God Contracted to a Span: A Wesleyan Advent Hymn

Charles Wesley’s parents had 17 children before he came along. His premature birth was initially considered a still-birth because of his lack of vitality, a lack which continued through weeks of near silence.  There was no real reason for optimism. But, Oh, how he made up for that later in life! He preached twice to…

The English Puritan Thomas Brooks

Yesterday was the 326th anniversary of the death of Thomas Brooks (d. 1680), an non-conformist English clergyman. He preached a series of sermons on Lamentations 3:24 that were eventually compiled and published in 1662 as An Ark for All God’s Noahs in a Gloomy Stormy Day. I discovered this passage while I waited during a…

The Advanced Theological Studies Fellowship

The Advanced Theological Studies Fellowship at the Theologische Universiteit Kampen in The Netherlands is amazing. Every year the university invites a handful of PhD students from around the world to spend four weeks at the university studying, researching, and writing, followed by a summary paper presentation to the university community. Travel to and from The…

The Baptist History Rap Redux

Andrew, one of my students in Baptist History and Theology, recorded this take on the Baptist History Rap for extra credit. The original was recorded by Ashley Unzicker who gave permission for me to offer this as extra credit in my classes and now a student has finally taken me up on the offer.

UNESCO and Luther’s 95 Theses

Though I am planning a return trip to Wittenberg, Germany, next year to attend and hopefully present a paper at the 2017 Research Consortium of the Refo500 conference on the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther and his 95 theses, tomorrow, March 17, would be an historic day to visit as well. 14 early writings of the…

Cotton Mather: The First American Evangelical

The first American evangelical: A short life of Cotton Mather Rick Kennedy; William B. Eerdmans 2015 WorldCat•LibraryThing•Google Books•BookFinder  New to the OBU Library comes this title from Eerdmans on the American Puritan pastor and scholar, Cotton Mather, from the North End of Boston in late 17th Century.  Contents: The last decades of Puritan Boston, 1663-1674…

La Réforme, Pierre Viret, and Southern Seminary

For those of you who might be interested, I am speaking at an upcoming mini-conference being held at Southern Seminary, November 2, 2011. I will be speaking on Pierre Viret from a much-expanded form of a paper I delivered at the Refo500 Research Consortium (RefoRC) in Zürich last June, and will be drawing connections between…

Zwingli’s Works Now Available Online

Attention students of the Reformation: I just learned that Zwingli’s Werke (Works) and Briefe (Letters) are now available online, fully searchable, for free, thanks to the Institut für Schweizerische Reformationsgeschichte (IRG) at the Universität Zürich. They are both linked via this announcement from the IRG. I presented a paper there at a conference back in…

Oral History, Augustine’s Definition of Community, and Good Friday

St. Augustine famously argued that community is created as people with common affections for something mutually esteemed have opportunity to communicate about and celebrate those common affections. Oliver O’Donovan’s book Common Objects of Love was an exposition of this idea for modern culture. This has profoundly shaped my understanding of community, as a pastor and as…

ALABI and Patron-Centered Spaces

Many, many, thanks go to my colleague, Jason Fowler, and my new friends at The Association of Librarians & Archivists at Baptist Institutions (ALABI) for inviting me to give a presentation on Patron-Centered Spaces in Nashville last week. I enjoyed my brief time with them, and look forward to attending as a member in the…

Chesterton, Tolkien, and the Invention of Tradition

G. K. Chesterton’s fantastical works of fiction such as his extensive use of fairies, according to Alison Milbank at the University of Nottingham, had an apparently large influence on J. R. R. Tolkien and his Lord of the Rings. Alison argues that Chesterton’s attempts at using fiction to cause his readers to engage the real…

Grab a Bucket! Re-think the Sign?

It’s time to grab a bucket and start bailing. I think it was D. L . Moody who famously quipped that the Church is like boat: in order for a boat to be what it was created to be, it must be in water. But if too much of the water gets in the boat…