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…]

American History and the American Church: A Proposal

I spent the weekend in the beautiful beach town of Ocean City, NJ where I was the guest of St. Peter’s United Methodist Church.  I spoke in all three Sunday morning services (including an 8am communion service on the boardwalk!) and gave a public lecture on how liberal arts education, especially the study of history, [Read More…]

What I Learned from J.D. Salinger

I usually don’t read literary biographies, but recently Kenneth Slawenski’s J.D. Salinger: A Life came across my desk and I could not put it down.  I had never given much thought before to the life and career of J.D. Salinger.  I think I read The Catcher in the Rye at some point in high school, [Read More…]

Finding Hope at a Middle School Graduation Ceremony

My daughter graduated from eighth grade tonight.  I was very proud of her.  As the president of her middle school’s student council she had the opportunity to address the audience and introduce the evening’s festivities. After a few inspirational charges from school administrators, much of my evening was spent, as is the case with most [Read More…]

Praise the Lord and Pass the Caffeine

This Sunday the preacher was talking about how the church sanctuary is a sacred place.  It reminded me of a piece I wrote about five years ago called “Praise the Lord and Pass the Caffeine.”  For those of you who have not seen it, or have not read it in its entirety, here it is.  [Read More…]

Remembering Megan

Professors are not supposed to attend the funerals of their students. But roughly one year ago today I was sitting in a funeral home in southern New Jersey mourning the death of Megan. She died on May 25, 2011 from complications related to her ten year battle with Lupus.  She was 31 years old.  Megan [Read More…]

On the Road With Christian America

As many of the readers of my blog, “The Way of Improvement Leads Home” are aware, I have spent a good portion of 2011 and 2012 on the road and on the radio waves promoting my book Was America Founded as a Christian Nation? In the process, I have learned a lot about what Americans [Read More…]

What Jefferson Believed

There has been a lot of fuss lately about the beliefs of Thomas Jefferson and his understanding of the relationship between religion and the public life.   Most of the fuss has been focused on David Barton’s new book, The Jefferson Lies: Exposing the Myth’s You’ve Always Believed About Thomas Jefferson.  I must confess that I [Read More…]