That Was the Week That Was

I confess: I brought my laptop along on our recent family vacation. But for the most part, I did a decent job of ignoring the blogosphere and focusing on more crucial tasks — e.g., how to get western Michigan sand off/out of every object and article of clothing we brought to the beach. So I’m sure I missed plenty of good material myself earlier in the week, and this blog was a bit quieter than usual. But here are a few posts of note from the past week:

At The Pietist Schoolman

  • The common characterization of the Norwegian mass murderer Anders Breivik as a “Christian fundamentalist” led me to reflect on the aptness of both descriptors. (Prompting some helpful follow-up comments from Christian Humanist blogger/podcast star—and new Minnesotan—Michial Farmer.)
  • We’re halfway through our preview of The Pietist Impulse in Christianity after looking at the influence of Pietism on intellectual giants like Friedrich Schleiermacher and Søren Kierkegaard and then the notion of John Wesley as Pietist.
  • I wrapped up my series on Anabaptist critiques of Pietism with a few takeaways.
  • My (mostly tongue in cheek) suggestions for how to fill the holiday-less void that is the month of August.

At other blogs

  • The well-deserved flood of appreciation for John Stott continued: New York Times columnist Nick Kristof’s mentioned Stott in a favorable assessment of evangelical influence; that, in turn, led RJS at the Jesus Creed to start a conversation about intellectual integrity in evangelicalism and Mark Galli to reflect on the best and worst of evangelicalism; in addition to the Galli article, Christianity Today added a second installment of tributes, from N.T. Wright, Mark Noll, and (most glaringly absent the first time) some of the many African pastors and scholars supported by Langham Partnership International (known in the US as John Stott Ministries); and a 2003 Stott talk at Wheaton College led Kyle Roberts to remark on the power of the speaker’s authenticity.
  • In the middle of working on a new issue about health care, Chris Armstrong and his colleagues at the revived Christian History magazine managed to find time to produce a resource guide on “The history of hell.” (The image on the home page today is Hieronymous Bosch’s famous painting, “Hell.”)
  • Matthew Cantirino of First Things commented on a recent Gallup poll finding that about the same percentage (two-thirds) of American Muslims that identify strongly with the United States identify strongly with Islam — unlike Protestants, Catholics, and Jews, groups that identified much more strongly with their country than their religion. Those of you who read my 4th of July postwon’t be surprised that I nodded along with Cantirino’s observations on Christianity and patriotism.

    John Fea
    John Fea
  • And since it’s a slow news week… Let me close by simply highlighting one of my recommended links: The Way of Improvement Leads Home, the blog of my much more accomplished fellow associate professor/department chair of history John Fea of Messiah College. John’s profile has risen substantially in the last couple of years (he also writes a weekly column for Patheos’ Evangelical portal) thanks to his recent books Was America Founded as a Christian Nation?: A Historical Introduction and Confessing History: Explorations in Christian Faith and the Historian’s Vocation, which examine themes that he regularly revisits on the blog. He’s currently on a ten-day break, but recently started his occasional “membership drive,” which is meant to be a time for newcomers to connect with the blog. So it’s a good time to visit if you haven’t already!

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