Those Were The Weeks That Were

After being awake for twenty-three hours (thirteen of them on one Delta plane or another), my body decided that it was still on Munich time, so I stumbled out of bed at 4:30, brewed coffee, and started to go through my Google Reader feed — neglected for over two weeks now. I don’t subscribe to that many blogs, but after about three hundred posts or so, I gave up.

So with apologies to the many fine authors active who penned pieces between January 1-8 that will escape my notice forever, here are a few highlights that I missed during my trip to Europe. (I’ll be back tomorrow with the first of several posts on the history of World War I as my wife and I encountered it in London, Paris, and Munich, and on the fields of the former Western Front.)

Noll, Jesus Christ and the Life of the Mind• One of the themes of the upcoming posts will be religion in the war, and the turn from religion… So it was interesting to see this hint that secularization might be arresting, or even reversing, in famously secular Britain.

• I used the trip in part to throw myself into using e-readers, but I did bring along one actual book to read in those moments when my wife wanted the iPad: Mark Noll’s Jesus Christ and the Life of the Mind. I’ll probably have some thoughts of my own to share at some point this month, but for now, I’ll just link to this Christianity Today piece by Jenell Williams Paris, since her response mirrors my own in several respects.

• As always, John Fea — like Jenell, a gifted member of the Messiah College faculty — provided links to several nuggets I’d have missed (look for at least one or two T’s of the H to him). He also reported how his department is pursuing a “change of culture” that better serves the vast majority of undergraduate history majors not destined for doctoral programs.

• Gary Gutting offered a follow-up to his excellent post, “What Is College For?”, in which he rethinks the nature and purpose of the high school and its relationship to the job market and to higher education.

• I wasn’t among them, so I can offer non-self-serving congratulations to the winners of the Cliopatria Awards for excellence in history-related blogging!

Robert Duvall
Licensed by Creative Commons (Josh Jensen)

• Neither of his playoff performances would make me rethink what I already wrote about Tebow-mania. So I’ll just point those not wearied by that phenomenon to this list of the “Top Ten Prayerful Players” in recent sports history. (H/T John Fea)

• Unavoidably, Tebow came up near the end of Cathleen Falsani’s interesting interview with Robert Duvall. (He’s a fan.) My favorite part is watching Falsani handle Duvall’s curiosity about the Evangelical Free Church. (“More liberal than others, maybe?” Um…)

• Okay, the “Why I Hate Religion, But Love Jesus” video… I’m going to put this in the “Missed it, but don’t have time to come back to it” category and just trust that I’d react largely as my friend Nathan Gilmour did. Here’s the video itself, if you’re not one of the 13+ million who’s already watched it on YouTube:

• Ah, Lutheran humor: a flow chart to help you navigate these post-denominational times. Strangely, my denomination didn’t even show up… (H/T Steve Thorngate)

• Several people from different perspectives celebrated the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. by trying to appropriate his legacy: e.g., Jarrod McKenna on climate change; Efrem Smith on “the need for a new church”; Brethren in Christ pastor Jay Johnson on non-violence (H/T Devin Manzullo-Thomas). More on this rhetorical move in a later post…

MLK Memorial
The new Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial in Washington - National Parks Service

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