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?

The History of Impeachment

“I’m breathing, I’m available Thursday morning at 11:15, I can use Google Search, and I can wear plaid.” That’s how I described my credentials to take part in a live podcast about the history of impeachment, alongside two actual political scientists. My Bethel colleagues Chris Moore and Andy Bramsen had planned a special episode of … More The History of Impeachment

Understanding the Importance of Journalism, As Americans and Christians

There are several good reasons to fear that American democracy is being irreparably damaged by the current administration. Foremost, in my opinion, is the way that Donald Trump and his political allies have waged relentless rhetorical war on the reporters, editors, and other journalists who are doing their best to seek truth, minimize harm, and act … More Understanding the Importance of Journalism, As Americans and Christians

What Is the Freedom That Americans Celebrate Today?

I know that, no matter how many times I get a chance to preach, I’ll always sound like a professor in the pulpit. But I’ve learned enough about sermon-writing to leave out several academic references in this past Sunday’s message on “Freedom in Christ.” To contrast Christian freedom with the American civil variety, I instead … More What Is the Freedom That Americans Celebrate Today?

“Honor the Emperor”: One Year Later, A Plea to the 81 Percent

It promises to be a quiet Election Day for me. The two cities on either side of Roseville are having contentious mayoral races, but Roseville residents have nothing on their ballots but an uncontested school board race and what strikes me as the obvious choice to approve a bond that will allow our aging public … More “Honor the Emperor”: One Year Later, A Plea to the 81 Percent

The Anti-Fascist Origins of “Judeo-Christian Values”

On Friday, President Trump told participants in the Values Voter Summit that “We are stopping cold the attacks on Judeo-Christian values.” Now, critics found it hard to take the “Judeo” part seriously, given that Trump immediately followed that line with another version of his pledge to restore “Merry Christmas” instead of “Happy Holidays.” And it’s … More The Anti-Fascist Origins of “Judeo-Christian Values”

Is Loyalty a Virtue?

I like to think of myself as a pretty loyal person. I’m wary of loyalty to imagined communities like nations, but when it comes to family members and close friends, I’d even say that I’m fiercely loyal. But one of the many consequences of the Trump presidency is that I’ve been reconsidering the moral status … More Is Loyalty a Virtue?