Religious Freedom: The Contested Core of Baptist Identity

In the wake of the recent Southern Baptist debate about religious freedom for Muslims — and given the larger conversation about the meaning of religious freedom in an increasingly post-Christian society — I thought I’d use this week’s Anxious Bench post to revisit something I wrote about last year: how Baptists responded to the 1960s Supreme Court rulings against … More Religious Freedom: The Contested Core of Baptist Identity

British Christians Debate “Brexit”

In 1975 Great Britain held a referendum on its 1973 admission to what was then still the European Economic Community. By a two-to-one margin, British voters ratified their country’s new role in Europe. In nine days, they will revisit that decision with another referendum, one that could well end with Britain negotiating a withdrawal from the European … More British Christians Debate “Brexit”

The Humanities in Church-Related Higher Ed: A Broader View

Because I work for a member institution of the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities (CCCU) and study evangelical models of higher education, I occasionally need to be reminded that the CCCU represents only a fraction of the colleges and universities related to Christian churches. But after consecutive weekends in which I attended the seminary graduation … More The Humanities in Church-Related Higher Ed: A Broader View

“Change is Hard”: Lessons (and Non-Lessons) from Mount St. Mary’s

Last week faculty at Mount St. Mary’s University voted overwhelmingly to request that president Simon Newman resign. We’re now past the deadline they set, and I haven’t seen any such announcement. Frankly, I don’t expect one. Not only do 75% of students support his leadership (according to a survey conducted by the student government over the … More “Change is Hard”: Lessons (and Non-Lessons) from Mount St. Mary’s

If You Value Academic Freedom, Consider Signing This Petition

I’m not much of a petition-signer. But today I added my name to this petition, and I hope that those of you who consider yourself part of what the author calls “the community of scholars” will consider doing likewise. It’s a response to the recent behavior of Simon Newman, president of Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, Maryland. Newman came … More If You Value Academic Freedom, Consider Signing This Petition

That Was The Week That Was

Here… • What qualities should Christian voters seek in political candidates? (Thanks to Mennonite World Review for picking up this post.) • We’ll be asking what’s wrong with Christianity when we record next week’s newest episode of The Pietist Schoolman Podcast, but I suggested that I shouldn’t really try to answer that question until I’m ready to answer a … More That Was The Week That Was

Oh Mercy

“We live in a political world,” Bob Dylan once sang, “Where mercy walks the plank.” It’s a world, after all, where even a democratic socialist promises a “merciless” response to a vicious attack. Where a leading Republican presidential candidate can be criticized by a leading conservative columnist for engaging in a kind of discourse “marked by what you … More Oh Mercy

Pope Francis and the Idea of a Catholic University

If you’re looking for a Christian historian-blogger to cover Pope Francis’ visit to the United States, John Fea is probably your go-to source. But let me share a brief post on an easy-to-overlook dimension of the event: what Francis means for Catholic colleges and universities. While Francis’ first public mass in the U.S. will be held today … More Pope Francis and the Idea of a Catholic University

That Was The Week That Was

Here… • Devin Manzullo-Thomas returned with a second CCCU-inspired post on the relationship between Anabaptists and Evangelicals, this one featuring former Eastern Mennonite and CCCU president Myron Augsburger. (Thanks to both Real Clear Religion and Mennonite World Review for reposting this one!) • Thanks in part to some Anabaptist studies of my own, I felt led to wrestle aloud … More That Was The Week That Was