Six Years of Blogging

I was too busy with church and family things to pay attention, but it finally struck me that last month marked two blogging anniversaries for me: six years since I launched The Pietist Schoolman, and one year since I joined The Anxious Bench as blogmeister and Tuesday contributor. I’m noodling on a separate post about how I’m rethinking my … More Six Years of Blogging

Public Uses of Romans 13 in American History

Last Friday I took issue with Vice President Mike Pence’s commencement address at the U.S. Naval Academy, in part because he exhorted graduates to “Follow the chain of command without exception. Submit yourselves, as the saying goes, to the authorities that have been placed above you.” His allusion to Romans 13:1-2 (or 1 Peter 2:13-14) got … More Public Uses of Romans 13 in American History

Thinking about the American Present via the European Past

It’s been about three weeks since last I blogged here at The Pietist Schoolman. Anything been happening? If you didn’t know, I spent most of January in Britain, Belgium, France, and Germany, where my friend Sam Mulberry and I were leading a travel course on the history of World War I. I’m sure I’ll have more to share … More Thinking about the American Present via the European Past

Happy Thanksgiving!

I’ve got a new post up today at The Anxious Bench, on the presence of three virtues in Abraham Lincoln’s original 1863 proclamation of a national day of thanksgiving. But that’s all the blogging I plan to do this week. Enjoy your Thanksgiving, and we’ll hope to see you back here next week, when I plan posts on teaching, academic … More Happy Thanksgiving!

My New Series on Writing Biography

Earlier this week I started a three-part series at The Anxious Bench on the challenges of writing biographies. I’m writing these posts without any real knowledge of what biographers go through, having never written a book of that sort. But like many historians who have reached mid-career, I’m contemplating such a project, reading more examples of it than usual, and starting … More My New Series on Writing Biography

My Open Letter on Faith, Hope, Love, and the Election

Prefacing my Anxious Bench post today, I admitted that I wasn’t thrilled that my Tuesday slot in that rotation left “me with the unenviable responsibility of posting on a particularly fractious Election Day. I thought about doing something as apolitical as possible, but ultimately decided I should address the election in some fashion. So after I cast my absentee ballot a … More My Open Letter on Faith, Hope, Love, and the Election

All Saints’ Day and the Stewardship of the Past

Almighty God, you have knit your people together in one communion in the mystical body of your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Grant us grace to follow your blessed saints in lives of faith and commitment, and to know the inexpressible joys you have prepared for those who love you, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and … More All Saints’ Day and the Stewardship of the Past

Reformed and Always Reforming… Even 499 Years Later

By the end of this week, Mark and I will have submitted the manuscript for our book on Pietism and the future of Christianity. As it happens, this stage concludes as churches like ours prepare to celebrate Reformation Sunday, and our book will come out in 2017 — the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. Indeed, Martin Luther is currently … More Reformed and Always Reforming… Even 499 Years Later

The Bonhoeffer Effect, “Unpleasant Parallels,” and the 2016 Election

Thanks to conservative intellectual Eric Metaxas, Dietrich Bonhoeffer has become a member of this crazy election’s extended cast of characters. At multiple points this year (most recently in a Wall Street Journal op-ed and then a series of tweets), Metaxas has hearkened back to his Bonhoeffer biography in order to make the case for supporting Donald Trump. We ARE responsible for … More The Bonhoeffer Effect, “Unpleasant Parallels,” and the 2016 Election