That Was The Week That Was


• We took a big step closer to the publication of The Pietist Vision of Christian Higher Education, so I celebrated by passing along the table of contents (with sample quotations from each piece).

• I shared a Lenten meditation on the scriptural reminder that “You are dust, and to dust you shall return.”

• About half that post stemmed from Thursday’s memorial service for Nancy Lundquist, the former first lady of Bethel University who died this past Monday at age 94.

• Would a postsecondary version of home-schooling help provide a more affordable version of a liberal arts education — while simultaneously alleviating the un- and underemployment of humanities scholars?

• What’s the best cinematic depiction of teaching? Certainly not the iconoclastic English teacher at the center of Dead Poets Society, an English professor and I argued.

…There and Everywhere

Hindu prayer
Creative Commons (Harsha K R)

• One historian (a “confirmed atheist”) thinks colleges and universities should have “imams, priests, pastors, rabbis, and other clerics teach the practice of their faiths. In college classrooms. To college students. For credit.”

• Meanwhile, another historian “ended up as the global head of institutional business for Fidelity Worldwide Investment. If this seems like an odd career path, it shouldn’t. As a discipline, history offers as compelling a framework for business decision making as any of the courses of study more commonly championed by those inside city skyscrapers and suburban office parks.”

• And history might not be the only humanities discipline that prepares students well for success in the world of business.

• Is “academic justice” preferable to “academic freedom”? (Having argued that the latter is intimately bound up with a Pietist understanding of the relationship between church and college, I’m not inclined to agree with Patrick Deneen here. But his essay is certainly worth a read.)

• Proud of one of my former students for his response to the Ken Ham-Bill Nye debate…

• David Koyzis tried to strike the right balance between head and heart — “Where the emotional side is missing, love becomes pro forma, incapable of eliciting anything deeper than intellectual agreement. Similarly, if truth is a matter of head knowledge only, it will not carry the day, no matter how many reasons are adduced in its favor” — fearing that evangelicals are leaning too heavily on the latter.

• I appreciated Ross Douthat’s nuanced discussion of American Christian (mis)use of the term “persecution.” Especially his suggestion that “conservative believers” need to prepare “for a future as a (hopefully creative) religious minority.”

1611 KJV Bible
Creative Commons (Jemimus)

• Did you know that several Holiness and Pentecostal groups used to strongly affirm pacifism? (I didn’t.)

• Among other interesting findings in a recent study of “The Bible in American Life“… The King James Version remains the top choice by a wide margin, Psalm 23 is still the most popular passage, 31% read the Bible on the Internet and 22% on e-devices, and African-Americans read their bibles at considerably higher rates than other Americans. (H/T John Fea)

• Russian musician-activist Maria Alyokhina argued that, in the crisis over Crimea and Ukraine, her country was “repeating 1968” (when the Soviet Union and its allies invaded Czechoslovakia to stop the liberalizing reforms of Alexander Dubcek’s government).

• Four days after that article was published, Amnesty International reported that Alyokhina and other critics of the Putin regime were violently attacked.

• Does the crisis in Ukraine signal the return of 19th century international relations?

• I think I’d be pretty thrilled if my daughter ended up being inspired by Lisa Simpson, Harriet the Spy, or Scout from To Kill a Mockingbird.

• I’ve never read Alex Berenson’s best-selling John Wells novels, but I was interested in his reflection on the relationship between author and character (and of the critical reception of popular series).

What happens to the Union Jack — by far, my favorite flag — if Scotland leaves the United Kingdom?

Union Jack on a handbag
Creative Commons (Kiara_)

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