Today I’d like to revive a kind of holiday tradition from the early years of The Pietist Schoolman: going through some “best of” lists to curate a list of histories and biographies that might make for good Christmas presents for my readers. This year I’ll draw on year-end recommendations from the New York Times (NYT), Publishers Weekly … More The Best History Books of 2019?
Before spending most of the week enjoying a holiday trip with family, I reflected on the recent annual meeting of my home denomination, explained what’s been called the “honest patriotism” of abolitionist Frederick Douglass, and shared some reflections from my parents and two others who joined us last month on our World Wars in Western … More That Was The Week That Was
I know that, no matter how many times I get a chance to preach, I’ll always sound like a professor in the pulpit. But I’ve learned enough about sermon-writing to leave out several academic references in this past Sunday’s message on “Freedom in Christ.” To contrast Christian freedom with the American civil variety, I instead … More What Is the Freedom That Americans Celebrate Today?
Thanks to Rev. Johnny Agurkis for inviting me to preach yesterday at Cape Cod Covenant Church. Given some recent conversations in our denomination and the fact that it was the Sunday before Independence Day, the topic was an easy choice. I’m checking off a lot of firsts during my month-long visit to the East Coast. … More Freedom in Christ (Galatians 5)
Here… • I couldn’t spend four weeks at Yale without writing about its World War I memorials… • …which are right next to the auditorium where Charles Lindbergh made his first public address against U.S. participation in World War II. • In other news, I preached a sermon about sibling conflict, grace, and Christian unity. … More That Was The Week That Was
The college football stadium that served as my home state’s WWI memorial was demolished in 1992, but you can still find World War I memorials at many colleges and universities in this country. I doubt any American institution of higher learning did more to commemorate WWI than my graduate alma mater: Yale University. Students at Yale had … More How One University Remembers World War I
I preached this sermon yesterday at Rice Creek Covenant Church in Lino Lakes, Minnesota. I was there partly to teach an adult class on The Pietist Option, but the text came from the congregation’s participation in our denomination’s Immerse Bible reading program. They’d just finished Exodus 1-24… I have to say, it’s risky to invite a non-preacher to … More God Will Speak… and We Will Die
Here… • I found some more evidence of the Pietist impact on American religious history. • Indexing the Bible verses cited in our new book made me wonder again about the place of the Old Testament in Christian theology. • One particular Hebrew scripture has been especially formative for Christians living in exile, from 16th … More That Was The Week That Was
Here… • You can add “fledgling Charles Lindbergh biographer” to my résumé. • If you want to see the Pietist option in practice, visit an Evangelical Covenant congregation like Abbey Way of Minneapolis, MN or Vox Veniae of Austin, TX. • Coming across an essay by the ECC’s “first female theologian” helped me think through … More That Was The Week That Was
Last Friday I took issue with Vice President Mike Pence’s commencement address at the U.S. Naval Academy, in part because he exhorted graduates to “Follow the chain of command without exception. Submit yourselves, as the saying goes, to the authorities that have been placed above you.” His allusion to Romans 13:1-2 (or 1 Peter 2:13-14) got … More Public Uses of Romans 13 in American History