Archives for August 2012


Following the recent untimely death of Marvin Meyer, I have been thinking of a dear friend who was his close contemporary, and who died at an even earlier age. This was Bill Petersen, who taught New Testament and Early Christianity at Penn State until his death in 2006, at age 56, and who was probably [Read More…]

Monotheism and Religious Pluralism

This semester, I’m teaching an introductory course on “Religions of the West.” My initial hope was that the crafters of the curriculum meant the American West. I figured I could spend half the course on Mormonism, complementing that with units on native religions, Mexican-American Catholicism, and the development of eastern religions on the West Coast. [Read More…]

Engaging the Past, Engaging History

I was going to write about the GOP Convention today, but I found the following topic more interesting: Over at Books and Culture, Nicholas Wolterstorff reviews Mark Noll’s Jesus Christ and the Life of the Mind.   For Christian scholars, it doesn’t get any better than this.  For the past generation, Noll and Wolterstorff have been [Read More…]

Jonathan Edwards on True Christianity

Our church recently hosted a presentation by Owen Strachan, who teaches theology and church history at Boyce College in Louisville, Ky. Strachan is the co-author, with Douglas Sweeney (Strachan’s doctoral mentor), of the five-volume Essential Edwards Collection (2010). I happily came away from the session with a copy of one of these volumes, Jonathan Edwards on True Christianity. [Read More…]


I just read an obituary of Early Christianity scholar Marvin Meyer, who died at the obscenely early age of 64. In recent years, Meyer was best known for his edition of the Gospel of Judas, which in his view portrayed Judas in vastly more positive terms than the conventional account. His translation was however controversial, [Read More…]


Well, this takes me back. Do you know how long it is since anyone accused me of being in the pay of the KGB? I have been taking some heat for a column I wrote over at RealClearReligion on the subject of the punk band Pussy Riot, and their demonstration in Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ [Read More…]

The Carnivore’s Dilemma

I like to eat. My family was in the live-to-eat category while I was growing up. I sometimes worry that had we been there when Jesus fed thousands, there would only have been eleven (or maybe ten) baskets of food left over. One reason I was a terrible Boy Scout was because camping food was [Read More…]

Stephen Covey: Mormon Theologian?

Matthew Bowman, writing at the Religion in American History Blog, has a fascinating piece on Stephen Covey, one of the leading motivational/self-improvement writers of the past generation. Covey, who recently passed away, was the author most famously of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. Bowman: It is perhaps no coincidence that Covey’s interpretation of Mormon theology [Read More…]

Paul Ryan and the Curious Case of the Missing Evangelicals

We now have a presidential ticket without at least one candidate who is nominally Protestant. The Daily Caller‘s Matt K. Lewis saw this coming a couple weeks ago, and interviewed me about the prospect. “I don’t think it [will] be particularly important in this election,” says  Kidd … “Evangelicals would be heartened by the selection of [Read More…]


I am a fully certified Welsh person. In fact, other products of my hometown of Port Talbot include Richard Burton and Anthony Hopkins, with Rowan Williams and Catherine Zeta-Jones born down the road. We specialize in high drama. Through the years, I have also published extensively on Welsh history, which offers an interesting case-study in [Read More…]