• Were these the best history books of 2014?
• Which Bible passages most shaped your understanding of God?
…There and Everywhere
• As someone who was creating podcasts back in the first decade of this century, it’s hard to know what to make of their newfound popularity. (But I’ll say this: we’re closer to the possibility of a Pietist Schoolman Podcast that at any time since this blog started. Stay tuned in 2015…)
• I’ve spent the past six months as part of a joint trustee-administration-faculty strategic planning process at Bethel. I’ve learned a lot about the inner workings of the 21st century university, but part of me wishes I had just taken part in a workshop like this. (requires subscription)
• Should more national universities drop their football programs?
• As the federal government gets closer to joining the college ranking racket, here’s a good reminder that, for many students, there’s a limit to how much comparison shopping they can do. (I’m especially interested in the notion of “education deserts.”)
• By suspending a professor who publicly criticized a teaching assistant (in another department) over her handling of a discussion of same-sex marriage, did Marquette University impinge on academic freedom or appropriately punish a senior scholar who was out of line in his treatment of a graduate student? I think Matthew Franck is probably closest to right: “There are no heroes in this story, only knaves and fools.”
• “The outrage economy,” concluded an in-depth report at Slate, “is terrific at shaming people, at forcing them to apologize, at getting them fired. But people still do terrible things; brands still tweet; inequality persists. Outrage is not revolution; it’s not even justice, really.”
• One interesting aftershock of #Ferguson: at evangelical colleges, “demonstrations and protests have sprung up that would seem to defy conventional wisdom about the religious right.”
• Another interesting case in the role of religion in international relations: Pope Francis’ snubbing of the Dalai Lama.
• I’m planning to visit Chartres for the first time in about fifteen years during a day off from our WWI trip in January. Apparently, there’s a fair amount of contention around a restoration of the famous cathedral.
• George Whitefield turned 300 this week. And if that sentence meant nothing to you, learn more about one of history’s most significant evangelicals from his newest biographer.
• Did millions of Civil War soldiers suffered from post-traumatic stress syndrome?
• Yes and amen to Ellen Painter Dollar’s post suggesting that we lighten up on certain Christmas traditions that tend to get a bad rap.
• In the video of the week contest, it’s hard to beat this Saturday Night Live commercial…
…but this C-SPAN clip manages to upstage it. Watch as two bickering brothers on opposite ends of the political spectrum get a surprising call from a woman in North Carolina: