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

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