That Was The Week That Was

This week I introduced Anxious Bench readers to 1918’s version of pandemic Christmas. I failed to write anything at this blog, but in my defense, I did need some time to come up with this: And elsewhere… • Baseball doesn’t often make national news in December, but this decision certainly warranted attention. • Thomas Kidd considered the … More That Was The Week That Was

The With-God Life: “If you wish to be perfect…”

Every once in a while, the readings from the daily lectionary just line up perfectly. See if you can spot the theme: • Today starts with the author of the longest psalm — whose “hope is in [God’s] ordinances” — pledging to keep God’s “law continually, for ever and ever” (Ps 119:43-44). • In case the people … More The With-God Life: “If you wish to be perfect…”

Are These the Top 25 Christian Writings?

Okay, I really hadn’t meant to blog this week. But then my onetime colleague Chris Armstrong posted a link to the newest issue of Christian History Magazine (he’s the senior editor) and I knew that I had to put up at least one post. How could a self-respecting Christian historian-blogger fail to make some kind of response to a list claiming … More Are These the Top 25 Christian Writings?

The Benedict Option

The conflict of the Present and the Past, The ideal and the actual in our life, As on a field of battle held me fast, Where this world and the next world were at strife. For, as the valley from its sleep awoke, I saw the iron horses of the steam Toss to the morning air their plumes of smoke, And woke, as one awaketh from a dream. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, “Monte Cassino“ Almost fifteen hundred years ago a hermit in flight from Rome — “disgusted,” wrote Longfellow, with that city’s “vice and woe” — settled on a mountain in the Abruzzis, forming a community and writing a rule that would make him the father of Western monasticism. … More The Benedict Option

The Christian Liberal Arts as Spiritual Retreat

I’m about to head up to the second and final day of Bethel‘s annual faculty retreat, a venerable tradition meant to help us reconnect after a summer away, engage in some professional development (e.g., yesterday I sat in on a session about open access publishing and digital humanities), hear from our leaders, and worship together. … More The Christian Liberal Arts as Spiritual Retreat

First Impressions of a “Pope of Firsts” (part 2)

It scarcely seems possible to keep up with all the reporting and analysis on the election of Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, Archbishop of Buenos Aires, as the newest pope — the “pope of firsts,” say many commentators. And in this second post passing along a couple more themes I’ve noticed in what I have managed to … More First Impressions of a “Pope of Firsts” (part 2)

New Pietisten!

12/18/12 – The Winter 2012 issue of Pietisten is now available! In addition to my own piece on experiencing Christian unity in sacrament, song, and service, be sure to check out Bob Bach’s reflection on Christmas and light, Carolyn Poterek’s homily on Pietism as an Ephesians 4 movement, Michelle Urberg’s visit to a late medieval … More New Pietisten!