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
How should we rank America’s presidents? C-SPAN asked ninety-one “professional observers of the presidency,” including historians Douglas Brinkley, Edward Crapol, Robert Dallek, Annette Gordon-Reed, Allen Guelzo, David Kennedy, and Walter McDougall. Each participant ranked our previous chief executives in ten equally weighted categories. You can find the full results here, but a few highlights: • The top four remained … More Ranking America’s Presidents
Here… • Bethel hosted another colloquium on Pietism (if you missed it, you can watch everything here), which made me think again about the notion of a “usable past.” • What happens when historians have too much evidence? • The War on Christmas is over. • I’ve decided to stick with Twitter and Facebook, but only for certain purposes. … More That Was The Week That Was
I’m taking a week off from blogging, but our podcast is back today with a new episode. If we consult the Holy Scriptures we can have no doubt that God promised his church here on earth a better state than this. Philipp Jakob Spener (1675) Given all the problems we discussed in our previous episode, why … More Thursday’s Podcast: Why So Hopeful?
“What’s wrong with Christianity in 2016?” Yikes. As I wrote here last week, I’ve been dreading this question since we decided that our book on “Pietism and the Future of Christianity” would mirror the structure of Philipp Spener’s Pia Desideria, whose first major section is a “Conspectus of Corrupt Conditions in the Church.” As I mused … More Thursday’s Podcast: What’s Wrong?
Here… • It’s not really the most important thing that happened this week, but nothing was more exciting for me than for season 2 of The Pietist Schoolman Podcast to premiere! We seem to have had good listenership so far… but we’ve yet to receive any comments. If you listen, please do take the time to respond … More That Was The Week That Was
This 4th of July weekend I’m feeling more patriotic than I have in years, thanks to two speeches by Pres. Obama. First, his speech this past March at the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama. Obama remembered the civil right activists who fifty years earlier had been brutally attacked during their peaceful march to Montgomery: As … More Patriotism, Love, and Grace: An Independence Day Meditation
Over the weekend I had the pleasure of taking five Bethel University students to Mankato, Minnesota, where Bethany Lutheran College hosted the second annual Minnesota Undergraduate History Symposium. (#1 was at the University of Northwestern – St. Paul; #3 will be at Bethel next spring.) Thanks to @RyanCMacPherson and @BethanyLutheran for hosting a great #muhs2015! pic.twitter.com/PWQfixivkp … More Christianity and Western Civ
A century ago today, one of the great crimes in modern history began to unfold in the ancient city of Istanbul. In the middle of that Saturday night, Ottoman police rounded up the leading figures of their capital city’s Armenian community. One of them, an influential bishop named Grigoris Balakian, survived to leave behind this account: We arrived … More The 100th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide