Taking A Chance. Chance the Rapper has often put references to Christian faith in his music, though he often has references to sex and drugs, too. That’s why he caught the rap world by surprise when he said he was taking a sabbatical from performing to study the Bible. The Grammy-winner late last year told his 9.3-million Instagram followers, “I’m going away to learn the Word of God which I am admittedly very unfamiliar with. I’ve been brought up by my family to know Christ, but I haven’t taken it upon myself to really just take a couple days and read my Bible.” Chance, whose real name is Chancelor Jonathan Bennett, has since then turned his Instagram account into a diary of his Scripture reading, with posts such as: “I read Romans, James and Galatians.” He recently posted a devotional passage from Scottish theologian John Baillie’s A Diary of Private Prayer. In mid-December, he read the first two chapters of Galatians on Instagram Live. The 25-year-old rapper said the recent births of a daughter and a nephew were instrumental in his return to faith.
Justice Delayed. The Supreme Court denied a request to stay the sentence of Philip Zodhiates. Zodhiates was convicted in 2016 of helping Lisa Miller and her daughter Isabella flee the United States. Miller, an ex-lesbian, had been ordered by a court to turn over Isabella to Miller’s lesbian ex-partner. Philip Zodhiates drove Lisa Miller and Isabella to Canada in 2009, but the case has taken nearly a decade to come to fruition. Zodhiates, 61, began a three-year prison sentence in December. Justice Neil Gorsuch agreed to put the case on the Supreme Court’s calendar, but on Monday said the application was denied.
Chinese Christians Tortured. Mindy Belz at WORLD is reporting that “a member of Chengdu’s Early Rain Church has confirmed he was severely tortured—bound to a ‘tiger chair’ for 24 hours and denied food and water. At least 20 church leaders remain in criminal detention as a government crackdown on the church continues.” Here at the Colson Center, we’ve been covering the persecuted church in China for years. To read a recent story that highlights the courage of Christian pastors in China, click here.
Judicial Tyranny? The Trump administration ruled that employers with moral or religious objections to birth control or abortifacient drugs could opt out of Obamacare mandates requiring insurance coverage of such drugs. However, on Monday a federal judge in Philadelphia issued a nationwide injunction those rules. U.S. District Judge Wendy Beetlestone said the exemptions could harm women who might lose coverage and states that would have to pick up the costs. Previously, a federal judge in California had also blocked the rule from taking effect in 13 states and the District of Columbia, but this is the first nationwide injunction.
Milestones. Albert Schweitzer was born this week (Jan. 14) in 1875. A pastor with a doctorate in theology, he decided at age 30 to go to medical school and become a medical missionary. He built hospitals throughout Africa, and became an outspoken critic of the Nazis, especially their eugenics and forced abortion programs. Schweitzer was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1952…. Former professional and college football quarterback Tim Tebow announced his engagement to Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters, a South African native and the 2017 Miss Universe. Tebow is an outspoken Christian athlete who now plays minor league baseball in the New York Mets organization and works as a college football analyst for the SEC Network.