I hope my longtime friend and colleague Terry Todd won’t mind my opening with a story. When Terry and I were filming the PBS version of Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory during the summer of 1991, one of our most memorable stops was the True Bibleway Church of the Lord Jesus Christ of the […]
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About Randall Balmer
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Entries by Randall Balmer
My friend Robert Millet has been talking about his faith in relation to other expressions of the Christian faith for decades now, and I salute him for his contributions to fostering a better understanding. He has taken the initiative with me and others to engage him and other Latter-day Saints leaders in conversations about our […]
Many thanks to Ferris Blount for his nuanced discussion of the Black Church, and especially his reminder that the Black Church is anything but monolithic. Indeed, I see extraordinary diversity, from the relatively dignified African Methodist Episcopal Church to the rollicking expressions characteristic of Pentecostalism. When I taught in New York City, one of my […]
I deeply appreciate Sarah Lancaster’s summary of the Wesleyan tradition and its emphasis on holiness and piety within the context of community. True, as Ms. Lancaster notes, that emphasis has flagged somewhat at various times within the Wesleyan tradition—a consequence of routinization, no doubt—but the ideal remains, and it is important. When I think of […]
I open with my appreciation for Christopher Gehrz’s explanation of Pietism, and I love his conceit about a week in the life of a Pietist. The beauty of Pietism, in my view, is that it functions as a corrective to hyper-ratiocinated religion. Aside from the Pietism evident in the Anabaptist movement, I’m struck by the […]
By way of context, I sometimes refer to myself as a lower-case baptist. I was baptized by my father by full immersion in the baptismal tank at the Evangelical Free Church in Bay City, Michigan. David Gushee’s captivating account of his own spiritual pilgrimage from Roman Catholicism to the Baptist tradition curiously reverses the pathway […]
Wes Granberg-Michaelson has presented a compelling, even winsome, case for Reformed (Calvinist) Christianity, a tradition that once shaped my theological perspective. He speaks of the emphasis on community (for infant baptism especially), the importance of confessions, the sovereignty of God, ecumenism, and the Reformed tradition’s reckoning with sin. Mr. Granberg-Michaelson, a distinguished Reformed leader himself, […]
I’ve often said that a scholar can receive no greater compliment than to have others interact seriously with his ideas. I thank all of you for your thoughtful comments, and although I won’t be able to respond to every point (due to limitations on space and your patience), I shall try to address at least […]
I have two semi-flippant responses when people ask me how I, reared as an evangelical, became an Episcopalian and, in 2006, an Episcopal priest. My father was a pastor for forty years in the Evangelical Free Church; I honor both his ministry and his memory, and on the whole I’m grateful for my upbringing within […]
I open with thanks to Michael King for reminding us of the virtues of the Anabaptist tradition. It is indeed a movement with a colorful and distinguished history, populated as it is with remarkable individuals, many of whom suffered for their convictions. Because this tradition takes its cues from the Sermon on the Mount, the […]
Following Jesus: Perspectives from Diverse Christian Traditions
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