That Was The Week That Was


Post #1000 seemed like the right time to announce that I’ll be slowing down my blogging pace: from daily to thrice-weekly (plus these links posts).

• While I’m editing a book on The Pietist Vision for Higher Education, I haven’t really sought to articulate a Pietist model for Christian scholarship. I’ll take a shot at some of its facets next week; first, why Pietists might be uncomfortable with “the integration of faith and learning” as it’s often defined in evangelical circles.

#DDay70 around the web.

…There and Everywhere

John Wayne in The Longest Day
One of the many stars of The Longest Day – Wikimedia

• My set of D-Day links didn’t include anything from June 6th itself. So a few more links on commemorating “The Day of Days”… Film critic David Denby revisited The Longest Day (but still found Saving Private Ryan superior: “like a frightening encounter with meaninglessness”).

• Adam Gopnik’s essay on Charles De Gaulle (“so essential to the cause”) reminded Americans that “Many combatants—some easy to admire, some very hard to stomach—fought against the Nazis, and on many fronts. The American contribution, though immense, was hardly sufficient, and hardly alone.”

• Suzanne O’Connell explained how the anniversary was “an occasion to remember not only the sacrifices Allied troops made on the beaches of Normandy, but the role science played in making their victory possible.”

• By the way, the Veterans Administration estimates that only one million American WWII veterans remain of the sixteen million who served. Less than 10% of them will likely live to see #DDay80.

#PrayforSPU• The other big news on Friday was the shooting at Seattle Pacific University the evening before. This one hit close to home: not only is SPU a very similar institution to the one I work at, but I’ve got several friends and acquaintances who graduated from the school or work there. Among the many pieces on the SPU shooting were the Seattle Times‘s eleven inspiring moments after the shooting (four of which involved prayer or vigil) and Laura Turner’s reflection on being an SPU student who’s never been on campus (“The urge toward solidarity in times of mourning is a strong pull, and I want not only to pray but also to be physically present to those on campus. I can’t be, so I will watch from afar and keep checking in with friends”).

• And the other big anniversary of the week was the 25th anniversary of the Chinese government’s crushing of a pro-democracy demonstration in Tiananmen Square (click to see some rare photos of the event). CNN caught up with some of the survivors, while the New York Times profiled the man who helped over 130 people escape the crackdown.

• On the other hand, China can take pride in being the home to the oldest trousers in history.

• Other significant anniversaries… My favorite modern Christian confession turned 80.

• And my favorite childhood computer game turned 30.

• Could this map save France over $30 billion?

• That’s a pretty simple political map… Where did the more complex ones get their start?

Meriwether Lewis and William Clark
Meriwether Lewis (1774-1809) and William Clark (1770-1838) – Wikimedia

• Actual U.S. historians: have Americans only been interested in Lewis and Clark since the 1960s or thereabouts?

• That from the Smithsonian’s history magazine. From its American history museum… Seven things you (probably) didn’t know about the flag that inspired our (lousy) national anthem.

• Apparently, Augustine only wrote one letter focused on the practice of prayer. But, said Tim Keller, it was a good one, offering four principles still practical today.

• Not surprisingly, the Book of Revelation loomed large in the imagination of writers and filmmakers during World War I.

• Scot McKnight thinks it’s just as relevant today, as long as it’s properly understood (as “potent political theology and not speculative eschatology”).

• Why are Southern Baptists seemingly in decline? Molly Worthen broke it down; Thomas Kidd asked what could turn things around.

• Much as I wish these kinds of stories weren’t happening at Christian colleges, I join John Fea in appreciating that Inside Higher Ed takes seriously our corner of the academy.

• John also interviewed religion reporter-turned-religion scholar Gustav Niebuhr (yes, of those Niebuhrs) about his new book on the US-Dakota War of 1862. (See my own post on that topic from back in its sesquicentennial year.)

• What’s lost when we stop teaching handwriting?

• Are office hours obsolete?

• Finally, a check to see if my wife reads these posts: because if Ruth Graham is right about people our age reading Young Adolescent (YA) literature, Katie is a big part of the problem. (It’s a big if; Noah Berlatsky, for one, thinks that YA books can “provide everything that Graham is asking for—complexity, ambiguity, depth, and even good writing.”)

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