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?

What My Daughter Taught Me This Weekend about Courage… and Education

“This is going to be on the blog, isn’t it?” This post is about to prove my friend Will right. But honestly, as we stood in front of the climbing wall at Covenant Pines Bible Camp this past Saturday afternoon, all I could think was, “I can’t believe Lena wants to go up that thing!” My daughter is … More What My Daughter Taught Me This Weekend about Courage… and Education

What Qualities Should Christian Voters Seek in Political Candidates?

I observed late last month that the candidacy of Donald Trump should push pastors — and others looked to for pastoral counsel — to take up the work of political theology and help their parishioners answer questions about Christian participation in politics. With the Iowa caucuses just hours away, at least one such question has come … More What Qualities Should Christian Voters Seek in Political Candidates?

Best of The Pietist Schoolman: A Pietist Model of Christian Scholarship

It’s going to be an unusually busy summer week for this college professor, so in place of new posts, enjoy a few of my favorites from the first half of 2014. We’ll start with my attempt to sketch a Pietist alternative to the scholarly model known as “faith-learning integration” — a three-part series that represented … More Best of The Pietist Schoolman: A Pietist Model of Christian Scholarship

A Pietist Model of Christian Scholarship: Transformation and Character

In the first part of this post, I offered a Pietist critique of “the integration of faith and learning.” Today, as I continue to rework my recent presentation to Bethel’s annual faith-learning faculty workshop, I’ll tentatively suggest how Pietism might offer an alternative to the “integrationist” model of Christian scholarship. (I had intended this to be a … More A Pietist Model of Christian Scholarship: Transformation and Character

“An Honorable Word as a Dishonorable Handle”: Karl Olsson on Pietism

The late Karl A. Olsson (whose 100th birthday we celebrated yesterday) had a lithograph in his home office with the following caption: “A Pietist disturbs the joy in a tavern.” Given the importance Olsson attached to joy, it’s not surprising that he wrestled with the legacy of Pietism: disturbed by the ways in which its … More “An Honorable Word as a Dishonorable Handle”: Karl Olsson on Pietism

The Education of a Christian President

In our Christianity and Western Culture program at Bethel, we refer frequently to the biblical image of being surrounded by “so great a cloud of witnesses.” In my experience, few witnesses have been greater than the Dutch-born writer known as Erasmus (1466?-1536). In class yesterday I mostly presented Erasmus as exemplifying how the “Catholic Reformation” … More The Education of a Christian President

Women, Virtue, and Politics: From 1793 to Today

On October 30, 1793, the French National Convention — having repeatedly declined to recognize women’s right to vote — abolished women’s debating clubs and other political societies. It may be tempting to dismiss this as a little-remembered moment of misogyny by revolutionaries five weeks into their Reign of Terror. Except that the Jacobins and other … More Women, Virtue, and Politics: From 1793 to Today

Confessing History: Theory and Method

Today I’ll come back to my series on Confessing History: Explorations in Christian Faith and the Historian’s Vocation, eds. John Fea, Jay Green, and Eric Miller (University of Notre Dame Press). I should reiterate that I read the book alongside my students in HIS499 Senior Seminar, the capstone course for History majors at Bethel University. … More Confessing History: Theory and Method