• My colleague G.W. Carlson shared his appreciation for Clarence Jordan, subject of an upcoming symposium at which GW will speak (along with some other guys). For more on Jordan’s legacy a century after his birth, read this post by Kirk Lyman-Barner of the Fuller Center for Housing, which will host the symposium. (H/T Paul Harvey)
• Tis the season for college rankings to come out. Those from Newsweek inspired me to ask, first, just how politically conservative are evangelical colleges and universities? And second, are other groups of church-related schools as easy to locate on the political spectrum?
• I picked up my semi-dormant series of reflections inspired by Lauren Winner’s most recent book, considering the significance of Christian friendship.
• And I returned to a favorite theme: how World War I was commemorated (in Duluth, Minnesota).
There and Everywhere
• For your consideration: Fiona Robinson’s list of the top 10 World War I movies. It includes three of the four “Great Films about the Great War” that I blogged about last summer (plus Chariots of Fire, which I praised in beginning another post on the legacy of the war), though I’m not sure how a Hugh Grant comedy makes the cut and Grand Illusion doesn’t…
• Did the London Olympics mark a turning point in Britons’ appreciation for their flag? (And while I’m on this subject… Check out David Maus’ attempt to rank the top ten national flags, in which the Union Jack does quite well.)
• Another perspective on who won the Olympics medal race in London suggests some rare good news for the European Union.
• But The Atlantic also reported a more dubious European accomplishment: overtaking Americans in per capita car ownership.
• Masha Lipman’s first sentence is a harsh but appropriate summary of the recent trial of a Russian punk band that protested the Putin regime: it “ended as it began: as an egregious expression of contempt for law, justice, and common sense.” But given the location of the band’s “punk prayer” (an Orthodox cathedral), I also appreciated Christian Piatt’s asking about the distinction between prophecy and blasphemy: “Where are your words and actions pointing? Are they directing attention away from yourself and toward the issue, or toward God, or do they actually put the focus more squarely on yourself?”
• And a child shall lead them, or at least a high schooler who so articulately defends the value of studying history.
• “Evangelical” or “evangelical”? I lean lower-case, but it’s changed over time.
• I was already looking forward to reading David Swartz’s history of the evangelical (or Evangelical) left, but all the more so after reading an excerpt on the Democratic Party’s rejection of “differing positions” on abortion. As Swartz points out, that rejection is “rooted in the early 1970s, when a Democratic Party that was arguably more pro-life than the Republican Party began to transform toward a pro-choice orthodoxy.”
• In my research on the history of Bethel University, I’ve focused on the long tenure of one pastor-turned-president. But as Inside Higher Ed reported this week, fewer and fewer Christian colleges are retaining that model of university leadership.
• Debating the purposes of Protestant seminaries.
• One more argument why online education isn’t about to replace colleges and universities as we’ve long known them.
• With the exception of his suggestion that Emergent Christians (if that’s even a useful category anymore) don’t value education, I agree with Ben Witherington: “One of the things I have grown weary of in the last decade or so, is anti-ecclesial rhetoric. What I mean by this is the pitting of the ‘church’ over against Jesus, or ‘the established church’ over against more ‘organic’ models of Christianity (e.g. house churches, and the like).”
• I place myself pretty solidly within the Christian just war tradition, but I appreciated Tim Kelleher’s critique of it.
• And “Weekend Reading” at our department’s blog touched on a famous speech in Japanese history, Auschwitz seventy years after the Holocaust, Scottish history and “the Scottish play,” and a forthcoming biography of Brigham Young.