Most Popular Posts of the Last Week

Here are the most popular posts of the last week at The Way of Improvement Leads Home

  1. The New Fundamentalism
  2. The State of the Evangelical Mind Conference
  3. Reviews of Ken Burns’s “The Vietnam War”
  4. Quote of the Day
  5. A Metric to Help Us Decide if a Monument Should Stay or Go
  6. Did These Headlines Come from Breitbart or a 1920s KKK Newspaper?
  7. When It Comes to Historical Thinking, the “Nation’s Report Card” is “Fool’s Gold”
  8. I Can’t Stop Watching!
  9. Was John Adams a Christian?
  10. Here Comes Mike Huckabee

Most Popular Posts of the Last Week

Here are the most popular posts of the last week at The Way of Improvement Leads Home:

  1. The Anti-DACA Evangelicals
  2. American Historical Association Issues Statement on Confederate Monuments
  3. Coalition for Christian Colleges and University on the End of DACA
  4. A Court Evangelical Stands Up to Trump on DACA
  5. A Court Evangelical Backs Trump’s DACA Decision
  6. Barack Obama Gave Donald Trump a Lesson in Historical Thinking
  7. What the Founding Fathers Read
  8. Where are the Court Evangelicals Tonight? (DACA)
  9. More From the Pietist Schoolman on the Nashville Statement
  10. Obama on Trump’s Decision to End DACA: “Let’s be clear: the action taken today isn’t required legally. It’s a political decision and a moral question.”

Most Popular Posts of the Last Week

Here are the most popular posts of the last week at The Way of Improvement Leads Home:

  1. American Historical Association Issues Statement on Confederate Monuments
  2. “On Standby” for Springsteen on Broadway
  3. Historians on Confederate Monuments
  4. “Trump plays him like a piano”
  5. An Open Letter from Christian Scholars on Racism in America
  6. Making Sense of Joel Osteen
  7. Court Evangelical Jim Bakker:  If Trump Gets Impeached, Christians Must “Come Out of the Shadows”
  8. Eric Foner: Robert E. Lee’s “Legend” Needs to be “Retired”
  9. Historian: When it Comes to Monuments, “Nuance” and “Complexity” Connect Us All
  10. The President of Fuller Seminary on Evangelicalism and Race

Most Popular Posts of the Last Week

Here are the most popular posts of the last week at The Way of Improvement Leads Home:

  1.  Liberty University Responds To Diploma-Returning Students
  2.  A Plea for Court Evangelical Franklin Graham to Leave the Court
  3.  W.E.B. Du Bois on Robert E. Lee
  4.  Court Evangelical: “We Were Sent Here To Take Over”
  5.  Who Said It:  Trump or Obama?
  6.  This Irresponsible Historical Thinking Has To Stop!
  7.  This is What a Court Evangelical Does…
  8.  The Founding Fathers Rejected School Choice
  9.  Jim Bakker: Don’t Mock God’s Prophets
  10.  Is the Gadsden Flag Racist?

 

The Most Popular Posts of the Last Week

Here are the most popular posts of the last week at The Way of Improvement Leads Home:

  1. Five CEOS Resign From Trump’s Manufacturing Council. Zero Clergy Resign From Trump’s Evangelical Advisory Council
  2. What To Do If You Are Concerned About People “Erasing History”
  3. No One in New York Yelled “You’re Erasing History” When the Statue of George III Was Torn Down in 1776
  4. Moral Clarity and Academic Virtues at Christian Colleges
  5. What Are the Court Evangelicals Saying Today?
  6. Call Me A Christian Nationalist: A Response to Darryl Hart
  7. One More Court Evangelical Checks In
  8. Are We Headed For Another Civil War?
  9. How Did Your Church Respond To What Happened in Charlottesville?
  10. Trump Lawyer: “You cannot be against General Lee and be for George Washington”

 

What Have You Done For Me Lately?

TWOILH

The title of this post describes the blogging life.  I took a six-day blogging vacation and the number of visits to The Way of Improvement Leads Home dropped 900%.  Don’t get me wrong, I expected this.  It is quite normal.  No one wants to read a blog with no new content.  I am sure this happens to a lot of bloggers when they take time off.  It has certainly happened here before.  This is probably why Andrew Sullivan always had guest bloggers whenever he took vacations from The Dish.

But for whatever reason, this time around the precipitous decline in readership during my vacation hit me in a different way.  I began to think a little more about the “tyranny of the new.”  (I thought I coined this term, but a quick Google search proved me wrong). Bloggers are successful when they feed their audience on a regular basis.  A blog will fail quickly if it does not satisfy readers’ desire for new ideas, new opinions, and new information.  Readers are always asking “what have you done for me lately?”  I do the same thing when I read online content.

Perhaps it is time to think about writing things that are more permanent–things of better quality that are not written in a hurry to feed the machine.  Maybe I need to rethink how I blog or reconsider whether a blog remains the best venue for my ideas.

Or maybe I should just accept the fact that blog readers come and go.  Maybe I should be thankful that I have cultivated a core audience here.  Maybe I should continue to write and post for them without worrying too much about broadening the circle.

I’ll keep thinking.  I still enjoy the work so don’t expect any immediate changes.  And, as always, THANK YOU for reading!

Most Popular Posts of the Last Week

Here are the most popular posts of the last week at The Way of Improvement Leads Home:

  1. Court Evangelical: We Have “Unprecedented Access” to the Trump White House
  2. The Trump Cabinet Bible Study
  3. Court Evangelical: An “Axis of Evil” is Destroying the Trump Presidency”
  4. The Trump White House Needs Another Lesson in Historical Thinking
  5. The “Court Evangelicals” at Washington Monthly
  6. Scaramucci is Good for America
  7. It’s Only a Matter of Time Before a Court Evangelical Says That a Political Candidate is Morally Unfit for Office
  8. More Founding Fathers
  9. Teachers are Starting to Receive Their Free Copies of The Essential Hamilton
  10. The Trump Cover-Up and the Fate of the Court Evangelicals

 

Most Popular Posts of the Last Week

Here are the most popular posts of the last week at The Way of Improvement Leads Home

  1. Apparently This Guy Does Not Like My Take On The Court Evangelicals
  2. When is Springsteen Coming to Broadway?
  3. Public History and the Church
  4. This May Be The Best Thing I Have Read On Trump
  5. Trump Evangelicals and Pickett’s Charge
  6. An Interview With Allen Guelzo
  7. Court Evangelical Michelle Bachmann Gushes Over Donald Trump
  8. How Politics Has Changed American Evangelicalism
  9. Court Evangelical Support Of Jared Kushner May Be More Than Political
  10. Thomas Fleming, RIP

Most Popular Posts of the Last Week

Here are the most popular posts of the last week at The Way of Improvement Leads Home:

  1.  The Court Evangelicals in Today’s Washington Post
  2.  Family Research Council Weighs-In On My “Court Evangelicals” Piece
  3.  Robert Jeffress Responds to My Washington Post Piece
  4.  This May Be The Best Thing I Have Read On Trump
  5.  David Barton Can’t Let Go Of This John Adams Quote
  6.  What Did James Dobson Tell the National Association of Evangelicals When It Invited Bill Clinton to Its “Annual Event?”
  7.  “The State of the Evangelical Mind” Conference
  8.  An African American Minister Renounces His Ordination in the Southern Baptist Convention
  9.  Why Isn’t Clarence Thomas in the National Museum of African American History and Culture?
  10. Praying for the President is Fine

Most Popular Posts of the Last Week

Here are the most popular posts of the last week at The Way of Improvement Leads Home:

  1.  This May Be the Best Thing I Have Read on Trump
  2.  How to Interview at a Teaching College
  3.  The King and His Court (Evangelicals)
  4.  What Was Being Worshiped Yesterday at First Baptist Church in Dallas?
  5. Kyle Roberts: 8 Reasons Why Evangelicals Still Trust Trump
  6. “If I’d known what waited for me in life, I would have put a lot more attention into history”
  7.  The Very Latest from the Randall Stephens Collection
  8.  Court Evangelical Jeffress Defends “Make America Great Again” Song
  9.  Sportianity: A New Blog
  10.  The Author’s Corner with Mary Beth Mathews

Sportianity: A New Blog

Frank_Deford

Frank Deford coined the term “Sportianity”

Baylor University graduate student Paul Putz has started a blog on sports and American Christianity.

Here is how he describes “Sportianity“:

Let’s start with the name. “Sportianity” is a term coined by legendary sportswriter Frank Deford. He used it in a 1976 Sports Illustrated series on religion in sport (read more about that series here). Deford used it in a mostly negative sense, implying that Sportianity was a corruption of true Christianity; it was a religion “more devoted to exploiting sport than to serving it.”

I do not use it in the negative sense implied by Deford. Rather “Sportianity” is meant as a descriptive term for the unique cultural world that stands at the intersection of sports and (mostly evangelical Protestant) Christianity. It is inhabited by institutions like the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Athletes in Action, and others. It is championed by media/publications like Sports Spectrum. And it is represented by celebrity athletes like Tim Tebow, Stephen Curry, and Maya Moore. 

Over the coming months I will focus on two types of content. First, book reviews/summaries. There are hundreds of books that take up the topic of sports and Christianity. Some are written from a critical perspective, others are intended to inspire true believers. Still others are biographies or autobiographies that focus on the faith of famous athlete and coaches. I will use this space to discuss some of those books, both new and old. 

Second, biographical vignettes. I’m currently finishing up a dissertation on the history of Sportianity. In my research I often come across the names of famous athletes from the past who were public about their faith. Many of those athletes will not make it into my dissertation, so I will post brief historical snippets about some of them here. 

Good luck with the new blog, Paul!  We will be reading.

Most Popular Posts of the Last Week

Here are the most popular posts of the last week at The Way of Improvement Leads Home:

  1. This May Be The Best Thing I Have Read On Trump
  2. What Was Being Worshiped Yesterday at First Baptist Church in Dallas?
  3. Why John Wesley Opposed the American Revolution
  4. This Video Proves Why Robert Jeffress is the Court Evangelical of All Court Evangelicals
  5. Why Did First Baptist Church of Dallas Have “Freedom Sunday” on June 25?
  6. When Did Americans Start Talking Without an English Accent?
  7. Court Evangelical Jerry Falwell Jr. Doubles-Down on His Court Evangelicalism
  8. FOUND: The Slave Quarters of Sally Hemings
  9. A Contrarian’s View of Patriotic Worship Services
  10. Jon Meacham: “Every Day is Christmas” for Historians in the Age of Trump

Most Popular Posts of the Last Week

Here are the most popular posts of the last week at The Way of Improvement Leads Home:

  1. What Was Being Worshiped Yesterday at First Baptist Church in Dallas?
  2. This May Be the Best Think I Have Read on Trump
  3. Did Jay Sekulow Urge Poor People to Give Money to His Christian Non-Profit So He Could Pay Millions of Dollars to Family Members?
  4. David Brooks’s 2004 Op-Ed on John Stott is More Relevant Than Ever
  5. Why Did the First Baptist Church of Dallas Have “Freedom Sunday” on June 25?
  6. Where are the Court Evangelicals Today?
  7. Court Evangelical Robert Jeffress: Bernie Sanders Should Apologize or Resign
  8. On the Ten Commandments Monument in Arkansas
  9. Welcome New Readers (Again)
  10. Irony Alert: Pro-Life Republicans Support a Health Care Bill That Punishes the “Sick & the Poor”

Welcome New Readers (Again!)

Hi Eared Welcome Waving Hello Seal Hallo Marine

Welcome to the blog!

Last week we had a major surge in readership at The Way of Improvement Leads Home that brought about 250,000 readers to the site.  At that moment I wrote a post titled “Welcome New Readers” to give our new visitors a sense of what we do here.

In the last day or two we have had a similar surge in readership centering on a couple of different posts.  I may be wrong, but I think that these visitors are not the same as the ones who came to the blog last week.

So once again, I want to welcome you to The Way of Improvement Leads Home.  Please look around and consider making the blog a part of your regular online reading ritual.

What you will find here:

  • Daily news headlines every morning
  • Links to thoughtful posts on American history, American religion, politics, the humanities, and education.
  • Weekly interviews with the authors of some of the best new books in American history and American religious history
  • Weekly roundups of the best links in these areas (“Sunday Night Odds and Ends“)
  • Commentary on a host of issues
  • A regular podcast devoted to American history and historical thinking
  • And much, much more…!

Thanks for visiting.  You can learn more about John Fea, the host of this blog, here.

“Made By History”

King

“Instead of making history, we are made by history.”

Made by History” is a new blog that the Washington Post launched today.  Here is a taste of the press release:

The Washington Post today launched Made by History, a new blog in The Post’s Outlook section that will explore parallels between today’s political climate and history.

“Outlook often publishes posts that draw from history to contextualize current events, and we’re excited to have created a home in our section for this type of analysis,” said Mike Madden, deputy editor of Outlook. “Through the deep historical knowledge of our contributors, Made in History will broaden readers’ views of this political moment and introduce them to diverse scholarly perspectives on the latest news.”

The blog will feature commentary from 75 historians from nationally renowned universities and institutions including Harvard University, Yale University, University of Pennsylvania, University of Virginia and more.

“It’s an exciting time to be a part of The Post,” said Brian Rosenwald, historian at UPenn and Made by History’s Editor-in-Chief. “We believe that our contributors will add a unique level of insight and expertise to the ongoing political discussion that many of The Post’s pieces currently generate.”

I am glad that the folks at “Made by History” are writing for a public audience.  This has the potential to be a great blog.  I know that I will read it and comment on it regularly here at The Way of Improvement Leads Home.

The editors write: “The blog will feature commentary from 75 historians from nationally renowned universities and institutions including Harvard University, Yale University, University of Pennsylvania, University of Virginia and more.”  Not sure what to make of this sentence.  I just hope the writers don’t end up preaching to the choir.

Read a “welcome” post by the editors here.

 

Most Popular Posts of the Last Week

Here are the most popular posts of the last week at The Way of Improvement Leads Home:

  1. This May Be the Best Thing I Have Read on Trump
  2. Barton: God Brings Bad Weather Because of Abortion
  3. What Pope Francis Really Said on the Plane Yesterday
  4. No One in New York Yelled “You’re Erasing History” When the Statue of George III Was Torn Down in 1776
  5. Court Evangelical Robert Jeffress: Bernie Sanders Should Apologize or Resign
  6. A Question for Court Evangelicals:  Are You Following Machiavelli or Christ?
  7. Four Myths About Slavery
  8. Does Bruce Springsteen Explain Donald Trump?
  9. Are Your Kids Going to Vacation Bible School This Summer?
  10. Welcome New Readers

Most Popular Posts of the Last Week

Here are the most popular posts of the last week at The Way of Improvement Leads Home:

  1.  This May Be The Best Thing I Have Read On Trump
  2.  What Pope Francis Really Said on the Plane Yesterday
  3.  When Did the Confederate Flag Become a Racist Symbol?
  4.  We are the #19Percent
  5.  The Controversial Jonathan Haidt
  6.  Harvard Finance Professor: We Need the Humanities
  7.  Does Bruce Springsteen Explain Donald Trump?
  8.  The Author’s Corner With Doug Winiarski
  9.  What is Bernie Sanders Doing?
  10.  The Amazing Juanita Jones Abernathy