That Was The Week That Was

I marked the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 by considering how people at the time made religious meaning of the Space Race, then shared my newest piece for Christianity Today and a map previewing the sites we’re considering for future Pietist Schoolman Travel tours. Elsewhere… • L.D. Burnett on the moon landing as an epochal moment: “After thousands of … More That Was The Week That Was

That Was The Week That Was

Before spending most of the week enjoying a holiday trip with family, I reflected on the recent annual meeting of my home denomination, explained what’s been called the “honest patriotism” of abolitionist Frederick Douglass, and shared some reflections from my parents and two others who joined us last month on our World Wars in Western … More That Was The Week That Was

That Was The Week That Was

Here… • I couldn’t spend four weeks at Yale without writing about its World War I memorials… • …which are right next to the auditorium where Charles Lindbergh made his first public address against U.S. participation in World War II. • In other news, I preached a sermon about sibling conflict, grace, and Christian unity. … More That Was The Week That Was

Be Thou My Vision

“He was brilliant,” said his friend Joel Frederickson of our late colleague Adam Johnson, at the Bethel memorial service this morning. “But he never acted like he was brilliant.” Over and over that hour, we heard students, alumni, and friends bear witness to Adam’s humble brilliance. But the meaning we most often attach to the … More Be Thou My Vision

Beyond Books: Hymns as Christian Writing

As longtime readers know, I love Christian hymnody, especially that of my own tradition, Scandinavian Pietism. So I was happy for the excuse to revisit those songs as I kicked off a new Anxious Bench series today: on looking beyond books to other types of Christian writing. It’s a kind of belated response to the top 25 Christian writings list that Christian … More Beyond Books: Hymns as Christian Writing

Three of My Favorite Un-Cheery Christian Songs

If you missed it in my Saturday wrap-up, Leah Libresco’s analysis of the unrelenting cheeriness of contemporary Christian music (CCM) is well-deserving of your attention. Looking through the last five years’ worth songs to wind up Billboard’s year-end Christian Top 50 charts, she found striking lyrical imbalance: There were 2.5 times as many mentions of “grace” as “sin” in … More Three of My Favorite Un-Cheery Christian Songs