback’s health and fitness program is a reminder that Christians are wandering in this health maze too. Physical stewardship isn’t a common pulpit topic, and it’s good for Saddleback to encourage Christians to care not only for their spiritual health but their physical bodies also. But is the church perpetuating a health obsession instead of alleviating it? Some congregants criticized the choice of the three “top experts” Warren consulted for The Daniel Plan—Mehmet Oz (a heart surgeon, of Dr. Oz fame), Mark Hyman (a physician),


WARREN & OZ: CARLOS DELGADO/ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER/ZUMA PRESS/NEWSCOM

SADDLEBACK: ANA P. GUTIERREZ/THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER/ZUMA PRESS TEMECULA DANIEL PLAN GROUP: PRISCILLA MONTGOMERY

raw honey. … Would that be considered sugar?” A younger, dark-haired woman next to her piped up, “Daniel would have eaten raw honey!” Someone across the room asked, “What does the ‘Good Foods List’ on The Daniel Plan say?” Another woman talked about her pantry purge after watching a video on “The Daniel Plan” website: She dumped bags of sugar, white rice, flour, and “bad oils” into the garbage. For lunch that day, she went to an organic health market and asked for a gluten-free wrap with nitrate-free chicken breasts. “So much better for me than In-N-Out,” she said, referring to the popular West Coast fast-food chain. Yet another woman, speaking for the first time, spoke up for her beloved fast-food chain. In-N-Out is a Christian business, she reminded them, and did you

know you can get the burger “Protein Style”—wrapped in lettuce instead of the starchy bun? And they have a vegetarian patty, another woman added. Montgomery tries to steer the conversation back to the key verse, “Everything is permissible, but not all is beneficial.” She asked class members if they had enviously watched their children chomp on a cheeseburger, then had lain awake before sneaking downstairs for a leftover cold fry? That’s no way to live in Christ, Montgomery suggested: “Maybe we can go to In-N-Out with our family. Instead of guiltily reaching for the skinny burnt fries, maybe we can go for a few nice, fat ones. Just slow down, breathe, and enjoy the

LIVE AND LET DIET: Dr. Oz measures the waistline of Rick Warren during a health and fitness seminar at Saddleback (left); the launch of The Daniel Plan at Saddleback Church (above); members of The Daniel Plan group in Temecula (right).

Surrounded by alphabet posters and bright-colored baby stools, the group members get “de-programmed”—in group leader Priscilla Montgomery’s words—of their ideas about health and fitness. One woman passed around still-steaming, home-baked apple cinnamon mini-muffins made from “a paleo recipe. Sixty-eight calories for one.” She read out the ingredients, including coconut oil, coconut, and almond flour, then anxiously asked, “Is this considered clean eating? There’s

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‘As modern culture disengages itself from religion, an obsession of self—how I look, how I feel, how long I live—has filled that void. Self is our God now.’ conversation. Enjoy your family, enjoy that fry … everything in moderation.” Montgomery, a blond, taut-limbed personal trainer, told me later that she found “The Daniel Plan” useful for its resources: books, study guides, and online videos comprised of devotions, meal plans, and workout routines. She initiated the group but doesn’t adhere to The Daniel Plan as religiously as her group members do: “Let’s think about what food really is. Food nourishes you. But it’s not supposed to be your god. It’s not something you should focus on, or shop and plan for all day, or talk about all the time on Facebook. It’s supposed to be a tool for God’s glory.” Physical therapist and nutrition professor David Lightsey has offered a similar message over three decades. He’s met

clients who refuse to eat apples or oranges because they have Type O blood, others on the Paleo Diet who only eat what their Neanderthal “ancestors” ate, and vegan students who believe “dead flesh” rots in the body and destroys Mother Earth. Each time he hears about such diets, Lightsey fights the urge to face-palm. “Just go and consume,” he tells clients:

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ANA P. GUTIERREZ/THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER/ZUMA PRESS/NEWSCOM

EVERYTHING IN MODERATION: Participants run in a K during The Daniel Plan Fun Walk & Run at Saddleback Church.

“Eat your fruits and vegetables, your grains and lean meats. And then don’t worry about it! Go about your life. Eating shouldn’t be that big of a deal throughout the day.” Lightsey says most of them respond, “That’s too simple.” He says, “Their fears have become a religion … of health and fitness. We’ve basically become obsessed with it. … As modern culture disengages itself from religion, an obsession of self— how I look, how I feel, how long I live—has filled that void. Self is our God now.” Absent the faith that God holds dominion over all things, the world becomes a scary place: pesticides, genetically modified foods, nutrient-depleted soils, corrupt Big Agriculture companies, crooked government agencies in cahoots with dairy and soda industries, chemicals and hydrogenated oils in processed foods, environmental toxins and allergens—the list goes on and on. We worry about getting enough, and then we agonize over getting too much. How can people feel at peace, when every bite holds incomprehensible and imagined risks? The Bible reminds us that God made many things for our good, and there’s no need to live in fear. Obesity is a real condition with uncomfortable, destructive effects, so it needs to be fought: As Lightsey says, “It’s very depressing. But that’s why we need to approach it with the gospel. It brings us to our knees.” Many studies have shown that social support groups can help people to adopt healthy lifestyles. Church small groups are vital to our spiritual health, so why not incorporate discussions on physical stewardship? Most people already know what to do, and need moral support to follow through: That’s The Daniel Plan’s foundation. It’s worked for many Daniel Plan participants, including Warren, with some losing up to  pounds. People have regained energy and improved blood pressure and cholesterol levels. But it’s always a fine line. Daniel’s health was a great testimony of God’s favor. But it never was about the food. A

Email: slee@wng.org

11/12/13 9:22 AM


Join the campaign to save the world’s most endangered species.

ANA P. GUTIERREZ/THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER/ZUMA PRESS/NEWSCOM

If you’re serious about preserving our most precious natural resources, get involved with evangelism. After all, if it’s worthwhile to crusade for the environment, how much more so for human souls. ®

ATLANTA | CHARLOTTE | HOusTON | JACKsON | MEMpHis | ORLANDO | WAsHiNGTON DC | GLObAL

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www.rts.edu

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crushed by obamacare: Jeremy Oosterhouse.

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Obamacare is crushing the people it needs most—young adults Name just about any common problem with Obamacare and Jeremy Oosterhouse has experienced it. Cancelled healthcare coverage? Check. Facing higher premiums? Check. Can’t get healthcare.gov to work? Check. Oosterhouse, a youth pastor in Palos Heights, Ill., is losing his individual Blue Cross Blue Shield insurance plan at the end of the year—even though he likes it. In lieu of an operational government healthcare exchange website, the husband and father of two set out on his own to research the available insurance options. The news wasn’t good: A plan with similar coverage and higher premium takes the family deductible from $2,500 to $4,500, and if he wants a premium close to what he’s paying now, the deductible skyrockets to $12,500.

of college debt are bearing the brunt of the president’s healthcare overhaul. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) hinges on younger, healthier people enrolling to help subsidize more expensive care for older, sicklier Americans. That concept may help balance out the risk pool, but health doesn’t equate to wealth for someone like Oosterhouse, who declined his employer-sponsored insurance and purchased an individual plan to save $700 a month. He and his wife, Rachel, have always made health insurance a priority, but at a high price: They rarely go on vacations, eat at ­restaurants, or watch movies in the theater, and they grow their own vegetables to save on groceries. “We turn down our heat at night,” he said. “We’ve forgone savings.” Those measures may not be enough to survive financially under the new

is between 6-to-1 and 8-to-1, not the artificial 3-to-1 difference mandated in the law. Early returns indicate young people are avoiding the exchanges: Those who managed to sign up in the law’s first month skewed much older than the desired average age of about 40. The Wall Street Journal reported that in Connecticut and Kentucky—where state-run exchanges helped more than 8,000 people sign up in October—the average enrollee was 55 years old. The Obama administration said it expects young adults to wait until the last minute to sign up, but several experts told me if that doesn’t happen, it could result in a death spiral for the law. “If it turns out the people who enroll in insurance are the people who are already really sick and the people who don’t enroll are basically healthy, then that’s going to drive up premiums and

“When President Obama said if you like your plan you can keep it, I believed him,” Oosterhouse told me. It’s no accident that Oosterhouse, 29, is facing higher premiums: Costs are going up for most ages, but young adults, and especially males, are being hit the hardest. In the 43 states where 2014 premiums are rising, a 27-yearold faces an average premium increase of 72 percent, compared to a 44 percent average increase for a 50-year-old, according to Heritage Foundation data. That means Americans with modest incomes, growing families, and mounds

rules—which will likely keep Oosterhouse from qualifying for a ­subsidy because he declines his employer-sponsored insurance option. Three big sources of the cost increase include new taxes, mandating unnecessary coverage, and the socalled “community rating,” which ­prohibits insurance companies from charging older adults more than three times as much as young adults. Joe Antos, a health policy analyst at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), told me the natural difference in health costs between older and younger people

will basically unravel the entire plan,” said Daniel Sledge, a health policy ­professor at the University of Texas at Arlington. Several young adults I spoke with said they gave up after trying without success to use the federal health exchange, including Melody DuVal, 30, a graphic designer in Goshen, Ind. DuVal, who hasn’t had health insurance in seven years, said she’s continued going to the doctor while she’s uninsured and is pleased with the overall care she has received. She’s had two minor surgeries this year and

by J.C. Derrick in Washington

p h oto b y S c ot t S t r a z z a n t e /g e n e s i s

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administrative costs for insurance companies (a few states have already received waivers). Since coordinating and managing care is considered an administrative cost, he said the law encourages insurers to cut corners where it hurts patients most. Two other possible ideas: lower the coverage requirements and allow the community rating to be -to-—or whatever the market dictates. Permitting young adults to sign up for only catastrophic coverage would encourage more participation, and allowing appropriate premium disparity would shift the burden of cost away from young people with typically lower incomes and toward those with established careers. Antos predicted Obama will allow tweaks before the  elections—perhaps waiving the fine for not having insurance—but major changes may have to wait until . He said the next administration, regardless of which party wins the White House, will be forced to deal with the issues. For now, those whom the law was intended to help, Young people face the highest rate of The fines for not purchasing health insurance will such as Melody DuVal, see premium increases under Obamacare. sharply increase in  and . Obamacare doing more harm than good: “It’s not 2014 2015 2016 helping me, [and] it’s not AGE 27 % helping any of my friends.” per per per $ $ $ adult adult adult The week after I spoke AGE 50 % * * * with Jeremy Oosterhouse in early November, he FAMILY of family of family of family OF FOUR % income income income emailed to say he and his wife are seriously consider* WHICHEVER IS GREATER. THE PENALTY CANNOT BE GREATER THAN THE NATIONAL AVERAGE PREMIUM FOR BRONZE COVERAGE, ESTIMATED TO BE $4,500-$5,000 IN 2016. SOURCES: THE HERITAGE FOUNDATION AND KAISER FAMILY FOUNDATION ing Medi-Share, one of the three main medical billsharing groups that have been growing in a loophole of the office until January , so the law is to the faulty website or youthful optiACA. Oosterhouse said even if he likely here to stay. mism that they won’t need insurance. qualified for a subsidy, he could save Don Taylor, a public policy professor Brian Mueller, , an adjunct music  per month ( without a subat Duke University, told me at some professor in Ohio, said the problem is sidy) for a plan with a deductible that point Republicans “will say, ‘Gosh, even having to pay for coverage he doesn’t is , lower than what he can get if we’re against the ACA, we’ve got to need and can’t afford. “I know that I through the exchange. address this.’” Taylor cited, among probably won’t need my health insur“As Christians, there is something of other things, the provision that allows ance, but I still like to have it,” he said. value to supporting others with medi-year-olds to stay on their parents’ “I feel like they’re trying to sell me a cal costs and trusting in God to provide plans as something that will likely have luxury car when all I need is a comfor our needs,” he said. “That’s money to change. “In the long term, it doesn’t muter car to get me from point A to we can continue to put toward retiremake that much sense to call a -yearpoint B.” ment, [-year-old daughter] Leah’s old a kid,” he said. “That redefined Mueller’s job, which continues on a future Christian school costs, or even young adults as potential dependents.” per-semester basis, doesn’t include allow Rachel to continue staying at AEI’s Joe Antos believes a needed insurance, but it has given him the home with the kids.” A change is the  to  percent cap on financial flexibility to buy an individual negotiated with her providers to cut between  and  percent from her medical bills. DuVal had planned to use a raise this year to help cover the cost of health insurance, but the extra cash disappeared when the payroll tax increased from . percent to . percent as part of the fiscal cliff deal in January. She said she could afford a plan with a  to  monthly premium but estimates she’ll have to pay about —even with a subsidy. “My take-home is a little over , a month, so  out of that is a huge chunk,” DuVal said, noting she can’t stop paying for her car, housing, or school loans, so she may have to find ways to cut down on her grocery bill. “[It’s] frustrating when you’re talking about giving up healthier food so you can have mandatory health insurance. Fruits and vegetables are more expensive than processed cheese and bread.” Some analysts have attributed young adults’ low enrollment numbers

BEARING THE BRUNT

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policy. Blue Cross Blue Shield notified him that his policy will be canceled next year—and he found out his doctor will no longer take his insurance—so he’s contemplating the fine. “If the penalty is only  a year, I’d have to consider it,” Mueller said. “I may not have an option.” Many people are considering paying the fine in , but few will dish out only . The law calls for a  penalty or  percent of household income, whichever is greater—meaning the fine becomes  for a household income of ,. The fines will sharply increase in  and  (see graphic). While Washington is in an uproar over the unworkable website, viable ideas to improve the law are scarce. Several health policy experts told me there is a shortage of long-term, creative thinking, because both sides have been gridlocked in the political battle over the law’s existence. Yet even if Republicans were to win control of the Senate next year, Obama doesn’t leave

A FINE HOW DO YOU DO

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they leave for the trip “before they filled up the tank.” Ministries often don’t have training or resources for families facing post-adoptive issues. And parents often feel as if they’re bad disciplinarians instead of recognizing that their child may be dealing with trauma. “Families have got to understand—a child coming from hard places has dramatically different development processes,” said Purvis. “Otherwise their behaviors are quite mystifying.” Purvis, a child psychologist at Texas Christian University, is a foster parent herself, and she runs camps for parents that Bethany recommends. Purvis’ camps are usually swamped with demand. Bethany itself is recognizing the need for these services and is opening a post-adoption center this fall. Children who didn’t have a consistent caregiver in the first few years of life especially develop “survival skills” because at their most formative stage of life they were hurt by the people closest to them. They approach their new adoptive family with distrust and often take out their feelings of abandonment on the adoptive mother. Screaming episodes last for hours. The child rips the house apart, literally. Faasse said traumatized children are easily overstimulated and have no internal resources to regulate their emotions, which means their fits can quickly spiral out of control. Traditional parenting doesn’t work, because punishment makes parents the “enemies” to the child’s survival. Some families recounted their experiences to WORLD, not to dissuade other families from adopting but to point to a light at the end of the tunnel for those with traumatized adoptive children. When Abbie was , Jennie first noticed that something was off. Abbie would be up dozens of times in the night, screaming. At age , a doctor diagnosed her as probable bipolar. When Abbie was , Jennie said, “We were in living hell.” Abbie was violent as well as verbally abusive to her mother.

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  M L have been married  years and have three children, all adopted. Mike, a tall Southerner, works at the insurer Unum, doing network security. Jennie, gregarious and energetic, used to work in marketing but now stays home with their kids. Abbie, , is a fire-haired beauty. Hunter, , is dark-haired and more serious. Sammy, , is blond with glasses and an effervescent personality. They live in Hixson, Tenn., in a small house in a suburban neighborhood and attend Hixson Presbyterian Church. They have two dogs, a pet rat, and a king snake named Houdini. The Landreths, both , weren’t able to have children of their own and adopted their three children domestically. They adopted Abbie at birth, so they thought they would avoid the attachment issues other families sometimes have with older adopted children. They were wrong; Abbie was violent and had fits that went on for hours, tantrums on steroids. Jennie points to recent research about trauma that children experience in the womb as an explanation for why Abbie struggled. Abbie has been diagnosed with reactive attachment disorder, along the lines of post-traumatic stress disorder for children. Before Abbie, Jennie said she and her husband had a “Pollyanna view” of adoption. “All families hear about the challenges, but ... it’s not uncommon for a family to say, ‘Yeah, that won’t happen to us,’” said Kris Faasse, the director of adoption services at Bethany Christian Services. Faasse emphasized that, statistically, most adoptions go well. Some parents whose adoptions didn’t go well spoke with me and said they had minimal support after they adopted. Churches and ministries are eager to expand adoption and foster care, but as child psychologist Karyn Purvis put it,

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nnie The Musical

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 -             by EMILY BELZ in Hixson, Tenn.

“I would hit my brothers,” Abbie recounted a few months ago, as the whole family lounged together in their living room. “I don’t remember that!” said Sammy. “Like this?” Hunter interjected, punching Sammy in the arm. Every night Sammy and Hunter would try to sleep through the battles their parents had with Abbie. Abbie slammed the door to her room so many DEALING WITH TRAUMA: times that Mike Jennie and Abbie Landreth (above); Purvis (right). took it off its hinges. A doctor prescribed Ambien to help Abbie sleep, but she had hallucinations, and after one night her dad refused to give her any more of it. Family vacations always ended early. Even when the family tried to watch a movie together, they would have to end it in the middle because of a meltdown. Hunter once prayed that Abbie would go back to her birth mom, making Abbie cry. “I’m pretty sure he didn’t mean it,” Sammy said as they talked about it later. “OK, change the subject, I don’t want to think about it,” Hunter grumbled. Abbie wore a hood everywhere she went, and she was so shy she couldn’t speak up to order at a restaurant. Jennie dreaded church events; it took a while to convince fellow church members that Abbie was more than a difficult child (now her church is supportive financially and emotionally). Jennie said she looked like “a frazzled mom who was overreacting.” Most of Abbie’s violence was directed at her mother: She threw a boot at her, and sometimes threw things while Jennie was driving. “Mostly stuff that

wouldn’t kill you,” Abbie says now. “I didn’t want to hurt her, but I would just get angry and throw things at her, and then I would start crying and say I’m sorry.” Abbie wrote in her diary, “I hate my mom. I hate my family.” She said she felt as if Jennie and Mike were her real parents because she had lived with them her whole life, “but I felt different.” Every day Jennie found herself crying in her bedroom closet. Mike said Jennie grew “jaded,” anticipating a battle from the moment she woke up. For a while Mike thought Jennie was the one who needed therapy, calling the conflicts “normal mother-daughter stuff.” Jennie started recording meltdowns with her iPhone, holding it at her side so Abbie wouldn’t notice, and Mike agreed that something was wrong. The Landreths put Abbie in a succession of education environments, public and private schools, and took her to therapists, counselors, and doctors. They drove a car with , miles on it as the expenses piled up because insurance didn’t cover her treatments. Jennie worried that Abbie would soon end up in juvenile detention. “I don’t know if our marriage would have survived and I don’t know if our family would have stayed together if we hadn’t gotten help,” said Jennie. Under new parenting techniques the Landreths learned at a post-adoptive camp last year, Abbie is a different girl. She jokes with her brothers. Mike showed me a video on his phone: He’s picking up Jennie around the waist, and then turns her upside down while Jennie laughingly protests. All the kids are cracking up on their parents’ bed. “A family moment that was not miserable!” he said. Abbie doesn’t wear hoods when she is out anymore. She orders her own tuna sandwich,

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ot far from the Landreths in Tennessee, Tim and Ellen Stowell, both 60, are dealing with similar, but more extreme, problems. They never had children, and over the last few years have adopted four children from China and Taiwan. The Stowells’ children came to their family grown, ages 8 to 12. Ellen has worked for decades in special education, so she did not approach ­adoption naively.  “I never expected one of these kids to come running into my arms the moment I met them,” she said.

Billy Weeks/genesis

her favorite, at Subway. She showed me her room, which her mom decorated as a surprise for her with her favorite things: pink and zebra stripes. A One Direction poster hung on the wall, and she has diaries lined up on her desk. She now has a tutor, which seems to be the best form of education for her, and she is working on tap dancing. She still has friction with her mom, but nothing like before. “Still I sometimes complain about doing the dishes,” Abbie said. “I don’t like doing the kitchen, but I’m the best at it, so it’s a curse.” a different girl: Jennie and Abbie and her pet rat Buttercup in her bedroom.


BILLY WEEKS/GENESIS

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SEEKING SOLUTIONS: The Stowells with Yu Hsuan (far left), two of their other children, and two friends, in China.

But her training didn’t prepare her for the exhausting battle with her youngest, Yu Hsuan. The Stowells adopted Yu Hsuan at age . He had lived with the same foster family in China for seven years, but Ellen recalls that he “didn’t shed a tear” when she and Tim picked him up. She now sees that as one symptom of trauma. Three years later, the Stowells are still desperately seeking solutions to reach an unreachable boy. Yu Hsuan, now , hits his mom, which has become more serious as he’s grown older and stronger. He mumbles or whispers so Ellen has to ask many times what he’s saying, which she sees as a tool for control. I visited their home while he was at school, and Ellen showed me his room. He had punched holes in the walls, ripped the blinds off the window, and slammed his closet door off its hinges. The clearest sign of trauma from his childhood: He doesn’t sleep in his bed. He gathers all the blankets from around the house, covers the bed, and then he climbs underneath the bed to sleep on the floor. The bed is the only remaining furniture in the room because he has destroyed everything else. Yu Hsuan is obedient at school; in his school photo he is smiling and wearing an American flag shirt. Children with post-adoption issues can be well-behaved toward people outside their family. But during this past summer, without the structure of school, he had meltdowns. At one point Ellen told him if he hit her one more time, she would call the police; he did and she did. Ellen wanted the police to “read

Email: ebelz@wng.org

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him the riot act,” she said, to impress on him the significance of his violence. But when the police officers came, they didn’t know what to do, and she sent them away. In another one of his summer meltdowns, he said, “Hurt dog, hurt cat,” and Ellen realized it was time for psychological treatment. Children with trauma issues will sometimes try to hurt animals. Yu Hsuan stayed at the hospital’s children’s psych ward a couple of times over the summer and arrived home with more coping skills. Ellen has learned that anytime she tries overtly to help him, he recoils and gets angry. She has learned that she herself cannot show anger toward him, which only fuels the fits. “There’s no cookbook for it,” said Ellen. This fall the Stowells as an entire family attended a parental training camp as the Landreths did. The Landreths sought help at a camp run by Nancy Thomas, an adoptive and foster parent who has written about attachment issues. Faasse from Bethany declined to recommend Thomas’ camps (Thomas is not a child psychologist) but did recommend Purvis’ camps, emphasizing the importance of professional help. Faasse and Purvis didn’t criticize Thomas but criticized treatment that is “parent-centered” and “punitive,” instead of “child-centered” and focused on trauma. While a child can misbehave, they say, the problem is usually that parents are treating trauma as bad behavior. Thomas told me that she agrees completely with Purvis’ methods, and also agreed that families need professionals to come alongside her parenting advice. Children are all different, and solutions will be different—Thomas’ training worked for the Landreths. But they all agree on the bottom line: Families shouldn’t try to handle troubled children without professional help. Faasse said families shouldn’t hesitate to contact adoption agencies if something seems off. “All too often families call us because they’re desperate,” Faasse said. “We’d rather get involved with families earlier than when they’re exhausted.” Even if some children require extra care, Jennie said the Christian call to adoption remains the same. “These kids need homes,” she said. “We don’t want to discourage people from adopting. But it’s going to discourage them more if we don’t say, ‘There’s hope and healing for these kids.’ You can adopt, but get equipped.” A

NOVEMBER 30, 2013 • WORLD

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11/11/13 12:24 PM


Game ender A Hollywood franchise in the making falls flat over its author’s commitment to traditional marriage

T

       relief around the L.A. offices of Lionsgate and OddLot Entertainment when word came in on Nov.  that Ender’s Game, the science fiction film the two production companies had co-financed for more than  million, would not be a flop. After taking in  million in its opening weekend and topping the box office, Ender’s Game looks likely to recoup its investment. What it doesn’t look likely to do is make much money beyond that, and the possibility of a sequel seems increasingly unlikely. On the surface, Ender had all the makings of a winner, the kind of

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winner, that is, that spawns two or three more winners just like it. Similar to the behemoth Harry Potter, Twilight, and Hunger Games franchises, the fantastical story was based on a best-selling youth novel and stars a cast of high-demand, up-and-coming actors. The two teenage female leads, Abigail Breslin and Hailee Steinfeld, have both been nominated for Academy Awards. Asa Butterfield, who plays Ender, won rave reviews in  for his turn in Martin Scorsese’s Hugo. Thanks to a space-age setting and a number of zero-gravity battle school sequences, Ender also boasts specialeffects appeal in spades, and though

early reviews weren’t exactly raves, they were mostly positive—far more positive than the critical response the first Twilight movie received. But there was one thing those popular wizard/ vampire/girl-warrior movies didn’t have, and that was an author (Orson Scott Card) who also happened to be an outspoken advocate for traditional marriage. Despite initial fan buzz at the outset of Ender’s production, when gay rights groups began to drum up controversy in the months leading up to its release, media reports turned decidedly sour. The question of whether a boycott launched by Geeks OUT—a group whose mission is to “raise queer visibility within the worlds of comics and

WORLD • NOVEMBER 30, 2013

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11/12/13 9:16 PM

LEFT: SUMMIT ENTERTAINMENT • RIGHT: ORTEGA/GETTY IMAGES

by MEGAN BASHAM


r LEFT: SUMMIT ENTERTAINMENT • RIGHT: ORTEGA/GETTY IMAGES

HEAVY EDITING: Asa Butterfield in Ender’s Game (left); director Gavin Hood, actors Asa Butterfield, Hailee Steinfeld, Harrison Ford, and producer Roberto Orci (left to right) at Comic-Con International 2013—Orson Scott Card is noticeably absent.

gaming,” and promoted by MoveOn.org— has had a direct impact on Ender’s ticket sales remains a matter of considerable debate. Motley Fool stock analyst Steve Symington dismissed the idea that it could have much impact: “For every person adamantly opposed to seeing Ender’s Game because of their distaste for Card, it seems safe to say there’s probably another on the other end of the spectrum.” And even within the gay community there’s been plenty of disagreement over whether a boycott was a good idea. Pointing out the severe backfire LGBT activists experienced when they singled out Chick-fil-A, Diane

Email: mbasham@wng.org

24 ENDERS GAME.indd 49

Anderson-Minshall, editor-at-large of leading gay magazine The Advocate, challenged readers whether they similarly avoided works associated with Roman Polanski, Alec Baldwin, or Mel Gibson. She finished by saying of Ender’s Game, “I’ll be in the theater. I’m going to stand in line, eat bonbons and popcorn, and give a thumbs up or down based on what’s on the screen, not who’s behind the book.” Dustin Lance Black, the Oscarwinning writer of gay rights biopic Milk, similarly posted on his Facebook page, “Boycotting a movie made by % LGBT equality folks in an LGBT equality industry is a waste of our collective energy.” Even The New York Times

decried Geeks OUT’s efforts against the film as “misguided” and “closer to blacklisting” than boycotting. Yet looking at Lionsgate’s marketing efforts suggests that the bad press—and there was a lot of it—had a constraining effect on public interest in the film. J.K. Rowling, Stephenie Meyer, and Suzanne Collins were as out front and center as the studios could convince them to be during the launch of movies made from their books, giving interviews, attending conventions, and walking red carpets. Card, however, was nearly invisible during the lead-up to Ender’s release, and the studio and filmmakers have made it clear this was how they wanted it. To start with, they removed Card’s name from the movie’s Facebook page. Then the film’s trailer alluded only to its being based on a “world-wide bestseller” without making any particular mention of the perennially popular author. Finally, despite being a huge

NOVEMBER 30, 2013 • WORLD

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

Waiting for Uncle Orson Media attacks have made ORSON SCOTT CARD understandably wary     Most people know Orson Scott Card as a science fiction writer, the author of the Hugo- and Nebula-prize winning  novel, Ender’s Game. But in fact Card is something of a polymath. He writes historical novels—more than a dozen of them so far—based on characters from the Bible. A devout Mormon, he writes liturgical music and dramas. For years he wrote a column under the pen name “Uncle Orson” for The Rhinoceros Times, an alternative newspaper in his hometown of Greensboro, N.C. His columns were cranky, libertarian-leaning, and wickedly funny. But Card is not a visionary artist to homosexual groups like Geeks OUT for his stand for traditional marriage. From  until the summer of  Card served on the board of directors for the National Organization for Marriage, a conservative group made up of Catholics, Mormons, and evangelicals. Geeks OUT organized “Skip Ender’s Game” events in eight U.S. cities. Earlier this year, the LGBT activist organization AllOut.org protested DC Comics’ hiring of Card to provide the script for a Superman storyline. A Wired editorial described Card as a “noted homophobe.” When I met Card nearly five years ago, these controversies were in the future, and his multitude of fans knew him first as the visionary artist. He was warm, open, and cordial. What was supposed to be a -minute interview turned into a two-hour visit. I asked him why Ender hadn’t yet been made into a movie, and he said, “Lots of reasons. We haven’t been able to get the script right, and we haven’t been able to find an actor young enough to play Ender [in the book he’s five years old] who has the acting ability necessary for the role.” He also explained his disciplined writing process. When he finishes a book, he pays trusted readers to give him detailed feedback. “If they stop reading for any reason, even to go to sleep or go to the bathroom,” Card told me, “I want to know where they stopped. I want to know where reading the book stops being the most compelling thing they’re doing.” Card has called the attacks against him “savage,” “lying,” and “deceptive”—and they have made him understandably media-shy. Earlier this year, when the DC Comics story broke, I emailed him to ask for a follow-up interview. His wife Kristine was not enthusiastic: “Scott is busy at work on a novel, and is trying not to let all the hoopla distract him. So, for the moment, we’ll have to turn you down.” Given the way the media have treated him, I can’t say I blame him.

PAWEL SUPERNAK/EPA/LANDOV

name in the sci-fi world who has attended the event to promote his work before, Card was noticeably absent from a panel at San Diego’s ComicCon that included star Harrison Ford, director Gavin Hood, and producer Bob Orci. One Summit Entertainment (Lionsgate’s parent company) exec was anonymously quoted in The Hollywood Reporter saying, “I don’t think you take [Card] to any fanboy event.” Another said Summit intended to “keep him out of the limelight as much as possible.” Lionsgate even went so far as to issue a statement denouncing Card’s views and promising to hold a premiere fundraiser for gay causes. “Lionsgate is proud to have recognized same-sex unions and domestic partnerships within its employee benefits policies for many years, we obviously do not agree with the personal views of Orson Scott Card and those of the National Organization for Marriage.” They further made it clear that not only did Card not have any creative involvement in the film, due to a deal made  years before, he would not make any more money on it regardless of how it performed. Taken together, it’s a very unusual way to go about promoting a movie based on the work of a hugely popular author, akin to promising Game of Thrones fans that HBO producers didn’t let George R.R. Martin anywhere near their series. It seems quite possible that OddLot and Lionsgate’s attempts to head off controversy may have actually served to dampen the enthusiasm of the very audiences they were seeking to attract—Card’s loyal readers and those most likely to stump enthusiastically for the film. Twitter and Facebook often drive word-of-mouth film marketing these days, and mentions of Ender on social media sites leading up to its release were unusually low, especially for a movie based on a novel that has been at the top of The New York Times paperback list for the last  weeks. Perhaps it was because even the studio that made the film sent a message to audiences that their story’s creator was someone to be ashamed of not celebrated. A

WORLD • NOVEMBER 30, 2013

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11/12/13 9:17 PM


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11/12/13 4:20 PM


MEN ON THE STREET

BROADCASTING: Tony Miano speaks the gospel on Hollywood Boulevard.

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11/11/13 12:37 PM


Many praise street evangelism, others dislike it. Our reporter watched and spoke with many street evangelists, compared those who discuss with those who rant, and discovered more variety than meets the eye by Sophi a Lee in Los Angeles p h o t o b y G r e g S c h n e i d e r /G e n e s i s

N o v e m b e r 3 0 , 2 0 1 3 • W OR L D  

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wonder if such confrontational street evangelism is effective. Many Christians prefer “relationship evangelism” now, where people

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TALKIN’ IT OVER: Street preacher Tony Miano on Hollywood Boulevard.

And then he spoke about the gospel for  minutes. “I didn’t say anything profound or eloquent,” Miano said: He simply talked about what he knew. When he was done, and the kids still stood there staring at him, he tried to shoo them away. “But these kids, they wanted to talk,” he recalled. “They had questions about what they heard, and some of them wanted a Bible. I drove home weeping tears of repentance. … I knew then I would spend the rest of my life sharing the gospel on the streets.”

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11/11/13 12:46 PM

HOPE CHAPEL, HERMOSA BEACH

Still, I and many others

use intimate personal relationships and “life witnessing” to demonstrate Christ to close friends and family. But that’s anathema to Tony Miano, a street preacher and retired Los Angeles police officer, who complains that many Christians end up putting these relationships above their friends’ eternal souls, and “merely make people more comfortable on their way to hell.” Miano can usually be found every Wednesday and Saturday at the North Hollywood metro station. He sets up his audio equipment, begins with a prayer, and introduces himself to the swarming public. He presents a summary of the gospel, specifying the Jesus he knows. He reads a passage from the Bible, preaches, then prays and talks to whoever comes up to him with questions or comments. He wasn’t always so eloquent and self-assured. The first time Miano open-air preached was eight years ago on a beach,  miles away from his home. He chose the location knowing it was far enough away that he wouldn’t meet anybody who would recognize him. He brought with him his wife, his then -year-old daughter, a bunch of gospel tracts, some dollar bills, and his Bible. “I was petrified,” he recalled, chuckling. “I spent an hour trying to muster up the courage to speak.” But his wife crashed a Sweet  birthday party and told the teenagers, “Some guy is giving away money.” Miano’s first reaction, as he saw the teens rushing to him, was dread: “Oh no. I actually have to do this.” Trying to hide his anxiety, he asked some trivia questions and gave away dollar bills.

GREG SCHNEIDER/GENESIS

   about street evangelists. I’m a Christian, a missionary’s kid, a pastor’s daughter. I attend a church where the conclusion to every sermon emphasizes the need to evangelize. We have “Evangelism ” seminars, mass street evangelism march-outs, mission groups, prayer sessions—anything to save more souls. So I’m pro-evangelism—and yet, I cringe when I hear street evangelists blow horns, interrupt public events, thrust tracts into the hands of passersby, and yell, “Repent or go to hell!” In my multiethnic, church-peppered neighborhood in Los Angeles, a walk down to the supermarket means running a gauntlet of well-meaning evangelists shoving gospel tracts and CDs into shoppers’ hands. What can be wrong with that? I respect the sun-withered old man wearing a white fabric band over his hunched shoulder. He struts around holding a big picket sign probably heavier than he is. The band and the sign urge all readers to repent and turn to Christ—those who can read Korean, that is. He sometimes sits in solemn silence next to a person waiting for the bus. I respect the packs of middle-aged ladies with tight perms, who on special days (Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas) march from block to block, passing out pamphlets that advertise their church events—but, like many others, I hop to the other side of the street and hasten my steps when I spot them in the distance. (Once, a lady literally chased me down and insisted I take a pamphlet home, even though I protested I already have a church. “Just in case,” she said, then added, “And go tell your friends.”) People call Los Angeles many names, most of them tongue-in-cheek, with unmasked condescension: La-La Land, Tinseltown, a city “ miles wide and  inches deep,” a city of commercialized sin and sinful commercialization. I respect sincere communities of Christians in this sinful, superficial city who are doing what they believe is God’s ultimate commission: to be Christ’s “witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria … to the ends of the earth.”


But how do you know it works? I asked him. How do you know if this form of evangelism is sustainably effective? Miano cannot give specific numbers of people he’s reached or brought to the church, because he doesn’t count them. He calls the counting of heads “one of the failures in American evangelicalism.” It gets to people’s heads; it becomes “Tony’s story” instead of Christ’s, and blurs the distinction between God-centered mission versus man-centered action. Sometimes he gets hecklers, people who scream rude names at him, who even threaten bodily harm. Sometimes he gets tearful, “pricked heart” people asking for prayers. Other times, he engages polite but disagreeing debaters. Often, the day passes quietly, with people absorbed in their own thoughts and lives. He tells Christians skeptical about street evangelism to spend a day watching it in action. So I did, and learned about two kinds of street evangelism.

GREG SCHNEIDER/GENESIS

HOPE CHAPEL, HERMOSA BEACH

One kind was on display

at El Camino College, a two-year public community college south of Los Angeles. Pastor-evangelist Steve Sanchez had been bringing willing congregants with him to the campus for six years—and this day he also brought his two homeschooled daughters, ages  and . They laid out a table spread with gospel tracts, Chik-fil-A coupons, and Beanie Babies in the heart of the campus, an intersection where thousands of students pass by each day. It’s also a spot shared with Muslim and LGBT clubs. “You’ll not find a better platform to preach the gospel,” Sanchez said. “We’ve had some vigorous yet respectful debates here.” He’s even had atheist students come up to “preach at us, while we preached at them.” On this day, which Sanchez said is typical, a girl with giant gold hoop earrings, neon pink flats, and hot pink fingernails passed by. Sanchez called out to her and invited her to do a fun IQ test, a series of silly trick questions that tickled the girl into laughter. Then the questions started getting more serious. “Let me ask you a question,” Sanchez said, never losing his warm, easygoing smile: “If you were to die today, do you think you’ll go to heaven?” The girl was indignant. “Yeah I’ll go to heaven. I pray! I go to church!” Sanchez persisted. “But do you think you’re a good person? Let’s go through the Ten Commandments together. … Thou shalt not covet. Have you? Thou shalt not bear false witnesses. Have you ever lied?” That went on until: “Have you ever called out on the Lord’s name in vain?” “Oh my God,” the girl groaned. “That’s blasphemy,” Sanchez said. “So by your own admission, you’re a lying thief, a blasphemous adulterer … a sinner.” The girl cried, half laughing,

GODSPEAK: Steve Sanchez preaching to parade-goers at the LA Martin Luther King Jr. Parade.

“Ah, stop it!” But Sanchez had his desired effect. The girl’s expression got serious, and she no longer was blithely confident about her salvation. That was when he told her about Christ dying for her. Later, thinking Sanchez came off as legalistic, I asked him why he questioned her about the Ten Commandments, and if he doubted her salvation for not practicing abstinence. “We are saved by grace,” Sanchez explained. “And that’s what we want to tell her. I’m not here to judge her. But a lot of people with churched backgrounds don’t have practical application of the Bible in their lives.” Only through the gripping, fearful realization that they are sinners will they truly grasp God’s grace and gift of Christ, he said. A fellow evangelist, Chris Casella, explained more: “Instead of being pious, we want to be real and genuine. The worst thing we can do is judge. We use God’s law to appeal to a person’s conscience, ignite it, because we inherently have knowledge of right and wrong. And then we use the Holy Spirit to speak to them to sow the seed.” The other encounters I witnessed that day with Sanchez were similar. A lot of the people who paused to interact with Sanchez were professing Christians. The conversation started with laughter and jokes, then turned serious as they pondered their sins, and what it means to be a Christian and live the Christian life. One said, “There’s no such thing as hell. Everybody goes to heaven,” to which Sanchez reiterated counteracting Bible verses. It was evangelism not just to nonbelievers, but also to churched people who seemed to hear the gospel for the first time. Because the conversation always started

NOVEMBER 30, 2013 • WORLD

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11/11/13 12:46 PM


out with silly games and easy smiles, it didn’t feel forced or confrontational. Sanchez said he started out years ago spouting biblical facts, but then learned to engage people in conversation.

Reuben Israel

OPEN FORUM: Miano (top); street reaction (above); Sanchez (bottom).

WORLD • NOVEMBER 30, 2013

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Most of the evangelists

I talked with agree that street evangelism isn’t for everyone. Chris Casella, for example, said he doesn’t have the gift for cold-call evangelism, preferring intimate one-to-one conversations. The first time he joined Sanchez to evangelize, he relegated himself as a tract deliverer. But first, he had to fight his shame of Christ, Casella said: “I was afraid somebody at work will see me as a Jesus freak.” The fear of that negative, or worse, mocking label to Christian evangelists is real. Miano was recently arrested and fined for “homophobic” open-air preaching in London. Sanchez has had people flare up and call him names. I’ve seen street preachers splattered with beer, laughed at, mocked openly. They are called anything from racist, homophobic bigots to looney freaks. And sometimes, of course, the fault lies with preachers who embody all the stereotypes of a condemning , bigoted, hell-fire hater. I saw during my reporting that God made us unique for a reason. Casella wasn’t able to do what Sanchez can on stage, but he was astute in observing people’s thoughts and emotions, and he approached them privately. He may not be boldly cracking jokes, but he was passionate and sensitive in his mannerisms, which appeal to more introverted people like himself. I was reminded that Jesus, when gathering his  disciples, brought together people of many tempers, careers, and backgrounds. Ineffective evangelism comes when Christians try to force somebody to accept the gospel with their personality, fervor, or rhetoric—because the gospel is a precious gift, recognized by those God has already graced. The most effective way to evangelize is debatable. The most ineffective way to evangelize is not to evangelize at all, whether by word or deed. A

MIANO, STREET REACTION: GREG SCHNEIDER/GENESIS PHOTOS • SANCHEZ: HOPE CHAPEL



is another kind of street evangelist. He is more dedicated than the majority of people who call themselves Christians. He goes out at least two times a week to openair preach, sometimes traveling across the country to picket at Gay Pride parades, Mardi Gras festivals, and Rolling Stones rock concerts. He self-funds all his travels and supplies. That’s a lot of money and time spent on what he believes is the true biblical way of evangelism: calling out sin. I wasn’t able to see him in person, but talked with him at length on the phone and watched videos on YouTube. “Jesus Christ spoke more on hell than He did on love, grace, and mercy combined,” Israel told me on the phone. He insists that Jesus spoke more about repenting, weeping, gnashing of teeth, and eternal darkness than He preached about God’s love. “It’s so sad that people think that’s the gospel. That’s not. It’s pretty much a lopsided God. The issue is: God loves us, but how much do we love God?” To show how much he loves God, Israel once stuck a butchered pig’s head on a stake at the International Arab Festival in Michigan. He name-calls sinners, because “calling people names is biblical.” Jesus himself, he listed, called a woman a dog, Herod a fox, the Pharisees devils and snakes. So that’s what he did at San Diego’s Pride Parade with a megaphone, and also at other religious festivals, armed with signs blaring: “Warning: Hell Awaits You.” Or “God Will Judge You” and “Jesus saves from hell.” In retaliation, some wisecrackers stood before him with their own signs: “These people will go to hell for annoying you.” They also flashed plenty of middle fingers.

When I asked many Los Angeles–area evangelists about Israel, they groaned: They consider him the reason Christian preachers get a bad rap. Israel says, “It doesn’t matter what people think of me. I’m not going to preach a message that makes people feel good. That’s not inspiring. I pray more than other people now, because there’s a real good chance that when I leave the house, I may not come back home. That’s how real this is.” He welcomes persecutions, because the apostles were persecuted, and says, “Most Christians don’t understand what persecution is, compared to what real Christians go through.” Miano has another way of defining the work of hell-fire preachers like Israel: “He’s there to inflame people, to get people to react in a violent way so he can say he’s been persecuted. It’s obvious in their preaching, that they hate the people they’re preaching to. That kind of preaching is blasphemous.”

Email: slee@wng.org

11/11/13 12:45 PM


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Peter and Paul

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This Emmy Award-winning production, starring Anthony Hopkins and Robert Foxworth, captures the vitality, intensity, and humanity of two who were entrusted by Christ to carry the Gospel into all the world. Based on the Scriptures by and about Peter and Paul, this video shows how they were driven by a heavenly vision for a different kind of world. They paid a horrendous price for their devotion— Peter crucified and Paul beheaded—but their ministries transcended the cruelty of their enemies to become important pillars of the Christian Church. Drama, 194 minutes (includes Spanish, optional English subtitles, bios).

A.D. vividly recreates the turbulent years following the death of Christ. The earliest experiences of the Christian church after Jesus' ascension are powerfully dramatized in this remarkably authentic TV miniseries epic covering the years A.D. 30-69. This Biblically and historically accurate drama comes complete with a 56-page study guide in PDF, providing a 12-week course. Performances from an all-star cast, together with the scope of the project, make this great Biblebased family entertainment. This Vincenzo Labella production features Anthony Andrews, Colleen Dewhurst, Ava Gardner, David Hedison, John Houseman, Richard Kiley, James Mason, Susan Sarandon, Ben Vereen and many others. Drama, 6 hours.

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11/11/13 12:57 PM


GIFT IDEAS

Single Best Christmas Gift For 2013?

New Henty Audio Theater Awakens Your Child’s Love of Learning, History And Adventure! This Christmas, Give The Children In Your Life Timeless Stories Of Character, Courage And Commitment That Will Ignite A Lifetime Of Passion For Living Boldly In God’s World. Best Part: You Can Even Listen To The First Chapter For FREE

THOMSON Illinois— Albert Einstein once said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge.” And Napoleon said, “Imagination rules the world.” These were men of enormous accomplishment and lauded by many as geniuses. So, if they thought so much of the power of imagination, it must have some merit. And if that’s the case, we as parents (and grandparents) have a real dilemma on our hands when it comes to our children’s future. Let Me Explain… Our children are living in a world that is increasingly bombarding them with visual imagery. And the effect of all this visual imagery (television, video games, online videos, et cetera) and all other kinds of imagebased “education” and entertainment really create a world that’s highly artificial. And this highly artificial world, quite literally… Shuts Down Their Imagination! And that’s a real problem, because, as The Wall Street Journal stated in an article titled, “The Power of Magical Thinking”… “Imagination is necessary for learning about people and events we don’t directly experience, such as history or events on the other side of the world. For young kids, it allows them to ponder the future, such as what they want to do when they grow up.” And our school system is not helping the situation at all. As one prominent educator put it, “… it is almost an indignity when schools are forced to stuff children full of facts without bowing to the greater good of creativity and the encouragement of imagination. It is by far the most overlooked part of a child’s education.” So What Can We (As Parents) Do To Protect Our Children From This Force-Fed, Brain-Numbing Visual Onslaught? That’s where a revolutionary form of audio learning (called audio theatre) comes in. Audio theatre—just like reading, but in a more fun, entertaining and engaging way—allows children to exercise and build their imagination by letting them create their own self-generated visual images and mental movies which… Are Then Played In The Theatre Of Their Mind! The audio theatre format lends itself to learning and thinking. This is especially true compared to video. And here’s why: Audio actually activates the left (or thinking) side of the brain. On the other hand, vivid visual stimulation by contrast shuts down a child’s ability to think and instead activates (through the right brain) the child’s pleasureseeking side. This is especially true of well-done, graphicallystrong visual stimulation where video does all the creative work for the child… Leaving NOTHING To The Imagination…And… NOTHING For The Brain To Do! Simply put, audio learning—in the audio theatre format—creates a whole different (better) type of brain chemistry. Hi, my name is Bill Heid. I run a medium-sized technology and information publishing company in the Midwest. I am, perhaps like you, a parent (and grandparent). And, over the last decade or so I have become increasingly concerned about where our

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country (and the world) is headed in general… but specifically… as it relates to our children. So much so, over the past couple of years I undertook a project to help counter all the negative programming our kids are being bombarded with on a daily basis… especially the mind-numbing visual programming. Here’s what I did: I took a group of employees—including my son Nick—to London and reproduced G.A. Henty’s adventure book, Under Drake’s Flag: A Tale Of The Spanish Main in audio theatre format. I spared no expense in hiring some of the finest English actors… most of whom are in the Shakespearian theatre and movies over there. And, as a special treat, we were able to procure prominent British actor Brian Blessed as the narrator. Brian is a friend of the Queen and quite an adventurer in his own right. He has attempted to climb Mount Everest three times (without oxygen)… and… will make another attempt next year at 77-years-old! He is also the oldest man to trek to the North Magnetic pole on foot. So, it was a real treat to have him narrate one of the greatest adventure stories ever told. In addition, the production crew we hired was top notch… including… award-winning composer John Campbell who did the original score for C.S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia… which… is a classic of children’s literature that has sold over 100 million copies in 47 languages. We were very fortunate to have him score original music for this epic adventure story. But Who Is G.A. Henty? G.A. (George Alfred) Henty was a prolific English novelist and special correspondent (or what we now call a war correspondent). He wrote more than 120 novels and is best known for his historical adventure stories that were written for children. Popular in the late 19th century, they have regained a resurgence of popularity today among many homeschoolers and Christians. The reason being: Henty’s stories—through thought and deed—encourage children to cultivate and display the virtues of courage, bravery, honesty, adventure, resourcefulness, self-reliance, persistence, ambition, curiosity, compassion and more. All of which are positive traits a child needs in this ever-changing, highly-unpredictable world we live in today. And, the exact opposite of what they’re getting from our out-of-control, narcissistic or “me” culture being force-fed to them daily from nearly every conceivable source. And Why Choose Henty’s Under Drake’s Flag? Here are 6 good reasons why we chose this adventure book… Good Reason #1: Builds Moral Character — Under Drake’s Flag is an adventure that’s more than just fun... it’s a swashbuckling adventure that helps give kids life lessons that encourage making the right choices later on in life. Plus, it truly is rip roaring entertainment. Good Reason #2: Develops A Love Of History — Hidden in the adventure is a remarkable history lesson that’s exciting and extremely educational. It’s produced in a way that… Brings History To Life For Your Children In An Interesting And Fun Way! Your child will soak up this story, ask questions and want to know more about history. And, to help open up and facilitate communication between you and your child... a study guide is included.

Good Reason #3: Effective Learning Methodology — In Under Drake’s Flag, the lessons come by example and in story form. We all seem to learn best when lessons are presented in story form. And as any parent or teacher knows well, direct teaching and “lecturing” are far less effective. As an example: Jesus used parables to teach for a reason. And that reason is, the lessons become extremely “sticky” when they’re about someone else. In Drake’s adventure there are truths your child will pick up naturally and effortlessly because they are woven seamlessly into the narrative. Good Reason #4: Develops Self-Reliance In Your Children — If you learn anything by reading G.A. Henty’s story it’s that you need to become selfreliant and able to take care of yourself if you are to get anywhere in life. Even more: If you are going to help others you must do it from a position of strength. (You can’t help someone out with money if you’re bankrupt yourself.) In a world where the majority wants something for nothing, Henty encourages our children to have patience, perseverance… and… to go the extra mile. Good Reason #5: Because It’s Hard To Raise Children Today — In terms of raising kids, today’s culture is a nightmare. Your child receives—literally— thousands of messages every day in all sorts of media forms encouraging them to take the low-road. Under Drake’s Flag can serve as a dose of “mental health food” in a world where toxic, “mental junk food” is the norm. We as parents (and grandparents) are really engaged in a daily battle for the hearts and minds of our children. Good Reason #6: Time Is Limited To “The Critical Years.” You’ve only got so much time to affect your child’s character. Kids grow up and go their own way very quickly. God has given us parents “stewardship” over our kids and, as such, expects us to “train our children up in the way that they should go.” Listen To The First Chapter ABSOLUTELY FREE! Look, I’m running out of space here to give you all the details. So, to get the full story and listen to the first chapter of Under Drake’s Flag absolutely free, please go to the website below now:

www.HentyAlive.com

One last thing. It’s important: Probably the thing that really makes the Under Drake’s Flag audio drama “go over the top” is the study guide. We designed it for busy parents who really want to engage their children with great ideas and thought provoking discussions. The guide, (really a mini curriculum) provides the opportunity for a lot of “back and forth” conversations which will be as much fun for you as it will be for your kids.

11/11/13 12:57 PM


Notebook

Lifestyle > Technology > Science > Houses of God > Sports > Money > Religion

School of hard knocks >> Millennials face a challenging job market—but their own resistance to hard work may not help

Mark Lennihan/ap

by Andrew Branch

In Lifestyle two issues ago we ­profiled Dean Hatch, 84, who is approaching his seventh decade in the workforce. He said people can be happy at work by following a simple formula: “They should find what they enjoy doing and what they do well. Life is short and they’re only here for a limited period of time, so why not make it count wherever they are? I would encourage them to see their life as a life to be used however God leads.” Does that apply to people 60 years younger than Hatch? Rebecca Register, now 23, thought she had found what she enjoyed and would do well: She planned to graduate from North Carolina State University and begin an Air Force career. Then a thyroid condition forced her out of ROTC, and she spent her last semester—fall 2011—at NC State working four jobs and contemplating what to do with her life.

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When she looked for a full-time job she initially wasn’t worried: “I had this arrogance. … I hadn’t been turned down before.” Soon, though, she was accumulating turndowns, and applying for jobs she had sworn she would never do. OK, maybe they’ll call me back next week, she thought. OK, maybe they’ll call me back NEXT week. Her situation is not unique. A Georgetown study found just 7.9 percent of recent college grads—about the national unemployment rate—were jobless. But an Accenture study revealed lower expectations: 41 percent of the last two years’ ­graduates have a job that doesn’t require a degree at all. searching: Looking over job Struggling grads took postings at the to venting on Facebook New York State and Twitter. Some turned Department of to sarcasm, like sibling Labor in Brooklyn.

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chances.” Employers today, though, want new graduates to have careerrelated experience: “Starting early is extremely critical.” Many students do not start early. At NC State, only half of students worked or looked for work in October 2012. Students’ jobs and savings combined paid for only 11 percent of their higher education costs last year. Students ­borrowed 18 percent. The most popular library study area at the university has video game consoles and flat-screen TVs as its centerpiece. The Retreat, a brand new cottage village for students in Raleigh, boasts tanning beds, a fitness center, and a multitiered luxury

pool, the largest in the city of almost 500,000. The NC State career center is starting to see more traffic after an organized effort to inform students that they need to plan ahead. But Catoe wonders why he has to remind kids to work, and believes a work-first mindset should begin long before college. A 1978 NC State grad, John Linderman, sees problems beginning with his peers: “My generation worked hard, struggled, and wanted to make it easier for their kids. And I’m not sure that’s the right answer.” Register: “I had this arrogance. …  I hadn’t been turned down before.”

Parents have made life easier, and the workforce reflects it. According to the Department of Labor, the number of 16- to 24-year-olds looking for work peaked at 77.5 percent in 1989. It’s now 60.5 percent. One in seven Americans under 25 in 2011 was neither employed nor in school, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. That’s higher than many European countries with far worse economies. Some American young adults simply don’t want or need to work. A loan officer at NC State told me of a student who didn’t pay her tuition and showed up with her Coach bag and $100 jeans to protest not being allowed to take classes. Several long-term studies show high schoolers since the 1970s are more “materialistic,” even “narcissistic,” with “unrealistically high expectations.” They care about stuff, but don’t know how to get it. Joblessness that continues after college can affect a career for decades, according to studies cited by The Economist. In Japan, among young adults who came of age during its 1990s real-estate crash, almost onethird don’t hold full-time jobs today: The Atlantic reported 20 percent still living with their parents. One in four people with a highschool diploma or less in the United States is unemployed. And while recent college grads struggle little more than the national average, student loans trail only mortgages in consumer debt; default rates are at record highs and rising. The future of the U.S. economy will depend on how Millennials handle adversity and hard work. A

Marc J. Kawanishi/Genesis

baby sitter Ahmed Amer: “Not even a month after graduation and I’m already an unemployed father to a pre-teen boy. Life hits hard, man. Stay in school.” Others, like underemployed Matt Summers, “would kill for a 9-to-5, Monday-to-Friday job.” Recent college grads aren’t the only Millennials struggling. Counting all education levels, the jobless rate for 18- to 29-year-olds has been about 16 percent, including those who have given up. But Rebecca Register is overcoming adversity. She’s earned her daily bread by serving others food at Applebee’s, and now plans to enroll in grad school to gain a master’s degree in computer science, a field with less than 4 percent unemployment. Her ­takeaway from the Great Recession: “It’s definitely made me reflect on what I want in life.” The question now is: Will Register’s peers do the same? Young adults often struggle disproportionately in recessions, said Woody Catoe, a university career counselor for 10 years: “The pool of jobs is being tapped by people who are in some ways probably overqualified and under better circumstances would not even consider those kinds of jobs.” And for some recent graduates, the root of their unemployment comes from what they did—or didn’t do—during their school years. NC State student Andrew Vargo switched to civil engineering when he discovered he liked making buildings stand. But with a GPA below 3.0, he couldn’t take advantage of many resources at the top-30 worldwide engineering schools. He didn’t get experience before he graduated in May: “Yes, I regret it, because all of the jobs I’m looking at want experience.” Vargo isn’t alone. An increasingly educated society means a degree isn’t as valuable on its own anymore. “I’m a baby boomer,” counselor Catoe said. “When you got a college degree, it wasn’t necessarily an automatic job, but it certainly gave you more

Wng.org: Your online source for today’s news, Christian views 

11/8/13 9:32 AM

Jeff Chiu/ap

Notebook > Lifestyle


Notebook > Technology

New eye on crime Your next conversation with a police officer might be captured on video By daniel james devine

Marc J. Kawanishi/Genesis

Jeff Chiu/ap

>>

The traditional police uniform is loaded down with all the gear a law enforcer could need at a moment’s notice: handcuffs, memo book, flashlight, mace, walkietalkie, an expandable baton. You might not have heard of the newest accessory: a camera. Across the United States, thousands of police officers have begun using body-worn cameras to record everything from traffic stops to foot chases. An apparent expansion in government surveillance might not sound warranted, but in this case, the outcome could ultimately be good for officers and citizens alike. Police officers wear the cameras on their chests. The most popular model is made by Vievu (VEE-view), a company founded by a former SWAT team member. Vievu’s color video camera is a soap bar–sized device that is waterproof and tamperproof, and costs $900. To activate the recording function, an officer slides a cover, revealing a green label surrounding a lens. Remember that green label: Since there’s no light on the front of the camera, it’s a tipoff the device is in recording mode.

Email: ddevine@wng.org

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“That green backing definitely contrasts with our dark blue uniforms,” says Michael Kurtenbach, a precinct commander at the Phoenix Police Department, which has been using 56 Vievu cameras since April. Although neither the department nor Arizona requires officers to tell citizens they’re being recorded, he says, “We haven’t tried to hide it at all.” Legally, police are not obligated to inform a resident about the camera in at least 38 states. The cameras can act as an additional witness when an officer is falsely accused. Kurtenbach told me one ­camera resolved a case in Phoenix where an unlicensed driver accused a police officer of using racial slurs and inappropriate force: “Upon reviewing the video it was clear that none of the behavior that was alleged occurred.” In another case, Phoenix officers received a call that a seemingly deranged man was running around in the middle of traffic. When they arrived, the officers handcuffed the man and observed the symptoms of “excited delirium,” a drug-associated manic state that sometimes results in

death. “They moved him to the side of the road in the shade. … They got him water, they kept him upright, they did everything that they could. Ultimately he died,” Kurtenbach said. A death in police custody normally results in a major investigation, but the camera footage proved the officers took appropriate actions that day. The recordings can cut both ways, of course: If an officer behaves badly, that would show up on footage as well. Within a courtroom, such evidence would work to the advantage of a citizen who may have been mistreated. In the end, the widespread use of bodyworn cameras could prompt both ­citizens and police to exercise added close up: restraint. Oakland Police officer Huy In August a fedNguyen shows eral judge ordered a video camera changes to the worn by some New York Police officers in Oakland, Calif. Department’s policy of stopping and ­frisking residents who look suspicious. She claimed the practice was uncon­ stitutional and indirectly targeted minorities. Although the judge didn’t completely nix stop-and-frisk, she ordered the police department to begin a pilot program of body-worn cameras, which she said would “solve a lot of problems. … The officer would be aware he’s on tape.” A

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11/7/13 3:53 PM


Notebook > Science

Carbon goes green The increase in CO is proving to be an unexpectedly large boon to plant life BY DANIEL JAMES DEVINE

WORLD • NOVEMBER 30, 2013

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  Tree leaves that contain microscopic particles of gold could be flagging hidden deposits beneath. Scientists publishing in Nature Communications in October confirmed that eucalyptus trees growing above gold deposits suck up tiny amounts of the precious metal through their roots— which may grow more than  feet deep—then deposit it within their leaves. —D.J.D.

SAVANNA: MARK RALSTON/AFP/GETTY IMAGES • EUCALYPTUS: USAN TRIGG/ISTOCK



in Australia. “The only phenomenon that could cause this type of shift in water-use efficiency is rising atmospheric carbon dioxide.” The efficiency effect is most striking in arid environments, such as deserts, savannahs, and dry woodlands. When plants in dry ground sense an increase in CO and become more water efficient, they respond by shooting out new leaves to take advantage of the situation. In another study this summer, published in Geophysical Research Letters, Australian researchers used satellite images of global foliage cover to estimate the growth between  and . Although foliage around the world increased  percent, the greening in warm, dry environments was much higher— percent. Increased rainfall drove much of the foliage growth, but CO also played a major role. After isolating the effects of changes in rainfall, humidity, temperature, and land use, the researchers estimated that warm, dry areas were  percent greener than they would have been had CO remained constant since . The long-term effects of this greening are hard to predict, but scientists speculate it could prevent soil erosion, increase plant life in deserts, and increase forest cover. On the other hand, it could increase fuel for forest fires, and provoke unexpected changes in habitats, requiring wildlife—or farmers—to adjust ways of living. At least now you’ve finally heard about it.

Wng.org: Your online source for today’s news, Christian views

11/7/13 3:42 PM

ALASTAIR PHILIP WIPER/VIEW PICTURES/NEWSCOM

>>

L’   the things we’ve heard about carbon dioxide: Humans exhale it; oil and coal emit it. It’s a combination of a carbon atom and two oxygen atoms. It’s a greenhouse gas. It’s accumulating in the atmosphere, contributing to rising global temperatures. It’s making the planet greener. Oh, wait. You hadn’t heard the green part? If not, it’s not for lack of science. Multiple recent studies show more clearly than ever how carbon’s “fertilization effect” is affecting plant growth on a global scale, increasing foliage, and making plants in dry environments more water efficient. Scientists say models have vastly underestimated carbon’s role in greening. We know little about the long-term effects, but many could be positive. To a plant, carbon dioxide is food. But the gas has a counterintuitive effect on a plant’s metabolism: The more CO in the air, the less water a leaf needs. A  study of Florida plants and a July  study of forests around the world saw this odd effect in action. In the first study (published in PNAS), an analysis of Florida foliage and leaves buried in peat estimated to be  years old showed a trend of increased water efficiency over time. In the second (in Nature), forest carbon and water data from the past two decades showed trees becoming more water efficient. “We went through every possible hypothesis of what could be going on,” said researcher Trevor Keenan, who now works at Macquarie University


savanna: MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images • eucalyptus: usan Trigg/istock

Alastair Philip Wiper/View Pictures/newscom

Notebook > Houses of God

The United

Reformed Church in Guildford, England.

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11/8/13 9:35 AM


Opening the gates

Iran considers allowing women at soccer stadiums By ZACHARY ABATE

>>

Bad call

Corbett (Ore.) Middle School football coach Randy Burbach lost his unpaid position after holding an end-of-season team

celebration at Hooters and refusing to change venues when asked to reconsider. Burbach told USA

Today he simply wanted to give the 12- to 14-year-old boys “the best experience.” “I believe this is a fine venue,” Burbach said, referring to the restaurant known for its scantily clad waitresses: “It’s not a strip club. If you have a dirty mind, you’ll find dirt.” District athletic director J.P. Soulagnet criticized the coach’s decision and stubbornness in a letter sent to parents and posted on a school website. Burbach argued that he was keeping a promise made to his players. Enjoying the free publicity generated by the debate, Hooters paid for the party’s expenses and donated over $1,000 to the Corbett Youth Football program. —Z.A.

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iran: Hasan Sarbakhshian/ap • Burbach: Michael Lloyd/The Oregonian/ap

Should women be allowed to watch sporting events? That’s the question Iranian officials will de discussing after FIFA (Federation Internationale de Football Association) President Sepp Blatter, during a two-day visit to the Iranian capital of Tehran earlier this month, asked them to end the country’s 34-year-old ban forbidding women to enter sports stadiums: “As the president of FIFA and defender of football in Islamic countries, I had to present this plea to the political authorities.” The ban went into effect after the left out: Iranian women stand behind a fence as Iran’s national soccer players practice in Tehran. Iranian Revolution of 1979 that brought about the Islamic Republic an Iranian victory over Australia durunder Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah ing a FIFA World Cup qualification Khomeini. The primary stated purpose of game. While millions of Iranian citithe ban is to protect women from rowdy zens took to the streets to celebrate, male fans’ violence and vulgar language. several ­thousand women crossed police Iran allows women to play soccer if lines and entered Azadi Stadium. It was they follow a strict dress code, with the first of several such incidents that female athletes allowed to remove their included women dressing as men in hijab only in arenas that are all-female. order to enter the stadium and watch The most notable strike against the matches. ban came on Nov. 29, 1997, following

In April 2006, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announced women would be allowed to attend soccer matches in stadiums, but they would be segregated to a specific area. “The presence of women and families in public places promotes chastity,” he said. The repeal did not last for long. Several religious clerics and top lawmakers criticized Ahmadinejad’s decision, and the president reversed his position. Religious leaders said woman violated Islamic law if they looked at a male stranger’s body. Earlier this year, Saudi Arabian officials announced that their nation would allow the formation of female sports clubs for the first time ever. Despite clerics’ warnings against female exercise, Saudi Arabia sent its first female athlete, Wojdan Shaherkani, to the Olympic Games in 2012. Authorities still forbid women to drive or make any important decisions—such as marriage, finances, or traveling—without a male guardian’s permission. Qatar, which allowed female athletes to attend the Olympics for the first time in 2012, has assured FIFA that women are welcome at its stadiums when it hosts the 2022 World Cup.

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11/12/13 5:28 PM

Gene J. Puskar/AP

Notebook > Sports


Notebook > Money

GOOD NEWS: This house in Mt. Lebanon, Pa., sold in July.

Bursting bubbles

Housing prices rise, but talk of bubbles may be inflated BY WARREN COLE SMITH

GENE J. PUSKAR/AP

IRAN: HASAN SARBAKHSHIAN/AP • BURBACH: MICHAEL LLOYD/THE OREGONIAN/AP

>>

T   is looking better. In some places it is downright hot. In November, CoreLogic, a firm specializing in real estate analysis, said home prices had reached an annual growth rate of  percent in September. That’s the fastest year-overyear growth rate since . In Atlanta, Phoenix, and other cities hit hard by the housing bust, the rise was even greater. Nevada posted  percent year-over-year growth. That’s good news if you’re already a homeowner, especially if you’ve been “underwater” and owe more on your home than it’s worth. But there’s other news. The same CoreLogic survey announcing the strong annual growth said September slowed dramatically, to . percent. We’ve also seen some evidence that the homebuyers of recent

Email: wsmith@wng.org

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years are speculators who are bidding up the price of homes on the theory that others will come in after them and bid prices up still more. In Las Vegas, for example,  percent of all September home purchases were cash purchases, with no mortgages being recorded. Almost all of these were investors looking to “flip” the houses or put them into rental inventories. So do these troubling trends mean we’re headed for another housing bubble? No, says Dan Greenhaus, chief strategist for BTIG. Greenhaus acknowledges the speculation. “Clearly there’s been an influx of investors,” he said. He also acknowledges that housing prices have stalled a bit in recent months, largely due to rising interest rates. But he says the more important measure is price-to-income. Historically, Americans bought homes

that were about . times their annual income. A family with a , income would buy a home worth between , and ,. The price-to-income ratio peaked in  at .. The family with a , income was buying a home priced at ,. One reason Greenhaus believes we’re not in a bubble: That ratio today is about ., below the historical average. Supporting Greenhaus is a study by Yale economist Robert Shiller. He charts home prices going back to the s and finds that “real home prices,” prices adjusted for inflation, are at historical averages. Since the size of homes has grown tremendously in the past  years, the price per square foot of new homes is approaching record lows. Greenhaus does not give the economy a clean bill of health. “We’ve got employment issues, continuing problems in Washington. I’ll grant that we’ve got issues to deal with,” he said. But when it comes to bubbles, he’s not convinced. “The only bubble we’re in is a bubble in the use of the word bubble.” A

NOVEMBER 30, 2013 • WORLD



11/12/13 10:43 AM


Notebook > Religion schools” was next, at  percent, followed by religion. A combined  percent cited “other reasons,” including finances, travel, and distance of schooling options, as the most important factor. Sociologist Jeffrey Dill of Eastern University, an expert on homeschooling, notes that an increasing desire to give kids a quality alternative to public schools does not Fewer homeschoolers cite religion as a main motivation BY THOMAS KIDD necessarily exclude religious motivations. “Many homeschool families,” Dill told me, believe that important” factor. This compares to  A   by the National they can “provide a better learning percent of homeschool parents who Center for Education Statistics environment and more rigorous named religious instruction as the most (NCES) suggests that declining academic engagement” than other important factor in a  NCES percentages of homeschool educational options. Dill thinks that survey. families are motivated primarily by the NCES report confirms that parents Religion was the pre-eminent reason religious conviction. The NCES, a statiswho teach their own children are often parents gave for homeschooling in the tical agency affiliated with the federal seeking the highest quality education  NCES poll, but in the new survey, Department of Education, says that for them, and not simply looking “to “concern about environment of other while  percent of respondents said indoctrinate them with religious schools” was the most commonly that “a desire to provide religious dogma, as some critics may claim.” stated top motivation, cited by  perinstruction” was an important factor in Roughly three percent of American cent of respondents. “Dissatisfaction their choice to homeschool, only  children are homeschooled. with academic instruction at other percent cited religion as the “most

A better environment

>>

Controversies over gay marriage continue to trouble The United Methodist Church (UMC). In late October, retired United Methodist Bishop Mel Talbert became the first UMC bishop to perform a same-sex wedding, in open defiance of church law. Denominational officials pleaded with Talbert not to go through with the ceremony, and UMC Bishop Debra Wallace-Padgett, who oversees the North Alabama district where it took place, called the action a “breach of the covenant” Talbert had made with the denomination at ordination. But R. Lawton Higgs, a retired UMC minister who helped Talbert officiate at the wedding, said that he did so “to proclaim that there is no condemnation in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans :-) for LGBT persons” and characterized it as “an act of Joyful Obedience.” Even though the  UMC General Conference reaffirmed the church’s traditional teachings on marriage and sexuality, liberal American clergy continue to push for change. The UMC’s Judicial Council, its top court, recently made several decisions affirming the right of Methodists to express disagreement with the denomination’s prohibition on gay marriage. In one case, the New York Annual Conference had adopted a resolution commending UMC clergy “whose bold actions and courageous statements help to provide for the pastoral needs of same-sex couples within The United Methodist Church.” Thirty-one UMC pastors in eastern Pennsylvania plan to follow Talbert’s lead in November when they will officiate jointly at a same-sex wedding. They are planning the ceremony to coincide with the Nov.  church trial of Rev. Frank Schaefer, another Methodist pastor who presided at a  wedding of his son and another man. —T.K.



WORLD • NOVEMBER 30, 2013

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HOMESCHOOL: PAULINE LUBENS/MCT/LANDOV • TALBERT: PAUL JEFFREY/UNITED METHODIST NEWS SERVICE

Breach of faith

Email: tkidd@wng.org

11/8/13 9:59 AM


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employment I United Christian Academy (UCA), Newport, Vermont: Seeks Head of School. www.ucaeducation.org. I Head of School Position: Covenant Classical School of Concord, NC, is seeking a Head of School who loves God, loves children, and who is passionate about classical Christian education beginning summer of 2014. Candidates should have strong leadership and administrative skills to work with and direct a team of leaders. We are a K-12 classical Christian school located in the beautiful Piedmont region of NC close to the beaches and the Blue Ridge Mountains. Located 20 minutes north of ­Charlotte, we have a quiet 15-acre campus with easy access to Interstate 85. Concord provides all the charm of a quiet Southern town with all the amenities of big city life next door. This is a great place to live and raise a family! For more information about CCS and to review the job description and application, please visit www.covenantclassical.org/about/ history/. Please email inquiries to kadackal@hotmail.com. Applications will be considered until the position is filled.

school employment homeschool: PAULINE LUBENS/MCT/Landov • Talbert: Paul Jeffrey/United Methodist News Service

I CONO CHRISTIAN SCHOOL seeks ­Parent-Educator staff. See our ad in this issue. Thomas Jahl, Headmaster. Thomas.jahl@cono.org. I Mars Hill Academy in Cincinnati, OH, is seeking a Headmaster. MHA is a 17-yearold ACCS-accredited K-12 school with 300 students finishing its seventh year in the school’s 37,500 sq. ft. facility on 13 acres. The Headmaster must embrace the MHA Foundational Documents (see website - www.marshill.edu), have a passion for discipling staff and families, and be a strong all-around leader. Attractive compensation and benefits. For information & to apply, please contact

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11/12/13 4:17 PM


Mailbag ‘Dead seriousness’

Oct.  It costs more state and federal tax money to execute a prisoner than to house, feed, and clothe him for the rest of his natural life. For your reasons and this, I now no longer support the general use of the death penalty. Thank you for a great article, sincerely thought-out and well researched. —C B, Racine, Wis.

You wrote that the Bible calls for two or three “eyewitnesses” for a capital offense, but the purpose of a “witness” in current jurisprudence is to be an independent line of confirmation. Recorded confessions, DNA analyses, and fingerprint analyses are all witnesses in that sense. Eyewitnesses might be the best kind, but they are not the only kind. —M E. O, Denver, Pa.

I think you are wrong about capital punishment. It should be reserved for cases with much corroborating evidence and never taken lightly. But in saying that life in prison is worse than death, you also seem to be appealing to a greater vengeance in continued punishment for decades until the person dies. This is an odd argument for a position that also presents itself as more compassionate. —B W, Cedar Rapids, Iowa

We’ve always been in favor of “a life for a life” and had never heard a biblical argument against it that made us ponder until now. Thank you for challenging us to reconsider. There remains the problem of murderers on parole after as little as eight or  years.

You missed something about Cain. God Himself tried “no capital punishment.” He put a mark on Cain so that no one would kill him. And yet wickedness got worse and worse, with violence filling the earth. —C P, Pine Bluff, Ark.

A good article makes you think, and Marvin Olasky’s articles on the death penalty have certainly done that. However, I have some concerns with his take. He argues that God “provides zero examples of killers receiving death penalties.” Is God required to give us examples of executions being carried out before we can believe that He intended death to be the punishment for those crimes? —D P, Kilauea, Hawaii

—M  N R, Bucklin, Kan.

I was very disappointed by your recent article on the death penalty. You question it as too harsh an infliction, argue that life imprisonment is worse, and then conclude that life imprisonment should be substituted for the death penalty. This is incoherent. —J A, Fortuna, Calif.

Send photos and letters to: mailbag@wng.org

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In the technologically advanced, affluent West we have no justification to take any life, whether a serial killer, a pre-born baby, or someone in a “vegetative” state. We are too quick to justify ending lives. If this culture of death is to end, we must end it across the board. —K H, Columbus, Mich.

Here is what I would do to stop the killing in its tracks: Execute all murderers, rapists, child molesters, abortionists, etc., immediately—today. Drag them down into the basement of the courthouse and shoot them between the eyes. I want an eye-for-an-eye justice—Roy Bean had it right. Give us justice, give them death. Get out of the way, Marvin. —D G, Vallecito, Calif.

Your essay is very biblical, in the Old Testament and Romans  sense. Our human punishments, if informed by God’s, would institute a combination of patience, giving men time to repent; discipline, God’s response to wayward children; and punishment, to make men fear eventual judgment. Cain was guilty, but God wanted him to repent and stop wandering. How good God is. He is the Father, looking for the prodigal to come home. —D G, San Carlos, Calif.

‘Fleeting images’ Oct.  Reading this article about porn addiction was like standing at the tomb of Lazarus before Jesus arrived. We recognize the stench of death, but as Jesus

NOVEMBER 30, 2013 • WORLD



11/8/13 10:09 AM


Mailbag

QUILLIN NOVILLO, GUATEMALA submitted by Raenel Mathews said to Martha, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live. … Do you believe this?” If we believe in the resurrection, we should see more than the sin; we should believe that God’s supernatural grace releases the prisoners. —L W, Waterford, Va.

The church of “Richard,” the youth pastor addicted to porn, should follow John Piper’s advice to young women wondering about prospective husbands: “If a man can’t control his lust, it’s a deal-breaker.” Our ministers and leaders need to address this issue before we entrust them with the spiritual lives of our families. If there is a problem, they can gracefully be shown the door and pointed toward the nearest Christian recovery center. —E C, Brooklyn Center, Minn.

‘A complete circle’ Oct.  Thank you for your column on Christians in the Muslim world. Truly they are like the early Christians who were persecuted.

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Christians in this country could certainly take a lesson from their faithfulness. —M B G, Kerrville, Texas

You stated, “Jesus appears in dreams to Muslims who can meet Him no other way.” We recently had missionaries who had served in northern Africa testify in our church to the same thing. God is so great! —S M, Madison, N.H.

‘Eats broken bottles and kills rats with her teeth’ Oct.  Mindy Belz’s splendid column on Melanie Phillips’ “journey from left to right” reminded me of another notable Brit, Sir Winston Churchill, to whom the following quote is often misattributed: “If you’re not a liberal when you’re , you have no heart. If you’re not a conservative when you’re , you have no head.” Many of us have been on that journey. —A W, Rockford, Tenn.

‘Head games’ Oct.  I just finished the Oct.  digital edition. Thank you for your

11/12/13 4:18 PM


courage to speak the truth and avoiding all that political correctness. Marvin Olasky’s column about the scrubbed-up versions of pagan life in museums was so good.

Health care for people of Biblical faith

—E G, Newburgh, Ind.

‘Connect the dots’ Oct.  I appreciated the contrast of the groundswell of anti-humantrafficking action with the inaction against a primary enabler, pornography. I have encountered the same blind spot in the military’s recent emphasis on combating sexual assault and suicide. I’ve received many earnest and sincere training sessions, but none of the official material ever mentions the effect that rampant pornography use has on provoking sexual assault and suicide. —F N, Quantico, Va.

‘Who stands with Syria’s Christians?’ Oct.  I do, in prayer. It is too easy for me to say, perhaps, but I know God is with my brothers and sisters in the darkness. —K S, Beaverton, Ore.

‘Failure to thrive’ Sept.  When Obamacare began life as HB, I followed the disclosures of the parts that should arouse concern. There were so many, and I am depressed when I conclude that the situation of Mindy Belz’s mother will become the standard for treatment for the elderly. If personal freedom were a precondition to any legislative initiative, we would have never arrived at this sorry state. —N N, Eugene, Ore.

LETTERS & PHOTOS Email: mailbag@wng.org Write: WORLD Mailbag, PO Box , Asheville, NC - Please include full name and address. Letters may be edited to yield brevity and clarity.

If you are a committed Christian, you do not have to violate your faith by purchasing health insurance from a company that pays for abortions and treatments of conditions resulting from other immoral practices. You can live consistently with your beliefs by sharing medical needs directly with fellow believers through Samaritan Ministries’ non-insurance approach. This approach even satisfies the individual mandate in the recent Federal health care law (United States Code 26, Section 5000A, (d), (2), (B)). Every month the more than 24,000* households of Samaritan Ministries share over $6 million* in medical needs directly—one household to another. They also pray for one another and send notes of encouragement. The monthly share for a family membership of any size has never exceeded $370*.

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Biblical faith applied to health care www.samaritanministries.org

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11/8/13 10:10 AM


THE FACTS how we give college journalists who are christian what they need to maximize their journalistic job opportunities in a tough economy ...

Our college-level course during the second half of May gives 14 students the opportunity to learn and prove themselves. Ten—five with WORLD, five with secular newspapers—received $3,000$6,000 internships last summer. For more information, go to worldji.com/programs/view/60.

THE FRIENDSHIPS from a column by chelsea kolz, 2012 wji and 2013 patrick henry college graduate, now a world news group staff member ... I was sitting at the Olasky dining room table. The sun streamed in the window onto my bowl of cereal. Sophia had just come downstairs, sleepy in her striped red pants. The two of us had become fast friends during the two phases of our WORLD internship. Sophia came via Korea, then Singapore, then the University of Southern California. ... We had a few things in common. We were writers. We both cooked like madwomen. We dressed up like Julia Child and perfected boeuf bourguignon in the Olasky kitchen. Both artists, we spent our evenings with colored pencils and acrylic paint. Two things bound us closest: our Christianity and our willingness to say whatever came to mind. ... Sophia and I had many talks as we walked through downtown Asheville or jogged in the hills. I found her splashed, face down, against the sheets in the early morning. I woke her up to run in the Carolina heat. ... We changed each other by telling our stories. Sophia pressed my homebody self to contemplate nations, lifestyles, and sufferings beyond my own.

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Andrée Seu Peterson

Churning like cider Old may be good—but Jesus is making all things new

>>

MATTHEW MEAD

W I   in bed, a strange business goes on in my refrigerator, entirely out of my hands. It’s like the farmer who plants and then “sleeps and rises night and day, and the seed sprouts and grows; he knows not how” (Mark :). My father and I have a bit of a contest each autumn to be first to find cider without a touch of potassium sorbate, the preservative that kills those busy little microorganisms that turn sugar into alcohol and carbon dioxide. I won this year and magnanimously bought the loser his own gallon. I checked his fridge the other day and noticed he hasn’t touched it yet: He’s waiting till it’s “perky.” I told him that’s risky: Past a certain point it will go too far for him. My own jug is bloating and foaming and full of promise. Noah may have made wine accidentally. (That would redeem his curiously tarnished image from Genesis .) How could he have known that once the floodgates above and below were punctured, and the water vapor canopy created by God over the new earth (Genesis :) was destroyed, atmospheric conditions on the planet would be altered? He wouldn’t anticipate that the greenhouse effect maintaining pole-to-pole Edenic temperatures would vanish, the most effective of all “sun blocks” would no longer be in place to filter out harmful solar radiation, and the rate of somatic mutations in cells would thus increase, hastening the pace of aging and death. Longevity would drop off dramatically after the flood, but Noah’s particular misfortune was not to realize that the grape juice he made after disembarking on Mt. Ararat would ferment very quickly now, and the lower atmospheric pressure would make it harder for those who imbibed to hold their drink. New wine would be fast-tracked to old wine. Jesus made new wine for a wedding in a town called Cana, of course. Although it did not exist a half hour before serving, it was instant old wine, not unlike the trees of Eden that would have had concentric

Email: aseupeterson@wng.org

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rings in their cross sections. It was better than cheap plonk, if we can judge by the comment of the master of the feast (John :). Nevertheless, some biblical evidence suggests that Israelites prized not only old but new wine (Nehemiah :; Proverbs :; Hosea :; Haggai :). This will become important later in this reverie on the fruit of the vine. Jesus brought up wine in Luke . In this scene He is the inaugurator of the New, encountering hostile resistance from the vested proprietors of the Old. The scribes and Pharisees (:, ; :, ) profess horror at the company Jesus keeps (:) and His violation of religious custom (:-). Also, His disciples do not “fast often.” Jesus addresses them on basic wine-making principles: Expecting a man to fast and afflict his body with sadness while Jesus is with him in the flesh is as emotionally inappropriate (:) as pouring new wine into old wineskins. That fermenting, expanding, excitable wine would burst the seams of the old container. The head-scratcher is that after succinctly drawing the moral to the need for change (“new wine must be put into fresh wineskins,” Luke :), Jesus in the next verse seems to favor the old again: “No one after drinking old wine desires new, for he says, ‘The old is good.’” But this is not an enigma, for Jesus is observing that people tend to get stuck in the old—and He wants us to get unstuck, if the need warrants. The sclerosis of resistance to Holy Spirit newness, and preference for fixed and controllable traditions, is not just a Pharisee problem. Our first pastor Jack Miller warned us years ago: “We have surrendered our hearts to the familiar forms of our religious life and found comfort of soul, not in knowing God, but in knowing that our worship practices are firmly settled and nothing unpredictable will happen Sunday morning” (Outgrowing the Ingrown Church). The Spirit is not tame. He churns in us more wildly than wild cider in my fridge downstairs. A

NOVEMBER 30, 2013 • WORLD

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11/7/13 10:15 AM


Marvin Olasky

Navigating the rapids A biblical strategy for examining capital punishment and other debates

>>



WORLD • NOVEMBER 30, 2013

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CAPTAINFLASH/ISTOCK

U, my Oct.  stories and sidebars about the death penalty drew lots of reader response, favorable and unfavorable: See this week’s Mailbag (p. ) for examples of both. For those who missed the articles, I was essentially saying that capital punishment isn’t wrong but life imprisonment without parole is a legitimate substitute. Some readers prefer a hard-line pro or con, and I deliberately didn’t take it, in line with WORLD’s journalistic desire to avoid either arrogance (confusing our own inclinations with God’s teaching) or relativism (saying everything is gray). You could read my essay on “Journalism and humility” at wng.org/ //journalism_humility, but the shorthand we use internally derives from whitewater rapids, which fall into six classes. (Every half-dozen years or so I allude to this, and hope our longtime readers will be patient.) Class  rapids are easy to navigate, and Class  stories are those on which the Bible gives us explicit guidance. For example, the Bible unambiguously proclaims that homosexuality and heterosexual adultery are wrong, so we don’t give equal space to pro and con positions on those issues. We don’t consider sinners in these areas subhuman—all of us in different ways deface yet don’t erase God’s image in us—but we aren’t neutral about what God clearly condemns. Class  rapids are a little harder, and Class  stories are those on which the Bible takes an implicit position, such as the importance of Christian education. On Class  subjects different sides can cite biblical backup, but careful study allows biblical conclusions— although differences of opinion remain. How to fight poverty is a Class  issue on which Christians legitimately disagree, but I’ve steered a raft through Class  rapids and written books and articles arguing for what I believe is a biblical approach to helping the poor. Class  rapids are more dangerous, and with Class  stories we have no clear biblical path but can bring to bear a biblical understanding of human nature and history: For example, we should not trust tyrants to

abide by peace treaties. I’ve traversed Class – type rapids on the Rogue River and in the Grand Canyon in crafts captained by others, and ended up alive but soaked. With Class  stories we have no clear biblical mandate but can draw on historical experience. (Anyone who thinks government bureaucracies will be efficient is in for a soaking.) As Class  rapids are potentially fatal waterfalls, so claims that “God saith” when He hasn’t can be deadly to faith. On some questions (specific foreign trade agreements, for example) we may have no clear biblical position, no historical trail for the discerning to apply, and not much else to mark the path. When WORLD reports a Class  story, we are likely to balance different perspectives, and our coverage might be similar to that of a traditional mainstream reporter. I’ve spent a lot of time analyzing some issues, such as same-sex marriage or abortion, and concluded that the Bible is clearly against both: WORLD is also. I had not spent much time on capital punishment but had thought it also a Class  rapids, with the Bible clearly favoring it in cases of murder and other crimes as well. Once I studied more, though, it seemed a Class : Scripture demands a reckoning for murder, but Christians should debate whether execution or lifetime imprisonment is best. Some readers made clear their disagreement with my conclusions. Some wanted me to emphasize particular aspects I hadn’t brought up. Some argued that America’s civil law should be the same as that of ancient Israel. Others disagreed because “the United States has been polluted by the intentional murders that have not been punished with the death penalty.” Some, arguing that our legal system is often unjust, wanted me to argue that capital punishment should be banned. Others worried that if I strayed from the traditional conservative position on capital punishment I would soon embrace homosexual marriage, and said they’d pray for me: Please do pray, but don’t worry. After doing  rugged interviews in Texas, writing  pages in WORLD and  posts on wng.org, and reading  letters and comments, I’m filled with thanks for the Bible and thanks to our readers for thoughtfully considering this hard, hard issue. A

Email: molasky@wng.org

11/11/13 3:18 PM


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9/25/13 PM 11/7/13 1:02:34 10:19 AM


RECLAIMING THE GREAT

Christian Intellectual Tradition WITH STELLAR FACULTY

“ Union University is committed to serious, rigorous academics. Students and faculty work together engaging the great ideas of history and the issues of our day, prepared to think Christianly about those matters. To learn more about Union’s commitment to Christ-centered academic excellence, visit uu.edu.

What we have here at Union is the unusual combination of high octane intellectual challenge with a deep, abiding and robust commitment to intellectual discipleship—to love God with not only our bodies and our souls and our strength, but also with our minds.

SCOTT HUELIN, Ph.D. Director of the Honors Community

F O UNDED IN 1823 | J ACKSO N, T ENNESSEE |

uu.edu

EXCELLENCE-DR IV EN | CHR IST-CENT ER ED | PEOPLE-FOCUSED | FUTURE-DIRECTED

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WORLD Magazine Nov. 30, 2013 Vol. 28 No. 24  

Real matters.

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