The Bible as “An Altar Where We Meet the Living God”

I’m afraid I’m the kind of Christian who thinks about the Bible more often than I actually read it. So I’m excited to be taking part in a new initiative from my denomination called the Community Bible Experience. Starting this week and continuing up to Palm Sunday, dozens of people in our congregation are re-reading the entire New Testament … More The Bible as “An Altar Where We Meet the Living God”

Why Churches Like Mine Need to Recover an Immigrant Memory

So how can Christians and churches protect themselves from the spiritual dangers that I wrote about earlier this week? You won’t be surprised to learn that I think it’s got to start with looking to the past. But if it’s too self-serving for me to say that, then take it from a non-historian: The inner lives of many have been … More Why Churches Like Mine Need to Recover an Immigrant Memory

The Pietist Option for (Current and Former) Evangelicals: My February 21 Lecture at North Park

Among several speaking engagements coming up this winter and spring, I’m particularly excited to announce that I’ll be giving a lecture on Pietism on Tuesday night, February 21st at North Park Theological Seminary in Chicago, Illinois. Scheduled for 7:00pm in Nyvall Hall’s Olsson Lounge, I’m calling the lecture “The Pietist Option for (Current and Former) Evangelicals.” I’ll be … More The Pietist Option for (Current and Former) Evangelicals: My February 21 Lecture at North Park

My New Adult Sunday School Class: “The Church and the Wars of the 20th Century”

All next month I’ll be teaching an adult Sunday School class at Salem Covenant Church (New Brighton, MN) on a favorite topic of mine: “The Church and the Wars of the 20th Century.” It’ll be offered twice each Sunday, at 9:45am and 11:00am in Salem’s Fellowship Hall. Here’s the summary blurb: This spring will mark … More My New Adult Sunday School Class: “The Church and the Wars of the 20th Century”

Reflections on a Pietist Identity (Tim Johnson)

Today’s guest post comes from Tim Johnson, who attended last week’s Bethel Colloquium on Pietism. (To watch video of all sessions, click here, select the On Demand tab, and look under December 13, 2016.) Tim is Curator of Special Collections & Rare Books and the E. W. McDiarmid Curator of the Sherlock Holmes Collections for the University … More Reflections on a Pietist Identity (Tim Johnson)

Covenant Visions of Christian Higher Education

Even as I await the publication of my new book on Pietism, it’s gratifying to see people continuing to engage with its 2015 predecessor, The Pietist Vision of Christian Higher Education. At the end of a generous review in The Covenant Quarterly, Mark Safstrom puts that book in the context of work that Christian Collins Winn and I have been doing … More Covenant Visions of Christian Higher Education

Done with “Evangelical”? Maybe You Should Try…

Back in March, when Donald Trump was nothing more than the surprise leader in the Republican primaries, the fact that he was getting even 40% of the self-identified “evangelical” vote had already led Southern Baptist leader Russell Moore to declare that religious term “almost meaningless this year.” Even worse, “in many ways the word itself … More Done with “Evangelical”? Maybe You Should Try…

Women as Evangelical Leaders (But Not Pastors)

“Who’s Beth Moore?” I didn’t say it out loud, fortunately. But that’s what I asked myself a few years ago when I saw the list of upcoming small group Bible studies at my church. Beth Moore, of course, is the best-selling author of Bible studies and other books, not one of which I’ve read. Ditto the works … More Women as Evangelical Leaders (But Not Pastors)

Beyond Books: The “Head of Christ”

The last two weeks I’ve tried to convince Anxious Bench readers that we tend to overemphasize the influence of books on Christianity, while understating that of other types of writings: e.g., hymns and prayers. As I conclude that series today, I go beyond the written word altogether and offer some historical and theological reflections on the most famous American … More Beyond Books: The “Head of Christ”

Sneak Peeks of Our Pietism Book: The Transformational Power of Scripture

For today’s sneak peek at the working draft of Hope for Better Times: Pietism and the Future of Christianity, I’m happy to share an excerpt from my co-author Mark Pattie. Following the lead of Philipp Jakob Spener, we’ll start by encouraging Christians to listen more attentively to the Word of God. In this excerpt from early in ch. … More Sneak Peeks of Our Pietism Book: The Transformational Power of Scripture