• Bethel hosted another colloquium on Pietism (if you missed it, you can watch everything here), which made me think again about the notion of a “usable past.”
• What happens when historians have too much evidence?
• The War on Christmas is over.
• I’ve decided to stick with Twitter and Facebook, but only for certain purposes.
…There and Everywhere
• It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas… nowhere more so than The Anxious Bench, where I wrote about the Nazi version of the holiday, Kristin Du Mez reflected on the implications of a Dutch carol, and Beth Barr shared a 15th century sermon about the Prince of Peace.
• “Hey Prof. Gehrz,” some Western Civ student will one day ask, “what’s Stoicism?” “Here, read this,” I’ll email back, “It’s from the New York Times‘ Fashion section.”
• “Lutherans have maintained a grip on Minnesota culture in a way it hasn’t in other parts of the country,” one of our Pietism colloquium speakers told the Star Tribune, and a lot of them are excited about the 500th anniversary of the 95 Theses.
• “…the story was too weird for fiction,” his publisher told German novelist Norman Ohler, when he discovered evidence of massive drug use by Nazi leaders and German soldiers in WWII. “Just tell it straight, he was advised.”
• Good News for Modern Man, the memorably illustrated, contemporary translation that I grew up reading, turned fifty.
• Ta-Nehisi Coates reflected on the meaning of the Obama presidency: “Obama was born into a country where laws barring his very conception—let alone his ascendancy to the presidency—had long stood in force. A black president would always be a contradiction for a government that, throughout most of its history, had oppressed black people. The attempt to resolve this contradiction through Obama—a black man with deep roots in the white world—was remarkable. The price it exacted, incredible. The world it gave way to, unthinkable.”
• What’s the importance of “national history“? John Fea revisited that question as part of his series of posts on “identity politics.”
• Does Trump’s election actually open the door for a renewal of the political center?
• I want to believe a new study finding that religion doesn’t actually drive skepticism about climate change. But then a group of Southern Baptist leaders issued this endorsement of Trump’s nominee to lead the Environmental Protection Agency…
• I knew that the Clinton campaign had done little to reach out to evangelicals who were not all that thrilled with the Republican option. But to refuse even to do an interview with Christianity Today… Ruth Graham reviewed what Michael Wear called the “political malpractice” of ignoring a full quarter of the electorate.Ran
• If you’re interested in the intersection of religion and journalism, read this enlightening interview with NPR reporter (and Christian college graduate) Sarah McCammon. (H/T Michial Farmer)
• All y’all can fight for Rogue One tickets. I’m more excited by Silence.