Phony Wars

Reform or perish. Cultural and ideological liberals have given such advice to conservative churches for years. Sometimes that advice comes from within, sometimes from outside of those communions. For example, Jonathan Rauch warns conservative Christians that “the First Church of Discrimination will find few adherents in 21st-century America. Polls find that, year by year, Americans [Read More...]

The “Evangelicals” Who Are Not Evangelicals

At the Wall Street Journal, Barton Swaim recently reviewed Steven Miller’s excellent book The Age of Evangelicalism, which I also reviewed at The Gospel Coalition. In my review, I suggested that evangelicals’ necessary engagement in politics has defined evangelicals by their politics and politicians, such as George W. Bush and Sarah Palin. Swaim helpfully raises the problem [Read More...]

Penn Prof: Religious Colleges Should Not Be Accredited

University of Pennsylvania professor Peter Conn says at the Chronicle of Higher Education that religious colleges (presumably meaning only conservative Christian colleges) should not receive accreditation. Conn: Providing accreditation to colleges like Wheaton makes a mockery of whatever academic and intellectual standards the process of accreditation is supposed to uphold. If accrediting agencies are playing [Read More...]

An Interview with Steven Smith on Religious Liberty

I recently interviewed Steven D. Smith about his new Harvard University Press book, The Rise and Decline of American Religious Freedom. Smith is Warren Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of San Diego and Co-Executive Director of the USD Institute for Law and Religion.  [Kidd] Thanks for taking the time for an interview, Professor Smith! [Read More...]

Reforming Hollywood

reforming hollywood

Reforming Hollywood is a complex and fascinating book. “The prevailing view in histories of American film,” writes William Romanowski, “is that Protestants were determined to impose the rule of censorship on Hollywood, and for that reason they refused to cooperate with the [Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America].” For a detailed and thorough review, [Read More...]

A Martin Luther Christmas

lutherchristmas

On the afternoon of December 25, 1530, Martin Luther preached a Christmas sermon. In the context of a still-chaotic Reformation, a combative Martin Luther railed against “papists,” “Junkers,” and “Turks” as he proclaimed the “joyful news” that the Christ child was the Lord and Savior. Luther was clearly embattled. In the wake of the 1529 [Read More...]

Flipping the Bird: Reflections on a Thanksgiving Fraud

McKenzie

Americans generally view Thanksgiving as an idyllic affair. Kind Indians wearing paper feathers teaching black-and-white clad Pilgrims to survive in the New England wild. Sitting down to eat tryptophan together. And celebrating, if Rush Limbaugh is to be believed in his just-released book Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims, that “capitalism and Scripture saved the [Read More...]

The Secularization of Christian Holidays

Weinachtsmarkt

The Christmas season starts early in Germany as well. Some stores have had their displays out for weeks, and bakeries are already churning out the Stollen and Plätzchen. I’m trying to imagine what December in Germany would be like if American-style jurisprudence reigned. Christmas markets across Germany (organized by cities) would become “Winter markets” or [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...]

David Barton, Louis L’Amour, and the Use of Historical Evidence

bendigo

NOTE:  A shorter version of this post appeared yesterday at The Way of Improvement Leads Home. The rumors are true.  David Barton’s story about children with guns in a 19th century classroom came directly from Bendigo Shafter, a Louis L’Amour novel. Readers of my blog The Way of Improvement Leads Home will recall a post [Read More...]


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