That Was The Week That Was


• I paid tribute to a friend and mentor, gone too soon.

• What if Christian colleges and universities modeled Christian unity for the world?

• And it was good to have Jared back on the blog, for a guest-post on 18th century Moravians wrestling with pacifism.

…There and Everywhere

Monument to Thomas à Kempis
A monument to Thomas à Kempis, author of The Imitation of Christ – Creative Commons (Onderwijsgek)

• If you’re still looking for Lenten reading, may I suggest the late medieval devotional that was once second only to the Bible in popularity with Christian readers?

• You might think that a leading religion journalist would be thrilled that a movie about the Boston Globe investigation into sexual abuse by Catholic priests won the Best Picture Oscar. He was excited, but that didn’t reduce Bob Smietana’s concern about the present state of the “God-beat.”

• “For [Hillary] Clinton,” argued Kristin Kobes Du Mez, “bringing faith into politics isn’t anything new. She has long argued that it was her Christian ethics that led her to work tirelessly on behalf of poor women and children, to fight for health care reform, in short, to devote her entire career to politics. However, few people, on the left or the right, had ears to hear.” But that was before Donald Trump’s presidential campaign…

• Speaking of, a leading member of the board of Liberty University publicly questioned Jerry Falwell, Jr.’s vocal support for Trump.

• But in light of that candidate’s continued success on Super Tuesday, Gracy Olmstead wondered about the effectiveness of hashtags like #NeverTrump.

• Randall Balmer isn’t surprised that evangelicals support Trump: “America’s evangelicals have become secular, more interested in the pursuit of wealth and political influence than fidelity to the teachings of Jesus.”

• To Europeans, Trump is nothing new.

• Unfortunately, neither is anti-Semitism.

Del Berg and other Abraham Lincoln Brigade volunteers
Berg is second from right in this photo – Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives

• Reading David Graham’s obituary of Del Berg, the last American veteran of the Spanish Civil War, is a good reminder that the radical left is as much a part of American political history as the other spots on the spectrum.

• If you need a break from the politics of 2016, try Tracy McKenzie’s new series revisiting quotations from politics past. Or Roger Olson’s call for civility: “Never in my life have I witnessed so much lack of civility, so much unreasonable rhetoric, so much vile and venom as part of an American political campaign. But what really disturbs me is that real Christians—people of genuine, heartfelt faith in Jesus Christ—are joining the fray.”

• On campus free speech debates aren’t getting the press they got in the fall, but Conor Friedersdorf is still concerned.

• The resignation of Simon Newman, the embattled president of Mount St. Mary’s University, led one Chronicle of Higher Education commentator to warn other schools against hiring leaders from the corporate world(subscription required) But other experts doubted that such appointments were going away.

Grand Canyon University logo
As of 2015, Grand Canyon enrolled about 75,000 students: roughly 20% at its Arizona campus and 80% online

• The Higher Learning Commission halted the attempt of a large Christian for-profit university to go non-profit, in large part because Grand Canyon University “would have relied too heavily on a separate for-profit entity to provide academic and student-support services.”

• Nevertheless, for-profit corporations do increasingly provide a wide array of services to non-profit colleges and universities.

• Eastern University may offer a helpful case study of holding a conversation about human sexuality on a Christian campus.

• “Ironically, given the concern of Christian universities to establish healthy communities,” Megan Von Bergen warned that “many schools are broken in ways that convey broken values to students, particularly concerning their academic values.”

• Plagiarism is a common problem in higher ed. But the crossword world?

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