Russell St. John
National Museum of Health/AP

On pandemics and providence

Religion | Avoiding simplistic interpretations of deadly disasters
by Russell St. John
Posted 2/15/18, 03:05 pm

March 11 marks the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the Spanish influenza in America, but the virus left no part of the earth untouched. An estimated 50 million or more people died worldwide. According to historian Howard Phillips, influenza stole 6 percent of the population of South Africa in six weeks.

Many pastors there and elsewhere declared the pandemic a divine retribution for sin. Whether they blamed drunkenness, poor church attendance, general wickedness, or war, sin caused the pandemic.

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Once we’ve confessed

Lifestyle | How should churches handle sexual sins from 20 years ago? 
by Russell St. John
Posted 1/16/18, 10:27 pm

All agree what happened, but the aftermath roils a cauldron of disagreement.

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