GQ's religion-focused cover story is (clickbait) worth reading — even for non-Beliebers

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Let’s open this week’s roundup with Justin Bieber — and not just for the clickbait.

“The Redemption of Justin Bieber,” GQ’s May cover story by senior writer Zach Baron, really is a fascinating read.

As Christianity Today’s Daniel Silliman put it on Twitter, “If you don’t care at all about Justin Bieber, this is still a good story about someone who was young, stupid, powerful, privileged, destructive, and sad and nevertheless found grace.”

Not interested in Bieber?

Try $300 Bibles.

Religion News Service’s Emily McFarlan Miller delves into the marketing of an expensive, “modern version of God’s Holy Word.”

Miller explores not just the price tag but also the history behind so-called “premium” Bibles.

After Bieber and Bibles, I feel like I need one more “b” item to round out the set. What about ballgames?

Juggling church and football isn’t just for NFL fans anymore, writes AP sports writer Teresa M. Walker, with whom I worked during my time with The Associated Press in Nashville, Tenn.

“Thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, it became the norm for college fans like the Mosleys as most Football Championship Subdivision leagues moved their schedules to the spring,” Walker explains.

Power Up: The Week’s Best Reads

1. ‘How many of us will be left?’ Catholic nuns face loss, pain: With compelling words and gripping images, Associated Press writer Matt Sedensky and visual journalist Jessie Wardarski convey this sad, amazing pandemic story.

“(W)hen the worst year was over,” Sedensky writes, “the toll on the Felician Sisters was almost too much to bear: 21 of their own, in four U.S. convents, who collectively served 1,413 years, all felled by the virus.”

2. Hasidic, devout and mad as hell about COVID-19: “Many Americans would recognize the dilemma of Reuven, an anonymous Yiddish-magazine editor who is anguished by his community’s moral failures in the pandemic.”

Thus begins yet another insightful, deeply reported piece by one of my favorite religion journalists: The Atlantic’s Emma Green.

3. First, the pandemic forced Christian missionaries home. Then, it transformed their work: “Mission experts believe the COVID-19 pandemic will have a lasting impact on the way Christian groups do missionary work,” reports the Deseret News’ Kelsey Dallas.

As always, Dallas’ report is very interesting and full of real-world examples.

CONTINUE READING:GQ’s Religion-Focused Cover Story Is Worth A Read Even For Non-Beliebers” by Bobby Ross, Jr., at Religion Unplugged.

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