That Was The Week That Was

This week I launched a Substack newsletter, devoting my first two issues to Frederick Douglass and Holocaust commemoration. Then I added a sequel here to the latter, reporting on several spots on Berlin. Elsewhere: • Singing hymns is probably my favorite spiritual discipline, but I had never thought about that practice originating in early Christian expectations of the Apocalypse. • Nor I … More That Was The Week That Was

That Was The Week That Was

This first week of 2022 I previewed some upcoming Lindbergh events and reflected on whether Christians ought to treat biography as hagiography, hamartiography, or something else. Elsewhere: • Yesterday my university decided to shift most classes online for the remainder of our J-term. I’m fine with that in our situation, but there are good reasons to … More That Was The Week That Was

That Was The Week That Was

This week I reflected again on what I’ve learned about history from eulogizing friends and found some common ground between Anglicanism and Pietism. Elsewhere: • “Greeting everyone with ‘Happy Holidays’ at Christmastime,” warned one Hindu writer, “disrespects and dilutes the meaning of Christmas without making religious minorities feel authentically included.” • The early leader for biggest grinch … More That Was The Week That Was

That Was The Week That Was

‘Twas a quiet week here at the home office, primarily because I ended up writing obituaries at our department blog for two retired colleagues who died within a few days of each other: political scientist Bill Johnson and historian Kevin Cragg. I added a longer, more personal tribute to Kevin at The Anxious Bench, where … More That Was The Week That Was

That Was The Week That Was

This week I considered the problem of evangelical catechesis, reflected on the length of biographies, and reported on the Anabaptist round of the Following Jesus conversation. Elsewhere: • The history of the American Civil War led Dan Williams to wonder “why, despite abundant historical and contemporary evidence that biblical interpretations vary widely, does the Bible continue … More That Was The Week That Was

That Was The Week That Was

This week I looked back at a debate over women in Bethel’s denomination, collaborated on a post about the faith of Walter Mondale, and shared some very positive early endorsements of my Charles Lindbergh biography. Elsewhere: • Especially as a Minnesotan, I was relieved to see justice done in the Derek Chauvin trial. But as Elizabeth … More That Was The Week That Was

The With-God Life: Faith without (Political) Works

I groaned a little when I saw James 2 show up on the daily lectionary yesterday and today. As a historian who teaches about the Reformation and a Protestant who still (mostly) celebrates its legacy, I’ve wrestled dozens of times with Martin Luther’s disdain for this “right strawy epistle,” which insists that “a person is … More The With-God Life: Faith without (Political) Works

That Was The Week That Was

In spare moments between grading, I passed along the story of Bethel’s soon-to-be first Digital Humanities graduate and took note of a proposed culture war compromise involving evangelical colleges. Then over at The Anxious Bench, I suggested that no historian writes about the past “as it actually happened” without imagining the past as they think … More That Was The Week That Was

That Was The Week That Was

While I was starting a new podcast season and sharing some final thoughts on the affordability and sustainability of Christian liberal arts colleges, here’s what some other writers had to say: • A Reformation Day question from Jay Phelan: what does it mean to be Protestant? • If an annual listen to “The Reformation Polka” … More That Was The Week That Was