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. Wednesday night court evangelical roundup
  2. What happened in Gettysburg this weekend?
  3. What is going on at Wheaton College?
  4. Dietrich Bonhoeffer on stupidity
  5. Monday night court evangelical roundup
  6. Harper’s Magazine publishes “A Letter on Justice and Open Debate”
  7. Tuesday night court evangelical roundup
  8. Mike Pence visits First Baptist-Dallas for “Freedom Sunday.” He and Robert Jeffress show us what idolatry looks like.
  9. Is Donald Trump an Antichrist?
  10. What the largest news magazine in Europe is saying about the President of the United States

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. Mike Pence visit First Baptist-Dallas for “Freedom Sunday.” He and Robert Jeffress show us what idolatry looks like
  2. What the largest news magazine in Europe is saying about the United States president
  3. What if Donald Trump published an academic article?
  4. More on the Cedarville University scandal
  5. Monday night court evangelical roundup
  6. What does the Bible say about the Antichrist?
  7. Is Donald trump an Antichrist?
  8. Wednesday night court evangelical roundup
  9. Dietrich Bonhoeffer on stupidity
  10. Gordon-Reed: “There are far more dangerous threats to history” than the removal of monuments.”

Happy Birthday to “The Way of Improvement Leads Home” Blog

12th-birthday-wishes-and-messages

On June 24, 2020, The Way of Improvement Leads Home blog turned twelve years years old.

Here are a some of the year’s highlights:

  • We dropped seventeen episodes of The Way of Improvement Leads Home Podcast with some greats guests, including: Johann Neem, Larry Glickman, Darren Dochuk, Sarah Myers, Rick Bell, Mandy McMichael, Melissa Ziobro, Jeffrey Engel, Thomas Mackaman, Gillis Harp, Eric Miller, Serena Zabin, Susan Fletcher, Lindsay Chervinsky, Paul Putz, and Scott Hancock.  We also said goodbye to the podcast co-creator and producer Drew Dyrli Hermeling. If you are not already supporting our work, please consider helping to keep this podcast (and blog) going! Learn how you can help via our Patreon page.
  • 59 authors visited The Author’s Corner since our last birthday. You can read them all here. Annie Thorn continues to do a great job at facilitating this feature.
  • Speaking of Annie, check out all 31 of this year’s “Out of the Zoo” columns.
  • We started posting all our blog posts to my new Facebook author’s page. If you want to follow the blog that way, feel free to follow the page. The comments are open.
  • Our readership continues to grow steadily.

We will continue to bring you the kind of content you have expected from us over the last twelve years! I want to thank everyone who has read and supported the blog and encouraged me in this work over the years.

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. Gordon-Reed: “There are far more dangerous threats to history” than the removal of monuments
  2. The founder of Veggie-Tales explains systemic racism
  3. Is Donald Trump an Antichrist?
  4. Monday night court evangelical roundup
  5. Tuesday night court evangelical roundup
  6. Fox News poll: white evangelicals support for Trump in November drops to 66%. Biden is doing better now with white evangelicals than Obama in November 2012.
  7. Charles Marsh unleashes a devastating assault on court evangelical Eric Metaxas’s misuse of Bonhoeffer as it relates to Black Lives Matter
  8. Transcript of the David French-Eric Metaxas debate on evangelicals and Trump
  9. Wednesday night court evangelical roundup
  10. What does the Bible say about the Antichrist?

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. Charles Marsh unleashes a devastating assault on court evangelical Eric Metaxas’s misuse of Bonhoeffer as it relates to Black Lives Matter
  2. When evangelicals put their faith and trust in presidents and Supreme Court justices
  3. Wednesday night court evangelicals roundup
  4. A former member of the Christian Right says that a political fundraiser once told him that we “need more fear and more anger” from white evangelicals
  5. Dietrich Bonhoeffer on Stupidity
  6. What is at stake for religious liberty in the latest SCOTUS decision?
  7. Is Donald Trump an Antichrist?
  8. Oklahoma Senator James Lankford was behind Trump’s decision to move the Tulsa rally date
  9. Colin Kaepernick’s Christian Faith?
  10. Who is Martin Gugino, the 75-Year-Old Buffalo Protestor Who Trump Just Call “an ANTIFA provocateur”?

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. Who is Martin Gugino, the 75-Year-Old Buffalo Protester Who Trump Just Called “an ANTIFA provocateur?”
  2. Watch This Conversation Between Anderson Cooper and Cornel West
  3. Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. Apologizes for His Racist Tweet
  4. The Liberty University Underground Railroad
  5. What Does the Bible Say About the Antichrist?
  6. Robert Jeffress Admits Support for Trump is Declining. Why? Because Evangelicals “are very weak.”
  7. Evangelicals Hit the Streets for Justice
  8. Is Donald Trump the Antichrist?
  9. Tuesday Night Court Evangelical Roundup
  10. Liberty University’s Director of Diversity Retention Has Resigned

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. Tonight in the Rose Garden and at St. John’s Church, Trump Announced His 2020 Re-Election Strategy
  2. Ron Sider: It is the “Hour of Decision” for White Evangelicals
  3. African-American Alumni of Liberty University: “Because of your callous rhetoric, we can no longer in good faith encourage students to attend our alma mater or accept athletic scholarships”
  4. “God give him strength! He’s doing a Jericho walk!”
  5. Jerry Falwell Jr. Just Designed His Own Blackface COVID-19 Mask; Faculty Member Resigns Immediately
  6. Liberty University’s Director of Diversity Retention Has Resigned
  7. The History Behind the Insurrection Act of 1807
  8. What Are the Court Evangelical Saying Today?
  9. Donald Trump Spoke to the Brother of George Floyd. Barack Obama Spoke the Families of Sandy Hook
  10. MLK: “social progress never rolls in on the wheels of inevitability”

Coronavirus Diary: June 2, 2020

Sayville BIC

Sayville Brethren in Christ Church

When I published my last diary entry on May 23, 2020, my Pennsylvania county had 584 coronavirus cases and 46 deaths. Eleven days later, we have 644 cases and 52 deaths.

The first day of summer (June 20) is still a few weeks away, but for those of us who follow the academic calendar, the 2020 summer of quarantine has begun.

The social unrest in the wake of George Floyd’s death has diverted my attention away from the coronavirus. But the pessimist in me worries that all of these protests and demonstrations, coupled with the “opening” of the states, will come back to haunt us.

It will be a different summer. I plan to spend it writing, reading and teaching. On the latter front, a version of the Gilder-Lehrman “Princeton Seminar” will be making its way online in July. I am happy to be teaching colonial America again with Nate McAlister.

We are also hoping to do weekly podcasts this summer, but we are not yet there financially. (Here is how you can help).

Messiah College announced that it will open for face-to-face instruction a week early (August 25) and end the Fall semester a week before Thanksgiving. I will be teaching two courses: U.S. History to 1865 and Pennsylvania History. I am waiting to learn more about what the method of delivery will look like.

I tend to process things through writing, but not everything I write on this blog makes it to Facebook. If you are interested in getting all of the posts that appear here, either subscribe to the e-mail feed (the black “Follow” button on the right) or check back regularly. I don’t re-post everything on Facebook because I don’t want to clog-up people’s feeds, although every post does go automatically to Twitter. And for those who think I post too much, feel free to unfollow or unfriend on Facebook. Seriously, I will not be offended! 🙂  Thanks to everyone who reads regularly, especially those of you who are new to the blog.

My nerves were raw this weekend. I had a hard time balancing righteous anger (if you could call it that) with just plain-old unhealthy anger. I was mad at the police. I was mad at the rioters attacking the police. I was mad at the looters and the violence. I was mad at Trump and his administration. I was mad at white evangelical pastors who were not using their Sunday services to address what was happening in the world. I was mad at evangelical friends on social media who were defending their churches for not addressing racism because they thought the church should not be “getting political.” I was mad at myself for being so angry. I was mad at myself for not being angry enough. If I lashed out at you in a social media space, and I have not already contacted you directly, I apologize.

I am an introvert and do not always gravitate to people or revel in a sense of “community.” But the longer I stay at home, the more I find myself wanting to get in touch with people. I haven’t talked this much to my brother in years. The other day I sent some long-overdue texts to old college friends  This longing to connect also helped me get through some of the anger. Let me explain.

I have several friends in the Christian ministry. Three of them were preaching on Sunday. I found myself lifted spiritually by their words.

Andy, who pastors two small, rural Brethren in Christ churches in central Pennsylvania and proudly calls himself “a middle-class white kid from the sticks,” eulogized Joe, a partner in ministry, a spiritual mentor, a product of the Jim Crow African-American South, and one of his best friends. Andy noted that the celebration of Joe’s life–and the work of racial reconciliation that defined their long friendship–somehow felt diminished by the pain of what happened to George Floyd. But in the end, Andy would not let that happen. His sermon, and the previous day’s memorial service–offered hope. In his own humble way, Andy pointed to the possible.

Bob, who pastors a small Presbyterian Church (USA) in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, connected the Holy Spirit’s coming on the Day of Pentecost to the social unrest and racial divisions in our country. On the day the Holy Spirit arrived, he reminded us, the disciples were “sheltering in place,” fearful of persecution. Yet the Holy Spirit met them where they were. The Spirit fell on people of all races who shared a common faith.

Paul, who preached at an Armenian Presbyterian Church in Fresno, California, offered a sermon of lament and mission. He challenged the members of the congregation to consider their role in these troubled times and remain open to opportunities to be a witness for the Gospel. At the start of the sermon, he read a passage from Christian writer Peter Heck:

Take the tragedy that unfolded on the streets of Minneapolis this week, but do it from the view that none of us likely considered. View it not through the eyes of your biases (original or adopted), but view it through the eyes of heaven:

An image-bearer of the Creator was suffocated to death by a fellow image-bearer of the Creator in front of a group of image-bearers of the Creator. The act sparked image-bearers of the Creator to lash out at other image-bearers of the Creator, accusing them of all manners of evil. As these groups of image-bearers of the Creator exchanged accusations from places of pride, defiance, bitterness, and anger, still other image-bearers of the Creator moved to pillage and loot a city full of image-bearers of the Creator, destroying their property and livelihoods in the name of justice.

This is what I meant by seeing a hopelessly marred creation begging for redemption.

Hope.

Until next time…

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. Eric Metaxas Explains His Racist Tweet
  2. Now John MacArthur’s Grace Community Church WILL NOT Open Tomorrow
  3. If There is Such a Thing as Twitter Blackface, Court Evangelical Eric Metaxas Just Engaged in It
  4. Dietrich Bonhoeffer on Stupidity
  5. Os Guinness’s Appeal to the Past is Deeply Problematic
  6. George Floyd, T.J. Klausutis, Masks are for Wimps, and Twitter Lies: Where are the Court Evangelicals?
  7. Eric Metaxas Talks With Al Mohler About “The Gathering Storm”
  8. Comparing Trump and the Court Evangelicals on Twitter During the Last 72 Hours
  9. What is (Still) Happening at Cedarville University?
  10. The R.R. Reno “Meltdown”

 

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. Dietrich Bonhoeffer on Stupidity
  2. Jerry Falwell Jr.: The Chronicle of Higher Education Interview
  3. Liberty University Dumps Its Philosophy Department
  4. The R.R. Reno “Meltdown”
  5. What American Historian and Wake Forest University President Nathan Hatch Said to Mike Pence
  6. Have You Seen Ben Sasse’s Commencement Speech?
  7. The Pot-Smoking Dutch Calvinists Who Stopped “worshipping the Ph.D. and Gave Their Students “guerrilla credentials”
  8. Transcript of the David French-Eric Metaxas Debate on Evangelicals and Trump
  9. White Supremacy, Capitalism, and a New Book on the History of St. Louis
  10. Ravi Zacharias, RIP

Most Popular Posts of the Last Week

Most popular posts of the last week at The Way of Improvement Leads Home:

  1. Liberty University Dumps Its Philosophy Department
  2. Transcript of the David French-Eric Metaxas Debate on Evangelicals and Trump
  3. Barack Obama Will Deliver Nationally Televised Commencement Address to the Class of 2020
  4. The R.R. Reno “Meltdown”
  5. Dietrich Bonhoeffer on Stupidity
  6. Liberty University’s Statement on the Elimination of Its Philosophy Department
  7. Take the Trump Inaugural Address History Exam (My Piece This Morning at USA Today)
  8. The French-Metaxas Debate: Some Commentary
  9. Remembering Donald Dayton
  10. World Socialist Website Responds to Announcement of Nikole Hannah-Jones’s Pulitzer

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. Dietrich Bonhoeffer on Stupidity
  2. Barack Obama Will Deliver Nationally Televised Commencement Address to the Class of 2020
  3. Remembering John Murrin
  4. Transcript of the David French-Eric Metaxas Debate on Evangelicals and Trump
  5. Allen Guelzo Criticizes the 1619 Project
  6. Interpreting Evangelicals Who Go to Church During This Pandemic
  7. W. Caleb McDaniel Wins the 2020 Pulitzer Prize in History
  8. Three Sundays in April (Part 3)
  9. George W. Bush on the Coronavirus Pandemic
  10. Back in the Zoo: “Heil Whitmer?”

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.  Dietrich Bonhoeffer on Stupidity
  2.  Transcript of the David French-Eric Metaxas Debate on Evangelicals and Trump
  3.  David Barton: Governors Won’t Open-Up the Economy Because They Fear Death and Know They Won’t Go to Heaven When They Die
  4. What is Going on (Again) at Cedarville University?
  5. The French-Metaxas Debate: Some Commentary
  6. Robert Jeffress suggests that Tim Keller is a “wimpy Christian” who has “cloaked” his “cowardice in theology.”
  7. Three Sundays in April (Part Two)
  8. How One Middle-School History Teacher is Staying Connected With His Students
  9. First Things Editor: The “measures we have taken in the last few weeks have been…pointless”
  10. The Many Problems With Eric Metaxas’s “Christian Case for 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. Dietrich Bonhoeffer on Stupidity
  2. What Happened in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania Today?
  3. The Challenge of Christian Liberal Arts in This Pandemic and Beyond
  4. Back in the Zoo: “Heil Whitmer?”
  5. Forthcoming Book: The Spiritual Danger of Donald Trump
  6. The Samaritan Purse Field Hospital in Central Park Has Found an “Unlikely” Champion
  7. CDC: The Second Wave of the Coronavirus Could be Deadlier
  8. A Seminary Classmate of Al Mohler Weighs-In on the Southern Seminary President’s Decision to Vote for Trump
  9. This is a “Father Forgive, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” moment
  10. George Packer on America as a “Failed State”

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. Southern Baptist Leader Al Mohler Will Vote for Trump in 2020
  2. Dietrich Bonhoeffer on Stupidity
  3. Evangelical Christians: Today the Press is Doing What the Church is Supposed to be Doing
  4. Andrew Cuomo: No governor should watch Trump’s press conferences.  They are “infuriating,” “offensive,” and “frankly ignorant of the facts.”
  5. What Al Mohler Said About Donald Trump in October 2016
  6. “A Pandemic Billy Sunday Could Not Shut Down”
  7. In a Late-Night Voicemail, Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. Tells a New York Times Reporter That She is “in some serious trouble.”
  8. More on the How the Press is Doing What the Church Should be Doing
  9. 60 Minutes Calls Out Trump Adviser Peter Navarro
  10. Mitch McConnell: Trump’s Enabler-in-Chief

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. Dietrich Bonhoeffer on Stupidity
  2. Trump’s New White House Press Secretary is the Perfect Choice
  3. Cartoon of the Day
  4. Where is Trump’s Soul?
  5. Why Listen to Dr. Tony Fauci When You Have Fox News Commentator Laura Ingraham at Your Disposal?
  6. All the President’s Lies About the Coronavirus
  7. Blame China? Jesus Doesn’t Play That Game
  8. Narcissist-In-Chief
  9. The “bitter and angry remnant” at First Things Magazine
  10. How Billy Sunday Handled the 1918 Influenza Epidemic

Most Popular Posts of the Last Week

Here is the most popular post of the last week at The Way of Improvement Leads Home:

  1. What is Wrong With the Governor of Georgia?
  2. The “My Pillow” Guy’s Comments at Yesterday’s Press Conference Represent Everything Wrong With the Public Witness of the Christian Right
  3. The Attacks on Samaritan’s Purse Reveal a Fundamental Misunderstanding of Evangelical Relief Work
  4. Former Liberty University Executive on Jerry Falwell Jr. “He doesn’t think anyone should be able to tell him what to do, and he’s going to do whatever he wants…”
  5. Robert Jeffress suggests that Tim Keller is a “wimpy Christian” who has “cloaked his “cowardice in theology”
  6. Who is Tending to Trump’s Soul?
  7. “Nearly a dozen” Liberty University students are “sick with symptoms that suggest Covid-19…”
  8. On December 20, 2016 an Atlantic  Writer Wondered How a Pandemic Might Play Out Under Trump
  9. “Fox, the whole Fox, and nothing but the Fox”
  10. Rodney Howard-Browne Arrested for Holding Services on Sunday

 

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 World Tells the United States to Stop Using the Phrase “Wuhan Virus”
  2. Trump to Faith Leaders: “It’s a big day, Nov. 3; that’s going to be one of the biggest dates in the history of religion…”
  3. Liberty University English Professor: “Please Stop Jerry Falwell Jr. Before It’s Too Late!”
  4. Editor of First Things Magazine: “There are many things more precious than life.”
  5. Anthony Fauci: “I can’t jump in front of the microphone and push him down”
  6. Liberty University is Open. Local Lynchburg Officials are Not Happy About It
  7. Robert Jeffress suggests that Tim Keller is a “wimpy Christian” who has “cloaked” his “cowardice in theology”
  8. Donald Trump’s Grandfather Died in the 1918 Influenza Pandemic
  9. Why is a Louisiana Pastor Still Holding Sunday Services?
  10. Wehner: “Trump is utterly unsuited to deal with this crisis, either intellectually or temperamentally”

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. Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson Says Coronavirus Will Only Kill Between 1 AND 3.4 Percent of the American Population
  2. “When Trump demanded to know whom he’d voted for in 2016, McCabe was so shocked…”
  3. The “Massive Backtracking” at Fox News
  4. Parent Questions Falwell’s Decision to Keep Liberty University Open. Falwell Calls Him a “dummy”
  5. Conservative Culture Warriors Are Trying Figure Out How to Operate in our Current Moment
  6. Online Teachers: “We Will Survive”
  7. “One pastor said half of his church is ready to lick the floor, to prove there’s no actual virus”
  8. Fox News is an Embarrassment
  9. An African-American Pastor Guides His Congregation Through the 1918 Influenza Epidemic
  10. CNN Doctor Sanjay Gupta: “I don’t think we’re taking this seriously and it worries me.”

 

What Stories Will You Tell About Coronavirus 2020?

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This kid just came home to continue her college education online. She is not happy about it, but she is making the best of it.

The coronavirus story is far from complete, but I hope that many of you are collecting stories to pass on to your families and communities. Let me encourage you to keep a diary or journal. Future historians will thank you for this. Here’s a start:

My life has not changed considerably since this pandemic hit the United States. In fact, I feel a little guilty as I watch so many people whose lives are changing drastically as a result of the coronavirus and are now overburdened with work–especially healthcare providers and people in leadership. I am trying to continue my calling as an educator during the crisis. I have a platform here at the blog and I have been trying to do as many posts at possible to help folks put this pandemic in some kind of larger perspective. We are getting a record number of readers these days, so thanks for following along.

I have largely self-quarantined. I had some kind of flu bug last week, but I have managed to recover. Joy now seems to have picked it up. But relatively speaking, we are all fine.

Today I stopped going to McDonalds to get my morning coffee and bought a Keurig. I am watching a lot of CNN and trying to stay up to speed on what is happening around the country. It is is important to stay informed in times like these.

I am currently on Spring Break. Joy is now working full-time from home. My youngest daughter Caroline came home from college on Tuesday night. She is continuing her semester online from her bedroom. Yesterday I was tempted to “sit on” on one her classes, but then thought better of it.

My eldest daughter Allyson is still in Grand Rapids. She learned last night that she will never take another face-to-face college course. She is sad about this news and we are sad for her. At this point we are not even sure if she will have a graduation ceremony.  She lives off-campus with her friends and is trying to make the most out of the last weeks of her college experience. Tonight she played Monopoly with her housemates. She is also battling some kind of non-corona flu bug.

I am proud of Caroline and Ally.  Both of them canceled Spring Break trips and they have been taking social distancing very seriously. I wish I could say the same about their peers across the country.

Next Wednesday I start online teaching. Fortunately, I have three sections of the same course. I am still working on platforms and approach. My mailboxes and social media feeds are flooded with links to online teaching resources.  Sometimes even good advice can be overwhelming.

While the blog continues, I am not sure about the immediate future of The Way of Improvement Leads Home Podcast.  We will not have access to our Messiah College recording studio, so we will need to decide whether to cancel the season or try to continue with really bad sound quality.  We still have one more episode in the can, so look for Episode 66 with historian Serena Zabin, author of an amazing new book on the Boston Massacre.  I know some of you offer financially support our podcasting work.  Once we make a decision, I will be in touch via Patreon.

What stories will you tell about living through this historic pandemic? Even you think, as I do, that your stories are boring and commonplace, you are doing a public service by writing them down.