That Was The Week That Was

Here…

• My family is looking for a new church in a different denomination.

• Is Civil War reenactment in decline?

• And I followed my department onto Instagram.

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…There and Everywhere

• At The Anxious Bench, I gave away a free idea to any historian or biographer who wants to write a more religiously-attuned version of my daughter’s current favorite book.

• It’s almost becoming cliché to find former churches and synagogues converted into bars, restaurants, shops, and condos. But some are turning into, well, churches and synagogues.

Billy Graham with Ronald and Nancy Reagan, 1981
Billy Graham and Ronald and Nancy Reagan in 1981 – Reagan Presidential Library

• Maybe it’s just that I’m teaching my Cold War class again and am thinking ahead to the week we’ll do on the 1980s, but reading this newly unearthed letter from a surprisingly devout Ronald Reagan to his dying father-in-law, an atheist, was a genuinely moving experience.

• Did you ever meet someone who inherited a family business but really should have been doing something else with their life? Meet Franklin Graham.

• Is 2 John addressed to a woman who held authority in the Early Church?

• “Remarkably,” wrote one Christian neuroscientist, “neuroscience tells us three things about the mind: the mind is metaphysically simple, the intellect and will are immaterial, and free will is real.”

• “If Germany is to be praised” for trying to come to terms with its Nazi past, “it is precisely because its history is ever-present, its struggle ongoing, and not because that history has been overcome.”

• Long, thoughtful essay on the challenges of American patriotism at The American Conservative: “What sentimental lasso is big enough to gather a solid us from such varied material? Well, the big one, maybe: we’re all human. But that’s the problem: the basic human things I share with my fellow Americans, I share with pretty much everyone.”