The inaugural Colloquium on Pietism Studies is well underway here at Bethel University in St. Paul, Minnesota. Earlier today, we enjoyed an enlightening talk by New Testament scholar and blogger Scot McKnight on “Pietism, Anabaptism, and Conversion,” which situated these two traditions as challenges to the “shallow theology of regeneration” permeating today’s “populist” evangelicalism (that is, evangelicalism without a formal denominational expression). Later, before jetting off to his next speaking engagement, McKnight engaged in a spirited Q & A session that ranged topically from “therapeutic” Christianity to the theological connections between John Howard Yoder and Martin Luther!
In a few minutes, we’ll be hearing from University of Florida historian Jon Sensbach, who will speak on slave-turned-Moravian-evangelist Rebecca Protter.
I’m taking part in a roundtable on “Pietism, Churches, and a ‘Usable Past'” at 2:30 p.m.
I’ll likely blog a conference wrap-up late tonight or tomorrow, before I jet back to Philadelphia in the morning. If you want to keep up with the conference in a more timely manner, check out my Twitter feed (@devinmzt) or #BethelPietism, where conference convener Chris Gehrz (@cgerhz) has also been posting frequent updates.