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Contributing writer Sarah Blackwell believes we are teaching our young people a version of reading the Bible that resembles the game Operation. They often have little concept of “connective tissue” and can only pluck out quotations like the stylized versions of body parts in the board game.

Editor-in-Chief Brian Kaylor reflects on Russian pro-war propaganda dressed up like a Christmas decoration, which he calls a sacrilegious assault on celebrations of the birth of the Prince of Peace.

Professor Greg Carey writes that hope is an essential strategy for Christians. As the apostle Paul said, three things abide: faith, hope, and love. Love may be the “greatest,” says Paul, but hope stands in the top three.

Terrell Carter writes that unfortunately, mass shootings and other acts of violence have become an ordinary experience in our world. Some might say that this upward trend in violence epitomizes the “ordinariness of suffering,” the fact that violent things regularly occur in the world.

Angela Parker from Mercer University’s McAfee School of Theology writes about the time that a complementarian invited her to lunch. Thinking through the genealogy in Matthew’s Gospel and Ware’s re-imagination makes her ask how certain segments of Christianity still stifle women’s ministry.

John Sianghio writes that we find hope in strange and unexpected places. There is something about sports, something about the stories of players like Hakimi and his mother, that captures the hearts and minds of the world and pierces our souls with its poignancy.

Adriene Thorne of Riverside Church writes that God’s people can choose to care for one another with lavish love and justice. That is the better world we dare to anticipate during Advent.

Thomas Lecaque writes that the AR-15 has been claimed as the sword Christ will wield in the Apocalypse. It is not a tool for revelation, but it is certainly a tool of Armageddon. It is a gun that ends worlds.

Jeremy Fuzy writes that it is an American tradition to believe in the myth of redemptive violence — the idea that we can get violence under control by using more violence. But state-sanctioned killings, whether by police or the death penalty, do nothing to stop the underlying cycle of violence.

Professor Marcia Pally makes the case that in nations descended from Abrahamic traditions like the U.S., religion is not somehow conservative and anti-democratic while secularism is progressive and pro-democracy. Abrahamic principles are at the core of democracy.