That Was The Week That Was


• Should Christian higher education be “safe” for students? Jared closed the academic year with that important question.

• Does Memorial Day help Americans remember what they ought to remember?

• Is the seven-day week headed for history’s ash heap? Should Christians be concerned?

• And a celebration of the joys of collaborating with my friend Sam Mulberry — one half of the teaching “power couple” known to Bethel students as “GehrBerr.”

…There and Everywhere

Dale M. Coulter
Dale M. Coulter – Regent University School of Divinity

• If you’re looking to read more Christian blogs, but don’t want to invest a lot of time in picking a new one… Twenty-five such blogs summed up in one sentence each! (H/T Carl Trueman) The blog you’re reading did not make the list (heavy on Reformed types), but feel free to suggest a one-sentence encapsulation of The Pietist Schoolman in the Comments section below!)

• It’s not an exhaustive list, of course. Another Christian blogger you should be reading is Dale Coulter, who brings a Wesleyan-Renewalist perspective to First Thoughts. In this post, he argued that evangelicals ought both to celebrate the Great Tradition and seek revival.

• A second is Carol Howard Merritt at The Christian Century, who suggested that those in the business world might have a lot to learn from churches.

• And a third is Jay Phelan, who blogs too rarely at Additional Markings. But when he does, it warrants attention: e.g., “…we present ourselves as ‘ministers of reconciliation’ but spend our time refusing to hear each other. And, let me make it clear, this is a fault of both the ‘left’ and the ‘right.’ Our behavior confirms the views of Rene Girard that human communities need scapegoats to foster identity. We need enemies. And so the ‘liberals’ need the evil ‘fundamentalists’ to mock and scorn. And so the ‘conservatives’ need the evil ‘liberals’ to denounce and despise.”

• John Turner was a bit higher on Douglas Shantz’s Introduction to German Pietism than me: “Shantz’s erudite and engaging book presents an opportunity for English-speaking Christians — some three hundred years later — to dip their toes into this complex and compelling stream.”

• Mark Galli observed something in Christians and churches that would surely bother most Pietists: “…after living the Christian life for nearly a half century, I doubt the ability of Christians to make much progress in holiness. I look at churches that are committed to transformation and holiness, and I fail to see that they are much more holy or transformed than other churches…. I look at my own life and marvel at the lack of real transformation after 50 years of effort. To be sure, outwardly I’m more patient, kind, gracious, and so forth. But even after half a century of transformation, my thoughts and motives are a cauldron of evil.”

• Is there a difference between “neo-Calvinist” and “neo-Puritan“?

Shakers dancing in the 1840s
Shakers dancing, ca. 1840 – Wikimedia

• One leading brand of churches within the former category makes its pastors sign a “no compete clause.”

• There’s a new issue of Christian History magazine, on the “modern age of persecution.” (A topic I blogged about last November.)

• The Shakers finally made it to the Great White Way!

• Very excited to read Charles Marsh’s biography of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, especially after his interview with John Fea.

• Fea is most famous for asking if this country was founded as a “Christian nation.” But what about our former colonial masters?

• David Gushee was about as ambivalent as me on the subject of Memorial Day.

• I’d like to think I’m pretty knowledgeable about World War I, but I have to admit I’d never heard of this novelized version of the life of Jesus of Nazareth, published while the Battle of the Somme raged.

Goshen College
Licensed by Creative Commons (Liz DeCoster)

• What’s the cost of a college education? Oh, about negative half a million dollars.

• The restructuring of higher education reached the flagship Mennonite institution.

This commencement address will make you feel good about having majored in the humanities.

• And this one will make you feel even better about having been a Bethel History major (or parent of one).

Yes, alas: “It’s never been so easy to pretend to know so much without actually knowing anything.”

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