The Problems and Possibilities of Evangelical Populism

Is evangelical opposition to Donald Trump simply evidence of elitism? That was the argument of Matthew Schmitz, who didn’t so much counter Christianity Today editor-in-chief Mark Galli’s critique of Trump as dismiss Galli and his CT colleagues as elite evangelicals — and therefore, by Schmitz’s definition, not really evangelical at all: …evangelical leaders who have come … More The Problems and Possibilities of Evangelical Populism

On Christianity Today Calling for Trump’s Removal from Office

One consequence of living in a time of political polarization, echo chambers, and epistemic closure is that it’s rare to be genuinely surprised by any political statement. For example, I struggle to think of any response to the impeachment of Donald Trump that wasn’t predictable — on either side of that debate. Any response, that … More On Christianity Today Calling for Trump’s Removal from Office

On Christian Colleges and Tax Exemptions

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

Wednesday’s Podcast: A Sports Reading List

On today’s new episode of The 252, Chris Moore and I talked through some of the books and articles we’ll be assigning next spring in our History and Politics of Sports course at Bethel University. Our basic text will be Richard Davies’ Sports in American Life, but Chris also suggested adopting Victor Cha’s analysis of the politics of … More Wednesday’s Podcast: A Sports Reading List

Wednesday’s Podcast: Red State Christians

Our second season of The 252 — “sports talk radio as done by academics” — is going to alternate every other week between two formats: our usual three-segment mix of sports news, history, and commentary; and long-form interviews with athletes, coaches, writers, and others who can help us understand the history and politics of sports. Today’s … More Wednesday’s Podcast: Red State Christians

Saturday’s Podcast: The Future of Public History

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

Wednesday’s Podcast: The Mount Rushmore of Baseball History

When better to focus on America’s National Pastime than the day that Minnesota shatters its February record for snowfall? Yes, it’s our spring training episode of The 252! • Chris Moore suggested some ways that baseball is both shaped by politics and helps us to think about politics. • Then we discussed who belongs on … More Wednesday’s Podcast: The Mount Rushmore of Baseball History

Coming Soon… The History and Politics of Sports

Almost from the moment I got to Bethel University (sixteen years ago!), I started dreaming about developing two new courses. The one on World War II launched five years ago, with its fourth iteration starting next week. But aside from one independent study, I’ve never quite been able to follow through with a History of … More Coming Soon… The History and Politics of Sports

Fairness for All: Is There a Compromise Between Religious Freedom and LGBT Rights?

As usual, I’m struggling to keep up with both blogging and end-of-semester grading, so I’m two days late to J.C. Derrick’s typically well-informed report for World Magazine that the boards of the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) and Council for Christian Colleges & Universities (CCCU) have endorsed what’s been called the “Fairness for All” compromise: seeking to advance … More Fairness for All: Is There a Compromise Between Religious Freedom and LGBT Rights?