An obscure book about Greenland and Missions Historiography

I doubt you’ve heard of David Cranz’s two volume History of Greenland, first published in German in 1765. But its obscurity may be masking its significant for understanding early 19th century interest in Protestant missions. Cranz was an important Moravian historian who traveled to Greenland to chronicle the story of the Moravian mission, which had …

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Nationalism and the Radical Roots of Opposition to the United Nations

Hearing Donald Trump’s proud self-identification as a nationalist turned my thoughts to his words at the UN earlier this year as well as to the way his America First rhetoric intersects with the content of one of my classes this semester. So I decided to revisit the topic of (radical) conservative opposition to the UN …

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The Top Ten reasons I keep coming back to Bethlehem (PA)

I was privileged to attend gatherings of two of my favorite groups recently. The biennial meeting of the Conference on Faith and History (CFH) met in Grand Rapids last weekend. I became involved in CFH while in grad school and it has served as a tremendous encouragement over the years. The meeting this year was …

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John Fea was on the verge of a sermon at Valparaiso University last night

Last night John Fea's Believe Me book tour stopped by Valparaiso University in northern Indiana and I made the trek, along with Grace student, Brennan Murray, from Warsaw/Winona Lake to take in the event. It was a smallish gathering of folks in an intimate recital hall. The program was structured as a Charlie Rose style …

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Does activist worship inspire “Fox Evangelicals?”

I don’t really know what’s going on in the minds of evangelicals when they sing along with worship songs. Its likely some are just thinking about lunch, the color of the carpet, the worship leader’s mannerisms, or wondering when that guy up front started doing the hand-raising thing. For many, though, worship songs no doubt …

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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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