• “Groaning” for the kingdom of God as a spiritual practice: Christian Collins Winn on Blumhardt Pietism and social justice.
• Examining the waxing and waning popularity of America’s favorite patriotic hymns.
• Almost a hundred years later, World War I is still adding to its death toll.
• John Calvin doesn’t look a day over 503…
…There and Everywhere
• A new book on the Jesus People movement is getting lots of attention, including this review by John Turner and author Larry Eskridge’s quick overview of the movement’s musical wing. (Jesus People USA in Chicago is part of my denomination.)
• A local gay, mainline pastor (and one-time Pietist Schoolman commenter, if I recall correctly) reflected on learning not to stereotype his evangelical sisters and brothers: “I still disagree with them, but I stopped looking at them as abstractions and more like real people—people you might think are wrong, but people you will still welcome at your table.”
• Jonathan Merritt has an interesting interview with Willow Creek’s creative director, Blaine Hogan, about the relationship between faith and creativity.
• I know, Jesus founded a movement not an organization, but I think Andy Crouch is exactly right about the value of institutions: “For cultural change to grow and persist, it has to be institutionalized, meaning it must become part of the fabric of human life through a set of learnable and repeatable patterns. It must be transmitted beyond its founding generation to generations yet unborn.”
• At Bethel we constantly exhort students to be “world changers.” I hope they also hear the stories of people like Tish Harrison Warren: “We were part of a young, Christian movement that encouraged us to live bold, meaningful lives of discipleship, which baptized this world-changing impetus as the way to really follow after Jesus. We were challenged to impact and serve the world in radical ways, but we never learned how to be an average person living an average life in a beautiful way.”
• The top five destinations for conservative Catholics considering exile from America.
• It sounds like there are lots of reasons to avoid the new Lone Ranger movie (27% on the Rotten Tomato meter), but if you’re looking for another: in terms of appealing to Christian audiences, it’s the anti-Man of Steel.
• Images of World War I: sketches from one of the eight artists who accompanied the American Expeditionary Force to Europe.
• A new book revisits Franklin D. Roosevelt’s pre-Pearl Harbor attempts to disabuse Americans of “the isolationist fantasy of the nation as a safe oasis in a world dominated by fascist terror evoked for himself and for the overwhelming majority of Americans not a dream but a ‘nightmare of a people without freedom — the nightmare of a people lodged in prison, handcuffed, hungry, and fed through the bars from day to day by the contemptuous, unpitying masters of other continents.'”
• Economist Richard Vedder (director of the Center for College Affordability and Productivity) with another of his trademark iconoclastic theses about higher education: colleges discourage saving.
• Why are conservatives and libertarians like Vedder relatively rare in the academy? George Yancey considers the explanatory power of two hypotheses: conservatives are less likely to follow that career path, and there are barriers that dissuade them from doing so.
• A couple of new studies: one finds that choir members’ heartbeats synchronize as they sing; another suggests that nostalgia is both more universal and more beneficial a phenomenon than long believed.
• Speaking of nostalgia… I can’t wait to teach my children to keep score at a baseball game, assuming the venerable but fading practice has survived that long.
• Happy birthday to the greatest thing since… well, itself.