What Is Bethel? The Moments That Make Up Our History

Earlier this week I was invited to talk about Bethel’s history at a dinner celebrating the university’s 150th anniversary. For once I spoke without notes, but here’s the best I can do to reconstruct what I said: my attempt to make our history more personal for more people, rather than focusing on the stories of … More What Is Bethel? The Moments That Make Up Our History

Following Jesus: The Wesleyan Tradition

“If Lutheranism is the parent of Pietism,” I began my response this month in the Following Jesus conversation, “then surely the Wesleyan Tradition is the closest cousin to my own.” Started by English Protestants who had been profoundly shaped by their encounters with Pietism, Methodism and the other Christian movements that originated with John Wesley … More Following Jesus: The Wesleyan Tradition

The Debut of Our Newest Podcast: College for Christians

Tonight I’m happy to announce the debut of our newest podcast: The latest in many collaborations between Sam Mulberry and me, College for Christians is a weekly series of half-hour conversations meant to help Christian high school students and their parents navigate the incredibly complex world of higher education: not just picking a college, but … More The Debut of Our Newest Podcast: College for Christians

Following Jesus: The Pietist Tradition

“Unlike every other participant in this year-long conversation,” I wrote early in my lead essay this month for Following Jesus, “the Pietist Tradition has no ecclesial shape or institutional structure. And the number of Christians worldwide who identify as Pietist is vanishingly small.” But what Roger Olson calls the Pietist ethos shows up in virtually … More Following Jesus: The Pietist Tradition

Centered on Jesus: A Lenten Devotional from the Faculty of Bethel University

If you’ve been wondering why this blog has been so quiet this far into 2022, it’s partly because I’ve been working hard on a project that came to mind at the end of 2021 and came to fruition yesterday. Last December I enjoyed several entries in The Advent Project, a multi-media devotional from the Center … More Centered on Jesus: A Lenten Devotional from the Faculty of Bethel University

A New Book about “The Second Greatest Lutheran Theologian”

According to church historian Carter Lindberg, that’s how German Lutherans in the early 18th century thought of Philipp Jakob Spener: second only to Martin Luther himself. Born this day in 1635, Spener is less remembered nowadays, but played a prominent role in renewing early modern Protestantism, as a popular preacher and writer and the founding … More A New Book about “The Second Greatest Lutheran Theologian”

Following Jesus: The Anglican Tradition

At first blush, it might seem like Anglicanism and Pietism would have little in common. “But in ways expected and not,” I wrote yesterday, “Randall Balmer’s essay resonated more strongly with me than any other preceding it” in the Following Jesus conversation. It’s not just that we’re both historians and Anglophiles with a fondness for … More Following Jesus: The Anglican Tradition