A couple years ago our family went to southern Iowa for a reunion. Noticing that the nearest town was called Moravia, I decided to take a morning to drive around… and discovered several examples of Moravian, Brethren, and other Pietist groups that had settled in that part of America. That tour of “Pietist Iowa” ended … More Pietist “Communism”: The Amana Colonies
Last Thursday I reached a point where I wondered aloud whether evangelical support for Donald Trump ought to make Christian intellectuals like me (many of whom have publicly criticized Trump and his evangelical enablers) question if we exert any significant influence. Yesterday’s news that Books & Culture will cease publication didn’t alleviate that angst. But fortunately, many of you wrote helpful comments … More Further Thoughts on the Impact of Christian Intellectuals (Sean O’Neil)
With just over a month until Election Day, I hope that lots of fellow Christians paid attention to Miroslav Volf’s interview with journalist Jonathan Merritt, since the Yale theologian makes a plausible argument that Hillary Clinton is not only the more competent of the two major party presidential candidates running for office now, but that the kind of vision she stands … More Have Christian Intellectuals Made Any Difference in This Election?
So what’s causing the decline of humanities disciplines in evangelical colleges? And why is it significant for those institutions’ constituencies? I think the answer to both questions may hinge on one word: fear. Now, I’m sure no single factor can explain why English, history, and philosophy accounted for only 5.5% of bachelor’s degrees awarded in 2014 by members of … More If There’s a Crisis of the Humanities in Christian Colleges, What Does It Tell Us about Evangelicalism?
I don’t normally comment on things a year after they’re published, but since a post I hadn’t noticed before was referred to me over the weekend by two different colleagues, let me offer a few thoughts on Luke Harrington’s January 2015 piece, “Baptizing ‘Masculinity’: The Real Reason Men Are Leaving the Church.” In short, Harrington suggests … More Are Men Leaving the Church Because It’s Insufficiently Intellectual?
Click-baity? Sure, but only half as click-baity as what Russell Moore did this week for the Southern Baptists… Here are five things I wish everyone knew about Pietists: We still exist If most people know anything about Pietism, they most likely think of a religious movement in the late 17th and early 18th century. But unlike other Christian traditions, … More 5 Things I Wish Everyone Knew About Pietists
Is it hard to be an intellectual in your church? Do you respond more deeply to theology than worship or devotions? Part of me resonated strongly with a new piece at Relevant by a Twin Cities writer (and Bethel Seminary student) named Bonnie Kristian. Like her, I don’t tend to “get swept up in emotional worship experiences” and I’ve … More Being an Intellectual in an Emotional Church
I said it this morning on my Pietist Schoolman Facebook page, but it bears repeating for the larger audience that reads the blog itself: Within the evangelical world it’s hard to overstate the importance of this critique of David Barton, coming as it does from the president of the Conference on Faith and History and chair of the History … More Tracy McKenzie on David Barton: “What’s Really at Stake”
I’ll be honest: the primary point of this post is to cover one English major at Bethel with so much praise that she’ll feel compelled to take at least one History course from me before she graduates. But in the process, readers not named Abby Stocker might also find themselves reappraising their assumptions about what … More Students as Scholars
A relatively quiet week for The Pietist Schoolman (grading season, doncha know) was more than offset by some excellent blogging elsewhere. Here I’ve always wanted to write about my favorite punctuation mark — but to get to do that and respond to a New York Times op-ed piece on belief in God at the same … More That Was The Week That Was