That Was the Week That Was

At The Pietist Schoolman

  • I think I pretty much beat everyone to the punch in posting something on Rob Bell’s Love Wins.
  • A summer spent, in part, shooting the breeze over overpriced coffee drinks with former students produced this celebration of alumni.
  • My series on employing a “usable past” to define the mission and identity of Christian colleges continued with an overview of Pietist denominations and the colleges (about two dozen or so that I could count) they founded.
  • And the series previewing our new book, The Pietist Impulse in Christianity, came to an end with posts on Christian missions and Emilie Griffin’s benediction on a “piety of hope and reconciliation.”
  • This Week in History featured people who died on their birthday, the deaths of a Scottish king and an American League shortstop, and a famous Cold War coup.

At sites that aren’t The Pietist Schoolman

Seattle Pacific University
Seattle Pacific University - Creative Commons (Will Hale)
  • I’ve got Philip Eaton’s Engaging the Culture, Changing the World: The Christian University in a Post-Christian World on my reading list for the coming academic year. For a preview, see his recent interview with Christianity Today. Eaton’s president of Seattle Pacific University, a school I know primarily by reputation — but it’s an excellent reputation. In the CT interview, I was most struck by his recentering of Resurrection, holiness, and the integration of spiritual life and academic life.
  • John Stott on the meaning of conversion, as summarized by Scot McKnight, author of two books on the subject.
  • William Carey came in for a quick mention in the “Pietist Impulse: Missions” post, which noted that he didn’t actually start Protestant missions in India (two Halle Pietists did). Still, this past Wednesday did mark Carey’s 250th birthday, an event deservedly celebrated here by Allen Yeh of The Scriptorium Daily.
  • I see that my gentle gibe at the “quiet” summer of The Christian Humanist Blog had its desired effect, as Nathan Gilmour contributed not only another in his fine series of lectionary reflections, but an excellent post on theologies (starting with feminist theology, but not limited to it) as “second-order reflections on Christian worship, which I take to be the primary ordering force in a true imagination of reality.”
  • One of my favorite writers is Alan Jacobs, a Wheaton College professor and author of books on everything from original sin to C.S. Lewis to the joys of reading. So I’m surprised it took me until the beginning of this month to think to check if he had a blog. Turns out he does—or, rather, did. No sooner did I add Text Patterns to my “Recommended Links” list than Jacobs decided he was done with blogging:

Alan Jacobs…over the past few months I have become increasingly uncomfortable with what I’m doing here, largely because I’m repeating myself too often — and I’m repeating myself, I think, because of my felt need to post regularly.

That is, the natural impetus of the blog format towards novelty — something I’ve been complaining about for five years now — makes it easier to link to one more story, with a few words of commentary, than to stop and think matters through at greater length and with greater rigor. I don’t think that’s been good for me.

…blogs have natural lifespans, or so I think; few of them can continue indefinitely without diminishment. Especially when they are issue-based blogs. Who wants to watch someone ride the same old hobby-horses year after year?

I’m not sure how long I’ll do The Pietist Schoolman, but I appreciate the warning from a much more gifted scholar and writer than I. And I look forward to reading more from Jacobs in more traditional venues like books and reviews of books.

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