In Praise of Folly

Although I just wrote a biography about a man dedicated to the art of practical joking, I can’t stand April Fool’s Day. Because even if I were clever enough to come up with hilarious practical jokes, I’d feel guilty about making other people to look foolish. But driving to work today, it struck me that … More In Praise of Folly

The Conference on Faith and History Condemns the Assault on the U.S. Capitol

For about a dozen years now, I’ve been active in the Conference on Faith and History, serving on its executive board since 2016. This week that board voted not only to endorse the American Historical Association’s condemnation of the January 6th insurrection in Washington, DC, but to publish our own statement, which I’ve reprinted below. … More The Conference on Faith and History Condemns the Assault on the U.S. Capitol

Twelve Days: Pipers Piping

I’m mildly proud of myself for getting almost all the way through a twelve-day Christmas devotional series before even mentioning the song “The Twelve Days of Christmas.” But here on day eleven, I’ve been thinking about the apocryphal story that the song originated as a kind of catechism for English Catholics to teach their children … More Twelve Days: Pipers Piping

Twelve Days: Jesus’ Sisters and Brothers

Why is Christmas the shortest season in the Christian calendar? I think it’s partly because of a relative silence in the New Testament. The season that starts with the birth of Christ would naturally be the time to learn about the years immediately following Nativity, but the Bible says almost nothing about Jesus’ childhood, adolescence, … More Twelve Days: Jesus’ Sisters and Brothers