Teaching about Mary Baker Eddy through the lens of the The Matrix

Next year the 1999 film The Matrix turns twenty.  As I told my students on Friday, it ranks as one of my all-time favorite films. Since its release, much has been written about its intellectual and creative genius, its supposed hidden meanings, and its pioneering "bullet time" special effects. But beyond all this, for me …

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What’s in a Name? Branding and Outsider Church Traditions

Last month I had the privilege of helping to organize the Sixth Brethren World Assembly, which was held in Winona Lake, IN. This is a conference that seeks to bring together the seven largest denominations that have ties to the 18th century German Pietist group known as the New Anabaptists (Neue Täufer), which was founded …

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My Ongoing Sojourn with those Radical Moravians

Even though Moravians comprise part of the tagline of this blog, they haven't received much attention recently! I hope to remedy that a bit through this week's post. I have been sojourning with the Moravians for over a decade now. This is not say that I'm a card-carrying member of a Moravian congregation, though I …

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Historians on the Hot Seat: Chris Gehrz on Charles Lindbergh and “The Famous Unknown”

This week we welcome Bethel University history professor, Chris Gerhz, to The Hermeneutic Circle's "hot seat." This is a real privilege since Chris has been such a great model of what it means to integrate academic excellence and Christian faith. In addition to teaching a variety of courses at Bethel, Chris blogs at the Pietist …

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Aging Christian Rockers and Sound Tracks for Court Evangelicals

I grew up listening to Petra. If you didn't attend a church steeped in white evangelicalism's "youth group" sub-culture of the 1980s like I did, I don't expect you to know of this rock band. They started in the 1970s with a sound akin to Kansas or Styx blended with synth melodies and heavy guitar …

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Historians on the Hot Seat: David Swartz (How the majority world is reshaping American evangelicalism)

This week's post spotlights historian David Swartz as part of a new series meant to focus on historians and their ongoing work: current projects, research efforts, innovative teaching, travel abroad, and other activities of interest. (Its not really a hot seat at this point, but maybe we'll get some controversy going eventually!) Rumor has it …

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Anabaptist Critiques of Evangelicals and Religious Freedom

We continue to hear a lot about religious freedom from the Trump administration and conservative evangelicals these days. As we know, the issues have ranged from wedding cakes to contraceptives. In the last few weeks, Republicans have even moved to export their religious freedom efforts around the world. Evangelicals believe they wage these battles in …

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