Inside MAI Blog: Thoughts on global publishing

Bible in one hand, newspaper in the other

“I preach with the Bible in one hand and the daily newspaper in the other,” evangelist Billy Graham once said. The same discipline applies to writers.

The effective Christian writer will keep up with current events and deftly apply Scripture and a biblical worldview to issues of the day.

I thought of this today, seeing streaming video from the street protests in Cairo. This grassroots movement against the government follows similar protests in Tunisia, which toppled the nation’s despotic president, and parallels similar anti-government protests heating up in Yemen. What is God doing in the Arab world?

While the context and issues are very different, one cannot help but recall Eastern Europe and its domino effect of democratic movements some 20 years ago.

The world’s list of “hot spots” runs long, and seemingly grows longer every day.

Here at MAI we think of Lebanon, for instance, where we held a writer training workshop last November. Recent collapse of the former prime minister’s government now threatens to shatter the fragile stability of this nation and important hub for Christian work in the Middle East.

Then there’s Cote d’Ivoire, home of Centre de Publications Evangeliques, largest Christian publisher in French-speaking Africa and MAI training partner. The tense standoff continues between incumbent president Laurent Gbagbo and challenger Alassane Ouattara; the UN recognized Ouattara as winner of the November elections, but Gbagbo still refuses to step down.

Again the question surfaces: What is God doing in Lebanon, Cote d’Ivoire and so many other places? None of us truly knows, but the worst thing we can do as Christian communicators is close our eyes to the world around us. "Look at the nations and watch--and be utterly amazed," God told Habakkuk.

Keeping up with world events will fuel our prayers, and also inform our writing. It will also help us give an answer to everyone for the hope we have within us.

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