Birmingham Revolution: Not Everyone’s a Prophet

Among the many people to whom I recommended Ed Gilbreath’s new book this summer were colleagues and students in Bethel University’s Christianity and Western Culture (CWC) course. While that course effectively ends its narrative around 1800 (I go as far as the British parliament abolishing the slave trade in 1807) and we barely touch on U.S. history, the … More Birmingham Revolution: Not Everyone’s a Prophet

Birmingham Revolution: How to Silence a Prophetic Voice

For years after King’s death, many white Christians continued to eye him with suspicion, even as families like mine proudly displayed his portrait on our walls. Today, in an era when all fifty U.S. states now observe the King holiday and a resplendent monument to the man stands in our nation’s capital, it’s difficult to … More Birmingham Revolution: How to Silence a Prophetic Voice

Birmingham Revolution: MLK’s “Great Epistle to the Church”

It feels a bit eery to carry a book about Martin Luther King, Jr. around the city where he died, but during a trip to Memphis last weekend, I had the pleasure of reading Edward Gilbreath’s Birmingham Revolution: Martin Luther King Jr.’s Epic Challenge to the Church. It’s given me plenty to think about, enough that I want … More Birmingham Revolution: MLK’s “Great Epistle to the Church”

Recovering MLK, the Christian Prophet

Unsurprisingly, the blogosphere yesterday was replete with reflections on Martin Luther King, Jr. One particular genre of King tributes stood out: those that sought to recover what the authors claimed was a lost, neglected, or “whitewashed” facet of one of the few Americans to whom virtually all partisans appeal. One sub-genre: Christian attempts to remind … More Recovering MLK, the Christian Prophet

Best of The Pietist Schoolman: The Letter from a Birmingham Jail

On the day this nation honors the birth of Martin Luther King, Jr., let me repost something I wrote last year on the anniversary of his death. You’ll find similar points made this morning by Derek Rishmawy. Martin Luther King, Jr. has been much on my mind of late. And not just because yesterday marked … More Best of The Pietist Schoolman: The Letter from a Birmingham Jail

Will D. Campbell: A Radical Baptist Peacemaker (G.W. Carlson) – part 2

Today G.W. Carlson concludes his two-part tribute to Will D. Campbell, the minister, writer, and activist who died earlier this month. His first post concluded with one major theme in Campbell’s life and work: his understanding of what it meant to be a Baptist, as influenced by the Anabaptist tradition. GW continues with two more … More Will D. Campbell: A Radical Baptist Peacemaker (G.W. Carlson) – part 2

Will D. Campbell: A Radical Baptist Peacemaker (G.W. Carlson) – part 1

Our favorite guest eulogist, G.W. Carlson, is back to pay tribute to another member of his cloud of witnesses: the Baptist minister and civil rights activist Will Campbell, who died earlier this month. In the first of a two-part post, G.W. characterizes Campbell as a “radical Baptist” influenced by Anabaptists. On June 4 I received … More Will D. Campbell: A Radical Baptist Peacemaker (G.W. Carlson) – part 1

Reflections on the Clarence Jordan Symposium (G.W. Carlson)

Earlier this fall what would have been the 100th birthday of Clarence Jordan was celebrated with a two-day symposium whose participants included former president Jimmy Carter and my recently-retired (down to a mere three classes, from seven) Bethel colleague G.W. Carlson, who provided us with an introduction to Jordan back in August. Fall grades now … More Reflections on the Clarence Jordan Symposium (G.W. Carlson)