Beyond Books: Hymns as Christian Writing

Do we overstate the influence of books and underestimate the importance of other types of Christian writing? First in a series: the power of hymns. [Read more…]

Only Yesterday: On Teaching Very Recent US History

I wrote recently about the problems of defining the major themes in recent American history. That actually gets to a much bigger issue, namely how do we teach that “Late Modern” era in universities and colleges. If I can borrow the title of the classic 1931 book by Frederick Lewis Allen on the 1920s, how [Read More…]

The Best 100 Films, and the Rest

I recently blogged about recent European films about faith and religion. That post was in my mind as I looked at the listing of the 100 best films of the current century, since 2000. That’s an impressive list, but with some odd absences. Of course that’s subjective, but I do see a real and rather [Read More…]

Writing the 21st Century

Last time, I discussed the issues involved in trying to write the very recent history, namely the years since 2000. (Do check out that post as the essential background for the present posting). I won’t detail my planned chapter outline in too much length, but let me just give you the main subheadings to see [Read More…]

Crisis of Corporate Evangelicalism (Part 4 – The “Other” Evangelicals)

In July 1925, America was gripped by a spectacle of the sort that reality TV would later perfect. The small hamlet of Dayton, Tennessee hosted a trivial court case that town leaders puffed into a media circus. The contest was whether evolution should be taught in public schools. At the prosecutors’ table sat the one-time [Read More…]

The Divorce of a Pastor’s Wife in 1860 Texas

I went to a perfect wedding last weekend. It was deep in the rural heart of Central Texas. Wide open fields dotted with cattle and the occasional John Deer tractor were broken by scattered farm houses. The roads were narrow and dusty; population signs for the small towns counted inhabitants by the hundreds; and notices [Read More…]

The Anxious Bench Takes Over Social Media!

How you can now follow us on Twitter and Facebook… [Read more…]

Football at Christian Colleges and Universities

While schools as large as Baylor and as small as Bethel have long played football, most Christian colleges and universities don’t field teams in America’s most popular sport. [Read more…]

American History: Writing the Present?

Now here is an interesting challenge. If you were writing a history of the United States in the 21st century, what would you include, and how would you tell the story? And yes, there is indeed amply enough of this century already for it to demand a substantial history. That is a problem I face [Read More…]

Mormons Will Vote Trump

The 2016 will go down in the annals of American political history as highly unusual. A real estate mogul and reality television star winning the Republican nomination? A Vermont socialist even sniffing the Democratic nod? Voting blocs, however, are far more predictable. Pundits have written great length about Donald Trump’s weakness with Mormon voters. Not [Read More…]