History: Jerks Studying Jerks

One of the most venerable historians in the blogosphere is Ann Little, whose Historiann blog has been around since the George W. Bush administration. As you might have noticed from her quotations in my Anxious Bench series on biography, Little is not only a gifted historian but an insightful, provocative observer of our discipline. See, for example, her post this past … More History: Jerks Studying Jerks

The Promise (and Problems) of “Usable Pasts”

I’ve been busy this morning packing up for our gradual trip back home, so I’ll have to catch up later and watch video of the 2016 Bethel Colloquium on Pietism. But I did manage to catch the opening remarks by Bethel provost Deb Harless and theology professor Christian Collins Winn, my friend and co-coordinator. Both spoke … More The Promise (and Problems) of “Usable Pasts”

When There’s Too Much Historical Evidence

Over the weekend I continued my Anxious Bench series on the challenges of writing biographies by reflecting on the problem of historical evidence. While the biographer whose book I’m currently reading seems to have enough evidence to narrate his subject’s entire life on a weekly (sometimes daily or even hourly) basis, I know that he actually is deploying … More When There’s Too Much Historical Evidence

Should Evangelical Historians Contend for Evangelical Identity?

One of the highlights of the 2016 meeting of the Conference on Faith and History was Jay Green’s presidential address, “Evangelical Historiography, Evangelical Identity, and the Spiritual Vision of History.” Like many of his predecessors, Jay offered an erudite, thought-provoking reflection on the past, present, and future of a professional society whose “primary goal is … More Should Evangelical Historians Contend for Evangelical Identity?

Why Yes, I Did Live-Tweet the Hamilton Documentary

Well, most of it. I was at the banquet for the Conference on Faith and History biennial meeting in Virginia Beach, VA and missed the first five minutes of Hamilton’s America tonight on PBS. Then after I burst into our hotel room and saw that Katie was watching, I just sat in rapturous joy for a few … More Why Yes, I Did Live-Tweet the Hamilton Documentary

Best of The Pietist Schoolman: On Hamilton and History

In honor of the Hamilton documentary premiering tonight on PBS… Once more, with feeling: I’m not one for delaying gratification. But I somehow summoned the willpower to avoid buying the chart-topping cast recording of the acclaimed musical Hamilton until last month, when I knew that we would need listening material for our cross-country trip to Virginia. I was not disappointed. … More Best of The Pietist Schoolman: On Hamilton and History

At Long Last, My Post on Hamilton and History

It’s probably foolhardy to post on Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Broadway sensation Hamilton. Even if there’s anything new to say at this point, there’s no way to write about something so exhilarating and creative without coming off as dry and trite by comparison. Aaron Burr, the show’s narrator and somewhat sympathetic villain, would no doubt advise me to “Talk less, smile more.” But in … More At Long Last, My Post on Hamilton and History

What David Barton Doesn’t Understand about Graduate School and Christian Scholarship

Like Jared, I think it’s evident that David Barton struggles to understand what historians do and how we do it. That’s especially true whenever he gets to the intersection between faith and learning. Consider his recent mini-tirade against John Fea: He [Fea] said the founding fathers didn’t want ministers–the founding fathers were ministers in office [sic].  So they’re doing this … More What David Barton Doesn’t Understand about Graduate School and Christian Scholarship

What’s Coming Up This Fall at the Conference on Faith and History

I was honored this past spring to be elected to the executive board of the Conference on Faith and History, the leading professional society for Christian historians. As luck would have it, my first meeting with that group will take place at the CFH biennial meeting this October 20-22 in Virginia Beach, Virginia — on the other … More What’s Coming Up This Fall at the Conference on Faith and History