That Was The Week That Was


• Musing about what it means to say “I believe…” about the Trinity…

• Two down, twenty-four to go: an alphabetical sampler of my CD collection started with the Rolling Stones (Aftermath) and Bob Dylan (Bob Dylan Live 1966).

• “Moral histories” of the Second World War from novelist Alan Furst and historians Don Yerxa, Timothy Snyder, and Michael Burleigh.

• Writer-filmmaker Nicholas Meyer disagreed with my belief that, as far as Sherlock Holmes goes, “everything is canonical.”

• Charting the growing popularity of the British abolitionist and evangelical politician William Wilberforce.

• And in preparation for posting my own summer reading next week, I collated a few suggestions from other media in the realms of history, biography, and historical fiction.

There and Everywhere

Imperial Camel Corps
Australians in the Imperial Camel Corps, 1918 – Wikimedia

• Also submitting summer reading lists: my colleagues G.W. Carlson and Diana Magnuson.

• A couple of cool World War I posts: the last letters written by three English poet-soldiers, including Wilfred Owen; and Fiona Robinson made a welcome return to WWI blogging with her post on the Imperial Camel Corps.

• Journalist John Stoehr accused liberals and conservatives of “not taking politics seriously,” and particularly encouraged the left to do a better job of addressing religion and patriotism “with heart and guts.”

• Interestingly, economic historian Harold James warned that the ongoing euro crisis might lead to the possible dis-integration of Europe into a plethora of smaller states at about the same time that geographer Frank Jacobs blogged about an older proposal for just such a redesign of the continent’s borders.

• News that Iran had experienced “cyberattacks” inspired Patrick Lin to reflect on the implications of such weapons for the just war tradition.

• Jay Phelan offered some sage advice on the manner in which evangelicals should and shouldn’t critique Israel.

• Jonathan Merritt reflected on the 33rd anniversary of the founding of the Moral Majority.

Snake-handlers in Kentucky, 1946
Snake-handling Pentecostals in Kentucky, 1946 – National Archives

• Chris Armstrong passed along some thoughts from Presbyterian minister and biblical scholar Peter Leithart on why “true ecumenicism is incompatible with joining either Catholicism or Orthodoxy.”

• My parents live in Appalachia, where a small number of Pentecostal Christians interprets Mark 16:18 so literally that they handle venomous snakes and drink strychnine as part of worship. The death of one such group’s pastor drew renewed attention to “snake-handlers,” as it happened to be chronicled by photojournalist Lauren Pond. Some excellent follow-up came from journalist Bob Smietana and Pentecostal scholar Arlene Sánchez-Walsh.

• Rachel Marie Stone offered a Christian defense of humor, particularly of the sarcastic variety.

• And a nice story about musician David Crowder surprising one of his fans at a high school graduation party.

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