The Minneapolis Miracle

So it was a few days before Christmas, and I got a call from my wife. She was looking for a jersey to buy our sports-loving eight-year old son, Isaiah. “Are you okay with the Vikings?” I’d prefer the Twins, but she’s braving the mall so… “Definitely. What are the options?” “Who’s #14? Would he … More The Minneapolis Miracle

Sportianity Goes Global

Last week at Anxious Bench, I had a chance to interview historian Paul Putz, who just launched Sportianity, a blog on “the unique cultural world that stands at the intersection of sports and (mostly evangelical Protestant) Christianity.” When I asked Paul to share significant changes in “Sportianity” since sportswriter Frank Deford coined the term in 1976, … More Sportianity Goes Global

How Would Donald Trump Fill Out His Bracket?

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?

Yet Another Reason My Dad Is a Great Guy

“Historians aren’t supposed to write hagiography,” I wrote one Father’s Day, “but what can I say: [my] Dad is the most brilliant, hard-working man that I know, utterly committed to serving others with his gifts, time, energy, and ample vision.” Midway through a career in which he had started a pediatric intensive care unit, won teaching awards … More Yet Another Reason My Dad Is a Great Guy

Following Up: Liberty University as the “Protestant Notre Dame”

Having been one of the earliest, most vocal evangelical supporters of Donald Trump, Liberty University president Jerry Falwell, Jr. was widely rumored to be in the running for a cabinet spot in the new administration. But Falwell told Religion News Service that he turned down an appointment as Secretary of Education, in part because his family members … More Following Up: Liberty University as the “Protestant Notre Dame”

Best of The Pietist Schoolman: “An Indefensible Hope”

I originally posted this back in April, at the start of a baseball season that’s about to conclude. Offered again tonight as a pre-game word of inspiration for Cubs (and Indians) fans… For my Twins and most other major league teams, today is Opening Day: the time each year when I’m reminded again that I love baseball far above … More Best of The Pietist Schoolman: “An Indefensible Hope”

A Few of My Favorite Things, or America’s Already Pretty Great

I don’t regret participating in our national angsting over the presidential election, but I can’t say it’s been much fun. So before diving back into that mess, I thought I’d toss off something vastly less serious: a few of the things in life — other than my family — that I’m currently enjoying. Or, a few … More A Few of My Favorite Things, or America’s Already Pretty Great

Can the Olympics Bring Americans Together?

In case you missed it yesterday morning, The Gospel Coalition featured a reworked version of my Anxious Bench post on the religious history of the modern Olympics. They asked me to conclude with a bit more application for Christian readers, so here’s what I came up with: So how should Christians respond to an event whose website still defines Olympism as “a philosophy of … More Can the Olympics Bring Americans Together?