The Conference on Faith and History Condemns the Assault on the U.S. Capitol

For about a dozen years now, I’ve been active in the Conference on Faith and History, serving on its executive board since 2016. This week that board voted not only to endorse the American Historical Association’s condemnation of the January 6th insurrection in Washington, DC, but to publish our own statement, which I’ve reprinted below. … More The Conference on Faith and History Condemns the Assault on the U.S. Capitol

“A Time to Heal”

Yesterday Vice President Mike Pence declined to invoke the section of the 25th Amendment that would allow him temporarily to assume presidential powers from Donald Trump, setting up a historic impeachment vote today in the House of Representatives, with Democrats and even some Republicans likely to vote to send Donald Trump to a second Senate … More “A Time to Heal”

What Is Truth? The Return of “Nothing Rhymes with Gehrz”

If you’re a hardcore reader of The Pietist Schoolman and a family member and prone to spending too much time online, you might know that last spring my colleague Sam Mulberry and I premiered our latest podcast, Nothing Rhymes with Gehrz. Over the course of two gloriously unrehearsed episodes, we each suggested six words that (a) did not rhyme … More What Is Truth? The Return of “Nothing Rhymes with Gehrz”

Is Loyalty a Virtue?

I like to think of myself as a pretty loyal person. I’m wary of loyalty to imagined communities like nations, but when it comes to family members and close friends, I’d even say that I’m fiercely loyal. But one of the many consequences of the Trump presidency is that I’ve been reconsidering the moral status … More Is Loyalty a Virtue?

How Christian Scholars Seek Truth in a “Post-Truth” World

Fake news. Alternative facts. Post-truth. When those are the catch phrases of the moment, this portion of my employer’s statement of core values can seem both quaint and urgently needed: As learners, we are critical thinkers and problem-solvers committed to academic excellence and intellectual rigor. At the same time, we are truth-seekers, recognizing that all truth-scientific, artistic, philosophical, … More How Christian Scholars Seek Truth in a “Post-Truth” World

Confessing Faculty: Why I Signed (and Why I Hesitated)

It’s probably getting harder to believe my earlier claim that I rarely sign petitions, now that I’ve gone ahead and done so three times since last February. But please believe me that I don’t add my name lightly to documents like this “Statement of Confession and Commitment,” signed by a growing group of “Confessing Faculty” and inspired by … More Confessing Faculty: Why I Signed (and Why I Hesitated)

What Makes for the Best Historical Movies? (part 1)

I’m not planning to blog this week, while I join my family on vacation on Minnesota’s beautiful North Shore. But over at The Anxious Bench, my regular Tuesday post kicked off a new series on historical movies like this summer’s Civil War/Reconstruction epic, Free State of Jones. At the end of the series, I’ll reveal two of … More What Makes for the Best Historical Movies? (part 1)