That Was The Week That Was


• Why I think that women, African Americans, and other Christians can help to “evangelize evangelicalism.”

• It’s not much to look at, but my faculty office is actually important to me.

…There (Anxious Bench)…

• Like millions of others around the world, I watched the royal wedding live. Unlike all of them, I marked the occasion by blogging about my favorite legacy of the English Reformation.

(To be honest, I only half-watched most of the widely-acclaimed wedding ceremony itself. But I’m glad I didn’t miss Michael Curry’s sermon on love.)

• Earlier in the week at Anxious Bench, I found a way to connect Charles Lindbergh, the prophet Ezekiel, a German WWI veteran, and a retired Bethel anthropologist.

• And Beth Barr wrote a powerful reflection on the meaning of Beth Moore’s open letter on the treatment of women in the church: “Maybe my daughter will not have to carry the heavy weight of misogynist theology that has weighed so many of us down for so long. Maybe she will not have to encounter the sexist and demeaning attitudes endured by Beth Moore. Maybe my daughter will be free to exercise her spiritual calling, whatever it may be, without artificial limits placed on her by (primarily) male leaders. Maybe my daughter will live in a better world.”

…and Everywhere

• One of the many reasons I like and admire John Fea is that he always tries to be fair-minded — even to someone he has criticized as relentlessly (and rightfully) as Robert Jeffress.

• Jeffress joined John Hagee in offering prayers at the opening of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem. Rich Mouw was unimpressed: “It was a shameful thing for evangelical pastors to be celebrating the opening of the embassy in Jerusalem while just a few miles away the Israeli army was killing dozens of Palestinian protesters against Israeli policies.”

Trump at Western Wall in Jerusalem
Donald Trump visits the Western Wall while in Jerusalem to open the new U.S. Embassy

• Credit Jerry Falwell, Jr. with inviting Jimmy Carter to be this year’s commencement speaker at Liberty University.

• If you know anything about Roger Olson, you might be surprised to see his nomination for America’s “most influential theologian.” (Just understand that he doesn’t necessarily mean “influential” in a wholly positive sense.)

• As always, Conor Friedersdorf is a good person of the Right for people of the Left to read: “…it strikes me as odd that there are progressives who find it plausible that inflammatory rhetoric could influence the number of people who join al-Qaeda or isis, or become suicide bombers … but find it absurd to think the rhetoric of vocal alt-right haters could plausibly influence how many join the alt-right, or support Trump.”

• The New York Times profiled the Indonesian family whose father and sons helped bomb local Christian churches.

1846 Portrait of John Brown
Daguerrotype of John Brown (ca. 1846) – Wikimedia

• Looking back at the career of abolitionist John Brown, James Schaap asked “At what point does faith become fanaticism?”

• Smithsonian Magazine has had some interesting articles of late: e.g., this one on the dangers facing early air mail pilots.

• The Christian Science Monitor noticed the phenomenon of historians analyzing “big data.”

• Anyone who is interested in education reform eventually studies Finland… so I’ve been expecting an article about history education in that country.

• My state is getting rainier — or, at least, bigger rain storms. FiveThirtyEight explained why that’s troubling.