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Columnist Greg Mamula details a conversation that moved beyond current burdens into a realm of hope. During a recent meeting with other pastors, the discussion about Matthew 11 was so rich and encouraging that he decided to share it here.

The Southern Baptist Convention task force on clergy sexual abuse has completed two key tasks: picking Guidepost Solutions to be the third-party firm conducting the probe, and asking the Executive Committee to waive attorney-client privilege for the purposes of the investigation.

As significant numbers of Americans seek religious exemptions from COVID-19 vaccine mandates, many faith leaders are saying: Not with our endorsement. Various denominations are speaking out against such exemptions.

In episode 17 of Dangerous Dogma, Beau Underwood, Word&Way VP & senior editor, takes over the microphone to interview host Brian Kaylor about communication, religion, politics, storytelling, and more.

Church

The Southern Baptist Convention task force on clergy sexual abuse has completed two key tasks: picking Guidepost Solutions to be the third-party firm conducting the probe, and asking the Executive Committee to waive attorney-client privilege for the purposes of the investigation.

As significant numbers of Americans seek religious exemptions from COVID-19 vaccine mandates, many faith leaders are saying: Not with our endorsement. Various denominations are speaking out against such exemptions.

In this issue of A Public Witness, we look at today’s special California election and the troubling campaign tactic of churches turning over their pulpits on Sundays for campaign speeches. We also offer a reminder that the IRS rule banning such partisan sermons has not been recalled. 

Nation

Appeals to Christian identity were common during the Trump administration, but with Trump out of office and hundreds of Jan. 6 insurrectionists now facing federal charges, hard-line Christian Nationalists are increasingly fueling their movement with opposition to COVID-19 vaccines and mask mandates.

In this issue of A Public Witness, we take a shot at exploring Biden’s new vaccine rules not as partisans, or even as citizens, but as followers of Jesus. Although we’ve advocated for Christians to voluntarily get vaccinated, government mandates raise additional moral issues warranting our consideration.

Douglas Laycock argues that under the general law of religious liberty — including the Constitution and state and federal religious freedom laws — the government has an easy case to refuse religious exemptions from vaccines against infectious disease.

World

A former Liberian military commander who supervised the slaughter of hundreds of unarmed civilians at a church during that country’s civil war in 1990 is liable under U.S. law for participating in extrajudicial killings and torture, a federal judge in Philadelphia has ruled.

Pope Francis said Wednesday he didn’t understand why people refuse to take COVID-19 vaccines, saying “humanity has a history of friendship with vaccines,” and that serene discussion about the shots was necessary to help them.

Pope Francis traveled to the far east of Slovakia on Tuesday to meet with the country’s Roma in a gesture of inclusion for the most socially excluded minority group in Slovakia, who have long suffered discrimination, marginalization, and poverty.

Editorials

Editor-in-Chief Brian Kaylor reflects on the call to “never forget” 9/11, as well as the ways we seem to struggle to even remember or acknowledge deaths today.

Now that the trustees at Southwest Baptist University dropped their push for new governing documents, Brian Kaylor offers six next steps that leaders of the school and the Missouri Baptist Convention should take.

As the U.S. mission in Afghanistan now falls apart in apocalyptic fashion, it is important we learn from this failure. The integrity of the American Church’s public witness in the future demands revisiting our role two decades ago in lending support to the tragedy that ultimately unfolded.

Word&Way Voices

Columnist Greg Mamula details a conversation that moved beyond current burdens into a realm of hope. During a recent meeting with other pastors, the discussion about Matthew 11 was so rich and encouraging that he decided to share it here.

Columnist Bruce Frogge considers what it would be like to break ties with Christianity. Have Christian ministers making a national name for themselves by offering religious exemptions to anyone seeking to avoid vaccine directives or mask mandates stretched the Big Tent of Christianity to its limits?

Columnist Rodney Kennedy argues that the church has a thinking problem when it comes to the poor. The same ideas keep popping back up generation after generation going all the way back to Pharaoh. So, how do we rewrite the playbook?

E-Newsletter

In this issue of A Public Witness, we take a shot at exploring Biden’s new vaccine rules not as partisans, or even as citizens, but as followers of Jesus. Although we’ve advocated for Christians to voluntarily get vaccinated, government mandates raise additional moral issues warranting our consideration.

In this issue of A Public Witness, we look at today’s special California election and the troubling campaign tactic of churches turning over their pulpits on Sundays for campaign speeches. We also offer a reminder that the IRS rule banning such partisan sermons has not been recalled. 

We look back at Sept. 11 in horror at what occurred and at the resultant damage done to the principle of religious liberty. Giving into fear caused us to compromise one of our foundational convictions.

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Podcasts

In episode 17 of Dangerous Dogma, Beau Underwood, Word&Way VP & senior editor, takes over the microphone to interview host Brian Kaylor about communication, religion, politics, storytelling, and more.

In episode 16 of Dangerous Dogma, Brad Lyons, president and publisher of Chalice Press, talks what he has learned in the world of religious publishing, his books on spirituality and national parks, and why he does not like Amazon.

In episode 15 of Dangerous Dogma, Jessica Johnson, a visiting scholar in religious studies at the College of William & Mary, talks about her book 'Biblical Porn: Affect, Labor, and Pastor Mark Driscoll's Evangelical Empire.'

In episode 14 of Dangerous Dogma, Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.) talks about faith and politics as a United Methodist minister and U.S. congressman. He also discusses his experience on Jan. 6, attacks on voting rights, and the importance COVID-19 vaccination.

Books

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

In her new book, Shannon Dingle writes about leaning into grief, accepting uncertainty, connecting to feelings, expressing hard truths, and getting psychological help.

In God Spare the Girls, Abigail and Caroline are the daughters of celebrity evangelical pastor Luke Nolan. While they aren’t always able to abide by scripture exactly, Abigail and Caroline more or less believe in their religion and their father