Last Friday I took issue with Vice President Mike Pence’s commencement address at the U.S. Naval Academy, in part because he exhorted graduates to “Follow the chain of command without exception. Submit yourselves, as the saying goes, to the authorities that have been placed above you.” His allusion to Romans 13:1-2 (or 1 Peter 2:13-14) got … More Public Uses of Romans 13 in American History
My first byline for Christianity Today is one of many new essays on the complicated meaning of Memorial Day. … More Memorial Day Reflections
I noticed the other day that Donald Trump’s name now appears in the list of this blog’s most popular tags. That’s disappointing on all sorts of levels, one of which is that I’ve tried hard this year to focus on the stated themes of this blog and not write as much about politics as I … More Two Problems with Mike Pence’s Naval Academy Address
To the countless number of ways in which our current president is unlike his immediate predecessor, you can add this: Donald Trump is not filling out a March Madness bracket for ESPN. Of course, that short-lived presidential tradition had been so appealing because, as ESPN analyst Andy Katz explained, “President Obama follows basketball and is passionate about the sport. He … More How Would Donald Trump Fill Out His Bracket?
Tomorrow night I’ll be in Chicago making the case that Pietism might help renew evangelicalism. That assumes, of course, that evangelicalism can be renewed. Or that we have any idea who “evangelicals” are. I’m going to proceed as planned with the talk, but a new report from the Pew Research Center has me a bit more skeptical … More The Strength of White Evangelical Support for Trump
If you work in a church or Christian non-profit, or care about how those organizations function in the midst of such polarizing times, then you need to take a few minutes and read religion reporter Emma Green’s latest piece for The Atlantic: Donald Trump has divided conservative Christian communities. Most white Christians support Trump, or at … More The Silencing of Conservative Christians Opposed to Trump
As a result of Trump’s election conservative Christians (a larger group than evangelicals, but including most of them) will see fewer trespasses on institutional religious liberty from the executive branch. They will be able to support judges more amenable to their rights. They will be welcomed at the White House and have access to the … More The Spiritual Dangers of Living under the Trump Administration
It’s been about three weeks since last I blogged here at The Pietist Schoolman. Anything been happening? If you didn’t know, I spent most of January in Britain, Belgium, France, and Germany, where my friend Sam Mulberry and I were leading a travel course on the history of World War I. I’m sure I’ll have more to share … More Thinking about the American Present via the European Past
I’d love to disagree with the thesis of historian Neil Young’s piece in Religion Dispatches, but he’s probably right that …the bulk of white evangelicals’ political efforts have always veered to the right, often to the extreme. From Civil Rights to Vietnam to abortion to gay rights, from national defense to tax policy to climate change … More White Evangelicalism Has Been Politically Conservative… But Must It Remain So?
More than at any time in the last five years, I’ve been thinking of quitting social media. A lot of this is driven by the unpleasant experience of the presidential campaign, and the immediate aftermath of the election. Far from creating a more robust kind of democratic discourse, in which a broader array of citizens … More Quit Social Media?