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In 24/7-always-on work culture, it’s hard to find time to break away from work and rest. How do we make time for a true break from our labor? The Puritans put it in perspective. […] Read More

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was found guilty on 30 counts. Jurors – and everyone else in and around Boston – now contemplate sentencing. Discussions about the death penalty have a strange ring in Massachusetts, a state that renounced it in 1984 and had its last execution in 1947. Residents debate capital punishment for the Boston Marathon bomber, […] Read More

Emphasis on the kingdom, reign or rule of God ebbs and flows in Christian history. For example, Walter Rauschenbusch lamented in 1917 that the “individualistic theology” of his day “carefully wrapped in several napkins and forgot” the kingdom of God. A growing number of Christians now emphasize the pursuit of the common good through social […] Read More

This summer a relative put aside resistance and got his first smartphone, soon after sending us a picture of himself taken with his phone, captioned: “My First Facie.” Initial mirth over this mistaken terminology—”facie” instead of “selfie”—gave way to conviction that his was, in fact, the much better word. That strange new-ish cultural form the […] Read More

Owen Stanwood’s excellent book, “The Empire Reformed: English America in the Age of the Glorious Revolution,” has taken me back to my own doctoral research and first book, “The Protestant Interest: New England after Puritanism.” Stanwood shows just how much weight “anti-popery” carried in early English America, and how it framed discussions of the Glorious […] Read More

The fascination—even obsession—with the celebration of Christmas has not always been part of the American landscape. In fact, the earliest Americans opposed and even made laws against the observance of Christmas. Many of the Puritan settlers in New England were convinced that Christmas was a “popish” or Catholic celebration. These settlers had left the Church […] Read More