May 30, 2019

  Yesterday, the trial began for Dr. Scott Warren, a geographer and volunteer with the humanitarian aid organization No More Deaths, a ministry of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Tucson. The Department of Justice alleges that Warren violated smuggling laws in his efforts to “conceal, harbor and shield from detection” undocumented immigrants from Mexico—a unique prosecution under human smuggling laws, which in Southern Arizona are typically used against those who smuggle for profit, rather than aid workers like Warren. Facing… Read more

May 29, 2019

Like what you’ve read from us on Anxious Bench? Here’s where you can find us on YouTube and Twitter, plus podcasts and other blogs and magazines. Read more

May 29, 2019

In fifteenth-century England, a (probably Franciscan) friar lived on the east coast near the cathedral city of Ely. Like many other medieval sermon authors, he included in his Lenten series a narrative from Matthew 15: the story of the Woman of Canaan. I have talked about this story before, and I am sure many of you are familiar with it. But, for those who are not, here it is: “Leaving that place, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and… Read more

May 28, 2019

Chris considers what fighting in NHL hockey has to do with the future of evangelicalism. Read more

May 27, 2019

I have been posting a lot in recent weeks on Christ’s Resurrection, a topic that Christians should really be considering and contemplating in the forty days or so following Easter Day. That was, the New Testament tells us, the time that the Risen Jesus remained with his disciples in order to teach them, prior to the Ascension. I am particularly interested in determining how far we can reconstruct the earliest claims and ideas concerning that event. Beyond debate, the Christian… Read more

May 25, 2019

Today we are so pleased to welcome Otis Pickett, an Assistant Professor of History at Mississippi College, to the Anxious Bench. Otis is also co-founder of the Prison to College Pipeline program. I recently came across a piece on Patheos by D.G. Hart entitled “#Woke Evangelical Timeline.” While I have tremendous respect for Hart as a historian, I also have relationships with the individuals mentioned in the piece and on Twitter.[1] I have also taken both a personal and professional interest in… Read more

May 24, 2019

I have a literary discovery to report, and I think I can claim a first here. It involves a work by one of the great modern Christian novelists, and an older author who wrote a stunning work on one particular tradition of the faith. The modern writer is Gene Wolfe, who died last month. He is often misleadingly called a science fiction or fantasy writer, but he was far more than that. He was a brilliant stylist and a dazzling… Read more

May 23, 2019

A few weeks ago, I suggested that the “myth” of puritan intolerance is “not very useful for understanding the history of seventeenth-century New England” in part because “it implies that New England’s leaders were outliers within the trans-Atlantic world they inhabited.” The reality is that the Congregational ministers and magistrates of New England “were quite ordinary in their desire for religious uniformity and their determination to punish stubborn heresy.” In this week’s post, I will flesh out these suggestions. It… Read more

May 22, 2019

David Swartz interviews David Kirkpatrick about his new book on the Latin American evangelical left. Read more

May 21, 2019

As news spread of Rachel Held Evans’s death, one quote continued to pop up in my social media feed, a quote from her book Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church: But the gospel doesn’t need a coalition devoted to keeping the wrong people out. It needs a family of sinners, saved by grace, committed to tearing down the walls, throwing open the doors, and shouting, “Welcome! There’s bread and wine. Come eat with us and talk.” This… Read more

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