“Understandable but not sympathetic”: The Latest Review of My Lindbergh Biography

I’m glad for any review of Charles Lindbergh: A Religious Biography of America’s Most Infamous Aviator, but I’m especially tickled to see the one published recently in Church History, the journal of the American Society for Church History. “Ambiguity best characterizes both the life of Charles Lindbergh and the contemporary and historical interpretations of him,” … More “Understandable but not sympathetic”: The Latest Review of My Lindbergh Biography

Following Jesus: The Black Church Tradition

Between final exams and commencement last week and leading a faculty workshop and grading this week, I’ve been a little late to check in on this month’s Following Jesus conversation. But don’t let that delay (or this too-brief introduction) deter you from checking out a highly important installment in the project, featuring an opening essay … More Following Jesus: The Black Church Tradition

What Is Bethel? The Moments That Make Up Our History

Earlier this week I was invited to talk about Bethel’s history at a dinner celebrating the university’s 150th anniversary. For once I spoke without notes, but here’s the best I can do to reconstruct what I said: my attempt to make our history more personal for more people, rather than focusing on the stories of … More What Is Bethel? The Moments That Make Up Our History

Following Jesus: The Wesleyan Tradition

“If Lutheranism is the parent of Pietism,” I began my response this month in the Following Jesus conversation, “then surely the Wesleyan Tradition is the closest cousin to my own.” Started by English Protestants who had been profoundly shaped by their encounters with Pietism, Methodism and the other Christian movements that originated with John Wesley … More Following Jesus: The Wesleyan Tradition

Thoughts on Ukraine

Any reasonable, empathetic person can find any number of reasons to find troubling Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The suffering, dislocation, and grief that any war inflicts on anyone in its path. The odiousness of Vladimir Putin, who had the gall to say that one goal of his “special military operation” was the “denazification” of Ukraine: … More Thoughts on Ukraine

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”