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
I never thought that Slate would become a must-read for insightful reporting and commentary on evangelicalism, but after Ruth Graham’s fine work earlier this month on a controversial book about heaven, last week brought Laura Turner’s remarkable memoir of coming of age at Willow Creek, the Chicago area megachurch where her parents (John and Nancy Ortberg) … More On Not Growing Up in Evangelical Youth Culture
I have to admit: I’d never heard the name Ernst Lohmeyer before I reviewed James Edwards’ new biography of that German theologian and biblical scholar for the current issue of Christianity Today. But the more I read Between the Swastika and the Sickle (Eerdmans, $30.00 in hardcover), the more I could see how Lohmeyer could … More Between the Swastika and the Sickle
I don’t think I have the energy to lead a European tour every summer, so as I look ahead to the future of Pietist Schoolman Travel, I’ve got U.S. history topics in mind for 2020 (the sports history tour I mentioned yesterday) and 2022 (more on that tomorrow or Thursday). But I do love to take … More Future Tours: Christianity and Western Culture
When we attended worship at First Covenant Church Minneapolis (FCCM) a week ago, guest preacher Judy Peterson warned that it can be hard to make meaning of an event up close. Sometimes it takes ten or twenty years. That distance can give us perspective is wisdom this historian should know well… but finds hard to … More Hoping for Better Times after Omaha