That Was The Week That Was


• I don’t publish too many tearjerkers, but a letter to my children on their first day of kindergarten probably qualifies.

• I didn’t have time to touch on the Amish in my post previewing my research on Anabaptist visions of sport, but someone on Twitter responded by passing along video of “corner ball.”

• Marilynne Robinson on fear, guns, and America as a “Christian nation” = must read…

…There and Everywhere

Czech refugees in 1938
Czech refugees in 1938 – Wikimedia

• …though, admittedly, not everyone was a fan of her essay.

• Another good one on the problem of fear: Aaron Stauffer explained why Christians need to reject Islamophobia.

• I get that the refugee crisis in Europe is complicated, but yes: “Few of the 28 countries in the European Union have been as affected over the course of their histories by emigration as have the Central European ones: Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Poland have all seen their citizens pack their bags and flee abroad in their darkest hours. But you wouldn’t know it by their calls to fortify the EU against refugees as if they were criminals and by their stubborn refusal to accept those fleeing war, destitution, and discrimination — much like so many Mitteleuropäer have in the not-so-distant past.”

• Sunday School has surprisingly progressive roots, and labor unions have surprisingly evangelical ones.

Not surprisingly, I resonated most strongly with John Turner’s final thought on the state of evangelical history: that one of its most important challenges is “to make the history of evangelicalism — at least as written by American scholars — less of an American story.”

• Kathleen Mulhern shared three spiritual disciplines for the digital age: #1 – slowly reading a whole book. (Hey, maybe this one?)

• I don’t need to hear much more from William Deresiewicz at this point, but if that’s the price to pay to get John Fea riled up about the state of higher education, it’s worth paying.

Donald Trump earlier this year
Licensed by Creative Commons (Gage Skidmore)

• And after I quoted him in my post on Anabaptists and sports, John offered his own reflections on athletics and religion at Messiah College.

• Apparently the real problem with anti-same-sex marriage local government official Kim Davis is that she exemplifies, um, “pietism.”

• A couple of rare topics on which there is bipartisan agreement these days. First, Donald Trump “is a particularly revolting species of id — vulgar, unprincipled, and increasingly poisonous.” (Just guess whether a left- or right-wing periodical published that assessment.)

• And second, Stephen Colbert had a really good first week. Because we’re still adjusting to our kids’ rather early school schedule, I’ve been asleep for every one of Colbert’s initial episodes of The Late Show. Fortunately, YouTube has been invented, so none of us need miss the absolutely remarkable first half of his interview with Joe Biden. (Before or after watching, get some context from Amy Sullivan.)

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