Thanks to everyone who commented (here, on Facebook, by email) on yesterday’s post! I quoted from recent posts by historians Neil J. Young and Thomas Kidd, both of whom drew on research and personal experience with evangelical churches to argue that evangelicals are far less concerned with partisan politics than media coverage (and a recent … More Counterpoint: How Evangelicals Are Politicized
This will push into next week my long-gestating post on whether it’s possible to write persuasively for an evangelical audience, but I wanted to think aloud about one question that’s probably bigger than that post: Just how much do politics matter to evangelicals? That first came to mind last month, while I was reading Alec Ryrie’s Protestants: … More How Much Do Politics Matter to Evangelicals?
Fake news. Alternative facts. Post-truth. When those are the catch phrases of the moment, this portion of my employer’s statement of core values can seem both quaint and urgently needed: As learners, we are critical thinkers and problem-solvers committed to academic excellence and intellectual rigor. At the same time, we are truth-seekers, recognizing that all truth-scientific, artistic, philosophical, … More How Christian Scholars Seek Truth in a “Post-Truth” World
Last week at Anxious Bench, I had a chance to interview historian Paul Putz, who just launched Sportianity, a blog on “the unique cultural world that stands at the intersection of sports and (mostly evangelical Protestant) Christianity.” When I asked Paul to share significant changes in “Sportianity” since sportswriter Frank Deford coined the term in 1976, … More Sportianity Goes Global
The rest of this summer our pastors are going preach on what David’s life teaches us about leadership. Jonna got things started this past Sunday with a fine meditation on how God, when he chose David to be anointed as king, looks beyond the superficial to see the heart. (A good fit with the Tom … More The Violence of God
“What’s Pietism?” It’s one of the most common questions I’m asked, and I still don’t have a concise answer cued up and ready to go. I’ll try to do better on that count before our book comes out this fall. But at least in some respects, I just want to sing yesterday’s pulpit hymn at … More Pietism in a (Musical) Nutshell
A couple years ago our family went to southern Iowa for a reunion. Noticing that the nearest town was called Moravia, I decided to take a morning to drive around… and discovered several examples of Moravian, Brethren, and other Pietist groups that had settled in that part of America. That tour of “Pietist Iowa” ended … More Pietist “Communism”: The Amana Colonies
Last week I finished indexing The Pietist Option. I know that many authors regard that task as a chore to be outsourced. But can I be honest with you all? I love doing that kind of thing. (Doubt it? I once helped my kids reorganize their books… according to the Dewey Decimal System.) In fact, I … More Does Christian Theology Neglect the Old Testament?
Invited to Rochester, New York to speak in July 1852, the abolitionist Frederick Douglass asked if his listeners meant ” to mock me, by asking me to speak to-day?” After all, he said, “This Fourth [of] July is yours, not mine. You may rejoice, I must mourn.” Being asked to celebrate a slaveholding country as a former slave brought to his … More “By the Rivers of Babylon”: Thoughts on Exile for the 4th of July
The (early) reviews are in, and I’m encouraged to see that The Pietist Option has been well received by a distinguished roster of endorsers. You can read the current set of endorsements at the InterVarsity Press page for the book and I’ve already mentioned the blurbs by Dave Kersten and Brian McLaren in earlier posts. But here’s a … More “Timely… Practical… Immensely Winsome” (Early Reviews of The Pietist Option)