• Jonathan Merritt’s observations about three worrisome trends in “New Calvinism” reminded me what I’ve come to appreciate about older varieties of that theological tradition.
• If you haven’t yet checked out The Baptist Pietist Clarion — an annual newsletter offering Baptist-Pietist perspectives on church-state relations, religious liberty, civil rights, social justice, missions, education, spirituality, and other topics — now is the perfect time to get started: I helped launch its brand new website and blog.
…There and Everywhere
• It was certainly exciting to see “German Pietism” atop a new post at The Anxious Bench. Looking forward to reading John Turner dig more deeply into Douglas Shantz’s Introduction to German Pietism… (You can see portions of my own review here.)
• If you found my posts on Calvinism(s) intriguing, check out Roger Olson’s answer to the question, “Do Arminians and Calvinists Worship the Same God?”
• Paul Putz concluded his two-part preview of books forthcoming in the field of American religious history. I’m especially interested in those from Amy DeRogatis, Brantley Gasaway, Thomas Kidd, Matthew McCollough, Christopher Rios, Grant Wacker, Robert Wuthnow, and the Festschrift for George Marsden co-edited by Kidd, Darren Dochuk, and my friend Kurt Peterson.
• In a piece on the Southern Baptist Convention, Emma Green of The Atlantic offered one of the more nuanced analyses I’ve read on how conservative Christians will respond to changing mores about sexuality: “It’s easy to revert to the framework of a culture war and claim that evangelicals are losing, especially because Baptist communities are struggling to maintain their membership rates.
“But pluralism is much messier than that; homosexuality doesn’t win while evangelicalism loses, and vice versa. As laws on marriage change, popular belief may change, too, and that may affect the strength of the Southern Baptist movement…. This doesn’t have to be a ‘war,’ with one winner and one loser; people can have a variety of opinions that are fundamentally at odds, and [SB leader Russell] Moore seems to believe that can happen with civility.”
• One more reason for me to look forward to taking my World War I travel course back to Europe next January: when we visit the Museum of London, I can check out its new exhibit on the history of Sherlock Holmes!
• When I’ve toured former WWI battlefields in Belgium and France, it was striking to see how trees and vegetation now green ground that for four years looked more like the face of the moon than Earth. But as this photographic essay points out, you can still see the scars of trench warfare a hundred years later.
• The next time I teach my class on World War II, I’ll have to find a reason to show students Richard Edes Harrison’s “artistic geo-visualizations of the political crises in Europe and Asia” which offered new (for American) cartographic perspectives with titles like “Japan from Alaska” and “Russia from the South.” (H/T Lincoln Mullen, who pointed to some examples of why “historians have the tools they need to re-imagine their historical maps outside of the constraints of any particular map projection.”)
• Recently I posted on languages in America using maps produced by Slate‘s Ben Blatt. He concluded that series by mapping the most common countries of origin for recent immigrants to the United States.
• If only this had come out about two weeks earlier, when I was talking (too briefly) about reparations and justice in our Human Rights in International History course…
• Thinking about course evaluations when we live in a world where students are accustomed to thinking of themselves as among the ‘people formerly known as the audience.’