The whole time I was reading Robin Meyers’s The Underground Church, I couldn’t shake the presence of Old Testament scholar Walter Brueggemann, and I kept trying to figure out why I kept writing “WB” (Walter Brueggemann) as often as “NB” (nota bene).
Nothing outrages students in Jonathan Sheehan’s course on the history of Christianity at the University of California at Berkeley more than the writings of John Calvin. What kind of God is it who would predetermine the ultimate destiny of all humans before the creation of the world? students wonder. Reading Calvin, he says, helps students see the power of an argument and consider the consequences of their own beliefs and commitments. Sheehan wants students to wrestle with Calvin with “integrity, reason, creativity, and charity . . . intellectual virtues that we need in our modern world” (New York Times, September 12).