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At the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games the world witnessed Simone Biles, one of the greatest athletes of all time, defend not the gold medal but her own mental health. She is breaking the silence about mental illness while in the global spotlight. This deserves a gold medal in columnist Sarah Griffith Lund's book.

Marcus T. Coleman, the former interim director of the DHS Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships from 2017 to 2018 and a special assistant for it from 2013 to 2016, starts his new role on Monday.

Columnist Rodney Kennedy explores the values that are necessary for us to move beyond our current political moment. He asks if we can have a patriotism that rises above petty differences, respects a diversity of opinions, and works for the common good.

In episode 10 of Dangerous Dogma, Rachel Laser, president and CEO of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, joins Word&Way President Brian Kaylor to talk about the meaning of religious liberty and why the separation of church and state is valuable for both religion and government.

Church

Founded in 1910, First Baptist Church of Venice corresponded with the area’s evolution as an early enclave of Black residents in the only area near the beach where Black people were allowed to historically buy property in LA.

In a complaint filed Thursday, five McLean Bible Church members allege that David Platt and other leaders illegally barred them from voting at a recent congregational meeting and violated the church’s constitution.

Senior Editor Beau Underwood interviews Timothy Peoples, senior minister of Emerywood Baptist Church in High Point, North Carolina, for the latest installment of our “Behind the Pulpit” series intended to pull back the curtain on the minister’s life.

Nation

Marcus T. Coleman, the former interim director of the DHS Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships from 2017 to 2018 and a special assistant for it from 2013 to 2016, starts his new role on Monday.

A federal judge has ordered Hobby Lobby, the arts and crafts chain whose president is Museum of the Bible founder Steve Green, to forfeit an ancient tablet bearing a rare fragment of the Epic of Gilgamesh.

Describing insurrectionists who attacked the U.S. Capitol as “terrorists” who “perceived themselves to be Christians,” District of Columbia police officer Daniel Hodges told a congressional committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection on Tuesday that the crowd brandished banners steeped in Christian symbolism along with those bearing the name Trump.

World

How many children had been orphaned by causes related to COVID-19? According to a report released last week, an estimated more than 1.5 million children around the world lost a parent or grandparent who lived with and cared for them in the first 14 months of the pandemic.

Scholar Kristen Lucken explores how themes of rest and contemplation are woven throughout the fabric of most religious traditions and the various ways they remain equally salient in our lives today.

Amid the changes at the Tokyo Olympics are adjustments to the way the Games are accommodating athletes’ religious needs, as well as to the way outside groups are able to share their faith with Olympians and their fans.

Editorials

In this bonus edition of A Public Witness, editors Brian Kaylor and Beau Underwood look at vaccine hesitancy among Christians, especially White evangelicals, and consider its causes and ways of addressing it. With the spread of the Delta variant raising alarms, time is short for convincing these skeptical followers of

Editors Brian Kaylor and Beau Underwood outline the theological reasons for a COVID-19 vaccination outreach effort centered around clergy. Such an act is not only a matter of public health, it is also a witness to what we believe about the Gospel.

Editor-in-Chief Brian Kaylor argues that as the delta variant of COVID-19 fuels a new spike in cases in some parts of the U.S., conservative Christians who refuse vaccination are putting people at risk and undermining the teachings of Jesus.

Word&Way Voices

At the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games the world witnessed Simone Biles, one of the greatest athletes of all time, defend not the gold medal but her own mental health. She is breaking the silence about mental illness while in the global spotlight. This deserves a gold medal in columnist Sarah

Columnist Rodney Kennedy explores the values that are necessary for us to move beyond our current political moment. He asks if we can have a patriotism that rises above petty differences, respects a diversity of opinions, and works for the common good.

Sean Taylor explains his theological support for COVID-19 vaccination and details what happened when he urged his congregation to get vaccinated from the pulpit. He believes that for the church, the issue is not ultimately about safety or government conspiracies. Instead, the question should be “where is Jesus?”

Books

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

Beau Underwood reviews Bruce Reyes-Chow’s new book, ‘In Defense of Kindness: Why it Matters, How it Changes our Lives, and How it Can Save the World,’ praising how Reyes-Chow pushes back against superficial understandings of “kindness.”

Scriptures in Pictures

The story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego being tossed into the fiery furnace after defying Nebuchadnezzar, as seen in photos from a Bolivian religious ceremony on June 21, 2021.

Hebrews 12:1, as seen in photos of the March of Silence in Montevideo, Uruguay, to remember those who disappeared during the military dictatorship from 1973-1985. This year’s event was altered due to coronavirus.

2 Kings 1, as seen in photos of clashes in Jerusalem in April 2021 between Palestinians upset about coronavirus restrictions impacting Ramadan and Jewish extremists holding an anti-Arab march.

Podcasts

In episode 10 of Dangerous Dogma, Rachel Laser, president and CEO of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, joins Word&Way President Brian Kaylor to talk about the meaning of religious liberty and why the separation of church

In episode 9 of Dangerous Dogma, author and activist Lisa Sharon Harper, president of FreedomRoad.us, talks about racism, U.S. history, critical race theory, and the '1619 Project.'

In episode 8 of Dangerous Dogma, Todd Billings talks about his book 'The End of the Christian Life: How Embracing Our Mortality Frees Us to Truly Live.' He also discusses faith during the coronavirus pandemic.

EDITOR’S PICKS