That Was The Week That Was

Here at Pietist Schoolman I previewed a new course on sports history — and debuted its accompanying podcast — and shared some images and thoughts about our January trip to Europe to study the ruins of the world wars. At The Anxious Bench I encouraged fellow evangelicals to check out a new Anabaptist blog.

Elsewhere, here’s some of what I was reading this week:

Mark O. Hatfield
Mark O. Hatfield (1922-2011) – U.S. Senate Historical Office

• David Swartz took a critical look at the past and present of the National Prayer Breakfast. It’s been a long time since it hosted such a forthrightly prophetic voice as Mark Hatfield

• If you’re going to read just one think piece to gear up for tomorrow’s Super Bowl, make it Paul Putz’s on the history of evangelical chaplains in the NFL. (And then listen to our Super Bowl-themed episode of “The 252“!)

• Leith Anderson announced his retirement as head of the National Association of Evangelicals.

• House speaker Nancy Pelosi addressed the annual presidents’ conference of the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities.

• I’m not sure that any Democratic presidential hopeful is eager to get George Will’s endorsement… but he made a good case for my personal favorite for 2020.

• It’s generally foolish to pay too much attention to any particular tweet from the current POTUS, but his recent plug for teaching the Bible in public schools prompted a useful response from a scholar who studies that very subject.

• Thanks to my Snelling Ave. neighbor Jonathan Den Hartog for making the case for the history major to Gospel Coalition readers.

Maya Rudolph, Ted Danson, D'Arcy Carden in The Good Place
Guest star Maya Rudolph with Ted Danson and D’Arcy Carden in the season 2 finale of The Good Place

• What Christians can learn from a sitcom creator whose projects (including current personal fave The Good Place) invariably “focus on two things: diverse communities of people and how to love them well.”

Yet another study found that humanities students end up earning good salaries.

• A recent article on artificial intelligence in the classroom reminded Adam Laats of certain fundamentalist attempts to “teacher-proof” education.

• While historically black colleges and universities are getting some support in their struggle to survive, they rarely attract the kind of “transformational donations” that major research universities and elite private colleges announce.

• Another private college history professor here in the Twin Cities is at the epicenter of a debate over the limits of academic freedom.

• My colleagues in Bethel’s political science department are looking for a new American politics specialist.

• I’ve never appreciated my letter carrier as much as this past week, when air temperatures here in the Twin Cities sank below -20°F.

• It’s hard to believe, but this man has helped edited one-third of all Wikipedia entries in English.