This past Sunday morning, worship in the Lutheran church I was visiting opened with a Brazilian hymn. Verse 1 was easy enough: “Oh, sing to the Lord, oh, sing God a new song.” But as we got deeper into the hymn, I wondered what my fellow white Midwestern congregants would have thought if someone had […]
Author Archive for: Christopher Gehrz
About Dr. Christopher Gehrz
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Entries by Dr. Christopher Gehrz
In a conversation full of irenic Christians, no one has approached this project in better faith than our resident Latter-day Saint. Month in and month out, I’ve not only learned more from Robert Millet about Christian theology and practice, but what it means to live out the principles that undergird the “respectful conversation” project. I’m […]
When I started my undergraduate studies at the College of William and Mary, there wasn’t anything like a “Pietist” church within walking distance, so I found myself defaulting to the low church option closest to campus: Williamsburg Baptist. Though its founding date of 1828 seemed ancient to this Midwesterner, I soon realized that there was […]
If Lutheranism is the parent of Pietism, then surely the Wesleyan Tradition is the closest cousin to my own. The most distinctive catalyst for the Methodist wing of the First Great Awakening was the encounter of John and Charles Wesley with Pietism, both the Moravian strain that famously led to their conversion experiences and the […]
Above all else, count me relieved that my unusual approach to the lead essay format seems to have connected with so many of my conversation partners. Knowing that the typical response to the word “Pietism” in the 21st century is either non-recognition (“What’s that?”) or mis-recognition (“Oh, you mean legalism” — or “anti-intellectualism” or “quietism”), […]
In many ways, I represent the most unusual member of this gathering of Christian traditions. So I hope you’ll understand if my version of the lead essay seems atypical as well. Please join me in imagining a week in the life of a Pietist seeking to follow Jesus. The Power — and Limits — of […]
Let me respond to autobiography with autobiography: it’s the best way I can explain why so much of David Gushee’s essay sounded so familiar, even though I’m not a Baptist. You see, while I’m a convinced pedobaptist, I’ve spent all of my adult life with Baptists— the last twenty years with Baptists who are also […]
I’ll come to my real topic in a moment, but permit me to start with an observation about how our conversation has carried us from the end of 2021 into the beginning of 2022. For I found it fascinating to read Wes Granberg-Michaelson’s reflection just a month after Randall Balmer’s. Neither man was born into […]
For many Pietists, I’m sure that Anglicanism inspires the same sorts of reservations that I noted in earlier responses to other Christian traditions that emphasize sacramental worship within the structure of an episcopate. It’s the rare Pietist, for example, who would see a short homily (or a longer sermon) as “merely a stop on the […]
One of my jobs at Bethel University is to help coordinate and teach Christianity and Western Culture, a one-semester general education course that takes first-year students on a sprint through over 2,500 years of history. There’s a lot to cover — we also help introduce the disciplines of philosophy and theology — so I remember […]
Following Jesus: Perspectives from Diverse Christian Traditions
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