That Was The Week That Was


• Hamilton! (Thanks for all the kind words on a post that obviously me took some time to write. But I especially appreciated the allusion in this tweet from Justin Taylor.)

• My Anxious Bench series on influential Christian writings that don’t take book form continued with a sentimental favorite: the table grace “Come, Lord Jesus, Be Our Guest.”

• And I shared sneak peeks of two chapters from our Pietism book, whose manuscript will be turned in just over a month from now: “the common priesthood for the common good” and “what’s wrong with Christianity today.”

…There and Everywhere

Vance, Hillbilly Elegy

• Ironically, nothing dominated social media this week like Andrew Sullivan’s reflection on the dehumanizing effects “of what we might now call living-in-the-web.” Feel free to skip everything else here and read this essay. Slowly.

• Behold: the five least effective international organizations.

J.D. Vance’s response to Hillary Clinton’s “basket of deplorables” comment reminded me that I need to read his memoir before I finish my sabbatical in Appalachia.

• No matter how you cut it, it’s a challenging time to be a College Republican.

• Lin-Manuel Miranda released a timely follow-up to Hamilton.

• Not long ago the New York Times ran a great piece by Jonathan Sheehan, who teaches John Calvin to his religiously diverse students at Cal-Berkeley. But Constance Furey (Indiana U.) asked if he went far enough in dealing with the implications of Calvin’s teachings: “I teach Calvinist predestination and other theological ideas in my secular classroom not because they stimulate critical thought (as Sheehan argues); not because they reveal that those who dismiss all ideas associated with God or angels or other extraterrestrials don’t know what they’re missing (although this, too, is a case that should be made); but because theology is the source of remarkable theories of human nature.”

Matteson, The Examination of a Witch
T.H. Matteson, “The Examination of a Witch” (1853) – Wikimedia

• One more post on the ESV translation controversy: my Anxious Bench colleague Kristin Du Mez wondered why that committee includes no women.

• Also at AB, Beth Allison Barr continue to fill the Middle Ages-sized hole in my historical training by telling the anomalous story of a 14th century witch burning in Ireland: “The real enemy of the central and even later middle ages were heretics, not witches…. The witch craze, as I am frequently telling my students, was an early modern phenomenon–not a medieval one.”

• Music producer T-Bone Burnett gave a remarkable keynote address at AmericanaFest, about art, science, technology, war, the sacred, being human, and American history: “Our history, our language, and our soul are recorded in our music. There is no deeper expression of the soul of this country than the profound archive of music we have recorded over the last century.”

• Art Remillard paid tribute to John Gagliardi, the one-of-a-kind former coach of one of Bethel’s arch-rivals.

• It’s non-fiction, but it sounds like the set-up to an unlikely short story: “When the Pakistani national baseball team arrived in Brooklyn…”

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