• Playing Santa for someone who loves to read about history? A few gift suggestions…
• Then one more (if that someone is interested in the Jesus People, or just likes well-written religious history).
• Choral music, corporate confession, and comfort with paradox… Why I’m almost a Lutheran.
• And I celebrated Human Rights Day by noting the paired 65th anniversaries of two landmark pieces of human rights legislation.
…There and Everywhere
• How loud was the great 18th century evangelist George Whitefield? (asked another self-admitted loud speaker)
• What did Roger Olson think of Molly Worthen’s new history of evangelicalism?
• Why, in books like Worthen’s Apostles of Reason, aren’t African-American Pentecostals discussed as evangelicals when their white brethren increasingly are?
• Are you looking for a speaker at your church or conference? Rachel Held Evans suggested 101 women to consider, and her readers offered dozens more.
• Are you wondering what’s been happening with the Mark Driscoll plagiarism controversy? Ruth Graham brought everyone up to speed. (Among her trenchant observations: “For a powerful leader, [Driscoll] is unusually attuned to his critics, and for a man who promotes the virtues of strength, he is quick to emphasize his victimhood.”)
• Do megachurches like Rick Warren’s Saddleback treat Christmas like a “middle-class utopia“? Are their worship services this time of the year “liturgical shock-and-awe campaigns”?
• Why did many Two-Thirds World evangelicals join the Russian Orthodox writer Alexander Solzhenitsyn in criticizing both sides in the Cold War?
• Would you like to peruse over a million images from 17th-19th century British history? (Not pictured: the ten ways that Victorian and Edwardian houses tended to be death traps. Well, maybe they’re pictured — I haven’t looked at all million images…)
• Are you “anti-gay” if you oppose same-sex marriage? Not necessarily, said one gay writer.
• Finally, why does the Internet exist? To share Christmas and New Year’s cards from the Soviet Union, many featuring Santa Claus in space!