Eliza-R.-Snow

Brigham Young’s Favorite Hymn

On April 8, 1877, Brigham Young delivered a sermon on the occasion of his imminent departure from the St. George Temple. Many observers of Young's multifaceted career forget how significant temple-building was for him and for his legacy. "We shall build Temples over north and South America," Young declared in 1875 while planning the construction of a temple in Manti, Utah. Twenty years earlier, he had expressed his hope that men and women would one day work in "thousands of Temples" in order to … [Read More...]

i-pencil

From “I, Pencil” to “I, Smartphone”: The Moral Limits of the Market

I'm pleased to feature a guest post by my friend and colleague Kevin Brown, an assistant professor of business and economics at Asbury University. This column is based in part on an article, "Capitalism and the Common Good," that appears in the September 2014 issue of Christianity Today. *** In the late 1950s, the economist Leonard Read wrote an essay that continues to demand attention over half a century later. The subject? A pencil. Seeking to convey the multitude of economic forces, … [Read More...]

The New Birth: A Uniquely American Concept?

Last week at CNN.com, progressive Christian author Matthew Paul Turner wrote a piece about the ways that America has "changed God." George Whitefield came into the discussion in way #2. Rather than engaging humanity through communal covenants—holy connections usually reserved for large groups —a … [Read More...]

Big History. Too Big.

Well into the early modern period, some histories of the world written by Europeans started the story way back—in the garden of Eden.  Not just church history, but what passed as universal histories, might start with the creation of the world.Nor is it strange for historians to consider their di … [Read More...]

Becoming Mary

In a recent post, I looked at the mysterious figure of the “Woman clothed with the Sun,” depicted in the Book of Revelation. I suggested that she was likely to symbolize New Israel or the Church, although later generations have usually connected her with the Virgin Mary, and the Revelation passage ha … [Read More...]

The Best Evangelicals on Campus

The recent de-recognition of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship by the massive California State University system is another escalation in a long simmering conflict.Often with considerable hyperbole, evangelicals have long complained of mistreatment at the hands of university administrators and … [Read More...]

Re-envisioning Our Public: The Conference on Faith and History 2014

For decades, committed evangelicals such as Richard Pierard, Robert Linder, George Marsden, Mark Noll, Nathan Hatch and others worked towards two different goals aimed at two different audiences.  First, to an evangelical constituency in which fundamentalism's suspicion of the academy lingered, they … [Read More...]

How to Survive Graduate School

As a new semester begins, it is a good time to reflect on the practices that students - particularly graduate students - need to survive and even thrive. Graduate programs are designed to make you part of a guild of professional experts, and require an enormous amount of reading and writing in order … [Read More...]

The Woman Clothed With The Sun

I recently posted on changing ideas about the Virgin Mary's role in the New Testament, suggesting that we see an upsurge of respectful interest in her towards the 90s of the first century. I am still grappling with the reasons for this change. I’d like here to explore one particular Bible passage t … [Read More...]

The War That Never Was

This is nothing like a standard Anxious Bench post, but it does get to some issues of how we write history.As I've remarked in the past, a lot of professional historians dislike and distrust "alternate" history, which they see as a kind of pointless parlor game. But we all use an approach like … [Read More...]

Pioneer Prophet in Paperback

My co-blogger Thomas Kidd mentioned in his most recent post that he has learned "how much authors need to work on publicity."So here goes -- next week, Harvard University Press is releasing the paperback edition of my Brigham Young: Pioneer Prophet. What was a tremendous value is now an outright … [Read More...]

Unexpected Sites of Christian Pacifism: Charles Spurgeon Edition

Charles Spurgeon, a Reformed Baptist known as the “prince of preachers” in the nineteenth century, remains revered. Known especially for his devotional writings, he currently ranks in the top 100 bestsellers of Christian literature on Amazon. Tom Nettles, a professor of historical theology at Sou … [Read More...]

Writing a Book, From Start to Finish

One of my newsletter subscribers, Job Dalomba [jobdalomba.com] suggested that I write a post how how to do "book projects from start to finish, and share any ideas on how to get started." Philip Jenkins and I have been posting lately about how to choose a research subject, but I loved this … [Read More...]

Bonhoeffer’s “Who am I?”

Much attention has been directed to the legacy of Dietrich Bonhoeffer lately due in part to the popular biography by Eric Metaxas (Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy) and, more recently, the more scholarly approach of Charles Marsh (A Strange Glory: The Life Of Dietrich Bonhoeffer).For … [Read More...]

William J. Seymour and Global Pentecostalism

I just received a copy of a major new book, which should be of great interest to Anxious Bench readers. Even better, I also draw attention to another and closely related text from the same hand.Gastón Espinosa, who teaches at Claremont McKenna College, has just published a substantial volume … [Read More...]

The Age of Evangelicalism

Steven Miller's first book, Billy Graham and the Rise of the Republican South, discusses the role of Graham and of evangelical Christianity more broadly in the political realignment of southern politics in the years following the Second World War. Miller's second book, The Age of Evangelicalism: … [Read More...]

In Memoriam: Dale A. Johnson (1936 – 2014)

Feeling a vocational calling to teach, I completed all of the graduate school application necessaries in the fall of 2000.  I secured recommendations letters, practiced and sat for the GRE, wrote essays, ordered transcripts, and made contact with potential supervisors at the schools to which I … [Read More...]

Choosing a research topic

Philip Jenkins' recent post on choosing a subject for a book or research project is well worth your time. If there's anyone who knows how to pick a topic, it is Professor Jenkins!From my own time in a Master's and Ph.D. program, through the present as I advise Baylor doctoral students, I am … [Read More...]

She Treasured It In Her Heart

I’m wondering when it is possible to argue from silence when reading historical sources, and particularly in a Biblical context.I have been writing recently on the Virgin Mary in early Christianity, and was initially taken aback to find how even I tended to attribute statements to the wrong g … [Read More...]

Finding a Subject

Beth Barr, Tommy Kidd and myself have all been posting on the subject of writing and publishing, particularly of academic books.All of us trod lightly on one of the most important aspects of all, namely how someone goes about choosing a topic in the first place. In some cases, it’s easy. You m … [Read More...]


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