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.

Evangelical Islamophobia

I’m not an evangelical who retreats from the label “evangelical.” But the results of a survey released today by the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) have me feeling embarrassed and angry about my branch of the Christian family. In the 2015 edition of its annual American Values Survey, PRRI asked about a number of topics, but coming a day … More Evangelical Islamophobia

Christianity, Comedy, and Joy

There are other things I’d love to see my university get recognized for, but if hilarious pictures of our nationally-ranked football team are going to get Bethel publicity, so be it. Apparently, this all started a few years back when now-assistant coach Jesse Phenow (also a Pietist Schoolman guest-blogger, I should point out) took this picture. When roster photo-taking time rolled … More Christianity, Comedy, and Joy

For My Children, On Their First Day of Kindergarten

At the risk of saying what people like my former colleague Kyle Roberts have already said quite well, I’m going to share a rather personal blog post today — the first day of kindergarten for our twins. Dear Lena and Isaiah, Today I’ll try to find ways to say these things to you, but I know that … More For My Children, On Their First Day of Kindergarten

“Not a Christian Habit of Mind”: Marilynne Robinson on Fear

In my “Body of Christ” address last week, I spent a fair amount of time trying to argue that anyone who follows the Resurrected Christ need not live in fear. For example: Do you live as a member of the body of a resurrected Christ? Or are you like the disciples? At the end of John’s account … More “Not a Christian Habit of Mind”: Marilynne Robinson on Fear

On Fearmongering in Higher Ed

As a professor-blogger whose single most popular post was an open letter, written about one year ago, warning of a “crisis” in one particular sector of higher education, I appreciate being indirectly chastened by two college presidents, Barry Glassner (Lewis & Clark) and Morton Schapiro (Northwestern Univ.), in their Oct. 6 op-ed in the Chronicle of Higher Education: We … More On Fearmongering in Higher Ed

Best of The Pietist Schoolman: When I’m a “Functional Atheist”

Today’s “best of” post comes from late April. It came to mind because I’ll be spending today and tomorrow doing exactly the kind of work that puts me at risk of what Parker Palmer called “functional atheism… the unconscious, unexamined conviction that if anything decent is going to happen here, we are the ones who must make it … More Best of The Pietist Schoolman: When I’m a “Functional Atheist”