That Was The Week That Was


• I couldn’t spend four weeks at Yale without writing about its World War I memorials

• …which are right next to the auditorium where Charles Lindbergh made his first public address against U.S. participation in World War II.

• In other news, I preached a sermon about sibling conflict, grace, and Christian unity. (A reminder that tomorrow I’ll be preaching at Cape Cod Covenant in Brewster, Massachusetts. I drive a CR-V rather than a horse, but otherwise I’m starting to feel like a circuit rider.)

…There and Everywhere

• White House press secretary Sarah Sanders was turned away from a restaurant in Virginia, prompting a big conversation about civility. My favorite response came from Jesuit journalist Sam Sawyer, who pointed out that the “way Jesus used table fellowship in the Gospels was morally transformative—but by inclusion, not by exclusion.”

• While Martin Luther King, Jr. is (rightly) cited as a model of civility, it’s good to remember that most white Americans didn’t see him that way in his lifetime.

• An old post of mine made a cameo in Kate Shellnut’s fine analysis of patriotic songs in Christian worship.

• Also at Christianity Today, Kristin Du Mez offered an insightful review of John Fea’s Believe Me, which officially hit shelves this Thursday.

• But if you have time for only one piece by Kristin this week, make it her call for the church to “confront the harm done to victims of abuse and then consider how its distortion of the gospel has long enabled violence against women and a broad abuse of power in the church.”

Knoll & Bolin, She Preached the Word• The authors of a new book on women’s ordination in America pointed out one implication of their research: that “one way for religious congregations to slow the attrition from liberals and Democrats is to open their pulpits, altars, and priesthoods to women. Doing so results in higher levels of religious activity and involvement from liberals (and women) while not alienating conservatives (or men).”

• How you treat immigrants might have spiritual implications.

• Most interesting religion story of the week: Latino Muslims in Chicago.

• Do we need to distinguish “free speech” from “just access“?

• It wasn’t until the 20th century redrew borders that we stopped taking seriously Poland’s “claim to be one of the major birthplaces of the European Reformation.”

• Visiting Boston last weekend got me wanting to learn more about the American Revolution… including its global context.

• “The liberal arts will not save your soul,” contended E.J. Hutchinson, but such an education can still “be a salve… to alleviate our myriad communal pathologies.”

• That, and they prepare financial planners — at least they do at colleges in Minnesota.