That Was The Week That Was

This week I wrapped up my devotional series on “The With-God Life,” shared some wise words from one of my favorite historiansstarted a new podcast exploring the importance of the liberal arts in the middle of a pandemic, and considered Christian responses to the polio scares of the 1950s. Elsewhere:

If you’re looking for more reading, you’ll find that sermon in this collection

• I mentioned C.S. Lewis’ “Learning in War-time” in the introduction to our Pandemics and Liberal Arts podcast. Here’s another take on the same sermon, and how it “[challenges] us to be thoughtful about what it is we should think about when we choose not to focus on the crisis at hand.”

• We’ll likely focus on philosophy in the next episode of our podcast. One philosopher wrestled with how we make meaning of a virus whose only purpose is to reproduce itself.

• It’s probably wishful thinking, but right now I’m okay hoping that COVID will help more people realize how much they need the humanities.

• I especially hope that’s true of college administrators and college students… but right now the former are mostly worrying that there’s not going to be enough of the latter next year.

• Is the coronavirus revealing the problems inherent in “the long American history of declaring ‘war’ on any conceivable enemy — whether physical, abstract, domestic or foreign”?

• But the history of one non-metaphorical war might teach us something about mourning the dead in a pandemic.

• One way that people are coping with COVID: reading, watching, and listening to old favorites.

• Another strategy: baking bread. (That’ll be the subject of my next post at The Anxious Bench.) But it can be hard to find an essential ingredient for those recipes.

I’m okay on taste and texture, but the appearance of my breads usually leaves something to be desired…

• Before Easter Sunday moves from expectation back to memory, consider Valerie Cooper’s perspective on the importance of resurrection in the black church tradition.

• A new survey finds that most Christians are complying with shelter-in-place orders, even on Sunday mornings. But evangelicals are disproportionately represented in the minority that is continuing to worship in person.

• More and more I find myself linking to posts by Bonnie Kristian, whose new column for Christianity Today explained the problem with invoking religious liberty protections in support of large-scale religious gatherings.

• Liberty University is being sued by students who claim that the school is trying to profit off of the coronavirus.

Creative Commons/Wikimedia

• One of America’s oldest, most influential megachurches picked its new senior pastor.

• Do half of all Americans think that the Bible should influence this country’s laws?

• The president of the oldest seminary associated with the country’s largest Protestant denomination changed his mind about Donald Trump. Jonathan Merritt explained why flip-flopping has been the hallmark of Al Mohler’s career.

• This is admittedly morbid, but… I’m not sure we’ve ever had a presidential election with two candidates this old… in the middle of a pandemic. So what happens if Trump or Joe Biden dies during the campaign (or after Election Day)?