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in day 8 of our Unsettling Advent devotional series, Sandhya Jha reflects on the trial of Jacob Rittenhouse and the shooting of Jacob Blake to think about what the message of the wise men meant to Herod.

In day 7 of our Unsettling Advent devotional series, Darron L. Edwards reflects on the inspiration that led to “O Little Town of Bethlehem,” and what we can learn in our angry, polarized times.

Months after Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary accused its former president Paige Patterson of stealing from the school, a newly-released financial report offers more insights into the case.

In episode 27 of Dangerous Dogma, Bill Trollinger, a professor of history at the University of Dayton, talks about fundamentalism, higher education, and exvangelicals. He also discusses his book Righting America at the Creation Museum and his website Righting America.

Church

Months after Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary accused its former president Paige Patterson of stealing from the school, a newly-released financial report offers more insights into the case.

Former Regent employees named at least 40 faculty, staff, and administrators who were forced to exit during Gerson Moreno-Riaño’s tenure at Regent University. Now he is president of Cornerstone University.

When taking into account religious affiliation, party affiliation, and social demographics, people who hear social justice-themed sermons in their places of worship are more likely than other Americans to engage in political activism, regardless of their race.

Nation

The topics people search for each year on Bible Gateway are always interesting, according to Jonathan Petersen, content manager of the website. But this year’s may be the “most intriguing,” Petersen wrote on the site.

In this edition of A Public Witness, we cover the strange effort to recast those previously vilified (often for good reasons) as heroes. Among those considered: Marvin Olasky, Russell Moore, Daniel Darling, and Liz Cheney.

Marcus Lamb, a prominent Christian broadcaster known for his outspoken opposition to COVID-19 vaccines, has died after contracting the virus. Lamb, co-founder and CEO of the Daystar Television Network, was 64.

World

Israeli authorities on Wednesday said they would permit 500 members of the Gaza Strip’s tiny Christian community to enter Israel and the occupied West Bank to celebrate Christmas. 

Ahead of Christmas, a towering wooden screen — once blackened with soot from millions of worshipers’ candles — is being restored to its gilded glory in the Church of the Nativity, built at the site where many believe Jesus was born. But few visitors are expected to see it this Christmas holiday season.

The U.S. State Department has added Russia to its list of nations it considers among the world’s most egregious violators of religious freedom. Russia joins Myanmar, China, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan on the list of “countries of particular concern.” 

Editorials

In day 1 of our Unsettling Advent devotional series, Word&Way President & Editor-in-Chief Brian Kaylor reflects on starting Advent amid a second year of COVID surges and deaths.

Editor-in-Chief Brian Kaylor reflects on the news that an actor who plays the part of Judas in Jesus Christ Superstar was arrested for his role in the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

Editor-in-Chief Brian Kaylor reflects on the choice of Robert Jeffress as the keynote preacher for the 2021 Missouri Baptist Pastors’ Conference organized with the theme of Romans 12:2, a passage where Paul warned against conforming to the patterns of this world.

Word&Way Voices

in day 8 of our Unsettling Advent devotional series, Sandhya Jha reflects on the trial of Jacob Rittenhouse and the shooting of Jacob Blake to think about what the message of the wise men meant to Herod.

In day 7 of our Unsettling Advent devotional series, Darron L. Edwards reflects on the inspiration that led to “O Little Town of Bethlehem,” and what we can learn in our angry, polarized times.

In day 6 of our Unsettling Advent devotional series, Contributing Writer Christopher Dixon reflects on finding hope during Advent — even amid a pandemic — and how that can be freeing.

E-Newsletter

In this edition of A Public Witness, we cover the strange effort to recast those previously vilified (often for good reasons) as heroes. Among those considered: Marvin Olasky, Russell Moore, Daniel Darling, and Liz Cheney.

In this issue of A Public Witness, we cross-examine the rhetoric about Rittenhouse that moves from legal technicalities to dangerous promotions of vigilantism. And we rest our case with a call for Christians to reject the glorification of violence. 

In this edition of A Public Witness, we set the stage for Advent and countdown ways in which the pandemic, oppression, and insurrection defining our contemporary moment are strikingly similar to when Jesus was first born so long ago.

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Podcasts

In episode 27 of Dangerous Dogma, Bill Trollinger, a professor of history at the University of Dayton, talks about fundamentalism, higher education, and exvangelicals. He also discusses his book Righting America at the Creation Museum and his website Righting America.

In episode 26 of Dangerous Dogma, Nancy Ammerman, professor emerita of sociology of religion at Boston University, talks about Southern Baptist conflicts, fundamentalism, sociology of religion, and her new book Studying Lived Religion. 

In episode 25 of Dangerous Dogma, Randall Balmer, a professor at Dartmouth College, talks about his new book 'Bad Faith: Race and the Rise of the Religious Right.' He also discusses his evangelical upbringing and his ministry as an Episcopal priest.

In episode 24 of Dangerous Dogma, Jim Wallis, chair of faith and justice at Georgetown University, talks about issues of advocacy, faith, evangelicals, and Trumpism. He also discusses his time at Sojourners, his books, and his new role at Georgetown.

Books

Parents are calling attention to whitewashed illustrations, almost exclusively male characters and an emphasis on memorizing morals over engaging with the divine in many existing children's story Bibles.

Christian author Rachel Held Evans left behind a legion of loyal readers when she died in May 2019, at the age of 37. Next week, her final book for adults is being published, titled 'Wholehearted Faith.'

Terry Wildman hopes the new translation published Aug. 31 by InterVarsity Press, 'First Nations Version: An Indigenous Translation of the New Testament,' will help Christians and Indigenous peoples read it again in a fresh way.

One of the Vatican’s most important but least studied departments is actually one of its most extensive: the massive network of lay and religious people engaged in peacemaking, information gathering, and international diplomacy who throughout history have swayed governments and