Table Of Contents
December 2023
Volume 67, Number 9
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About This Issue
The Magi followed a “star when it rose” in order to find and worship the king of the Jews (Matt. 2:1–2). This month’s cover story explores the worship-inspiring wonder of the night sky—and the impact on humanity when our view of the cosmos is obscured by light pollution. Also in this issue: the ethics of embryo adoption, a Christian college goes nuclear, truth and mercy in Jude’s epistle, and an ancient scrap of parchment with Jesus’ words.
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Cover Story

God’s Promises Are Clearest When We Turn Out the Lights
Christians have every reason to reduce light pollution.


Frozen Embryos Are the New Orphan Crisis
More than a million unused IVF embryos are in cryostorage. Are they the next pro-life frontier?
Joseph Was Jesus’ ‘Real Dad’
I don’t need a biological bond to be the father of the embryos my wife and I adopted.
The Unusual Epistle that Helps Me Counsel on Sexuality
Jude has strong words for immorality in the church. Yet he advocates for mercy for those who doubt.
I Studied Christianity with the Hope of Debunking It
A decade later, I became a Christian.


Why Do We Want AI to Interpret Scripture?
The history of American Bible interpretation can give us some answers.
How AI Short-Circuits Art
When we cut out creative processes, we diminish what gives art its true value.
Put Away Childish Narcissism
How to out-parent the prevailing cultural mantra of “me, right now.”
Pharaoh, Did You Know?
How the shepherds upended Egyptian power.


The Faith and Work Movement Is Leaving Blue-Collar Workers Behind
Can it speak to evangelicals outside high-status professions?
Mary Was More Than a Mother
Treating her as a static figure obscures a lifetime of gospel witness.
New & Noteworthy Fiction
Chosen by Karen Barnett, author of “When Stone Wings Fly” and the Vintage National Parks novels.
Keep Complaining to God. Just Don’t Ignore Him.
Even our angriest accusations are preferable to indifference.
5 Books to Read Before Becoming a Missionary
Chosen by Emily Bennett, editor of “Before You Go: Wisdom from 10 Women Who Served Internationally.”


How Abilene Christian Saw the Nuclear Light
The Church of Christ school is working with the US government to build an experimental reactor.
Salvation Army Kettles Collect Fewer Coins
The bell-ringing campaign sees 20 percent decline in giving.
Wedding Fire Devastates Christian Community in Iraq
And other brief news stories from Christians around the world.
For South Korean Christians, Christmas Is a Ministry Quandary
Some see the holiday as the perfect time for outreach to North Korean defectors. Others aren’t so sure.
What Evangelical Scholars Found Looking at a Tiny Piece of Papyrus
From a dump in Egypt to a criminal case in Oxford to a seminary in Texas, this fragmentary record of faith traveled a strange path.

More from this Issue

Intelligent Responses to AI Concerns
And other replies to our October issue.
Let There Be Dark
Deep darkness only magnifies what it is to gaze upon the Light of the World.
Glimpses of the Kingdom
We look, with yearning and joy, toward that long-awaited dawn.