There’s been more than a little Christian debate swirling around this year’s installment of Mothers’ Day. In part, it has to do with a certain enormously popular Southern Baptist layperson preaching — more on that later. But I’ve also seen a fair number of Christians on social media complain that Mothers’ Day is simply not … More The Mothers of My Faith
This week marks the end of the first season of The 252, the podcast on the history and politics of sports that I’ve been hosting with my Bethel colleagues Chris Moore and Sam Mulberry. In our opening segment, we talked about the etymology of badminton, the history of the NFL draft, and the results of our … More Wednesday’s Podcast: What Have We Learned?
While my research has taken a new direction, I hope that Pietism will never be too long off my agenda. So I was grateful to Caleb Lindgren of Christianity Today for inviting me to write a profile of Philipp Jakob Spener (1635-1705), the Lutheran pastor who is often considered the father of the Pietist movement. Though … More My Philipp Spener Profile for Christianity Today
Today I’m helping to host the 2019 Minnesota Undergraduate History Symposium, an annual one-day conference that features the research of students from church-related colleges in the Upper Midwest. We’ve got about 45 students from 12 schools presenting on a dozen panels throughout the day. But we opened with a plenary session on “The Future of … More Saturday’s Podcast: The Future of Public History
God, give me an uncomplicated faith — if only for a moment. That’s what I prayed this morning as I attended the annual Minnesota Prayer Breakfast, a now 59-year tradition whose participants “gather to work and pray for unity so that they can come to know [God] and have their lives transformed by his love.” … More On Prayer, Death, and Resurrection
Earlier this month I had the honor of delivering the keynote address at the 2019 Twin Cities Undergraduate Theology Conference, a joint effort of four evangelical colleges: Bethel University, Crown College, North Central University, and the University of Northwestern St. Paul. I decided to use the occasion to think in public about another kind of … More A Sacramental Vision of the Liberal Arts
To varying degrees, I’m a fan of the most prominent team sports in America: baseball, basketball, football, hockey, and soccer. But I’m less familiar with two other kinds of athletic competition that have deep histories, distinctive cultures, and significant fanbases: horse racing and auto racing. So this week on The 252, we asked Sam to tell … More Wednesday’s Podcast: Making the Case for Indy Car and Horse Racing
Like many of you, I spent a long time watching yesterday’s terrible fire at the Cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris. I’m still sorting out the feelings, trying to understand why I felt as sad as I did — knowing that others took it far harder… First, it’s always painful to see the world get a … More The Church Is (Not Just) a Building: Some Thoughts on Notre Dame
“What are we history professors for?” That’s the existential question asked by Rachel Wheeler in the current issue of Perspectives, the monthly magazine of the American Historical Association. Wheeler urged fellow Americanists, at least, to respond to white nationalism by offering students a different kind of national story. But she acknowledged that this was not … More Is Teaching Like Preaching?
This week The 252 welcomes sports historian Paul Putz of Messiah College. We asked Paul about the history of “Sportianity” — Frank Deford’s term for the fusion of sports with evangelical piety, plus the role of faith in recent protests by African American NFL players, Paul’s experience teaching undergraduate courses like the one our podcast previews, and … More Wednesday’s Podcast: Sportianity