That Was The Week That Was


• My article on Christians and National Socialism can be found in the newest issue of Christian History Magazine.

• Nothing Rhymes with Gehrz, my newest podcast collaboration with Sam Mulberry, debuted.

• Why interfaith engagement is a civic imperative in a religiously diverse society.

• Two posts on World War I: one on the challenges involved in commemorating such a catastrophe; the other on how the war’s most famous front was named.

• And as March Madness begins, I tried to correct our president’s failure to fill out a bracket by employing tools of historical empathy and trying to think like him.

Trump Bracket on March 17, 2017
My “Trump Bracket” as of 1:30pm CDT on March 17


March Madness Update

I entered my “Trump Bracket” in ESPN’s March Madness contest, along with my own submission (“Gopher Ball”) to the annual #Twitterstorians group. So far Gopher Ball has been pretty mediocre: right in the middle of its group (tied for 16th) and all ESPN brackets (51%). But that’s a far sight better than my Trump picks, which languish near the bottom, better than less than 6% of ESPN picks.

…There and Everywhere

• Over at The Anxious Bench, I picked up on a post by Tim Challies and made five arguments for the importance of Christians studying history.

Meacham, American Lion• If we’re going to draw historical analogies between our 45th president and other leaders, perhaps we should stop looking beyond American history and instead consider figures like George Wallace.

• Meanwhile, President Trump paid a visit to the home of one of his populist forerunners.

• You know what America really needs to become great again? A second-person plural pronoun. Good thing one region of the country never lost it.

• Trump’s first budget elicited all kinds of criticism, with my boss one of the three Christian college presidents joining dozens of other evangelical leaders to protest the proposed cuts in foreign aid.

• And this president’s policies and rhetoric are having a troubling effect on church attendance.

• The most thought-provoking piece I read this week came from Peter Beinart, who argued that secularization is transforming both the right and left of the political spectrum — and not at all for the better.

• Russell Moore wasn’t fired by the leadership of the Southern Baptist Convention earlier this week, but the criticism he’s receiving from some pastors points to deep tensions in the country’s largest Protestant denomination.

• After a teaser in the Washington Post prompted a fierce response from Rod Dreher, Jamie Smith’s full, Augustinian critique of Dreher’s “Benedict option” came out this week.

• Later this week I’ll be introducing my Intro to History students to some recent controversies over commemoration. I think I’ll have them consider what the German experience can teach us about Confederate commemoration.

• My lamest recurring in-class joke is that I’m waiting for our physics department to provide our department with a time machine. But is time travel theoretically possible?