That Was The Week That Was


• The Azusa Street Revival, World War I, Vatican II… What were some of the other turning points in the history of Christianity in the 20th century?

• Speaking of WWI… Americans shouldn’t wait until 2017 to start thinking about its centenary.

• Check out Adam Laats’ blog for interesting insights on Christian higher education from someone outside that world.

Don’t forget to nominate The Pietist Vision of Christian Higher Education for an InterVarsity Press Readers’ Choice Award!

…There and Everywhere

• An interesting development in the Seventh-day Adventist Church, where some male pastors have given up ordination in order to stand in solidarity with female colleagues, to whom the denomination has denied that status.

Contemporary worship at Salem Covenant Church
By contrast, contemporary worship at our church features an eclectic mix of songs – Northwest Conference

• If you’ve never read Roger Olson’s explanation of why he won’t abandon the label “evangelical,” here’s your latest opportunity.

• Hey look: a Millennial who likes church! A Lutheran church, even!

• Are the same CCLI Top 20 songs “too much in the foreground of Sunday morning” in American churches?

• Are fundamentalists and skeptics both missing the point of Scripture?

• Looking for some new reading about global Christianity? Try this list from Grant Wacker and Philip Jenkins.

• Meanwhile, at The Anxious Bench, Jenkins started a new series on the “Reformations, Plural” — starting with one in Jewish history, but eventually continuing to the plurality of religious movements in the 16th century.

• I wonder if the critics of this campus pastor know that Christians went without seats and pews in their churches for centuries…

• Jay Case does a nice job recovering the nuanced history of Columbus Day, whose creation was “driven primarily by those who faced racism and wanted full and equal acceptance into American society.”

• The new Steven Spielberg-Tom Hanks movie Bridge of Spies is getting all sorts of critical acclaim for making the Cold War come to life. It turns in part on the downing of a U-2 spy plane piloted by Gary Francis Power, who kept a journal throughout his captivity in the Soviet Union.

• Is xenophobia really stronger in Eastern than Western Europe? (Or than in this country?)

Stephen Harper in 2009
Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper in 2009 – Creative Commons (Kashmera)

• Does Canada’s Conservative Party offer the Republican Party a lesson in how to win immigrant votes — and then how to lose them?

• Liberal arts colleges might be abandoning the humanities, but they’re thriving in surprising places: like West Point, and Singapore.

• Meanwhile, Megan Von Bergen reminded us that that model of education doesn’t promise easy results: “I wish I could make writing a wholly positive experience for my students. I wish I didn’t have to disappoint them with bad grades, and with the truth that they have a long ways to go yet to become a good writer. But that’s not the way that learning works. It hurts to discover weakness, and to turn that weakness into strength. There is no way to remove the pain from the learning process and still learn.

• And two psychologists who have independently warned against “trigger warnings” had a fascinating conversation about “the infantilization of students.” (H/T Robert Cunningham)

• The distrust of trustees for faculty at conservative Christian colleges like Bryan is nothing new. (In my experience, the distrust of faculty for trustees at those places is equally strong. I wonder if that’s as deeply rooted in history…)

• While Google won a major legal victory in its attempt to digitize millions of books, a new study suggests that all that big data might not be as useful for research as some scholars might hope.

• Joshua Altmanshofer wrote this in response to what he sees as media misunderstanding of Stephen Colbert, but I think it applies to most of the world’s problems:

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