• This isn’t going to be anyone’s go-to source for Campaign ’16 coverage, but I did suggest that the Trump candidacy presents an opportunity and challenge for pastors.
• Is mercy making a comeback?
• If so, Pope Francis is playing a big role… He played a smaller role in the newest episode of The Pietist Schoolman Podcast, alongside more likely examples of the Pietist ethos today.
…There and Everywhere
• We’re going to have to wait until January 25th to learn the design of the new World War I memorial in Washington, but while you’re on the edge of your seat, check out a similar commemorative process underway in New Zealand.
• Bones found at a prehistoric site in Kenya suggest that war might be an even older human experience than we thought.
• John Fea is no culture warrior, but he does think that there’s significant tension between evangelicals and secular progressives: “Whether it be academia, popular entertainment, or some other sector of culture, secular progressivism is a real threat to evangelical Christian values. Christian culture warriors are often sloppy and usually inconsistent in the way that they apply Christian faith to public life, but not all of them are crazy.”
• You’ve got to hand it to Donald Trump: he inspires criticism from lots of angles, from the leading intellectuals of the conservative movement to a Liberty University seminarian who contrasted the real estate’s rhetoric with the humility of Jesus.
• Once again, I appreciate that David Swartz is looking for the international context of seemingly national events in religion (in this case, the relationship between InterVarsity and Black Lives Matter).
• The newest twist in the Larycia Hawkins story at Wheaton: her colleagues on the Faculty Council unanimously voted to ask the administration to end its attempt to terminate her employment. This didn’t happen, and the matter will come before a faculty personnel committee (on February 11) before Wheaton president Phil Ryken makes his final recommendation to the school’s board.
• Whatever they think of this particular case, current Wheaton prof Tracy McKenzie and former Wheaton prof Alan Jacobs continued to argue that religious colleges could both require assent to certain truth-claims and be bastions of academic freedom.
• What do you know? A liberal arts education is demonstrably, quantifiably superior to other models in some significant respects. (Or so says one study that I desperately want to believe.)
• The country’s provosts are convinced: over 90% believe (two-thirds strongly) in the centrality of liberal arts education, even for professional programs.
• Walter Moss is the latest historian to emphasize the importance of cultivating empathy.
• To this end, perhaps historians should integrate more dance into their teaching…
• My new favorite Twitter feed summarizes those contestant interviews that are the most awkward part of any episode of Jeopardy!