Although I just wrote a biography about a man dedicated to the art of practical joking, I can’t stand April Fool’s Day. Because even if I were clever enough to come up with hilarious practical jokes, I’d feel guilty about making other people to look foolish. But driving to work today, it struck me that … More In Praise of Folly
After spending quite a bit of time in various pulpits last year, I’ve had a nice long break from writing sermons. But that’ll end soon: in addition to a Bethel Chapel talk coming up on November 8th, I’ll be preaching and teaching this Sunday, October 27th, at First Covenant Church in St. Paul, MN. They’ll … More Preaching and Teaching This Reformation Sunday
Aside from doing some year-in-review stuff for Pietist Schoolman and Anxious Bench, I took off the week between Christmas and New Year’s in order to get ready for my J-term class. But here’s a round-up of some good writing from the waning days of 2017. Happy New Year, all! • Tish Harrison Warren, fresh off winning Christianity Today‘s book … More That Was The Week That Was
Is the Protestant principle of sola scriptura antithetical to Christian unity? That’s the argument of Catholic historian Brad Gregory, in his newest book: “Though it liberated evangelicals from the Roman Church, [“scripture alone”] also plunged them into the beginning of an unwanted Protestant pluralism. What lay behind these church-dividing disagreements was the very thing that had launched the Reformation … More Thursday’s Podcast: Sola Scriptura and Christian Unity
To mark the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s 95 Theses, I spent the better part of today tweeting quotations, images, and links from the Reformation — covering each year from 1517 until Luther’s death in 1546. Luther and the German Reformation was my focus, but I also touched on the Swiss Reformation, the Radical Reformation, … More The Reformations, 1517-1546
It’s counterfactual week on The Pietist Schoolman Podcast, as Sam and I conjure up thought experiments in which the Reformation either happens before Martin Luther comes on the scene, or proceeds in a timeline from which he’s been somehow removed. Featured Book Carlos Eire, Reformations: The Early Modern World, 1450-1650 Other Readings It doesn’t touch on the Reformation, but … More Thursday’s Podcast: Could the Reformation Have Happened Without Luther?
If you’ve been reading this blog at all closely for the past year or so, you know that I’m no great fan of our current president. But even I was taken aback at this description of a recent Trump rally near Orlando, by a local Nazarene pastor named Joel Tooley: Call it what you will, but … More Is “Demonic Activity is Palpable” in American Politics?
It’s one of my favorite teaching weeks of the year at Bethel University: Renaissance week in GES130 Christianity and Western Culture, the multidisciplinary course that’s at the foundation of most Bethel students’ general education experience. It’s not so much that I enjoy the Renaissance itself (I think we once devoted a whole segment of our CWC podcast … More What If Education Serves Primarily to Teach Us How to Pray?
In my introduction to our forthcoming book, I emphasize our desire to cast a vision for Christian higher education that is “Pietist not just in content, but tone.” At least in the present draft, that means four things: A degree of autobiographical reflection unusual for such an academic book; Extended meditation on scriptural passages (e.g., Rev 21:5 in my … More Pietism: Eclectic and Playful?
You generally see the birthdate for the great Christian humanist Desiderius Erasmus given as October 27, 1466, but both the day and year are a bit uncertain. So since I don’t blog on Sundays, I’ll take advantage of the confusion and celebrate the second date suggested, October 28th. To be honest, I’d need a lot … More Erasmus: The Christian Scholar’s Scholar