That Was The Week That Was

This week I questioned my own skepticism about miraculous healing. Elsewhere: • Half of the country’s Christian congregations have 65 or fewer attenders — half what the attendance level was at the start of the century. • Meanwhile, not quite half of Americans have watched church online during the COVID pandemic — and one-third of them don’t normally … More That Was The Week That Was

That Was The Week That Was

This week I wrote about the religious implications of life on other planets and received the first advance review of my Lindbergh biography. Elsewhere: • Philip Jenkins did me the great honor of writing a sequel to my extraterrestrials post, filling in some important, esoteric context to help explain why an English devotee of Eastern … More That Was The Week That Was

That Was The Week That Was

This week I turned in my Lindbergh biography manuscript and recorded a new COVID-themed episode of my favorite, strangest podcast. Elsewhere: • “Nothing in a church or a family stays hidden forever,” wrote Bob Smietana of a new church scandal, centering on John Ortberg and his children. • In his first public comments since being … More That Was The Week That Was

Thursday’s Podcast: The Future of Sports Media

Apart from debating the wisdom and likelihood of baseball returning by July, this week on The 252 we primarily talked about the two topics that students in History and Politics of Sports encountered in this second-to-last week of spring classes. 1. Chris talked about the history and (complicated!) politics of sports gambling, and how it’s being affected … More Thursday’s Podcast: The Future of Sports Media

Wednesday’s Podcast: Inside the Life of an NFL Player

On this week’s special episode of The 252 (“Sports talk radio as done by academics”), Chris, Sam, and I talked about baseball’s cheating scandal and the Mennonite college graduate who’s making history at the Super Bowl. But mostly, this episode exists for the sake of a long interview we recorded with Greg Jennings, a two-time Pro Bowl … More Wednesday’s Podcast: Inside the Life of an NFL Player

Wednesday’s Podcast: A Sports Reading List

On today’s new episode of The 252, Chris Moore and I talked through some of the books and articles we’ll be assigning next spring in our History and Politics of Sports course at Bethel University. Our basic text will be Richard Davies’ Sports in American Life, but Chris also suggested adopting Victor Cha’s analysis of the politics of … More Wednesday’s Podcast: A Sports Reading List

Wednesday’s Podcast: Sports and Journalism

This week on The 252 we welcomed Bethel journalism professor Scott Winter and Bethel Clarion sports editor Jared Martinson to our studio. Mostly, they were there to talk about the practice of sports journalism, including the impact of ESPN and digitization, the similarities and differences between reporting and broadcasting, and the economics of covering sports. But since Chris … More Wednesday’s Podcast: Sports and Journalism

That Was The Week That Was

As explained in this space, I’m temporarily focusing more of my online energies on podcasts, like this week’s 252 discussion of sports as religion. But at The Anxious Bench I did find the time to write a Christian case for journalism and to profile a now-forgotten religious figure who was reviled by everyone from Charles Lindbergh to … More That Was The Week That Was

Understanding the Importance of Journalism, As Americans and Christians

There are several good reasons to fear that American democracy is being irreparably damaged by the current administration. Foremost, in my opinion, is the way that Donald Trump and his political allies have waged relentless rhetorical war on the reporters, editors, and other journalists who are doing their best to seek truth, minimize harm, and act … More Understanding the Importance of Journalism, As Americans and Christians