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

The Christian Century Reviews My Lindbergh Bio

The latest review of Charles Lindbergh: A Religious Biography of America’s Most Infamous Pilot is also one of the most generous: Any Lindbergh biographer faces a challenge: to tell the truth about the past, both the good and the bad, with both empathy and unflinching honesty. Christopher Gehrz, a history professor at Bethel University in … More The Christian Century Reviews My Lindbergh Bio

Following Jesus: The Lutheran Tradition

As a Pietist who now worships within a Lutheran congregation, I’ve been eagerly awaiting this month’s installment of our year-long, ecumenical conversation about Following Jesus. Church historian Mark Ellingsen didn’t disappoint, offering a reflection on what he called Lutheranism’s “Evangelical Catholic” way of following Jesus. At least, that’s how he saw his more “confessional” branch … More Following Jesus: The Lutheran Tradition

Tuesday’s Podcast: The Ministry of an NBA Chaplain

Our sports podcast, The 252, returned to today with a new episode that looked back, at what’s happened since our Tokyo Olympics preview, and ahead, to the coming NBA season. In segment one, Chris, Sam, and I reviewed some favorite Olympic events and talked about what to expect in Beijing 2022 and Paris 2024. We … More Tuesday’s Podcast: The Ministry of an NBA Chaplain

“Antipathy to authoritarian forms”: An Interpretation of Pietism from Mid-1950s Bethel

One benefit of participating in the Following Jesus conversation this year is that I’ve been prompted to dig back into a variety of sources from what we’re calling “The Pietist Tradition.” One that recently arrived in my mailbox is From Head to Heart: A Compendium of the Theology of Philipp Jakob Spener. Edited by K. … More “Antipathy to authoritarian forms”: An Interpretation of Pietism from Mid-1950s Bethel