America’s Spiritual Founding Father

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In time for the three hundredth anniversary of the birth of George Whitefield (pronounced Whit-field), my co-blogger Thomas Kidd has just published a biography of the man he terms America’s Spiritual Founding Father. [Yale University Press identifies October 28 as the book's release date, but it is already shipping]. Kidd’s George Whitefield is an eminently [Read More...]

The Lost Book of Mormon

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There are not very many contemporary accounts of Mormonism in which the author is expelled from the Hill Cumorah Pageant. Avi Steinberg was not passing out illicit evangelical tracts to audience members, nor was he smoking pot behind the LDS Visitors Center. Instead, he was rehearsing for the show under an assumed name. “Like a [Read More...]

The Elders of Israel

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints holds semiannual general conferences, with twenty thousand of the faithful gathering in the church’s conference center across the street from Temple Square and others watching in local meeting houses, stake centers, and over the internet. General Conference always receives some coverage in the media. This year, the [Read More...]

Inventing Eden

Inventing Eden

Zachary Hutchins’s Inventing Eden is a remarkable book. As its subtitle explains, Hutchins examines “primitivism, millennialism, and the making of New England.” Many of us probably know that various colonial and early American boosters promoted the environs of the New World as paradisiacal, Edenic destinations in which beleaguered Europeans could quickly reap a bounty from [Read More...]

Brigham Young’s Favorite Hymn

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On April 8, 1877, Brigham Young delivered a sermon on the occasion of his imminent departure from the St. George Temple. Many observers of Young’s multifaceted career forget how significant temple-building was for him and for his legacy. “We shall build Temples over north and South America,” Young declared in 1875 while planning the construction [Read More...]

The Best Evangelicals on Campus

The recent de-recognition of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship by the massive California State University system is another escalation in a long simmering conflict. Often with considerable hyperbole, evangelicals have long complained of mistreatment at the hands of university administrators and professors. Bill Bright, the founder of Campus Crusade for Christ, referred to UCLA as the “little [Read More...]

Pioneer Prophet in Paperback

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My co-blogger Thomas Kidd mentioned in his most recent post that he has learned “how much authors need to work on publicity.” So here goes — next week, Harvard University Press is releasing the paperback edition of my Brigham Young: Pioneer Prophet. What was a tremendous value is now an outright bargain! One can start [Read More...]

The Age of Evangelicalism

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Steven Miller’s first book, Billy Graham and the Rise of the Republican South, discusses the role of Graham and of evangelical Christianity more broadly in the political realignment of southern politics in the years following the Second World War. Miller’s second book, The Age of Evangelicalism: America’s Born-Again Years has already received a great deal [Read More...]

Bonhoeffer Biography a Masterpiece

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Charles Marsh’s Strange Glory: A Life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer has received much attention since its release several months back, partlyfor two reasons. First, Marsh discusses Bonhoeffer’s apparently homoerotic relationship with Eberhard Bethge at considerable length. For a figure beloved by many American Christians themselves uneasy with same-sex attraction, this is controversial terrain. Second, Marsh’s biography [Read More...]

A Time to Mourn

Yazidi Temple in the Sinjar Mountains

There are so many things that compete for our attention. Gaza, Ukraine, and Ebola, deservedly so. Celebrity cheating rumors, royal baby rumors, not as important as wars and rumors of wars. Perhaps as it need be, most of us are consumed with our own jobs, our own families, and our own churches. For a short [Read More...]


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