‘Twas a quiet week here at the home office, primarily because I ended up writing obituaries at our department blog for two retired colleagues who died within a few days of each other: political scientist Bill Johnson and historian Kevin Cragg. I added a longer, more personal tribute to Kevin at The Anxious Bench, where I also interviewed former Bethel Seminary professor Joel Lawrence about an upcoming conference on the theme of “Reconstructing Evangelicalism.”
• Jesus probably didn’t train to be a carpenter, but that doesn’t mean his actual trade was irrelevant to his life and ministry.
• Nancy French shared a powerful story about the nature of civility — and the hard, relational work it can require.
• “Rather than participating anxiously” in politics, wrote David Demaree, “Christians are better served putting forth ideas for a healthier liberal democracy in the free spirit of play.”
• Like Michael Gerson, I suspect a post-Roe America would do well to look to European law on abortion, which “engages in legal and ethical balancing because there are contending liberal values that require balancing — a public responsibility to value human dignity and a public duty to respect the autonomy of those who become pregnant.”
• David Brooks both recalled the appeal of conservatism and asked how that worldview (which, like any other, “has the vices of its virtues”) turned into Trumpism.
• Jobs I’m glad I don’t have: GOP lawmaker who voted to impeach Trump after the January 6th insurrection but has struggled to know how to proceed since then.
• Speaking of right-wing coups against American democracy…
Did you know that a Marine Corps general likely helped to foil a plot against FDR early in the New Deal?
• It seems like any adherent of any of the world’s major religions should be more hesitant to share the misinformation proliferating on social media.
• As we wrapped up my European history course this week, I mentioned the role of African immigrants in reshaping religion on that increasingly post-Christian continent. Likewise, African immigrants to this country tend to be highly religious.
• The latest pastor to face a sexual misconduct inquiry is a neo-Anabaptist who leads the Meeting House, one of the largest churches in Canada.
• Is the country’s leading Baptist university doing enough to form a Christian faculty? One Baylor professor doesn’t think so.