• Pope Francis: first Latin American pope and first non-European pope since the 8th century; but also the first pope named Francis and the first Jesuit pope. (Maybe one more on this subject on Monday…)
• Evangelical colleges and universities: some are relatively inexpensive; some have high graduation rates; and those two circles don’t overlap much.
• The war movies on which critics and fans don’t see eye to eye.
…There and Everywhere
• The Catholic Church may have a new pope, but Fuller Seminary has a new president.
• Speaking of pope-like figures in the evangelical world… Here’s an interview with Philip Ryken, who professed himself “very careful about claiming any leadership role for Wheaton College” yet admitted to hearing “again and again from people in higher education, faculty members on other campuses, people in the community generally, who are looking to Wheaton College for leadership.”
• I just taught about the Korean War in my Cold War class, but hadn’t realized the catalytic role it played in cultivating a global vision for neo-evangelicals like the founders of World Vision and Compassion International.
• Stephanie Ritsche challenges those of us who would claim a consistent pro-life ethic to think about our response to Alzheimer’s: “Do our actions indicate that deep down we believe life is worth less when an older adult can no longer live independently or contribute to society? Do we consider people less valuable the day they can no longer feed and toilet themselves, the day they fail to recognize the face that stares blankly back at them in the mirror? How can someone have dignity if they don’t even have a sense of their own identity?”
• Why the church needs women in ministry, and how it can welcome and empower them.
• A good word from a former student of mine — now in seminary himself — about growing up as a pastor’s kid.
• Did you know that, since 2011, at least a dozen French men and women have set themselves on fire? Robert Zaretsky considered the meaning of this particularly painful, public form of suicide for a society like France.
• What some historians are doing to fight back against the myth that a liberal arts education has no value in today’s economy. (H/T John Fea) Incidentally, the article cites a Georgetown University report showing that the unemployment rate for recent history majors is 10.2%, versus 7.5% for engineering majors… I blogged about that report a year ago and pointed out that it also found that the unemployment rate for history and similar majors drops and the average salary rises significantly with just a few years of experience or continued education.
• That article courtesy of the Times Higher Education Supplement, which also just published its annual ranking of the world’s universities by reputation. Once again, American schools dominated, taking over 40 of the top 100 spots, seven of the top 10, and fourteen of the top 20. As always, I doubt the utility of this kind of survey, all the more when it results in #6 Stanford (70.2) having a reputation score almost twice as high as that of #7 University of Chicago (36.2)!
• Buried as the fifth item in Google’s announcement of further “spring cleaning” was the impending demise of Google Reader. Fortunately, it seems that there are alternatives… But Alastair Roberts laments that it signals a continuing change in our relationship to information: from private and contemplative to public and social. (H/T Alan Jacobs)