That Was The Week That Was


• One aspect of troubling allegations coming out of Wheaton College reminded me of the importance of interfaith engagement.

• Too often, rural ministry is invisible to those of us in the cities and suburbs. (One link I forgot to include: a reflection by a Vineyard church planter in Lancaster, Ohio.)

• How you can help spread the word about The Pietist Option, just over a week away from publication.

…There and Everywhere

• Details started to emerge about Wheaton’s original response to the 2016 incident: ABC News learned that administrators didn’t find the alleged victim as credible as those he accused. (And see Adam Laats’ blog for some historical context on how “thoughtful evangelicals wondered if the pressures that inevitably accompanied sports success threatened the mission of their religious institutions.”)

Jenkins, Crucible of Faith• Philip Jenkins added to his long list of publications: a book exploring historical reasons for differences between the Christian Bible’s two testaments.

• Another of our Anxious Bench colleagues, Beth Allison Barr, is a medievalist… but seems equally gifted at doing the 20th century history of women’s leadership in Texas Baptist churches.

• Is any publication’s editorial board “faced with a harder task” than that of Christianity Today?

• Speaking of… CT just published Heath Carter’s review of John Wigger’s new history of the PTL Network. Opening line: “The apostle Paul considered himself the ‘chief of sinners,’ but then again, he never met Jim Bakker.”

• Yahoo News ran a terrific profile of Jemar Tisby, the historian who founded the Reformed African American Network (which, Yahoo reports, is going to drop the first word from its title).

Nabeel Qureshi, a prominent convert from Islam to evangelical Christianity, lost his year-long battle with cancer.

• Can white evangelicals — at least, those with lower incomes — be persuaded to stop supporting Donald Trump? One progressive thinks so.

• While Trump pursues a war of words with North Korea, the president of South Korea has sought diplomatic solutions. Is that because he’s a Roman Catholic?

• I’ll look forward to reading John Fea’s reflections on this week’s “State of the Evangelical Mind” conference, but meanwhile, enjoy the meeting of two great evangelical minds: John Wilson interviewing Dan Taylor.

Farewell to a fascinating project: the Dictionary of American Regional English.

• I have to admit that I’ve only seen about ten minutes of the massive new Vietnam War documentary series from Ken Burns and Lynn Novick… but perhaps that’s okay, if another historian’s assessment is correct: “…it’s a series of stories, but not really a history of the war…. But it substitutes vignettes for ideas, personal anecdotes for larger structural factors, bathos for analysis. And it ends up providing a misguided view of the war, one that has politically conservative consequences (ironic because Burns himself is openly liberal) by shifting attention away from the historical, material reasons for American intervention and focusing on 79 people interviewed who were directly involved in Vietnam.”

• Finally, read this Army officer’s reflection (published in The American Conservative) on the scarcity of military dissent: “So today, my peers are silent. Professional officers are volunteers; dissenters are seen as little more than petulant whiners, or oddball nuts. It is hard to know why, exactly, but the increasing cognitive and spatial distance of contemporary soldiers from society at large seems a likely culprit. Combine that with the Republican Party’s veritable monopoly on the political loyalties of the officer corps and you have yourself a lethal combination.”