That Was The Week That Was

This week I considered the problem of evangelical catechesis, reflected on the length of biographies, and reported on the Anabaptist round of the Following Jesus conversation. Elsewhere:

• The history of the American Civil War led Dan Williams to wonder “why, despite abundant historical and contemporary evidence that biblical interpretations vary widely, does the Bible continue to be venerated as a source of unchanging, clear moral authority?”

1858 bible belonging to an Illinois soldier — Houston Baptist University

• Also at The Anxious Bench, David Swartz reported on the phenomenon of Christians from the Global South coming to the United States as missionaries.

• “Paradoxically,” wrote pastor-sociologist Tony Tian-Ren Lin, Americans’ “rejection of immigrants and refugees is a rejection of the American Dream so cherished in this country. It is the rejection of a narrative that this nation desperately needs.”

• Evangelicals shouldn’t dismiss historical critique as “deconstruction.”

• “Those of us who have been birthed or shaped by evangelicalism will never not be affected by it,” wrote Hannah Anderson. “You can be a former evangelical or a postevangelical. You can be a neo-evangelical. You can be a recovering evangelical—even a reforming evangelical. But you will never not be defined by your relationship to evangelicalism.”

Licensed by Creative Commons (Amy Aletheia Cahill)

• What is the meaning of a cemetery? A Catholic sexton offered remarkable insight.

• An Israeli archeological dig found further evidence of the long history of women serving as Christian clergy.

• Pretty big news in the world of American religious history: Thomas Kidd is moving from Baylor to a Southern Baptist seminary.

• Is there evidence that backs up “the claims that liberal arts advocates routinely make about these institutions”?

• Is there a teacher shortage in America, or are teachers staying in their jobs despite growing dissatisfaction?

• Meet the Minnesota social studies teacher who created the original Oregon Trail video game.

One site on the actual Oregon Trail — Bureau of Land Management

Finally, let me suggest a few notable posts from earlier this month (since I skipped doing a link wrap the last two weekends):

• Amen: the discipline of history is “not an inert study of the static past, but a never-ending process of discovery.”

• Are more and more college professors feeling trapped in their positions?

• All sorts of higher ed observers were aghast at a planned dormitory at the University of California, Santa Barbara that (a) crams over 4,000 students in a block with few windows and (b) was designed by a billionaire amateur. But it may also be “the logical outcome of several familiar trends: donor-driven public institutions, colleges desperately competing for students, and a nationwide housing shortage.”

• Do developing countries still have a right to pollute as the world grapples with climate change?

• I used a Betty Crocker recipe when I baked an apple pie yesterday, but for a hundred years, that fictional character has had particular significance for American women.