That Was The Week That Was

Here…

• Who’s an evangelical? Do they really support Syrian refugees? Or are they shockingly Islamophobic?

• Oh, and remember to vote for our book — a finalist for the InterVarsity Press Readers’ Choice Awards.

…There and Everywhere

• There’s been renewed discussion about whether religions like Islam do or don’t inspire violence. But what if the causation runs in the other direction and it’s violence that inspires religion?

Stina Busman Jost• And if such discussions have you feeling less than hopeful, check out what my colleague Stina Busman Jost has to say about my favorite Christian virtue. (And then
look at some of the other posts from her still new blog.)

• For all my angst about evangelical responses to Islam and refugee resettlement, I am encouraged that influential conservatives like Russell Moore have offered wise counsel. On Facebook I even saw a rather progressive former student sharing a Desiring God post containing insights like this, “Jesus calls us to die daily to ourselves for the sake of others. There is no gain in having a secure nation if we lose our souls due to self-love (by making safety our highest good).”

• Less surprisingly, Sojourners has argued steadfastly that those whose Lord and Savior was a refugee should care for refugees today.

• And maybe the chief takeaway from all my analysis of evangelical attitudes on this and related issues is that “polling about America’s religious life is tricky.”

Fox, Augustine: Conversions to Confessions• Mark Lilla’s review of Robin Lane Fox’s new book about Augustine’s Confessions has me wanting to read or reread, in order of importance, (1) Confessions, (2) something by Mark Lilla, and (3) Fox’s book.

• Seventy years later, it’s still staggering to realize that “Allied prosecutors submitted some 3,000 tons of records” at the Nuremberg Trials — a legacy that Holocaust historian Edna Friedberg finds as important as the legal principles established.

• A much less known chapter from the WWII era: government-subsidized care for the children of Rosie the Riveter.

• Millions of Americans enrolled in college during the Great Recession, but only about 53% of those who started in the Fall of 2009 have graduated — with rates especially low among older and part-time students.

• Last year at least 21 for-profit educational companies who are on an Education Department financial watchlist nevertheless received at least $20 million in federal aid.

• The largest Christian company in that sector extended benefits to same-sex spouses of its employees.

• John Fea doesn’t tend to write blog posts as long as mine, but when he does, they’re typically great. To wit, his even-handed but firm response to Allen Guelzo’s unconvincing essay on how Christian scholars are tempted by the “illusion of respectability.”

• As he’s taken his daughter on college tours, John says that it’s been an education to see how the humanities are presented at a variety of schools.

• Wherever she lands, hopefully she’ll feel “physically and even emotionally safe” but “never feel intellectually safe.”

Lundin, Beginning with the Word• And hopefully she ends up learning from professors like Roger Lundin and Brett Foster, both eulogized this week by their former Wheaton colleague Alan Jacobs.

(I especially wish that I’d had the chance to know Lundin. As it is, we’re connected only through my acquaintance with his son and the coincidence that our most recent books shared the honor of being finalists for the same award. But I love what Jacobs has to say about Lundin’s imagination being “profoundly memorial, as well as historical…. for Roger the cultivation of memory, both personal and cultural, is an essential spiritual discipline, and one which Americans, in our haste always to fare forward, tend very much to neglect. We strain into the future, but, as Fitzgerald reminds us, “we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.” It was Roger’s distinctive calling as a teacher and scholar to encourage us to embrace that backwards pull, to use it to help us understand where we have come from, and to do honor to those who went before us.”)


One thought on “That Was The Week That Was

  1. Guelzo would be right on target if he told Evangelical scholars to speak the truth to their own constituencies. That’s where it’s most needed — not some chimerical “secular” threat.

    What if Noll and Marsden had not kept their 1979-80 debate with Francis Schaeffer private? What if they said loudly today what they had said then — that “American Exceptionalism” and the myth of a national founding that was “Christian” in nature is a bankrupt product of later ethno-nationalist propaganda that is in itself a secular message of “civil religion?”

    The need for this kind of message from authoritative voice has only grown over the past 35 years. The new scandal of the old Evangelical scholars is their silence.

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