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Contributing writer Sarah Blackwell reflects on knowing and using names as a spiritual practice. Calling people by name can bond us to each other, create community, acknowledge the worth of each person, and share part of our story.

On Saturday, a man took people hostage in Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville, Texas. The congregation’s rabbi is particularly well connected to the larger interfaith community and on good terms with many Muslim and Christian leaders.

Contributing writer Greg Mamula reflects on how the life of Martin Luther King Jr. has intersected with his own. He writes that as important as it is to name injustice, it is equally important to consider how we lean into the hope of God’s ongoing redemption story.

In episode 33 of Dangerous Dogma, Jacques Berlinerblau, professor of Jewish Civilization at Georgetown University, talks about his new book Secularism: The Basics. He also discusses the religious roots of church-state separation and current threats to political secularism in the United States.

Church

At a diverse multi-ethnic church, refugees, and immigrants find a home in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, at a time when many White evangelicals view newcomers with suspicion.

On New Year’s Day, 43 congregations of the Reformed Church in America split from the national denomination, one of the oldest Protestant bodies in the United States, in part over theological differences regarding same-sex marriage and the ordination of LGBTQ clergy.

As congregations become smaller and smaller, some are being ‘replanted’ by applying the lessons from start-up congregations to older, dying churches. Although not widespread, church replanting is growing in popularity.

Nation

On Saturday, a man took people hostage in Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville, Texas. The congregation’s rabbi is particularly well connected to the larger interfaith community and on good terms with many Muslim and Christian leaders.

A religion scholar believes major trends in religion and politics can be traced back to the rise of the religious right in the 1990s, a sea change moment that set in motion an array of phenomena ranging from an uptick in religious disaffiliation to the radicalization of some Christian conservatives.

We introduce you to the man behind Shurtleff v. City of Boston ahead of oral arguments on Jan. 18. Through an unparalleled review of his decades-long advocacy career and an exclusive interview, we look at the man whose case could upend two centuries of U.S. church-state relations. 

World

Preemptive Love, a nonprofit long championed by Christian influencers and celebrities for its work in Iraq and elsewhere, plans to cut ties with its founders after former employees complained of an abusive work environment and misleading fundraising practices.

Over the past 20 years, Argentine prison authorities have encouraged, to one extent or another, the creation of units effectively run by evangelical inmates — sometimes granting them a few extra special privileges, such as more time in fresh air.

Saxony state in eastern Germany has the lowest vaccination rate among Germany’s 16 federal states, and one of the highest numbers of COVID-19 cases. So, Lutheran pastors across Saxony have used their sermons to promote vaccines as the most efficient way to prevent severe illness and to end the pandemic.

Editorials

In day 18 of our Unsettling Advent devotional series, Word&Way Editor-in-Chief Brian Kaylor reflects on the news of a camel escaping from a live nativity in Kansas.

Editor-in-Chief Brian Kaylor offers some seasonal advice to the music director at First Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas, ahead of Sunday’s worship service that will include former President Donald Trump.

In day 18 of our Unsettling Advent devotional series, Word&Way Editor-in-Chief Brian Kaylor reflects on violent insurrections during the time of Jesus’s birth and what that can teach us today.

Word&Way Voices

Contributing writer Sarah Blackwell reflects on knowing and using names as a spiritual practice. Calling people by name can bond us to each other, create community, acknowledge the worth of each person, and share part of our story.

Contributing writer Greg Mamula reflects on how the life of Martin Luther King Jr. has intersected with his own. He writes that as important as it is to name injustice, it is equally important to consider how we lean into the hope of God’s ongoing redemption story.

Contributing writer Rodney Kennedy makes the argument that 2021 is 1921 in Evangelical Land – the enemies are the same, but with new names. This means that Darwin, Darrow, and Fosdick are now Fauci, the ACLU, and liberal preachers.

E-Newsletter

We introduce you to the man behind Shurtleff v. City of Boston ahead of oral arguments on Jan. 18. Through an unparalleled review of his decades-long advocacy career and an exclusive interview, we look at the man whose case could upend two centuries of U.S. church-state relations. 

In this edition of A Public Witness, we consider the prayers uttered in the U.S. Capitol a year ago by both those seeking to bring the government down and by representatives of the government. We also consider the danger of official government prayers.

In this issue of A Public Witness, we journey back to the events of Jan. 6 with a focus on the co-opting of Christian symbols and values. Then we look at the gift of Epiphany’s message and how it can help us find a new way home after the insurrection. 

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Podcasts

In episode 33 of Dangerous Dogma, Jacques Berlinerblau, professor of Jewish Civilization at Georgetown University, talks about his new book Secularism: The Basics. He also discusses the religious roots of church-state separation and current threats to political secularism in the

In episode 32 of Dangerous Dogma, Obery Hendricks, a visiting research scholar at Columbia University, talks about his new book Christians Against Christianity: How Right-Wing Evangelicals Are Destroying Our Nation and Our Faith.

In episode 31 of Dangerous Dogma, Daniel K. Williams, a professor of history at the University of West Georgia, talks about his new book The Politics of the Cross: A Christian Alternative to Partisanship. He also discusses issues of abortion, marriage,

We had a lot of great podcast conversations this year. So, let’s count down the top five most-downloaded of episodes of Baptist Without An Adjective and the top ten most-downloaded episodes of Dangerous Dogma. 

Books

Voices Editor Jeremy Fuzy reviews a new book by Rodney Kennedy, The Immaculate Mistake: How Evangelicals Gave Birth to Donald Trump. Kennedy utilizes his identity as a scholar of rhetoric and a Baptist preacher to draw out new understandings of

In this issue of A Public Witness. Here’s the table of contents: 1. Five books featured on Dangerous Dogma, 2. Five books recommended by Brian (that haven’t yet led to podcast episodes), 3. Five books recommended by Beau, and 4. A heartwarming

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.'