All Posts By

James Bratt

Essay

Rod Jellema, 1927-2018

Death has been in the air lately. There were the funerals of John McCain and Aretha Franklin, minutely analyzed in the national media. Here in West Michigan the passing of Amway co-founder Richard DeVos has been getting like treatment, for…
Essay

End of August, End of the World

“Gassed,” John Singer Sargent (1919). Imperial War Museum, London   The End of August and the End of the World For most of us, the end of August spells the end of summer. A hundred years ago, it looked like…
Essay

On Secondary Allegiance

With the 4th of July on the horizon, I’d like to pick up on Tom Boogaart’s recent post about pledging allegiance. For most of my adult life I would have responded to Tom’s words with three cheers, but now, in…
Essay

The Redemption of Ulysses S. Grant

By James Bratt Every now and then a past American president undergoes a radical change in historical reputation. The starkest case was probably that of Harry Truman who was single-handedly rehabilitated twenty-five years ago by David McCullough’s Pulitzer-Prize-winning biography. By…
Essay

Growing Into Pentecost

By James Bratt When I was a kid, I never got the big deal about Pentecost. For one, it didn’t come along with any special songs or meals. Compare that to Easter, where you could get both of those in…
Essay

Is Evangelicalism Christian?

by James Bratt I recently attended a conference at Notre Dame honoring the career of Mark Noll. As one of the most accomplished scholars of American religious history, as well as a person of deep faith, consummate integrity, and easy…
Essay

Confidence Game

by James Bratt Two weeks ago, in his post “Ordinary Dust,” Jason Lief memorably described one of those bad teaching days that every college professor—maybe any teacher at any level—will quickly recognize. The students are unresponsive to all of our…
Essay

“Let not many of you become bloggers”

Jim Bratt is away today. We welcome Branson Parler, Associate Professor of Theological Studies at Kuyper College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. His most difficult theological questions often come from his three kids, who are 5 and under. I enjoy reading…