Cold, Tired, and Single in Zion

One of my favorite things about spending several summers in Utah was enjoying an extra holiday on July 24th, commemorating the 1847 pioneer trek from the Missouri River to the Salt Lake Valley. For my family, Pioneer Day meant the Pioneer Day Classic road race in Provo, which loops around the Provo Temple (and, unlike [Read More...]

The Strange Career of the Antimission Baptists

I recently wrote about “Calvinism and the Roots of the Missionary Movement,” in which I discussed the powerful (and to some, counter-intuitive) influence of Calvinism on early Baptist missionaries. There’s a flip-side to that story, which is the largely Calvinist antimission movement of the 1820s and 1830s. Baptists and other evangelicals founded a number of [Read More...]

THE ICON OF THE MAGDALENE

lentzoscarromero

Grace Cathedral in San Francisco is one of my favorite religious structures in the US, and it is also home to a fine piece of modern spiritual art. In 1988, the Episcopal Church elected its first woman bishop, Barbara Harris, who was consecrated the following year (Harris is also African–American). To celebrate the event, the [Read More...]

APPROVING REVELATION

I have been writing about changing concepts of the Biblical canon, my point being that this has developed and altered substantially over time. Some core facts have been constant for a very long time, above all the church’s selection of four gospels – the four we know, and no other. Western Christians, though, might be [Read More...]

The Jesus Movement

Eskridge

It’s hard not to like the Jesus Movement, but until recently, there wasn’t a good history of this revolutionary moment in the evolution of American evangelicalism. Now, there is. Larry Eskridge’s God’s Forever Family is a book you should read. I recently reviewed the book for Christianity Today. A number of years ago, I became [Read More...]

The Long History of the Religious Right

Ever since so many of them embraced the Reagan Revolution during the 1980 election cycle, the political involvement of evangelicals has garnered the attention of scholars and journalists.  For many, the story of resurgent evangelical political involvement became one of backlash.  Reacting against progressive politics and loosening social mores of the 1960s, evangelicals embraced a [Read More...]

The Historical Genius of Edmund Morgan

Last week we lost one of the titans of American history writing, Yale’s Edmund Morgan. His publishing career spanned an incredible sixty-five years from his first book (1944) to his last (2009). His topics ranged widely across colonial and Revolutionary American history, but if you have read anything by Morgan, it is likely The Puritan [Read More...]

CORRECTIONS AND ERRORS

In a recent post on the Synod of Diamper (1599), I described how European Catholics tried to force Indian Christians into conformity with their ways. This Indian church, the Thomas Christians, had been founded in the second century (conceivably before), and throughout the Middle Ages its connections had been with the Church of the East, [Read More...]

JAMES THE GREAT

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I want to share an enthusiasm. I’d also like to point to some very useful resources that are now readily available on the Internet. Last year, I posted on the work of the English scholar Montague Rhodes James (1862-1936), whose work I have been quite unintentionally shadowing for much of my life. Since my teenage [Read More...]

DIAMPER: UPROOTING THE ANCIENT CHURCH

Through the Middle Ages, European churches made enthusiastic  use of apocryphal scriptures, but matters changed rapidly at the Reformation. Protestants and Catholics alike campaigned against the old alternative gospels and saints’ lives, driving many out of use. A similar process of scriptural cleansing was under way elsewhere in the world in these same years, and [Read More...]


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