Earlier this month I attended the memorial service for Dr. Jim Johnson, who spent thirty years teaching U.S. history at Bethel. Jim retired about a decade before I arrived, and we’d only met a handful of times over the years. So I felt a bit like an interloper in a room full of his closest … More A Funeral and Four Thanksgivings
Here’s the text of my Chapel talk at Bethel University last Friday morning. I’ll skip past some of the introductory remarks — mostly clarifying that Pietism, lamentably, has nothing to do with pie — and get right into the biblical passage for the talk. I explained that Luke 24 is what G.W. Carlson had urged … More The Pietist Option for Bethel (Luke 24)
If things seem quiet around this blog, it’s because I’m preparing to give my first Bethel Chapel talk this Friday morning. Having taken themes from my book with Mark Pattie and taught about “Pietist options” for Evangelical Covenant, Lutheran, and Baptist churches, I’m thrilled to be invited to explain for students, colleagues, and other … More This Friday: “The Pietist Option for Bethel”
This morning we recorded our first live episode of The 252: an interview with Steve Johnson, for 31 years the head football coach at his alma mater, Bethel University. Steve took time out of preparing for Saturday’s game at Concordia College in order to tell us about his childhood as a Cubs fan and pastor’s kid … More Thursday’s Podcast: The Ministry of a Football Coach
Last week Bloomberg posted an op-ed from Steven Gerrard, a philosophy professor at Williams College who was disturbed by what he saw as the decline of free speech at that elite private college (#1, again, in this year’s U.S. News rankings). Even as I could empathize with some of his concerns, I found it an odd piece to … More Are Christian Colleges “Comfort” Colleges?
Today is the first day of fall classes at Bethel University. So before I get too caught up in the details of particular courses, I want to take some time this week to step back and reflect on our larger mission and identity. Let’s start with the tag line that now shows up on Bethel … More What It Means to Educate “For God’s Glory and Neighbors’ Good”
I don’t think I have the energy to lead a European tour every summer, so as I look ahead to the future of Pietist Schoolman Travel, I’ve got U.S. history topics in mind for 2020 (the sports history tour I mentioned yesterday) and 2022 (more on that tomorrow or Thursday). But I do love to take … More Future Tours: Christianity and Western Culture
This week marks the end of the first season of The 252, the podcast on the history and politics of sports that I’ve been hosting with my Bethel colleagues Chris Moore and Sam Mulberry. In our opening segment, we talked about the etymology of badminton, the history of the NFL draft, and the results of our … More Wednesday’s Podcast: What Have We Learned?
Earlier this month I had the honor of delivering the keynote address at the 2019 Twin Cities Undergraduate Theology Conference, a joint effort of four evangelical colleges: Bethel University, Crown College, North Central University, and the University of Northwestern St. Paul. I decided to use the occasion to think in public about another kind of … More A Sacramental Vision of the Liberal Arts
Today I’m happy to welcome my Bethel colleague Ruben Rivera to the blog. Educated at Vanguard University, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and Boston University, Ruben came to Bethel in 1997 as a history professor, and now serves as our chief diversity officer. He regularly speaks to Christian and community groups about shalom, diversity, and reconciliation. What … More Diversity, Shalom, and Remarkable Christianity (Ruben Rivera)