That Was the Week That Was

A quick recap of what was happening at this blog and better ones in the last week.


  • Yes, coming to the end of thinking through my proposal for a travel course on World War I already has me longing for la belle langue of France (and southern Belgium, I guess). In the last four installments of the series, we contemplated the seeming failure of the Christian and/or 19th century imagination to cope with the war and walked through Munich, the spiritual capital of National Socialism; a Holocaust survivor reminded me that pretending to be Christian often feels like part of being Christian; and we left the Old World wondering if we’re all really “war lovers” at heart. If you want to see the whole series listed (or find a certain installment), I also posted an index yesterday.
  • The first two installments of a series previewing the recently-published The Pietist Impulse in Christianity, looking at two chapters on the challenge of defining Pietism and five on the original wave of Pietism in early modern Germany.
  • The proposal by Brethren scholars like Dale Brown, Don Durnbaugh, and Carl Bowman that Anabaptist and Pietism can reinforce each other, or at least exist in healthy, fruitful tension with each other.
  • I struggled mightily with how to give some historical context for the tragedy in Norway, starting with a reflection on European Muslims. I’m honestly not sure I’ll continue on with the follow-up post I had envisioned. It’s decidedly creepy reading a mass murderer’s diary/manifesto.
  • And I paid tribute to someone who taught me much about the Church and the importance of heritage. Not John Stott…
John Stott and Billy Graham
John Stott and Billy Graham - Langham Partnership International


  • Mordecai "Three Finger" Brown

    Once it’s all said and done, the number of times I link to an item from the Gospel Coalition could probably be counted on this baseball Hall of Famer‘s famous right hand—leaving room for his two World Series rings, if they made such jewelry back in 1907-1908. But D.A. Carson’s counsel to scholars to “avoid becoming a mere quartermaster” is right on target.

  • My colleague Ruben Rivera had a lovely reflection on how the church helped him learn that he “was part of the ‘visible’ creation of God.”
  • As a twotime provider of reading lists myself, I feel eminently qualified to judge similar posts, like this one from The Guardian: Favorite crime fiction as selected by authors working in the genre. As you might expect, there’s a definite English accent, but I was thrilled to see John Le Carré’s Smiley novels show up—with multiple mentions of the fine miniseries featuring Sir Alec Guinness as George Smiley (Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy and Smiley’s People). Not sure they’re really “crime” fiction, but if Nancy Drew can make the grade…
  • A little while back I closed my post on WWI “counterfactuals” by musing quickly about the notion of “parallel universes.” The New York Times’ Science section recently featured an accessible reflection on the same notion, jumping off from how it’s explored in the new film, Another Earth.
  • John Fea’s take on Americans’ continuing fascination with Robert E. Lee brings to mind one of my favorite stories… The summer after my junior year in high school, my parents took me to the East Coast to visit colleges. One that I was considering was Washington & Lee University in Lynchburg, Virginia. Back when it was still Washington College, its first post-Civil War president was none other than Robert E. Lee, who served there until his death in 1870. At the end of the tour, we visited Lee Chapel, then went downstairs to the Lee Museum, where the general is actually buried. The nice old lady volunteering that afternoon hushed us, drawling — I swear this is true — “The gen’ral is sleepin’.”
    She also talked about Lee’s beloved horse, Traveller, in the present tense; he’s buried outside the museum.

    Lee Chapel
    Lee Chapel - Creative Commons (Char Newcomb)

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