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?

Counterpoint: How Evangelicals Are Politicized

Thanks to everyone who commented (here, on Facebook, by email) on yesterday’s post! I quoted from recent posts by historians Neil J. Young and Thomas Kidd, both of whom drew on research and personal experience with evangelical churches to argue that evangelicals are far less concerned with partisan politics than media coverage (and a recent … More Counterpoint: How Evangelicals Are Politicized

How Much Do Politics Matter to Evangelicals?

This will push into next week my long-gestating post on whether it’s possible to write persuasively for an evangelical audience, but I wanted to think aloud about one question that’s probably bigger than that post: Just how much do politics matter to evangelicals? That first came to mind last month, while I was reading Alec Ryrie’s Protestants: … More How Much Do Politics Matter to Evangelicals?

Quick Thoughts on Republican Dislike for Higher Education

Further evidence of polarization in America: a recent Pew survey finding sharp partisan splits in how Americans view institutions’ impact on the country. It’s worth digging into the full report, but here’s a summary: Type of Institution Overall % with Positive View Republicans and Lean GOP % Democrats and Lean Dem. % Churches and religious organizations … More Quick Thoughts on Republican Dislike for Higher Education