Tag: Martin Luther King

  • To Speak the Truth in Bombingham

    To Speak the Truth in Bombingham

    John Archibald is almost my exact contemporary. Same age. White cis male. Southern. Methodist. A man who deals in words, though he’s an Alabama newspaperman who won the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Commentary for his work in The Birmingham News while my main public output are sermons these days. What Archibald has done in his […]

  • Who’s Going to Make the Case for America? (I Mean, Along with Jill Lepore)

    Who’s Going to Make the Case for America? (I Mean, Along with Jill Lepore)

    Late in her brief but thought-provoking new book, historian Jill Lepore gets down to why she would write something titled This America: The Case for the Nation: “In American history, liberals have failed, time and again, to defeat illiberalism except by making appeals to national aims and ends…Writing national history creates plenty of problems. But […]

  • It’s Time for a Commission on A Way Sideways

    It’s Time for a Commission on A Way Sideways

    What if the problem with the name of the Commission on A Way Forward was that it had one too many words? Pick the one you’d like to delete, but my vote is for ‘Forward.’ ‘Forward’ carries a lot of weight in this title. It implies several things. First, that we are stuck in an […]

  • Long Arcs and Stumbling Blocks: A Break Down (Because) of General Conference 2019

    Long Arcs and Stumbling Blocks: A Break Down (Because) of General Conference 2019

    It took two weeks of explaining before I broke down trying to get through one more rundown of what happened in St. Louis.* Of course, I felt the pain of it even while I was at the General Conference. The Tuesday night it ended I stayed up late writing notes to former seminary classmates and […]

  • Your Civil War Is Too Easy: Looking for The Thin Light of Freedom with Ed Ayers

    Your Civil War Is Too Easy: Looking for The Thin Light of Freedom with Ed Ayers

    Who starts a story of the Civil War in the middle?  By the time Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia marched up the Shenandoah Valley into Pennsylvania in July of 1863, the war had been going for more than two years.  The twin Confederate defeats at Gettysburg and Vicksburg on the 4th of July usually mark […]

  • The Country We Live In: Race, Sin, and the Birthday of the UMC

    The Country We Live In: Race, Sin, and the Birthday of the UMC

    Behind every discussion in American life is the question of race.  At this stage in our history, with the long shadows cast by slavery, Jim Crow segregation, the struggle for civil rights, and last year’s gathering of white nationalists in Charlottesville, the impact of race is not something we can ignore if we want to […]

  • Heartlands Best Reads of 2017:#5 The Crucifixion

    Heartlands Best Reads of 2017:#5 The Crucifixion

    Fleming Rutledge is having a long-overdue moment in the wake of her 2015 book, The Crucifixion: Understanding the Death of Jesus Christ.  I finally finished it in 2017, qualifying it for this list, and gushed about it in my review, (which you can access through the title link in the previous sentence). Rutledge sees her book as […]

  • Love, Character, and Ordinary People: A Visit with the World’s Greatest Tour Guide

    Love, Character, and Ordinary People: A Visit with the World’s Greatest Tour Guide

    “That’s where the bomb hit,” Shirley Cherry says, pointing to a nondescript spot on the porch of the old Montgomery, Alabama house.  The little girl standing on that spot jumped and moved as if it all might happen again.  Perhaps another bomb thrown by a racist terrorist upset about the 1956 Montgomery Bus Boycott might […]