Waiting for the Christmas Witch

santa climbing window

After twelve days of feasting the Christmas Witch sneaks in to slip coal or candy into stockings. What? Not in your country? Perhaps you should be living in a different Nativity. The Nativity sets most us probably just packed away originate with St. Francis of Assisi, credited with making them part of Christian seasonal observance.  [Read More...]

On Pilgrimage in Advent

On his pilgrimage to Rome in 1263 Peter, a priest from Bohemia, stopped in the ancient Etruscan-Roman city of Bolsena.  He celebrated Mass at the lakeside church of Santa Cristina. Peter had been doubting transubstantiation, doubting the reality of Christ’s presence in Eucharist: was He really there, given as food for sinners, in the bread [Read More...]

Advent Music

I love Advent hymns. My mother was always adamant that Christians had no business singing Christmas hymns prior to at least Christmas eve. We only have four Sundays on which to sing Advent hymns, so there’s no musical reason — and no theologically sound reason — to rush past our season of hopeful expectation. Well, [Read More...]

Flipping the Bird: Reflections on a Thanksgiving Fraud

McKenzie

Americans generally view Thanksgiving as an idyllic affair. Kind Indians wearing paper feathers teaching black-and-white clad Pilgrims to survive in the New England wild. Sitting down to eat tryptophan together. And celebrating, if Rush Limbaugh is to be believed in his just-released book Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims, that “capitalism and Scripture saved the [Read More...]

Blue Crabs and Evangelicals – Part 2

Oriole

Aside from getting to feast on some great crab cakes and see a beautifully crafted ballpark, I have had the opportunity to listen to several very good papers while attending the Annual Meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society in Baltimore, MD, today. This morning, I was privileged to moderate a panel of three solid presentations [Read More...]

When death comes before life

Martin Luther, mindful of the trials and blessings of family life, offered balm to women suffering one of its sorrows: the death of a child before birth.  He counseled pastors “not to frighten or sadden such mothers by harsh words because it was not due to their carelessness or neglect that the birth of the [Read More...]

The Expansion of Evangelicalism

The Expansion of Evangelicalism

This past week, I re-familiarized myself with John Wolffe’s The Expansion of Evangelicalism: The Age of Wilberforce, More, Chalmers, and Finney (2006) while preparing a lecture on evangelicalism for my Survey of Church History course (which I wrote about here). Sequentially second in IVP’s History of Evangelicalism series, Wolffe’s volume spans the 1790s to the 1840s, a period [Read More...]

Mixing the Market and the Common Good: Complicating the Individualist-Structuralist Binary

farmer to farmer

In recent years scholars have accentuated the individualistic impulse within conservative evangelicalism. Evangelicals, Christian Smith and Michael Emerson pointed out in Divided By Faith, often understand racism as a long series of personal white-on-black abuses more than a practice built into economic, social, and cultural systems. Typically this impulse is contrasted with secular liberal attention [Read More...]

Virtue and Vice and Everything …

One of the heartening things about our times has been the recovery, at least in some quarters, of the language of virtue and vice.  At a popular level, this owes much to William Bennet and his concern for the moral formation of children, and at an academic level, the smoking gun points, above all, to [Read More...]

Blue Crabs and Evangelicals – Part 1

Bulletin of the Evangelical Theological Society

Next month, the sixty-fifth meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society (ETS) will convene in Baltimore, Maryland.  In between eating blue crabs and searching for book deals, members will present papers, discuss present and future projects, catch up with colleagues, and network with other evangelicals.  Although the society maintains a pronounced focus on Bible and theology, a [Read More...]


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