That Was The Week That Was

Fear not, readers: I will blog more here in February. But between putting the finishing touches on my J-term course and on our Lenten devotional (coming soon!), all the blogging I could muster was a Holocaust remembrance piece. Elsewhere:

• One of the most gripping moments in the sentencing hearing for Larry Nassar, the physician convicted of sexually abusing gymnasts, came from Rachael Denhollander, who spoke of grace and forgiveness.

But I hope that everyone on Christian social media who shared that testimony also shares Denhollander’s op-ed piece for the New York Times, in which she writes that the experience of being abused cost her “her church” and warns that “[f]ear of jeopardizing some overarching political, religious, financial or other ideology — or even just losing friends or status — leads to willful ignorance of what is right in front of our own eyes, in the shape and form of innocent and vulnerable children.”

• At this point, pretty much everything Kate Bowler writes is essential, including her advice on how to talk (and not to talk) to people with stage IV cancer.

• You should also add Religion & Politics to your reading list, for pieces like this one on the relationship between South Asian immigration and American evangelicalism.

• In 2018, it might take a Catholic socialist to convince political conservatives that Donald “Trump’s administration has ushered in a virulently antisocial politics that dissolves the most basic bonds and leaves individuals powerless against both market and state.”

• Please join me in welcoming historian and frustrated grader Scott Culpepper to the blogosphere!

• A Missouri Synod university reversed its decision to ban an LGBTQ student group.

• Like John Fea, I found this line from Glenn Tinder quite thought-provoking: “Underlying prophetic criticism of the Church, therefore, is a loyalty and respect not present in any other kind of social criticism.”

• Thomas Kidd had a fascinating post at Evangelical History about the Christian rhetoric of Antichrist (as opposed to the Antichrist).

• I often talk about letter writing in my course on World War I, but I hadn’t considered just how important that mode of communication was half a century earlier, in the American Civil War.

• So that’s why I don’t have a million Twitter followers!

• Thanks to editor and blogger Elliot Ritzema for taking the time to read and review The Pietist Option: “I don’t know what a resurgence in Pietism might lead to down the road, but I think in the short term those who are looking for renewal and revival in American Christianity could do a lot worse than recovering a Pietist spirit that seeks to foster a living faith and love toward God and neighbor.”

• I hope that all those Evangelical Covenant pastors who got our book this past week also take the time to read Jay Phelan’s piece on Pietism and justice.

• And that anyone in the Brethren tradition reads Jason Barnhart’s explanation of the influence of Radical Pietism on that branch of the Christian family tree.

Reading this news, I suddenly got an intense desire for Swedish meatballs and lingonberries. (Granted, that’s not entirely unusual for me.)

• “As Jesus said,” wrote historian and non-Tom Brady fan John Turner, “God sends rains on the just and the unjust. For some reason, he makes it pour in Foxborough.”

• If you — like me — are a fan of European board games like Ticket to Ride and Settlers of Catan, you’ll definitely want to read Jonathan Kay’s article in The Atlantic.