Today I’m happy to welcome my Bethel colleague Ruben Rivera to the blog. Educated at Vanguard University, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and Boston University, Ruben came to Bethel in 1997 as a history professor, and now serves as our chief diversity officer. He regularly speaks to Christian and community groups about shalom, diversity, and reconciliation. What … More Diversity, Shalom, and Remarkable Christianity (Ruben Rivera)
If anyone in the world is predisposed to appreciate the 1928 Kellogg-Briand Pact, it’s me. As a parochial Minnesotan, I’m happy to claim one of our native sons as both U.S. Secretary of State and Nobel Peace Prize winner. My undergraduate honors thesis featured Frank Kellogg’s co-laureate, French foreign minister Aristide Briand, who went on … More Did Outlawing War Actually Work?
It was almost exactly a year ago that the family and friends of G.W. Carlson gathered in Bethel University’s Great Hall to celebrate his life. So it’s appropriate that we mark the anniversary by announcing the publication of a special issue of The Baptist Pietist Clarion, the publication that he edited for nearly fifteen years. For their work bringing … More A Special Tribute to G.W. Carlson
I woke this morning to terrible news, just down the road. And took a shot at writing about it. Thanks to the many who read and shared that post, and to those who wrote back words of encouragement and counsel. But this terrible day ends with more death, as snipers opened fire on police at … More Dallas (One More Inadequate Response)
Here… • This is normally not a blog about politics. But there was nothing normal about Donald Trump becoming the presumptive nominee of a major political party. • Trump famously promises to “Make America Great Again.” Which got me wondering if “Make the Church Great Again” is a valid aspiration for Christians — and if so, when was the Church … More That Was The Week That Was
It’s one of the four instincts that we think defines the Pietist ethos: to trust that Christians are better together than apart. Around Bethel, it shows up as an “irenic [or peaceable] spirit” that leads us to avoid needless controversy and try to reach decisions by consensus; in the Evangelical Covenant Church, it results in our affirmation of having the … More Thursday’s Podcast: A Peaceable Spirit
Back in my very first post, I looked forward to using this blog to engage in “intellectual spring cleaning… to clear out some stray thoughts taking up mental space, expose them to the harsh light of day, and see if they look as profound on screen as they can sound in my mind at 1am.” I’ve learned not … More Blogging’s Impossible… Here’s How I’ll Try to Do It
The first of two guest posts this week comes from our friend Jared Burkholder, chair of the History and Political Science Department at Grace College. The rhetoric that has surrounded the recent controversy in the CCCU and the departure of Goshen College and Eastern Mennonite University has underscored, at least for me, the way Anabaptist … More How Peacemaking Helps Frame the Context of Anabaptism, Sexuality, and Higher Education
His encyclical Laudato Si’ has received such enormous (and justifiable) attention this month that I wonder how many people have noticed two smaller events involving Pope Francis: • On June 15th, the pope met with Czech Christians whose churches descend from the 15th century renewal movement led by Jan Hus, a key precursor to the Protestant Reformation … More Christian Unity as “Reconciled Diversity”
5/4/15 – Readers of this blog would do well to check out the Baptist Pietist Clarion, edited by my friend and occasional guest-blogger G.W. Carlson. In addition to recurring Clarion themes like racial reconciliation, peacemaking, church-state separation, and Baptist identity, the April 2015 issue features reviews of books by Philip Yancey, Christena Cleveland, Frank Lambert, and Roger Olson & Christian Collins Winn.