Heard ’round these parts and others last week:
At The Pietist Schoolman
- The thrilling conclusion to my series ranking the best national anthems, as we counted down #5, #4, #3, #2, and — wait for it — #1.
- To whom did we compare the people we hate before we had Hitler? Never expected to write this, but… Hank Williams, Jr. got me thinking about the Antichrist.
- After spending a couple of Mondays making the case for the greatness of The Jayhawks and Wilco in advance of their new albums, I stepped back to reflect on their music from a Christian perspective. (And be looking for a dual review of those bands’ new albums by Michial Farmer and me to show up soon at The Christian Humanist Blog.)
- Does your church value church history? Why or why not? (And a very brief argument for why it’s essential to discipleship.)
Not at The Pietist Schoolman, but even better
- For a different kind of Christian reflection on the meaning of popular music than what I did Monday, see this piece on REM by a fellow Covenanter.
- Patheos transcribed a podcast interview with a former colleague, Jenell Williams Paris, on the history of sexual identity — specifically, how homosexuality and heterosexuality, as “identity categories,” are relatively modern inventions.
- Two deaths inspired fascinating reflections: the passing of the Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth, one of the founders of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, caused my colleague Ruben Rivera to consider how it’s easier to admire such prophets from a historical distance; and that of Steve Jobs led Christianity Today to rerun Andy Crouch’s excellent essay on Jobs as an evangelist for technological progress and secular hope. If I’m not too worn out by all such eulogies, I might offer my own brief reflection on being a longtime Apple/Mac user next week…
- In the wake of his much-reviled comments about marriage and Alzheimer’s, Pat Robertson announced his “ersatz retirement from politics.”