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Brian KaylorAbout the Editor

Brian Kaylor started as the ninth editor of Word&Way in December of 2016. An award-winning journalist and author, he has written four books and worked for several Baptist ministries.

On Mar. 13, more than 16 years in Missouri Baptist litigation came to an end. But if we rejoice in our “victories,” we miss the point that we all lost as we hurt the cause of Christ.

As with most theological topics, a wide diversity of opinions exists among Baptists on the nature of hell. In fact, Baptist theologians and preachers — much like church leaders in the first centuries after Jesus — have long been found in the various hell camps.

Last year, my wife and I saw the famous Leonard da Vinci mural “The Last Supper.” To be honest, I went because it seemed like something we should do while in Milan. But I was truly impressed by the mural.

There’s a humanitarian crisis in Venezuela and its dictator “won” an unfair election last year to hold power. But if the recent past in Latin America — and elsewhere — teaches us anything, it’s that military invasions and coups destabilize nations, spark civil wars, devastate local economies and result in the deaths of many innocent civilians.

As of press time, the U.S. government was reopening after the longest shutdown ever. Although I don’t work for the government, I was surprised how many times the shutdown impacted me.

As we ponder the story of Jesus' baptism, experts in Israel work to remove thousands of landmines from the area near the River Jordan and the traditional baptism site of Jesus. That’s right: One of the holiest sites remains surrounded by deadly landmines designed to keep people away.

Built around the same time as the birth of Jesus, the magnificent Tropaeum Alpium celebrated the victory of Caesar Augustus over the tribes in the Alpine region a decade earlier. Near the same time Augustus built the monument celebrating his military, political and religious might, the Roman leader did something else. As the gospel writer Luke explained, “In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world.”

As the midterm campaigns end, I suspect that no matter who wins, many people will sigh with relief. The breaks in our television shows — for those who still watch live TV — will return to just airing cheesy local car commercials. But I worry we will not return to healthy politics.

If a tombstone exists for broader Baptist cooperation among Southern Baptists, the year after the dash might read “2018.”

Brian KaylorAt church, my six-year-old son’s Sunday School teachers talk about the importance of being respectful in the building since church is a holy space. Their lessons go beyond just reciting rules — like be quiet during the service, no running in the hallways, no taking money from the offering plate and no throwing toys across the room. His teachers did a much better job by providing a theological foundation to the idea.

“God lives at church,” my son echoes often as we head to church.