This morning we recorded our first live episode of The 252: an interview with Steve Johnson, for 31 years the head football coach at his alma mater, Bethel University. Steve took time out of preparing for Saturday’s game at Concordia College in order to tell us about his childhood as a Cubs fan and pastor’s kid … More Thursday’s Podcast: The Ministry of a Football Coach
After spending quite a bit of time in various pulpits last year, I’ve had a nice long break from writing sermons. But that’ll end soon: in addition to a Bethel Chapel talk coming up on November 8th, I’ll be preaching and teaching this Sunday, October 27th, at First Covenant Church in St. Paul, MN. They’ll … More Preaching and Teaching This Reformation Sunday
Okay, let’s talk about Beto O’Rourke. Last Thursday night, at a Democratic presidential candidates forum on LGBT issues, CNN host Don Lemon asked the former Texas congressman whether “religious institutions like colleges, churches, charities—should… lose their tax-exempt status if they oppose same-sex marriage.” O’Rourke answered: Yes. There can be no reward, no benefit, no tax … More On Christian Colleges and Tax Exemptions
What follows is the text of a talk I gave yesterday evening at Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego, California. Thanks to Ben Cater, who directs general education and the Humanities Honors program at Point Loma, for inviting me to share some thoughts on the value of the Christian liberal arts. He had enjoyed … More The Value of the Christian Liberal Arts
I know this title sounds absurd. It certainly did to many people in my feed when Union Seminary tweeted this on Tuesday: Today in chapel, we confessed to plants. Together, we held our grief, joy, regret, hope, guilt and sorrow in prayer; offering them to the beings who sustain us but whose gift we too … More Should Christians Confess Sins to Plants?
Last week Bloomberg posted an op-ed from Steven Gerrard, a philosophy professor at Williams College who was disturbed by what he saw as the decline of free speech at that elite private college (#1, again, in this year’s U.S. News rankings). Even as I could empathize with some of his concerns, I found it an odd piece to … More Are Christian Colleges “Comfort” Colleges?
Before he became Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Nebraska), he was Pres. Ben Sasse — head of a historically Lutheran college that turned around its enrollment crisis under his watch. So I can see why The Atlantic would publish Sasse’s 17 questions that any college searching for a president should ask its finalists. They’re definitely worth asking. For example: … More 7 Questions Every Christian College Should Be Asking Its Next President
Now that I’ve met all of my fall classes at least once, I can start to think ahead to my chances to teach and speak off campus. Here’s what currently on my speaking schedule for 2019-2020: October 2, 2019 I’ll be flying out to San Diego to give a talk on the purpose of general … More My Speaking Schedule for 2019-2020
Today is the first day of fall classes at Bethel University. So before I get too caught up in the details of particular courses, I want to take some time this week to step back and reflect on our larger mission and identity. Let’s start with the tag line that now shows up on Bethel … More What It Means to Educate “For God’s Glory and Neighbors’ Good”
I generally try to ignore the next academic year until the calendar hits August, but this summer that’s been harder than usual. For all of us at Bethel University, 2019-2020 promises to be an especially important year, as a search committee prepares to nominate just the seventh president in our nearly 150-year history (counting founder … More The Average Christian College President