That Was The Week That Was


How diverse are Christian colleges and universities?

• Does history teach lessons?

• Is it helpful to argue from historical analogy, or a sense of historical inevitability?

• Where can you find the newest issue of the Baptist Pietist Clarion?

• And where am I this morning?

…There and Everywhere

• As we closed the chapter on yet another Reformation Day, Timothy George reminded us “that Martin Luther belongs to the entire Church, not only to Lutherans and Protestants.” (And our cartoon version of “The Reformation Polka” passed the 210,000 hit mark on YouTube.)

• At least one leading evangelical theologian is persuaded of the existence of Purgatory — mentioned at least fifteen times by Luther in the 95 Theses.

• Wheaton College is closing its Institute for the Study of American Evangelicals at year’s end.

Elvis and Nixon
I was really hoping to find a picture of Henry Rollins talking up Oral Roberts, but Nixon with Elvis will have to suffice…

• Is (or rather, was) evangelicalism “Punk Rock Christianity“? “Both were started in response to the soul-crushing inadequacies of modern life, and both emphasized radical rebellion against cultural norms as the solution. Both movements were driven by an apocalyptic sense that the present moment was the only thing that mattered. Punk rock and evangelicalism are also both one-trick ponies; they have one message and they play it very loudly until people either convert or write them off as obnoxious. Both movements have also been defined by big, flamboyant personalities who jostled for influence and importance: Joey Ramone and James Dobson, Johnny Rotten and Billy Graham, Henry Rollins and Oral Roberts.”

• In its comments section, the author of that post suggested Mars Hill as an example of his theme… In the wake of Mark Driscoll’s fall, that multi-campus church has decided to dissolve its central organization and have each site become independent and autonomous.

• Why do so many American Christians (I don’t think, contra this post’s title, that it’s just or mostly evangelicals) believe that the Bible affirms democracy as the best political system? Blame/credit 1 Samuel…

• Did Shia LeBouef convert to Christianity while making a new WWII movie, or is he just a method actor? Or maybe both.

• Matthew Moser argued for the centrality of theology to the liberal arts: “Theology… is always catholic—gathering all of the fragmented pieces of our knowledge together into an integrated, holistic vision of the truth, beauty, and goodness of all things as they reflect their Creator.” (Then here’s one more case for theology broadly defined.)

• Point Loma Nazarene University is trying to crowd-fund a program that would give full scholarships to victims of human trafficking.

• What is the purpose of a general education curriculum? Interestingly, historian Steven Mintz (now University of Texas-Austin, formerly Columbia) lands in a place familiar to those of us in Christian and church-related higher ed but quite foreign in more secular models: “…to educate the whole person… to cultivate students’ social, emotional, physical, and ethical development and to foster creativity, promote psychological well-being, stimulate a rich and thoughtful interior life, explore core beliefs, encourage social engagement, and cultivate empathy and an ethic of service and caring.”

• Which college majors are most male and most female?

Grand Canyon University• An Inside Higher Ed survey found that college professors remain overwhelmingly suspicious of online education, causing one of its advocates to call for “our online learning community [to own] up to our failures.”

• New federal rules about financial aid might curtail the growth of for-profit higher education in this country (and one leader in that industry is already thinking about converting to non-profit status), but did you that in some Latin American countries, upwards of a third of college students study at for-profit schools?

• In one country in that region, one of the USA’s least-distinguished presidents is still considered a hero.

• Quick history quiz: the sinking of which ship in the 1910s caused the greatest loss of life? (Hint: it’s not the Titanic or the Lusitania. Nor did this happen on an ocean.)

• It’s not just Benedict Cumberbatch: Sherlock Holmes has always been a fashion trendsetter.

• Don’t know what to make of this, but I’ll mention it: on Wednesday I gave a presentation that emphasized the value of serendipity in scholarship; that same day, both John Fea and David Swartz wrote about the same thing. Spooky.

• John also spent some time trying to get me a new job.

3 thoughts on “That Was The Week That Was

  1. There’s lots of good stuff here and some sad stuff (Are there any other centers of evangelical studies besides the one that is closing?), but what really intrigued me was the link in the purgatory article to CS Lewis’ arguments for purgatory. While he may not have convinced me, his writing was wonderful, as always.

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