June 29, 2022

At the end of Freedom Summer 1971, John Perkins called it “the biggest failure in Voice of Calvary history.” Read more

June 28, 2022

Imagine this scenario: a Person of Prominence who is a devout Christian is praying. This Person of Prominence is a community leader who provides important resources, forms of support, and opportunities that people need and want. There are other people, people who are also Christian, who gather with this Person of Prominence and pray with him, often in highly visible ways. And there are still other people who are present in the community and who do not identify with or... Read more

June 27, 2022

Crisis pregnancies have profound human costs.  There are life-changing consequences for women who find themselves pregnant with a child they did not anticipate and may not feel equipped to care for. Roe v. Wade suggested one way to manage those costs.  Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization suggested another way.  Today, in the immediate aftermath of the Dobbs decision, my Twitter feed has been filled with partisans on both sides of the abortion debate expressing either outrage or jubilation at... Read more

June 23, 2022

I posted about my current book project, Storm of Images, which concerns the Iconoclasm struggle in the Byzantine Empire between about 720 and 850. I argue that this was an extraordinarily important moment in the history of Christianity, with enduring consequences for both east and west. The Council that marks the success of the pro-image cause, the Second Council of Nicea in 787, was the last General Council that is still regarded as valid by both East and West, Catholic... Read more

June 22, 2022

I am excited to welcome to the Anxious Bench for today’s guest post Samuel L. Young (PhD, Baylor University), a postdoctoral teaching fellow for Baylor’s Department of History. Young’s dissertation, “‘Saint of the Republic’: Martin Luther, Myth, and National Identity in Antebellum America” (May 2022), explores how early Americans used the long-deceased sixteenth-century German reformer to articulate what it meant to be a citizen of the new nation. Young was the 2021 recipient of the Sidney E. Mead Prize from... Read more

June 21, 2022

Our blogmeister says farewell after six years and nearly 400 posts at The Anxious Bench. Read more

June 20, 2022

I have been posting about my current book project, Storm of Images, which concerns the Iconoclasm in the Byzantine empire back in the eighth and ninth centuries. At first sight, that might seem like an arcane topic, but actually, it is hard to think of anything more topical today, or controversial, than iconoclasm or image breaking. If you have been alive and conscious these past few years, you know all about iconoclasm and the issues it raises. Image smashing arises... Read more

June 16, 2022

“So, what are you working on right now? “I’m doing a book called Storm of Images. It’s about Byzantine Iconoclasm” “Um, seriously? Why?” Well, that wasn’t the ideal reaction I expected from a friend at my church, but it did raise an interesting point about how I explain what I am doing. I am currently writing a book – under contract to Baylor University Press – which in my view, deals with some of the most important issues in the... Read more

June 15, 2022

Every year, it seems, at least one new English Bible translation appears. Some make a big splash and start controversies (e.g., the TNIV and the ESV). Others arrive more quietly, but their sheer number still raises this question from church-goers and Bible readers: what is the best translation to use? And a related question: do we even need more English translations of the Bible? Prompting my reflections on these questions is this year’s new kid on the block, the FNV... Read more

June 14, 2022

I usually wait until the end of June to post a mid-year report on what’s been most popular at The Anxious Bench. For reasons I’ll explain next week, I’m going to move up that update to today. Without further ado, here are our ten most-read posts thus far into 2022, plus the most popular posts from each contributor and a few suggestions of my own for posts that deserve a second look. The Anxious Bench Top 10 for the First... Read more

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