That Was The Week That Was

Yesterday’s morning’s announcement of an important honor for our Pietism/higher ed book, and then getting prepped for this morning’s start of a new adult Sunday School class combined to bump this week’s links wrap to Sunday afternoon…


• The most popular post of the week prize goes to Jared Burkholder, for his insights into how an ethic of peacemaking shapes Anabaptist views on sexuality.

• Thanks also to guest-blogger Aaron Morrison for his piece on the past and present of chapel services in colleges.

• A university whose faculty were “changing the narrative” of “humanities in crisis” announced cuts primarily affecting faculty in, you guessed it, the humanities.

• What would it mean for Christians to engage in “stewardship of the past,” just as they’re called to be good stewards of other aspects of Creation?

…There and Everywhere

Calhoun College at Yale University
Calhoun College, Yale University — Creative Commons (Jpm2367jp)

• Look, if a centenary is what it takes to get people interested in World War I, that’s great. But that doesn’t mean that everything needs to be analogous to 1914.

• Likewise, having studied medieval history in college might not equip you to direct the American response to the present-day politics of the Middle East.

• Should institutions like Yale be leery of changing the name of, say, a college named after antebellum white supremacist John C. Calhoun?

• If you’re interested in the 20th century, you should be reading Timothy Snyder. Start with his recent HNN essay recentering the story of the Holocaust: “The facility [at Auschwitz], horrible as it is in its own right, is part of a sequence that began elsewhere. The use of gas, which tempts us away from history towards philosophy or literature, was an improvisation that followed rather than preceded the beginning of total killing.”

• And historians should be reading Anthony Grafton; they might learn a thing or two about how to write.

• Good to see Tracy McKenzie back blogging after too long: he reviewed Kevin Kruse’s One Nation Under God and found it both well-written and ultimately unpersuasive in its argument that the notion of America as a Christian nation is really born in the aftermath of the Great Depression.

• Good word from historian Kyle Jantzen: why it’s so important for Christians to love neighbors who are refugees.

• In my “stewardship of the past” speech, I suggested (following C.S. Lewis) that happiness is not the same as joy. Randy Alcorn thinks that people like Lewis and me are way off base.

McKnight, The Heaven Promise• Of course, Alcorn is best known for writing about heaven. That’s the subject of Scot McKnight’s newest book; here Scot shares ten things he wishes “everyone knew about heaven.” (Including, per Alcorn’s post, #8: “…we will experience joy and happiness at the deepest levels.”)

Rachel Held Evans — and The Christian Feminist Podcast — looked back at the “Why Christian?” conference held last month in Minneapolis.

• Should the Minnesota Supreme Court get involved in a case of church discipline?

• Guess which Midwestern city is the new place-to-be for millennials…

• Meanwhile, the arrival of Chick-fil-A in New York City reveals that the “politics of urban consumerism” are complicated and perhaps futile.

• Nice to see Minnesota’s largest newspaper do a feature on Bethel’s new postsecondary certificate program for young adults with intellectual disabilities.

• I’ll be curious to see if we see more small colleges opt for mergers, such as the one two Christian schools recently announced.

• Making college free has become a somewhat popular political position on the left, but one New Republic writer isn’t convinced.

• This just isn’t news, but for the record: humanities majors are doing just fine financially.

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