Civil War buffs - you know some of them. They've visited the battlefield, can tell you the details of uniforms and weapons technology, and love to debate the merits of wartime generals. They know battlefield geography and the the conditions of ordinary soldiers. But I doubt you know any "Reconstruction buffs." Reconstruction refers to the … Continue reading We need more “Reconstruction buffs”
This title is totally in jest. But evidently there was an effort to clean up some outdated language in denominational documents at "MennoCon 2019," which included mention of the telegram -- something that sparked some humorous social media posts from those at the event. Held in Kansas City, the event was the official convention of the … Continue reading “Mainline” Mennonites Decide against the Telegram at Kansas City Convention
Yesterday, the Anxious Bench offered up a fascinating post by Hilde Løvdal Stephens, who teaches English at the University of Southeastern Norway. She is doing some groundbreaking research on transatlantic evangelicalism in the decades after World War II -- the era of Billy Graham crusades and Cold War fears. More specifically, she writes about the … Continue reading New Research on Transatlantic Evangelicalism in the Age of Billy Graham
As in other examples where the culture wars have intersected with sports teams and American athletes, Christian faith has become part of the issues. Conservative "worldview" media has focused on former team member, Jaelene Hinkle, who drew criticism for speaking out against LGBTQ interests and back in 2017, withdrew from the national team rather than … Continue reading Christian Faith part of Culture Wars swirling around Women’s Soccer Team
My biennial class on the American civil war is coming up this fall. In addition to the war itself, I am looking forward to covering the historical narratives that continue to capture our imagination as Americans. Of course this will include Lost Cause historiography, which leads to the question above. Historian Kevin M. Levin has … Continue reading Did Black Soldiers Fight for the Confederacy?
More than a few Evangelical historians are vocal critics of David Barton and Eric Metaxas (for good reason). This week, as we've celebrated the July fourth holiday, John Fea and Thomas Kidd have drawn attention to the same well-worn talking points we've come to expect. Kidd has specifically referenced Barton's old and anachronistic claim (this … Continue reading For Barton, Metaxas, et. al., July is a month for predictable talking points
You can ask Siri or Alexa anything - so why not go to Google for answers to those ultimate questions in life? Religion News Service is reporting that given the democratization of information in the Internet Age, people feel less compelled to go to the clergy for advice. Here's Notre Dame theology professor Tim O'Malley, … Continue reading Are Siri and Alexa Replacing Your Local Pastor?
When my teenage son agreed to read and discuss a book together I landed on a book I had not previously known about: William Ringenberg’s Letters to Young Scholars, the second edition of which came out last year. I knew Ringenberg, the retired but long-time professor of history at Taylor University, from CFH circles and … Continue reading Letters to Young Scholars: A Book for my Adolescent Self
Last week I offered some reflections and book recommendations on the issue of race. In other corners, a new book about race and the church was getting attention -- Jemar Tisby's volume, The Color of Compromise: The Truth about the American Church's Complicity in Racism. I haven't gotten my copy of this yet, but according … Continue reading Reckoning with Racism and the Church: Reformed and Anabaptist Voices
I sometimes heard, as I was growing up, a common expression about bartering. If you wanted a lower price at a flea market or garage sale, you'd go to the seller and "chew them down." You know -- the metaphor about verbally bartering back and forth with them as if you were chewing on the … Continue reading In Honor of MLK: Reflections on Lessons Learned