A Ministry of Encouragement

All month my family is joining others in our congregation and denomination in reading through a version of the New Testament that has no chapter or verse markings and has been resequenced in roughly chronological order. In part, that’s to get you to notice things you’d otherwise miss. For example, I’d never noticed that Luke occasionally switches to the first … More A Ministry of Encouragement

The Spiritual Dangers of Living under the Trump Administration

As a result of Trump’s election conservative Christians (a larger group than evangelicals, but including most of them) will see fewer trespasses on institutional religious liberty from the executive branch. They will be able to support judges more amenable to their rights. They will be welcomed at the White House and have access to the … More The Spiritual Dangers of Living under the Trump Administration

“Tell It Like It Is”: How the Church Should Respond to Trump

During our travels over the holiday weekend, we visited a church and witnessed an odd, telling moment. Looking for a negative sermon illustration at one point, the pastor spontaneously mentioned “the presidential candidate who says he doesn’t need God’s forgiveness.” As best I can recall, the pastor didn’t even say Donald Trump’s name, but he clearly thought he had crossed … More “Tell It Like It Is”: How the Church Should Respond to Trump

If There’s a Crisis of the Humanities in Christian Colleges, What Does It Tell Us about Evangelicalism?

So what’s causing the decline of humanities disciplines in evangelical colleges? And why is it significant for those institutions’ constituencies? I think the answer to both questions may hinge on one word: fear. Now, I’m sure no single factor can explain why English, history, and philosophy accounted for only 5.5% of bachelor’s degrees awarded in 2014 by members of … More If There’s a Crisis of the Humanities in Christian Colleges, What Does It Tell Us about Evangelicalism?

What My Daughter Taught Me This Weekend about Courage… and Education

“This is going to be on the blog, isn’t it?” This post is about to prove my friend Will right. But honestly, as we stood in front of the climbing wall at Covenant Pines Bible Camp this past Saturday afternoon, all I could think was, “I can’t believe Lena wants to go up that thing!” My daughter is … More What My Daughter Taught Me This Weekend about Courage… and Education

Thursday’s Podcast: What’s Wrong?

“What’s wrong with Christianity in 2016?” Yikes. As I wrote here last week, I’ve been dreading this question since we decided that our book on “Pietism and the Future of Christianity” would mirror the structure of Philipp Spener’s Pia Desideria, whose first major section is a “Conspectus of Corrupt Conditions in the Church.” As I mused … More Thursday’s Podcast: What’s Wrong?

The Pastoral Challenge (and Opportunity) of Donald Trump

I’ve already written one post criticizing the president of Liberty University for making imprudent comments at that school’s convocation. So I’ll leave it to others to say what’s on my mind about Jerry Falwell, Jr.’s introduction to Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on Monday: This would be hilarious if it weren't so counter to the mission of … More The Pastoral Challenge (and Opportunity) of Donald Trump

From One Christian College President in Virginia to Another…

If I’d just been a bit more patient, I could have saved myself the time and trouble of writing my own response to Liberty University president Jerry Falwell, Jr. and just let Eastern Mennonite University president Loren Swartzendruber talk. (H/T Scot McKnight) Mine ended by reflecting on the season of Advent; that’s where Loren’s starts: … More From One Christian College President in Virginia to Another…

The Shadow of Death: A Response to Jerry Falwell, Jr.

Calling out Christian college presidents isn’t really how I wanted to spend Advent, but then I didn’t expect one such leader to devote part of a chapel talk to encouraging his students to carry concealed weapons. But that’s just what Liberty University president Jerry Falwell, Jr. did on Friday, two days after the mass shooting in San Bernardino, California. In a … More The Shadow of Death: A Response to Jerry Falwell, Jr.