On this week’s special episode of The 252 (“Sports talk radio as done by academics”), Chris, Sam, and I talked about baseball’s cheating scandal and the Mennonite college graduate who’s making history at the Super Bowl. But mostly, this episode exists for the sake of a long interview we recorded with Greg Jennings, a two-time Pro Bowl … More Wednesday’s Podcast: Inside the Life of an NFL Player
Is evangelical opposition to Donald Trump simply evidence of elitism? That was the argument of Matthew Schmitz, who didn’t so much counter Christianity Today editor-in-chief Mark Galli’s critique of Trump as dismiss Galli and his CT colleagues as elite evangelicals — and therefore, by Schmitz’s definition, not really evangelical at all: …evangelical leaders who have come … More The Problems and Possibilities of Evangelical Populism
One consequence of living in a time of political polarization, echo chambers, and epistemic closure is that it’s rare to be genuinely surprised by any political statement. For example, I struggle to think of any response to the impeachment of Donald Trump that wasn’t predictable — on either side of that debate. Any response, that … More On Christianity Today Calling for Trump’s Removal from Office
Over the weekend, it seemed like virtually every Christian college professor in my social media feed was reading “The Evangelical Mind,” an essay by theologian Adam Kotsko, who was raised in a conservative evangelical home, by parents who were in many ways at the vanguard of the movement. The more I have reflected on my … More Am I an Evangelical?
There’s a lot to like about the Netflix series The Crown, but I’m particularly struck that it’s that rarest of TV shows: one that takes religion seriously. In season 1, that theme showed up as the family of Queen Elizabeth II educate her about her role. Her dying grandmother insists that “Monarchy is God’s sacred mission … More Religion in Season 3 of The Crown
It gives me absolutely no satisfaction to know that my most-read post so far of 2019 was one explaining for a broader audience the debate over human sexuality in my home denomination. I wrote it in advance of the Evangelical Covenant Church’s annual meeting last June in Omaha. Then on the other side of that … More Another Congregation Leaves the Covenant Church
Earlier this month I attended the memorial service for Dr. Jim Johnson, who spent thirty years teaching U.S. history at Bethel. Jim retired about a decade before I arrived, and we’d only met a handful of times over the years. So I felt a bit like an interloper in a room full of his closest … More A Funeral and Four Thanksgivings
Here’s the text of my Chapel talk at Bethel University last Friday morning. I’ll skip past some of the introductory remarks — mostly clarifying that Pietism, lamentably, has nothing to do with pie — and get right into the biblical passage for the talk. I explained that Luke 24 is what G.W. Carlson had urged … More The Pietist Option for Bethel (Luke 24)
If things seem quiet around this blog, it’s because I’m preparing to give my first Bethel Chapel talk this Friday morning. Having taken themes from my book with Mark Pattie and taught about “Pietist options” for Evangelical Covenant, Lutheran, and Baptist churches, I’m thrilled to be invited to explain for students, colleagues, and other … More This Friday: “The Pietist Option for Bethel”
Having spent an energizing Reformation Sunday morning at an Evangelical Covenant church, I’m looking forward to visiting a Lutheran church this coming Sunday to teach the history of evangelicalism If you’re in the Twin Cities, join us at Incarnation Lutheran in Shoreview, MN for the Kairos Forum — offered both 8:45am and 10:05am. Here’s the … More Next Sunday’s Adult Class: Who’s an Evangelical?