I’m a Pietist

Over the past months of transition, challenge, and uncertainty, I’ve learned something about myself: I’m a Pietist. It may seem like an obvious statement from someone who wrote a book called The Pietist Option and keeps a blog called The Pietist Schoolman. But I’m seeing even more clearly than before just how central Pietism is to my understanding … More I’m a Pietist


A couple weeks ago a reporter from our student newspaper interviewed me in my capacity as faculty president. After we chatted about some of the theological and political divisions currently roiling our community, he closed by asking if I had any words for the people of Bethel. Just that I’m grateful, I said. It’s a … More Jay

I’m a Historian, Not an Expert

I’ve only half-followed the recent Twitter dust-up between historians Thomas Kidd and John Fea and journalist Jonathan Merritt. You can get caught up to speed with this morning’s Anxious Bench post from John Turner. Throw in editor John Wilson (who rose to the historians’ defense), and you’ve got several of my favorite Johns/Jonathans sparring over what it meant … More I’m a Historian, Not an Expert

How You Can Participate in an Online Discussion of The Pietist Option

Our thanks to Anna Johnson, Reformation church history professor at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, who is leading an online discussion of The Pietist Option on Tuesday, November 13th at noon (Central time). Here’s how Garrett introduces our book at its webinars page: Pietists are Christianity’s historical behind-the-scenes influencers. They were an important inspiration for John Wesley, the Moravians, … More How You Can Participate in an Online Discussion of The Pietist Option

Why My Family Is Changing Churches (and Denominations)

Fifteen years ago this month, I walked into Salem Covenant Church in New Brighton, Minnesota. Save for a sabbatical in Virginia in 2016, I’ve been at Salem ever since. Not surprisingly, that congregation and its larger denomination, the Evangelical Covenant Church, have been regular topics here at The Pietist Schoolman. So I think I ought to … More Why My Family Is Changing Churches (and Denominations)

Open Theism, Evangelicalism, and Anabaptism (and Pietism)

Yesterday Mennonite World Review reported that Fresno Pacific University (FPU) in California had removed the president of its seminary, Terry Brensinger, and announced that pastors Greg Boyd, Brian Zahnd, and Bruxy Cavey would no longer teach in the seminary’s M.A. program in ministry, leadership, and culture. According to MWR reporter Tim Huber, several students have complained to … More Open Theism, Evangelicalism, and Anabaptism (and Pietism)