A WWI Speaking Announcement… and How Churches Can Commemorate the Armistice

It’s been a busy week elsewhere, so I’ve taken a brief break from Pietist Schoolman. But I’ll interrupt the hiatus long enough to share a couple of items related to the centennial of World War I: • First, in my capacity as a member of Minnesota’s WWI centennial commission… let me encourage all of you to … More A WWI Speaking Announcement… and How Churches Can Commemorate the Armistice

Off to the 2018 Meeting of the Conference on Faith and History

Just a short post as I prepare to head to the airport: I’m flying to Grand Rapids, Michigan, where the Conference on Faith and History is holding its biennial meeting at Calvin College. The undergraduate sessions are already underway, with the professional conference kicking off tonight with Peggy Bendroth’s address on “History and Faith in … More Off to the 2018 Meeting of the Conference on Faith and History

Announcing My “World Wars in Western Europe” Trip – June 6-16, 2019

Every other January since 2013, my Bethel colleague Sam Mulberry and I have taken students to Europe for a three-week course on the history of the two world wars. Whether we’re in Trafalgar Square or at a Canadian memorial in France or on the chilling grounds of Dachau, that travel course has become my favorite kind … More Announcing My “World Wars in Western Europe” Trip – June 6-16, 2019

“He who has a why to live for can bear with almost any how”

Yesterday was a surreal day at Bethel University: In the morning, a couple hundred employees crowded into a room in our student commons to hear our president explain significant cuts and restructuring in academic programs and co-curricular/administrative staffing, necessary to avoid the multi-million dollar deficits projected for the next two fiscal years. In the evening, … More “He who has a why to live for can bear with almost any how”

Why My Family Is Changing Churches (and Denominations)

Fifteen years ago this month, I walked into Salem Covenant Church in New Brighton, Minnesota. Save for a sabbatical in Virginia in 2016, I’ve been at Salem ever since. Not surprisingly, that congregation and its larger denomination, the Evangelical Covenant Church, have been regular topics here at The Pietist Schoolman. So I think I ought to … More Why My Family Is Changing Churches (and Denominations)

A Counterintuitive Non-Economic Argument for Majoring in the Humanities

“These days,” my local newspaper reported on Tuesday, “English majors are an increasingly rare breed on college campuses.” Whether at the University of Minnesota or nearby Augsburg University, fewer and fewer students were majoring in English — or history, philosophy, or most of the other disciplines traditionally lumped together as “the humanities.” Robert Cowgill, chair of Augsburg’s … More A Counterintuitive Non-Economic Argument for Majoring in the Humanities

Understanding the Importance of Journalism, As Americans and Christians

There are several good reasons to fear that American democracy is being irreparably damaged by the current administration. Foremost, in my opinion, is the way that Donald Trump and his political allies have waged relentless rhetorical war on the reporters, editors, and other journalists who are doing their best to seek truth, minimize harm, and act … More Understanding the Importance of Journalism, As Americans and Christians

Open Theism, Evangelicalism, and Anabaptism (and Pietism)

Yesterday Mennonite World Review reported that Fresno Pacific University (FPU) in California had removed the president of its seminary, Terry Brensinger, and announced that pastors Greg Boyd, Brian Zahnd, and Bruxy Cavey would no longer teach in the seminary’s M.A. program in ministry, leadership, and culture. According to MWR reporter Tim Huber, several students have complained to … More Open Theism, Evangelicalism, and Anabaptism (and Pietism)