That Was The Week That Was


We finished season 2 of The Pietist Schoolman Podcast with a listener feedback session that revisited the theme of Christian unity and asked after the political inclinations of Pietists.

• Meanwhile, it was four posts in four days on Christian higher education: quantifying the state of the humanities in evangelical colleges; what that says about evangelicalism; rethinking how Christian colleges relate to churches; and why, in spite of it all, I’m glad to be a history professor at one such institution.

…There and Everywhere

• I’m sure it was frustrating to have been a part of the United Methodist Church’s quadrennial general conference, which left unresolved a fractious debate over human sexuality, but it produced some fine religion reporting by Emily McFarlan Miller and Emma Green.

• Green also wrote a thought-provoking piece on how lawmakers in Indiana “exposed a set of difficult moral questions that pro-choice progressives tend to ignore in their quest to defend legal abortion.”

• As is often the case, the most interesting Christianity Today writing was hosted by its women’s blog, her.meneutics, where Stina Kielsmier-Cook reflected on her husband’s turn to agnosticism.

Armstrong, Medieval Wisdom for Modern Christians• It’s not just American megachurches whose pastors fall into scandal…

• Beth Allison Barr debunked yet another myth about medieval Christianity.

(Speaking of… This week saw the long-awaited publication of Medieval Wisdom for Modern Christians: Finding Authentic Faith in a Forgotten Age with C.S. Lewis, from my former colleague Chris Armstrong.)

• One of the worst slaughters of World War I took place in a country we won’t be able to visit during our January 2017 WWI travel course: Italy.

Historical fiction that a historian could love: “Rather than presenting a single, definitive story—an ostensibly objective chronicle of events—these books offer a past of competing perspectives, of multiple voices. They are not so much historical as archival: instead of giving us the imagined experience of an event, they offer the ambiguous traces that such events leave behind. These fictions do not focus on fact but on fact’s record, the media by which we have any historical knowledge at all. In so doing, such books call the reader’s attention to both the problems and the pleasures of history’s linguistic remains.

• I’m spending the morning attending commencement at Bethel University. I can only hope our speaker is as good as this one.

• I don’t actually know who our speaker is. I doubt that it’s a Hollywood actor, but then look who showed up last week at the country’s largest Christian university.

• InterVarsity Christian Fellowship named its first non-white president: Taiwanese American Tom Lin.

• The small Mississippi River town where my mom was born is trying to attract a college campus.

Red Wing bridge
Mom actually grew up on the other side of the river from Red Wing, in western Wisconsin

• The new “dropout factories” in K-12 education: online charter schools.

• There must be something about the end of the academic year that leaves people wanting to wrestle with the future of the liberal arts… or that of the humanities in an era that celebrates STEM.

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