Archives for December 2012


Advent is one of my favorite times in the church year. For many reasons, I particularly relish the “O Antiphons,” which belong precisely to this season. They are so very rich in the lessons they teach, with implications for Christmas, of course, but also for the relationship between the Old and New Testaments, and (surprisingly [Read More…]

Book of the Year — When God Talks Back

‘Tis the season for list-making. My co-bloggers have given you their five favorite religious biographies and seven best books read this year, respectively. Let’s face it. There are a lot of great books about American religion rolling off the presses each year. Making lists of good books is easy work. It’s harder to pick the [Read More…]

The Best Books in American Religious History That I Read This Year

In the wake of Thomas Kidd’s post on his five most compelling religious biographies, I thought I would offer an end-of-the year reading list of my own.  Here are some of the best books (in no particular order) I read this year in the field of American religious history: John Smolenski, Friends and Strangers: The [Read More…]

Five Compelling Religious Biographies

People love biographies, and I am regularly asked to recommend good ones during the lead-up to Christmas. One of the most frustrating things about the bookselling business is that there is no necessary correlation between the prominent placement of books at the bookstore, or the review of them in newspapers and magazines, and the enduring [Read More…]


I have been struck in recent years by how many evangelicals have sought to reconnect with liturgical practice. Often, they follow the Ancient Future movement, under the influence of the late Robert Webber and his copious publications. In State College, PA, for instance, one of the most flourishing Baptist churches offers a liturgy-focused service. Some [Read More…]

Sunday Night Odds and Ends

A few things online that caught my attention this week: The Humanities Indicators “Dancing in the Dark” in Oakland Cracking the Roger Williams code Sean Wilentz’s history of Columbia Records Historical thinking and historical films Florida historians vs. Florida’s governor Mapping American writers Read more here [Read more…]