That Was The Week That Was

Last week here at The Pietist Schoolman and elsewhere:


  • Why the Evangelical Covenant Church has typically viewed activities like packing meals for hungry children in Africa as going hand in hand with conversionism, biblicism, and other hallmarks of evangelicalism
  • No This Week in History but one day in the United Nations’ history brought to mind the seeming conflict between emphasizing peace or emphasizing justice as normative goals of international relations
  • Why “imaginative understanding” is so difficult: how 19th century European historians struggle to “make contacts with the minds” of anarchists, skeptics, and reconverts to Christianity.
  • I concluded my series on Carolyn Weber’s Surprised by Oxford with a tribute to friends and family


  • I’m very excited by the start of a new series at the New York Times‘ Opinionator site: “Borderlines” by Frank Jacobs. In his first post, Jacobs explores the odd borderland separating Belgium, the Netherlands, and Germany (both the national borders, and the linguistic ones). My favorite two facts from the post: (a) between the Congress of Vienna and the beginning of World War I there was a “quadripoint” called Moresnet that served as an international neutral zone and even attracted an attempted Esperanto colony, and (b) the town of Baarle, though situated within Dutch territory, includes about twenty Belgian enclaves — which themselves include seven Dutch enclaves.

    Moresnet Postcard
    Postcard from Neutral Moresnet
  • Bethel professors continued to draw attention to Pietism studies: my co-editor Christian Collins Winn was interviewed by Kyle Roberts; and our Seminary colleague Chris Armstrong’s series on “heart religion” was recommended by Jared Burkholder and Devin Manzullo-Thomas.
  • In anticipation of Reformation Day, Francis Beckwith reflected on how love for Scripture led him back (from evangelicalism) to the Roman Catholic Church
  • A new series at Century Blogs: “What’s the gospel in seven words.” First up: Kathleen Norris.
  • Roger Olson wonders if Christians should be working in marketing.

    The Beatles (minus Ringo)
    The Beatles (minus Ringo) - Creative Commons (VARA)
  • I like John Mark Reynolds’ writing a lot. But a post entitled “[The] Beatles, Meh” seemed designed to tempt me into breaking my promise not to write at length about popular music, at least until a decent amount of time had elapsed after I typed thousands of words about two of my favorite bands. At best, he damns them with faint praise; at worst, well… He’s never uncharitable, but I don’t how to begin to respond to someone who prefers Bing Crosby to The Beatles. You want to take a shot at this one, Michial Farmer?

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