Archives for July 2012

The National Parks’ Best Kept Secret? Junior Rangers

The National Parks may well be “America’s best idea” (goodness knows the government has had many worse ideas), and one of their best programs is the Junior Rangers. As homeschooling parents of young children, we have gone to many national parks and found that doing the Junior Ranger activities is just the trick for maintaining [Read More…]


Last week, I had the great pleasure of attending the International meetings of the Society of Biblical Literature at the University of Amsterdam. Given the city’s pivotal history in Biblical scholarship, there really could have been no better choice of venue. I have through the years attended many such events, but I was thinking what [Read More…]


I recently posted about The Damnation Of Theron Ware, a classic example of a book that was hugely popular and influential for some decades, but is now largely forgotten. Actually, literary history is littered with such cases, and their oblivion is often unfortunate, as some of these texts – like Theron Ware itself – are [Read More…]

Catholic Political Impotence

Since he hasn’t drawn attention to it here, I wanted to point our readers to Philip Jenkins’s recent essay at Real Clear Religion about the long-term effects of the sexual abuse scandals within the American Catholic Church. (It is a pleasant indulgence to catch up on good writing at RCR every few days). Jenkins argues [Read More…]

What Are You Reading This Summer?

I am sure that the educated and informed readers of the Anxious Bench are making their  way through summer reading lists.   As for me, I have been mostly reading academic stuff.  Here is my list: Peter Novick, That Noble Dream: The ‘Objectivity Question’ and the American Historical Profession.  I have not read this book since [Read More…]

Patrick Henry, Homeschooler

Here’s a popular post I wrote last year at Patheos: Patrick Henry, the greatest orator of the American Revolution, was homeschooled. Born in 1736 as the second of eleven children, he attended a small common school until he was 10. After that, his father took primary responsibility for his education. He read classics of Greek [Read More…]


Some of the world’s grimmest headlines these days are coming out of North Africa, and particularly the vast country of Mali, which few Westerners would be able to locate on a map. As I described in a recent column on RealClearReligion, the country has become a happy hunting ground for brutal Islamist militias, many claiming [Read More…]


I recently did a column on RealClearReligion about a music-related topic that I think needs further exploration. This also segues nicely from John Fea’s post about 1980s Christian music, and John Turner’s piece on Explo ’72. Briefly, I noted that in the 1970s, America witnesses a religious revival with a strong youth focus, as ably [Read More…]

Douthat on Liberal Christianity’s Death

Earlier this week, Philip touched on Ross Douthat’s provocative — if not particularly original — NYT op-ed on the demise of the Episcopal Church, USA. As a member of the also rapidly dwindling Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), the issues involved are both familiar and personal to me as well. (The PCUSA has lost about 20 percent [Read More…]

Be Ye Glad: Christian Music in the 1980s

Last week while I was in Ocean City, New Jersey, my family and I attended a concert by the Christian group GLAD.  Evangelicals of a certain age will remember GLAD.  They began in the 1970s as a progressive Christian rock band based in the Philadelphia area and sometime during the late 1980s reinvented themselves as [Read More…]