A New Book about “The Second Greatest Lutheran Theologian”

According to church historian Carter Lindberg, that’s how German Lutherans in the early 18th century thought of Philipp Jakob Spener: second only to Martin Luther himself. Born this day in 1635, Spener is less remembered nowadays, but played a prominent role in renewing early modern Protestantism, as a popular preacher and writer and the founding … More A New Book about “The Second Greatest Lutheran Theologian”

“Generous, Humble, and Free”: A Pietist Vision for the Church

It was a year ago now that the annual meeting of my home denomination, the Evangelical Covenant Church, voted to oust First Covenant Church of Minneapolis, its senior pastor, and another ordained pastor for their affirmation and blessing of LGBTQ participation in the church. “As a Pietist,” I wrote after the annual meeting in Omaha, … More “Generous, Humble, and Free”: A Pietist Vision for the Church

Am I an Evangelical?

Over the weekend, it seemed like virtually every Christian college professor in my social media feed was reading “The Evangelical Mind,” an essay by theologian Adam Kotsko, who was raised in a conservative evangelical home, by parents who were in many ways at the vanguard of the movement. The more I have reflected on my … More Am I an Evangelical?

What It Means to Educate “For God’s Glory and Neighbors’ Good”

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”