I don’t know if the county fair is still the indispensable element of American democracy that an early 20th century editorial claimed it to be, but I sure do enjoy my annual visit to the Washington County Fair in Lake Elmo, Minnesota. My kids and I love seeing everything from blue ribbon-winning woodwork and photography … More The Future of Farming in America
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
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
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
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?
“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
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
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?
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
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”