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. Erin Bartram: The Sublimated Grief of the Left Behind
  2. Jeff Sessions Gets It Right on the Cause of the Civil War
  3. Grieving as a Historian
  4. Inside Higher Ed Covers the Erin Bartram Blog Post About Leaving Academia
  5. When Abraham Lincoln “Visited” Forty Plantations
  6. Reading as a Graduate Student
  7. Are Pro-Life Christians Really Liberals?
  8. Linker: “Evangelicals are Dreaming Small”
  9. Evangelicals Step-Up to the Plate on Immigration
  10. It’s Happening Again

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. Some Quick Reflections on Trump’s Prayer Breakfast Speech
  2. Historical Thinking and the Nunes Memo
  3. Journalist Ed Kilgore Reviews Brody and Lamb, The Faith of Donald Trump: A Spiritual Biography
  4. Here is What Martin Luther King Jr. Really Thought About Consumerism
  5. A Short Survey of Reconstruction Historiography
  6. My Encounter With David Brooks
  7. Should Conservatives Abandon the GOP and Vote for a “Straight Democratic Ticket?”
  8. USA Today Calls Out Evangelical Leaders
  9.  A British Teacher Wins a Teaching Award from the Daughters of the American Revolution
  10. The Believe Me Book Tour

 

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. Super Bowl prediction: Eagles 33 Patriots 0
  2. Conservative Journalist Slams Falwell Jr.
  3. Three Cheers for Bob Casey Jr. and His Vote on the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act
  4. It’s Hard to Argue With This
  5. Are American Evangelical Students Really Interested in the History of American Evangelicalism?
  6. The “I am no longer an evangelical because of Donald Trump” genre
  7. A “massive religious realignment in America”
  8. “Passion of the Christ” Sequel to Feature Jesus Helping Founding Fathers Establish America
  9. Do You Tell Your Class To Buy Your Book?
  10. David Barton’s Television Show Premieres on Friday

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. Robert Jeffress’s Half-Baked 2 Kingdom Theology and Christian Nationalism
  2. Is Evangelicalism Experiencing a Lutheran Moment?
  3. Michael Gerson on the Loss of the “Evangelical Gag Reflex”
  4. Are Evangelicals Bothered When They Are Called “Hypocritical”
  5. The Pickett’s Charge Theory Revisited
  6. Former GOP Chairman to Court Evangelicals: “just shut the hell up and don’t preach to me about anything ever again”
  7. Melania and the Tony Perkins Mulligan
  8. How Can Anyone Hate Wendell Berry?
  9. Why Aren’t Evangelical Christians Saying Trump is the Anti-Christ?
  10. What is Happening at Moody Bible Institute?

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.  Trump: “The Porn President”
  2.  Chris Gehrz’s Open Letter to Billionaires and Millionaires Who Want to Give to Christian Colleges
  3.  What is Happening at Moody Bible Institute?
  4.  Some of Wendell Berry’s Port William Novels Are Now Part of the Library of America
  5.  A Day at Boston Trinity Academy
  6.  Caption Contest of the Day
  7.  Boston Trinity Academy Chapel Talk on Rural America
  8.  The Author’s Corner With Benjamin Park
  9.  What Can 1 Samuel Teach Christians About Politics?
  10.  “Christian Politics?” Week Two

 

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. Breaking: Moody Bible Institute President and COO Resign
  2. What is Happening at Moody Bible Institute?
  3. Court Evangelical Robert Jeffress and the “Christianity Today” crowd
  4. This May Be the Best “Acknowledgments” Section of All Time
  5. Is Evangelicalism Experiencing a Lutheran Moment?
  6. Jerry Falwell Jr. Defends Trump Temperament
  7. Court Evangelical James Dobson Calls for a Day of Prayer
  8. What James Dobson Said in 1998 About the Moral Character of the Presidency
  9. A Pietist Response to a Negative Book Review on Pietism
  10. “Someone Sat on the Remote:”: Teaching Conservatism in the Age of Trump

 

December Update

Carolers

You know the end of the semester is near when the Messiah College History Club shows up at your house singing Christmas carols!  A Messiah College History Department tradition!

Early last month I announced that The Way of Improvement Leads Home will be published on a limited basis while I watched some NCAA Division III volleyball , finished the semester at Messiah College, and completed my book on Donald Trump.  Actually, I was able to get more blogging done than I anticipated.  With the indispensable help of Devon Hearn, we managed to publish sixty-six posts in November.  But there were also a lot of things that happened in the past month on the history, religion, and politics front that we have not had the time to address with any degree of depth.

As we enter December we will continue to publish here on a limited basis.  The Calvin College volleyball season is over (congrats on making the Final Four!), but the end-of-the-semester demands are just beginning to mount.  And my deadline for Believe Me: The Evangelical Road to Donald Trump is fast approaching.

Stay with us.  We will post whenever we can.  We also hope to back with force in 2018, if not sooner.

*The Washington Post* Piece on Rod Dreher

Dreher

Washington Post writer Karen Heller went down to Baton Rouge to visit conservative blogger and cultural critic Rod Dreher, the author of The Benedict Option and other books.

Here is a taste of her piece: “Rod Dreher is the combative, oversharing blogger who speaks for today’s beleaguered Christians“:

Rod Dreher’s life is an open book. Several, actually. “The Little Way of Ruthie Leming,” about his late sister. “How Dante Can Save Your Life,” about his love of the Italian poet. His latest, “The Benedict Option,” is a call to beleaguered Christians to divorce themselves from the increasingly secular American mainstream.

But really, every work by this conservative Christian writer is a literary act of confession, a quest for purpose and a purge of disillusionment. An influential and prolific blogger for the American Conservative — he averages 1.3 million monthly page views on his blog — Dreher is credited with helping introduce J.D. Vance of “Hillbilly Elegy” to a larger audience. He founded the “crunchy con” ideology — another book, back in 2006 — wedding cultural and moral conservatism with an organic, co-op-and-Birkenstock lifestyle.

He is, however, no supporter of President Trump.

“I’m a social and cultural conservative, and I think Trump is a disaster,” says Dreher, 50. Asked why, he spits back, “Because of his incompetence, his recklessness and his malice. Plus, he is destroying conservatism as a credible public philosophy. The conservative movement needed serious reform, but this is annihilation.”

Read the rest here.  1.3 million page views a month?  Wow!  If all goes well The Way of Improvement Leads Home will have 2 million page views this year!  Here’s hoping that Rod reads this and give us a shout-out at his blog.  🙂

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. A Tale of Two Evangelical Churches
  2. Do I Really Need to Introduce This Guy?
  3. Court Evangelical Jerry Falwell Jr. Backs Steven Bannon Effort to Oust “Fake Republicans”
  4. Senator Ben Sasse Has a Message for Court Evangelical Robert Jeffress
  5. Can the Museum of the Bible Avoid Controversy?
  6. What Should We Make of Karl Barth’s Adultery?
  7. Gerson: Trump Broke Conservatism
  8. Thank You Tom Hanks!
  9. Alan Jacobs Talks to The Atlantic About Thinking, Conspiracy Theories, and the Nashville Statement (among other things)
  10. Can “Evangelical” Be Saved?

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. Under Contract: “Evangelicals in the Age of Trump: Fear, Power, and Nostalgia”
  2. Scot McKnight: “Bury the Word ‘Evangelical'”
  3. Gerson: “For many years, leaders of the religious right exactly conformed Christian social teaching to the contours of Fox News…”
  4. The Origins of “Judeo-Christian Values”
  5. Call for Papers: Conference on Faith and History Biennial Meeting
  6. What Does Donald trump REALLY Think About Evangelicals?
  7.  James K.A. Smith: “Christmas IS Political”
  8.  How Did African Americans Remember the Civil War?
  9.  The Author’s Corner with Gordon Wood
  10.  1977

Is Social Media Scholarship?

Olaf

Yesterday I was in Northfield, Minnesota where I gave a talk about blogging, The Way of Improvement Leads Home (the blog), and the relationship between social media and civic engagement.  I spoke as part of a series on digital publishing sponsored by faculty and staff from Carleton College and St. Olaf College.  (Thanks to the DeAne Lagerquist for the invitation!)

During our conversation several professors talked to me about the possibility of starting their own blogs.

I don’t pretend to believe that our blogging model at The Way of Improvement Leads Home is normative.  We post a lot here and have developed a unique approach.  So yesterday I tried to suggest some ways that busy academics might make blogging work for them as teachers and scholars.

One model for academic blogging comes from Mark Carrigan in his recent Chronicle of Higher Education piece, “Social Media is Scholarship.”  It is excellent.

Here is a taste:

Before I created a research blog, I used to carry a series of ornate notebooks in which to record my ideas, reflect on what I had read, and sketch out my plans — or rather I tried to carry them. Inevitably I forgot them at the most inopportune moments, reducing me to scribbling notes on scraps of paper, only to fail to transcribe them at a later date. Even when I managed to record my notes, my overly-enthusiastic scrawls often proved indecipherable when I came back to them.

In contrast, my research blog is accessible to me wherever I have a mobile phone or computer. The expectation that others might read my notes forces me to work out what I am trying to say, rather than scribbling down in shorthand ideas that might feel meaningful to me at the time but are often confusing later.

Sharing those blog posts through my social-media feeds often leads to useful conversations — at a much earlier stage in the research process than would otherwise be the case. It creates an awareness of what I’m working on, and has often been the first step in eventual invitations to speak or collaborate. The fact that I can categorize and tag my online notes helps me see connections between different projects I am working on, highlighting emerging themes and deepening my understanding of how the topics fit together. Having my notes online also makes them extremely easy to search, providing a fantastic resource when I am writing papers and chapters.

My point is not that everyone should use a research blog. There are many reasons why it might not be suitable for you: (1) Without a smartphone, a blog would be much less useful; (2) some people find that writing by hand actually helps, rather than hinders, the creative process; and (3) many academics are uncomfortable with sharing work-in-progress online with an unknown audience.

Exactly which technology works for which person will depend on many factors. But in my case, moving from a research notebook to a research blog helped me become a more efficient and effective scholar. Rather than being an unwelcome drain, social media has helped me use my time more effectively.

Read the entire piece here.

Heading to Northfield

Olaf

St. Olaf College

On Wednesday I will be in Northfield, Minnesota to give a few talks at St. Olaf College and Carleton College.  In the afternoon I will be speaking to faculty from both institutions on “Publication, Public Scholarship, and Blogging.” The talk is part of the “Future of Publishing” lecture series sponsored by the Saint Olaf and Carleton libraries.  I’m looking forward to it.

Learn more 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. Do You Expect Me to Believe that Mike Pence Did Not Know the 49ers Would Kneel?
  2. #Evangelicals
  3. Southern Seminary Adopts the Nashville Statement
  4. A High School Student is Asking about Leopold von Ranke
  5. Why Mike Ditka Should Stick to Talking about Xs and Os
  6. The Los Angeles Review of Books Forum on the Protestant Reformation
  7. When a Church Raffles-Off AR-15 Rifles a Week after the Vegas Shooting
  8. Jennifer Rubin: “The evangelical defense of Donald Trump has taken on religious fervor immune to reason”
  9. John Oliver on Confederate Monuments
  10. American Historical Association Announces 2017 Prize-Winners

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 a Historian Said to His Classes Today
  2. Court Evangelical Robert Jeffress on Evangelicals Who Oppose the Alt-Right
  3. Evangelicalism as a Mission Field for Evangelical Scholars
  4. Ta-Nehisi Coates and  Historians
  5. Princeton Evangelical Fellowship Changes Name to “Princeton Christian Fellowship”
  6. A Message for Pat Robertson: “I tell you, on the day of judgment you will have to give an account for every careless word you utter (Matt. 12:36)
  7. A Christian College Won’t Compete Against Teams That “Disrespect” the Flag
  8. Once Again, the Court Evangelical Silence is Deafening
  9. The Author’s Corner with Donald Mathews
  10. The Real History of the Second Amendment

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. Evangelicalism as a Mission Field for Evangelical Scholars
  2. Seminary and the “Evangelical Mind”
  3. A Member of Ben Sasse’s Dissertation Committee Offers Him Some Advice
  4. Why Did Books & Culture Die?
  5. Is There an “Evangelical Mind?”
  6. Gerson: Trump is a “racial demagogue”
  7. Court Evangelical Robert Jeffress Has a Message for NFL Players
  8. Does the National Museum of African American History and Culture Need to “Get Religion?”
  9. The State of the Evangelical Mind: Opening Plenary
  10. Is There an Evangelical Faculty Lounge?

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”