Who’s an Evangelical?

So I was all ready to take up the questions that closed my last post — Who’s an evangelical? and What shapes their response to issues like the refugee crisis? — when the National Association of Evangelicals and LifeWay Research announced their own answer to the first question. As reported by Bob Smietana of Christianity Today: “Evangelicals are people … More Who’s an Evangelical?

Have You Seen Our Department Webisode Yet?

If not, this week is a great time to check in with Past & Presence, the weekly webisode series that Sam Mulberry and I have been producing with our colleagues and students in the Bethel University History Department. Today’s episode — #9 — is just packed with good stuff: As usual, I moderate everything with interstitial clips in … More Have You Seen Our Department Webisode Yet?

Am I “Making Religious Believers” Out of My Students? (part 2)

Okay, let’s go back to Wesleyan University president Michael Roth’s claim that while he wants his students (even fellow secularists) to engage with religious ideas and feelings, he certainly isn’t “trying to make a religious believer out of anybody.” But as a Christian historian — and as a professor at a Christian college — aren’t … More Am I “Making Religious Believers” Out of My Students? (part 2)

Pietist Vision Previews: Education as Conversion

What is the purpose of Christian higher education? There is, of course, no single answer to the question. In any college, or any of its departments or programs, or of their required or elective courses and the individual class sessions that compose them, there are multiple objectives. But running through all of them, in our Pietist vision of Christian higher education, … More Pietist Vision Previews: Education as Conversion

Unbroken: The Meaning of Conversion

Whatever concerns I have about how Angelina Jolie brings Louie Zamperini’s story to the screen, I’m less interested in discouraging movie-going than in encouraging book-buying. If you haven’t read it yet, I heartily recommend Laura Hillenbrand’s Unbroken, based on extensive primary source research and numerous interviews with Zamperini (who died earlier this year, four after the book came … More Unbroken: The Meaning of Conversion

Best of The Pietist Schoolman: What’s the Evangelical Covenant Church?

From this past June: my three-part attempt to explain my little-known, fast-growing denomination, and why it’s so distinctive. This past June I flew from Minneapolis-St. Paul to Chicago, where I represented my congregation at Gather ’14, the annual meeting of our denomination, the Evangelical Covenant Church. “What’s the Evangelical Covenant Church?” at least one person just asked. … More Best of The Pietist Schoolman: What’s the Evangelical Covenant Church?

Best of The Pietist Schoolman: A Pietist Model of Christian Scholarship

It’s going to be an unusually busy summer week for this college professor, so in place of new posts, enjoy a few of my favorites from the first half of 2014. We’ll start with my attempt to sketch a Pietist alternative to the scholarly model known as “faith-learning integration” — a three-part series that represented … More Best of The Pietist Schoolman: A Pietist Model of Christian Scholarship

What’s the Evangelical Covenant Church? “Missional Pietists”

So what’s this small but fast-growing denomination called the Evangelical Covenant Church? When I asked Facebook friends from the Covenant to suggest a sentence or two, I received several suggestions. I won’t repeat them all, but two common themes emerged. Most everyone appealed to figures or slogans from European history, and they described the Covenant as a group of people, … More What’s the Evangelical Covenant Church? “Missional Pietists”