Notes to First-Year Students on Mystery and the Liberal Arts

Today’s post comes from a talk I gave several years ago at Asbury University, where I teach history. After welcoming nearly 400 new students to campus for orientation, we didn’t waste any time starting up academic conversations. All incoming students read G.K. Chesterton’s mystery thriller The Man Who Was Thursday for their liberal arts seminar, [Read More…]

How Activists Claimed Primary Season (for awhile)

During the Democratic National Convention, supporters of Bernie Sanders denounced the superdelegate system as rigged. For their part, some Republican Party elites sought to derail Donald Trump’s nomination by changing convention rules to release already-pledged superdelegates to vote against Trump. In the face of seemingly universal denunciations of the superdelegate system, it’s worth considering its [Read More…]

Trump, Evangelicals, and the Democratic Party

White evangelicals have become such an entrenched bloc in the Republican Party that four out of every five of them plan to vote for Trump. [Read more…]

The Limits of a Narrow Evangelical Advocacy

Today’s guest post comes from David Bronkema, Associate Professor of International Development at Eastern University near Philadelphia. He is author of “Foster Just and Sustainable Economic Development,” in Glen Stassen, ed, Just Peacemaking: Ten Practices for Abolishing War and co-author of the just-released Advocating for Justice: An Evangelical Vision for Transforming Systems and Structures. *** [Read More…]

How Evangelicals Turned from a Born-Again Christian to a Divorced Hollywood Actor

Many evangelicals became deeply disillusioned with Carter’s presidency. The sharp decline in ticket-splitting from 1976 to 1980—that is, voting for Carter at the top of the ticket and then for Republicans elsewhere on their ballots—suggested that support for Carter in 1976 was in fact an anomaly rooted in evangelical identity. What happened between 1976 and [Read More…]

The Limits of Evangelical Identity Politics

Jimmy Carter’s born-again credentials drew many evangelicals to the polls in 1976. Evangelicals who had never campaigned for a candidate campaigned for Carter. Jerry Falwell, future founder of the Moral Majority, encouraged evangelicals to vote for the Democratic candidate. Pat Robertson, who claimed credit for Carter’s win in the Pennsylvania primary, hosted the candidate on [Read More…]

J.C. Can Save America

Ted Cruz marshals a rhetoric of Christian America in his campaign for president. Christians should “take back” or “reclaim” America, he says, from secularist liberals who have led the nation from its Christian origins. This vocabulary echoes that of his discredited adviser David Barton. His own father Rafael Cruz preaches a dominionist theology and suggests [Read More…]

The Evangelical Onion

If you haven’t run across the Babylon Bee yet, check it out. It’s the evangelical version of the satirical online news source The Onion, and it’s made a big splash. In its first three weeks, the Bee has scored more than one million page views. Even the Washington Post has noticed, last week running a [Read More…]

Food Rules and Habituated Practice

Last week I described an “eating exercise” meant to encourage my students to think historically about the industrialization of food. It seemed to work well. Several of my students pointed out that not everything that is  technologically “advanced” is better. One wrote, “Compared to historical eating, modern eating is over-processed, over-sized, and over-consumed. We eat [Read More…]

The Eating Exercise

In Desiring the Kingdom James K.A. Smith contends that humans are imaginative, desiring, loving, affective creatures more than automatons driven by cognitive, intellectual perceptions. He writes, “We feel our way around our world more than we think our way through it.” As such, our imaginations need to be converted and enacted through “intentional practices that [Read More…]


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