The Book of Mormon in 15 (or so) Days

C.C.A. Christensen, "The Hill Cumorah," ca. 1878

I’m re-posting the below, which originally appeared in two separate segments at Religion in American History: After years of studying the history of Mormonism, I finally resolved to read the tradition’s founding scripture in short order: the Book of Mormon in fifteen days. Because of its large print and easy-to-read format (I’m not quite as [Read More...]

The Expansion of Evangelicalism

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This past week, I re-familiarized myself with John Wolffe’s The Expansion of Evangelicalism: The Age of Wilberforce, More, Chalmers, and Finney (2006) while preparing a lecture on evangelicalism for my Survey of Church History course (which I wrote about here). Sequentially second in IVP’s History of Evangelicalism series, Wolffe’s volume spans the 1790s to the 1840s, a period [Read More...]

Why I Am Still a Baptist

A reader recently asked me why, given my knowledge of and interest in church history, I remain a Baptist. There are powerful arguments for apostolic succession, infant baptism, and other non-Baptist principles that other low-church evangelicals have found compelling. Why do I stick around? It may help to know that I did not grow up [Read More...]

WAR AND GOD’S KINGDOM

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Wars often change and reshape religions. I have posted recently, for instance, on how the chaos of war can stir apocalyptic expectations and fears, and spawn new religious movements. War can also have a powerful effect on theology, on how they see the church’s role. Historically, churches have repeatedly discredited themselves by their uncritical acceptance [Read More...]

WARS AND RUMORS OF WARS

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I posted recently about how wars shape religious change. Depending on the particular circumstances, wartime conditions can have an enormous impact on religious movements and revivals. Let’s look particularly at the Early Modern period. Wars can have good or bad results for states, but for ordinary people, they are drastic and usually horrible transitions in [Read More...]

FAITH AT WAR

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I have been thinking how warfare drives religious change. This arises partly from preparing the graduate course I am teaching at Baylor University in the coming Spring semester on Global Christianity, where of course I am tracing the fates of different churches and missions over lengthy periods of time. Also, the new book I have [Read More...]

Evangelical-Mormon “Detente”?

Adelle Banks of Religion News Service has a fascinating piece on signs of a possible new evangelical-Mormon detente, a thaw that goes even beyond the widespread evangelical support for Mitt Romney as president. She writes Last month, after being sure to get his caffeine fix at Starbucks, Southern Baptist leader Richard Land went where few [Read More...]

“Psychedelic Christians”: The Legacy of the Jesus People

I recently had the pleasure of reading Larry Eskridge’s remarkable God’s Forever Family: The Jesus People Movement in America (Oxford, 2013). [Full disclosure: Larry is a good friend and fellow Carolinian - though of the North Carolina variety - who has occasionally given me barbecue advice.] This book is the epitome of definitive, with rich, entertaining [Read More...]

ON FEEDING THE TROLLS

Today’s blog is about blogging. If you blog on religious topics, you know that there are a couple of issues that are guaranteed to set at least some commenters off into paroxysms of rage. On a site like this, Islam and Mormonism are two prime detonators. I’m open to very wide ranging discussions on anything [Read More...]

Luther and the Word of God

Martin Luther did not want to preach in Wittenberg’s city church. The year was — most likely — 1513. Luther later commented that he “was chosen against my will to preach here.” He was afraid of what he considered a great responsibility. “I shall not live a quarter-year,” he feared. Germany is currently just more [Read More...]


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