The Daily Briefing highlights the news of the day and research that reveals the spirit of the day.
The Daily Briefing is a newsletter sent straight to your inbox every morning that provides biblical insight on today's news. This five-minute read gives an overview of the news driving the day and provides Nick Notes. These Notes offer biblical insight of the highlighted article.
Dr. Nick Pitts writes the Daily Briefing each morning. Nick earned his PhD from Dallas Baptist University, where he also serves as the Executive Director of the Institute of Global Engagement. Nick also co-hosts the Point of View radio talk show each Wednesday and frequently appears on Glenn Beck's Think Tank. His op-eds have been published by Huffington Post, Religion News Service, Townhall.com, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and The Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
6. Warner Bros. CEO Kevin Tsujihara steps down as sexual misconduct investigation continues (USA Today)
“Warner Bros. chairman and CEO Kevin Tsujihara is stepping down as WarnerMedia continues an investigation into allegations the studio chairman offered acting roles in exchange for sex.
"WarnerMedia, the company formed after AT&T acquired Time Warner, began an investigation after a story in The Hollywood Reporter earlier this month suggested a quid pro quo sexual relationship between an aspiring actress and the studio executive… Now Tsujihara becomes one of the highest ranking executives to be felled by sexual misconduct allegations.”
Nick Note: As more individuals step down, fewer men are convinced that sexual harassment at work is a problem. According to a new survey, 53 percent of men believe sexual harassment in the workplace is a major problem, down from 66 percent in October of 2017. Coupled with this is the rise (from 33 percent to now 45 percent) in the number of men who say people are overly sensitive about workplace harassment. While this survey went public yesterday, the American Economic Association released a survey that indicated that half of the women in their industry have been treated unfairly because of their sex. These women avoided speaking at a conference or seminar to guard against “disrespectful treatment.” Could this serve as evidence of habituation? Habituation is a decrease in response to a stimulus after repeated presentations. Granted, not every allegation that goes public is true but many allegations are true. When considering habituation, I often think about Josiah. When his men discovered the Book of the Law, they read it to him. In response he tore his clothes in sorrow, cried aloud, and acknowledged his sin (2 Kings 22). Habituation had set in but God’s word – sharper than a double-edged sword – broke in (Heb. 4:12).
“At least 120 people have been killed in a series of alleged attacks by the Fulani militia on Christian communities in the Adara chiefdom of southern Kaduna in Nigeria since February, according to the nonprofit group Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW).
“Survivors of the attack told CSW that their assailants divided into three groups. One group shot and killed people, another set fire to homes as people ran away, and the third waited in the bush to intercept fleeing villagers.
“The Fulani herdsmen, also known as the Fulani militia, are a semi-nomadic group herding cattle over vast areas, living in the central regions of Nigeria. The majority of the herdsmen are Muslim and have fought with Christian farmers over grazing land for centuries...”
Nick Note: The Fulani have become “more deadly than the Boko Haram jihadist insurgency,” according to The Guardian. Consisting of just over 38 million people, this nomadic group of herdsmen have continued to move southward in Nigeria due to the lack of resources in the North. As they move, they enact terror in an area of the country known as the Middle Belt. This area serves as a type of transition zone separating the predominantly Christian South from the largely Islamic North. Critics say that Nigerian Pres. Buhari, who is Fulani, is not doing enough to stop the terror. The numbers substantiate this. A previous Open Doors report concluded that attacks on Christian communities by Fulani herdsmen was “evidence of ethnic cleansing.” From May 2016 to Oct. 2017, 709 Christians were killed by the Fulani. 3,459 Christians lost their properties due to attacks by the herdsmen. According to the 2018 Global Terrorism Index, as many as 1,700 deaths have been attributed to Fulani-militia attacks carried out between January and September 2018. This news saddens us but shouldn’t surprise us. The Scriptures painfully detail how some experienced persecution and how we all will experience difficulty to varying degrees (Heb. 11, John 16:33, 1 Pet. 4:12, 2 Tim. 3:12). Yet persecution gives way to resurrection. The last chapter in this book is not written by those who can kill the body but rather by the One sustains the soul (Matt. 10:28).
“Princeton University economist Alan Krueger, who served as chairman of President Barack Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers and was one of the profession’s top experts on the labor market, has died. He was 58… Krueger, who had been a professor at Princeton since 1987, served in Obama’s White House from 2011 to 2013 after a stint as the Treasury Department’s assistant secretary for economic policy. In addition, he served as chief economist at the Labor Department for a year during President Bill Clinton’s administration.”
Nick Note: He ended his life and forever changed the lives of his loved ones. On average, 128 people commit suicide every day here in the US – the highest rate in 50 years. 55 percent of American adults know someone who has committed suicide. Before David Foster Wallace took his life, he often referred to depression as the “Bad Thing.” The Bad Thing distorts your thinking and numbs your senses. He illustrated this by describing a person jumping from a burning window. The falling is great but the sensation from the flames is greater. “When the flames get close enough, falling to death becomes the slightly less terrible of two terrors.” Suicide has become increasingly prevalent. We read about it in scientific studies, we watch it in shows like 13 Reasons Why, and we find ourselves captivated by it in movies like A Star Is Born. In the movie, Bradley Cooper’s character pens a song entitled I’ll Never Love Again. Before he took his life, he gave us this song. The beauty of the song is only exceeded by the yearning in the song – to be seen, known, and loved.Today, many have song playing in their spirit. They want to know someone walks with them, knows them, and hasn’t given up on them (Ps. 23, Jn. 11, Heb. 4:15). They may not know God but you do. They may not know God’s love but you can show his love through yours.
Pitts Point: If you are having thoughts of suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. If you know someone severely depressed, here is what you can do.
Book of the Week
In Love Your Enemies, New York Times bestselling author and social scientist Arthur C. Brooks shows that treating others with contempt and out-outraging the other side is not a formula for lasting success. Blending cutting-edge behavioral research, ancient wisdom, and a decade of experience leading one of America’s top policy think tanks, Love Your Enemies offers a new way to lead based not on attacking others, but on bridging national divides and mending personal relationships.
“About 3 in 10 Americans said they make no purchases with cash in a typical week, up from a quarter in 2015, according to the Pew Research Center. At the same time, the share who said that all or nearly all of their purchases are made using cash fell to 18 percent from 24 percent in 2015.
“In a survey of more than 2,000 Americans, U.S. Bank found that 50 percent of respondents said they carry cash with them less than half of the time they are out.”
Nick Note: Never Gonna Give You Up – Rick Astley sings it and my mom says it about checks. In 2015, Americans on average wrote or received 38 checks.You can’t write off the check but you should consider the rise of the digital wallet. A recent survey by Capital One found that 1 in 4 American adults prefer to go cashless. 10 percent of millennials use their digital wallet for every purchase. 41 percent of Americans carry cash regularly, keeping an average of $25 in their wallets. While as Christians, we know that the love of money is the root of all evil (1 Tim. 6:10). However Jonah Goldberg makes a great point about money in his book Suicide of the West: “In a free market, money corrodes caste and class and lubricates social interaction.” He continues: “People who think money is a corrupting force in life fail to appreciate that we simply cannot treat everyone as friends and family. The glory of money – and the rule of law – is that it empowers us to cooperate with strangers.” The love of money is the root of evil but the wise use of money can be a source of great blessing.
News You Can Use
Nick Note: Watch it here. “You know when I sit and when I rise; You understand my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down; You are aware of all my ways. (Ps. 139:2-3)”
Nick Note: Watch it here. “Rejoice with those who rejoice; (Rom. 12:15)”