Ranking America’s Presidents

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

Thursday’s Podcast: What’s Wrong?

“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?

Patriotism, Love, and Grace: An Independence Day Meditation

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

Christianity and Western Civ

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

The 100th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide

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