Friday, April 1, 2011

MacLaurin Day Two

The MacLaurin Institute, under the direction of Bryan Bademan and Ruth Pszwaro, is doing some phenomenal work bridging the intellectual world of the University of Minnesota and the churches of the Twin Cities.  They are worthy of your support.

Yesterday I had lunch with a vibrant group of University of Minnesota campus ministers.  We had a lively discussion about how history might help campus ministers understand the world in which they minister.  The conversation got a bit spirited at times, especially when one of the ministers disagreed with me about the whole "Christian America" issue.  Nevertheless, we had a very good discussion about how to challenge students to think Christianly about their disciplines and course of study.

After lunch we headed over to a University of Minnesota lecture hall for the MacLaurin Institute Lecture.  I spoke on the first four chapters of Was America Founded as a Christian Nation, tracing the idea that America was a Christian nation, from the early 19th century Whigs to Martin Luther King Jr.

In the evening I lectured on religion and the American Revolution at City Life Church in St. Paul.  Steven Keillor (Garrion's brother), a historian at Bethel University and the author of two very provocative studies that integrate Christianity and American History, responded to my presentation.  Keillor is working on a providential history of the United States, so we had some good conversation in the Q&A over whether the doctrine of providence was a useful interpretive tool for the Christian historian.  Thanks to MacLaurin and Ron Hjerstedt of Heart of the Matter Lectures, for supporting this talk.

I also want to thank everyone from the University of Minnesota and the Twin-Cities community who came out for these lectures.  There were at least two or three people who came to all three public lectures and many who came to more than one!  Thanks.

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