I’m a Pietist

Over the past months of transition, challenge, and uncertainty, I’ve learned something about myself: I’m a Pietist. It may seem like an obvious statement from someone who wrote a book called The Pietist Option and keeps a blog called The Pietist Schoolman. But I’m seeing even more clearly than before just how central Pietism is to my understanding … More I’m a Pietist

The Mothers of My Faith

There’s been more than a little Christian debate swirling around this year’s installment of Mothers’ Day. In part, it has to do with a certain enormously popular Southern Baptist layperson preaching — more on that later. But I’ve also seen a fair number of Christians on social media complain that Mothers’ Day is simply not … More The Mothers of My Faith

Set Down Your Mantle

Thanks to Cheryll Fong, Joyce Denham, Pastor Matt Kennedy, and all my other wonderful hosts this past weekend at Minneapolis’ Bethlehem Covenant Church. We discussed the Pietist Option on Friday night and Saturday morning, then I preached this sermon on 2 Kings 2:1-15 at worship services on Sunday. Don’t let anyone tell you that God … More Set Down Your Mantle

Glad Hearts: Some of My Favorite Voices from the Covenant Church

As I begin work on a book with one of its pastors about its theological heritage, I’ve been thinking a lot about the Evangelical Covenant Church. So with delegates from its congregations gathering in Phoenix, Arizona for our denomination’s annual meeting, I thought I’d share a few quotations from a few of my favorite Covenanters, clustered around our denomination’s … More Glad Hearts: Some of My Favorite Voices from the Covenant Church

Christian Unity as “Reconciled Diversity”

His encyclical Laudato Si’ has received such enormous (and justifiable) attention this month that I wonder how many people have noticed two smaller events involving Pope Francis: • On June 15th, the pope met with Czech Christians whose churches descend from the 15th century renewal movement led by Jan Hus, a key precursor to the Protestant Reformation … More Christian Unity as “Reconciled Diversity”

Am I “Making Religious Believers” Out of My Students? (part 2)

Okay, let’s go back to Wesleyan University president Michael Roth’s claim that while he wants his students (even fellow secularists) to engage with religious ideas and feelings, he certainly isn’t “trying to make a religious believer out of anybody.” But as a Christian historian — and as a professor at a Christian college — aren’t … More Am I “Making Religious Believers” Out of My Students? (part 2)