That Was The Month That Was: Christianity

Today I’ll conclude a brief series of posts clearing out some links I flagged during my January travels. We’ve already covered education and history, leaving the third of the major stated themes of this blog: Christianity.

Noll, Scandal of the Evangelical MindRachel Held Evans: “Perhaps in reaction to the ‘scandal of the evangelical mind,’ evangelicalism of late has developed a general distrust of emotion when it comes to theology…. It’s not enough for me to maintain my intellectual integrity as a Christian; I also want to maintain my emotional integrity as a Christian. And I don’t need answers to all of my questions to do that.”

• Mark Osler: Christians can be authentic, unashamed, and honest without being arrogant.

• Will “political setbacks and perceived cultural insults” only serve to “galvanize [conservative evangelicals’] public engagement”?

• Mark Silk thinks that restorationism helps explain why evangelicals and Mormons have (for the most part) become such devoted Republicans.

• Why a Jewish scholar thinks evangelicals “have gotten a bum rap“: while others view them as intolerant, she’s struck by evangelicals’ grace, compassion, and “deep caring for humanity.”

• At The Jesus Creed, RJS has been revisiting Tim Keller’s The Reason for God, starting with this post sketching an array of faith-reason responses.

• Speaking of the intersection of science and Christianity, the BioLogos foundation announced a new president: astrophysicist Deborah Haarsma, a proud (I trust) Bethel alumna.

Orthodox priests at pro-life rally
Orthodox priests at the 2011 March for Life – Orthodox Church in America

• The 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade generated plenty of commentary, including… Anna Williams took issue with the notion that the pro-life movement stands in the way of “the progress of women.” Catholic legal scholar and theologian Kathleen Caveny explained what it meant to her to be “pro-life without being pro-culture wars.” And Lutheran pastor Barbara Kay Lundblad articulated a wider definition of “pro-life”: “All people of faith are called to be ‘pro-life.’ But pro-life is bigger than the claim of one side in the ongoing debates about abortion.”

• Jay Phelan with a Pietist response to Christian disunity: “Future controversies over a variety of social and political issues and most notably over human sexuality bear the seeds of further alienation, division, and destruction. I think it is time for Christians to reject their home team mentality and receive all who seek to follow Jesus, whatever their loyalties….the most hardboiled fundamentalist is my brother and my sister and the most wild-eyed liberal is my companion in Christ and I will not participate in the rejection of either of them.”

• Roger Olson is a Baptist, but an eclectic and ecumenical one. He’s also an evangelical, a term whose definition he finds a “necessary and impossible” task.

• One of these days I’m going to have to drive the 4-5 hours it would take me to find a Brethren in Christ church (one near Des Moines, another by Milwaukee), to see if that congregation retains the flavor described by Perry Engle: the “bold and uncompromising” notes of Anabaptism, “sweetened” by Pietism, with “a little room” for Holiness and evangelical Christianity (so long as the latter doesn’t “water-down the ‘flavor’ of our original Anabaptist-Pietistic blend”). (H/T Devin Manzullo-Thomas — and congratulations to Devin for being invited to speak this spring at the Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies!)

• Lutheran responses to the suggestion that the Catholic Church might welcome Lutheran converts who retain some of their own distinctives.

• Luther Seminary professor Gracia Grindal was the only person to be on panels at both our 2009 Pietist impulse research conference and our 2012 colloquium on Pietism studies. I always enjoy her contributions to the Christian Century‘s “Blogging toward Sunday” and “Living by the Word” series — e.g., this post on Epiphany.

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