Well, that escalated quickly, didn’t it?
2020 just started and, within days, a U. S. drone strike at the Baghdad airport killed Iran’s top military leader, Qasem Soleimani. Almost before Iran could sputter threats of revenge, notable American politicians tried to turn a momentous national security decision into domestic political opportunism.
Depending on which news site you read, the President’s action was either a reckless attempt to light the Middle East on fire and to distract Americans from impeachment, or it was a justifiable act of deterrence in response to Iran’s increasing assaults on U. S. troops and interests.
And while thousands of Iranians turned out to see Soleimani’s casket as it tours the country, Western news media (like the Washington Post) reported that the drone strike has united the previously divided Iranian population behind its dictatorial religious leaders. Or maybe not. Yahoo News painted a different picture—of Iranians fearing what comes next and wishing their leaders hadn’t steered the country into even more conflict.
And that’s just the first news story of the year. Of 2020, an election year. How can engaged, thoughtful Christians hope to sift through the spin and stay informed amidst this kind of news chaos?
The Washington Post alone publishes an average of 500 news stories every single day. Thrown in the content-churning of The New York Times, The Huffington Post, BuzzFeed, FoxNews, CNN, The Wall Street Journal, and a million content aggregators, and the noise is simply overwhelming.
There is no way to keep up with this relentless tsunami of information. Even worse, countless stories we should know about are often buried, while stories more sensational and speculative than substantive dominate the headlines.
Everyday on BreakPoint, we try to analyze and comment on the most important news events and cultural trends from a Christian worldview. It’s part of the Colson Center’s mission to equip believers to understand what’s happening around us, so that we can live out our faith in the public square with clarity, courage, and conviction.
And one of our critical partners in this task is WORLD magazine. WORLD is a source of news and thoughtful analysis like no other. I and the BreakPoint team turn to them frequently.
For example, the reporting of WORLD’s senior editor Mindy Belz has been our most reliable source in understanding the chaos in the Middle East, including these most recent developments in Iran. Back in early December, Belz reported that Iran was building up its supply of short-range missiles in Iraq—the very kind of missiles that struck a U. S. base and killed an American contractor, which in turn led to a U.S. airstrike, then led to the attack on the U. S. embassy in Baghdad, which ultimately led to the strike against Soleimani.
When news broke that General Soleimani had been killed by a US drone strike, I immediately asked Mindy Belz to join me on the BreakPoint Podcast to explain the bigger picture, a picture largely ignored by an American media that’s fixated on impeachment.
WORLD exemplifies the best of journalism from a Christian worldview—without the click-bait or hype. Their print magazine, online articles, and WORLD’s podcast “The World and Everything in It” (on which I am a weekly guest) includes not only clear reporting, but also features news about how God is working in the world through His people to restore all things.
To begin this new year, in return for your gift to the ministry of BreakPoint and the Colson Center, WORLD magazine will give you a one-year subscription. I can think of no better way for you to both support our worldview ministry and, at the same time, stay on top of the staggering variety of political, cultural, scientific, and religious news, all from a Christian worldview perspective. If you already subscribe to WORLD, you can gift the subscription to a friend or family member.
Publication date: January 8, 2020
Photo courtesy: Julius Drost/Unsplash
The views expressed in this commentary do not necessarily reflect those of Christian Headlines.
BreakPoint is a program of the Colson Center for Christian Worldview. BreakPoint commentaries offer incisive content people can't find anywhere else; content that cuts through the fog of relativism and the news cycle with truth and compassion. Founded by Chuck Colson (1931 – 2012) in 1991 as a daily radio broadcast, BreakPoint provides a Christian perspective on today's news and trends. Today, you can get it in written and a variety of audio formats: on the web, the radio, or your favorite podcast app on the go.
John Stonestreet is President of the Colson Center for Christian Worldview, and radio host of BreakPoint, a daily national radio program providing thought-provoking commentaries on current events and life issues from a biblical worldview. John holds degrees from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (IL) and Bryan College (TN), and is the co-author of Making Sense of Your World: A Biblical Worldview.