That Was The Week That Was

Presenting: the 100th edition of TW3!


• I feel like we’re to the point of needing metaphors to communicate the importance of the Christian liberal arts. I started with spiritual retreat; two more to come next week.

• I’ll be spending part of November in Charm City, a historian among theologians.

• My series on the commemoration of WWII wrapped up with a look at memorials as works of public history. While my series on that war before Pearl Harbor continued with the sad tale of Poland in September 1939.

• And The Replacements! (’nuff said)

…There and Everywhere

The March on Washington
The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, 8/28/1963 – Wikimedia

• Lots of good stuff out there marking the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington. Two pieces in particular: first, Nyasha Junior reminds us that the event was actually the “March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom,” and argues that we need to remember both goals to properly understand the context; second, Ed Gilbreath (new executive director of communications for my denomination!) explained why he’s come to a new appreciation for the most famous speech given by Martin Luther King, Jr.

• My experience of the American South is not insignificant, but it’s essentially limited to two regions in Virginia, with brief visits to most of the other states in the former Confederacy. All that said… Thomas Kidd’s post on Duck Dynasty rings very true to me: “It’s southern culture, and it’s heavily informed by Christian tradition and themes. Many Christians fit into that culture, but the culture does not equate with Christianity per se: being a good ol’ boy who thanks a vague deity at dinner doesn’t get you to heaven.”

• I’m not a huge fan of contemporary Christian music, but happened across a couple of interesting posts on key figures in CCM: Mike Cosper’s on the new album from Derek Webb of Caedmon’s Call; and singer-songwriter Justin McRoberts’ twopart response to Billy Corgan’s exhortation to Christian artists to “make better music.”

• Chris Armstrong continued to preview his forthcoming book on the Middle Ages via C.S. Lewis, this time focusing on morality. He started with an evangelical pastor, posing a Protestant dilemma: ““How can I address the character issues in my congregation without seeming legalistic? Anything I say on morality seems to pull against the Gospel message of grace!”

• Last week I reflected on Christian Piatt’s attempt to crowdsource a list of twenty-five Christian blogs we should be reading. While he put out an intriguing editor’s list that added some cultural diversity, I’m not sure it really did all that much to address the problems I noted with the readers’ version.

Roger Williams statue at Roger Williams University
One of the leading Baptist advocates of soul freedom, Roger Williams – Creative Commons (Bill Price III)

• When I contemplate how what my friend G.W. Carlson calls the “Baptist Pietist tradition” shapes Bethel, I almost always focus on the second descriptor in that phrase. But to the extent that I think Bethel is going to remain a Baptist university, I’d say that it chiefly needs to honor the idea of “soul freedom.” Os Guinness (via Scot McKnight) thinks that it’s also vital to the health of the public square.

• Just when you think nothing new could turn up from World War I… Undelivered letters from almost 300,000 English and Welsh soldiers have surfaced.

• Joseph Knippenberg on the challenges of teaching individualists: “Both Athens and Jerusalem teach us that human beings are made for community, that they are fulfilled by their engagement with others, but we live at a time when our language and modes of thinking are highly individualistic and our technologically-enabled ways of living offer both false independence and false community.”

• Sam Wineburg is my new hero: “…it’s time for those of us in the academy to stop confusing the field of education with a set of limited-circulation journals. We can no longer afford to tell ourselves that our work is done once we’ve corrected our galleys and submitted our final reports. We have important things to say but have forgotten how—and to whom—to say them.”

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