That Was The Week That Was


• My big blogging announcement: I’ll be taking Tommy Kidd’s place as a weekly contributor to The Anxious Bench, the history blog at the Patheos Evangelical channel. Look for my first AB post in three days…

• But that won’t stop me from blogging here… For example, about three of my favorite hymns that run counter to the relentless cheer of too much contemporary Christian music.

• Or my summer reading list.

• Or how I watched Hillary Clinton make history — through the eyes of my six-year old daughter.

Speaking of my kids… Those of you who remember my tearjerker of a post from their first day of school might be happy to learn that they safely completed kindergarten yesterday!

…There and Everywhere

• If, as some suggest, Bernie Sanders’ campaign evoked some of the fervor of the Second Great Awakening, will his defeat cause something like the “Great Disappointment” experienced by the more millennially-inclined participants in that revival?

• I’m kind of surprised that it’s been over sixty years since a majority of Americans started saying that they’d be comfortable voting for a woman for president…

• Donald Trump’s widely reported explanation of who Jesus is to him reminded at least one writer of Muscular Christianity.

• Hats off to Esquire for letting Laura Turner respond to some rather lazy commentary about evangelicals from one of my favorite long-form journalists, Charles P. Pierce.

(See also)

• Now here’s a more insightful analysis of that religious movement: David Bronkema on the narrow limits of evangelical advocacy efforts.

Lesesne Auditorium, Erskine College and Seminary
Lesesne Auditorium at Erskine College and Seminary

• One Christian college in South Carolina might part ways with its seminary. It’s an interesting story that touches on the future of theological education, the particular challenges of higher ed in rural areas (see also this article, if you’re a Chronicle subscriber), and the place of the liberal arts in colleges related to conservative denominations.

• Does a bill making its way through the California legislature threaten to limit faith-based higher education?

• The Guardian had a fascinating report on a complicated religious phenomenon: a wave of Muslim conversions to Christianity in post-Christian Europe.

• That report did note that some converts might be refugees hoping that a new religion would get them better treatment. Check out the religious test that asylum-seekers face in Britain!

• RIP Muhammad Ali, whose long list of celebrity acquaintances included Billy Graham.

• RIP Gordie Howe, “a representative—the perfect representative—of a certain kind of Canadianness.” Even if NPR wanted to claim him for another country…

• I wonder what Gordie Howe would have said about the proposed change to “O Canada“…

• At one point in my life, this would have been my dream job.

• “Why… hasn’t Midwestern literature emerged as a cohesive literary tradition in the public imagination?” The Chicago Tribune asked some authors, publishers, and scholars to field this question, and somehow none of them talked about Sinclair Lewis…

• As usual, Gracy Olmstead made the most interesting contribution to The American Conservative: asking about the implications of millennials going back home to live with their parents.

• The surprising role that McDonald’s restaurants play for lower-income Americans.

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