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...]

Five Great Books on Evangelical Christianity

My recent post “‘Evangelicals’ Who Are Not Evangelicals” generated quite a discussion about who’s in, and who’s out of the evangelical camp. The study of evangelicalism has seen an amazing renaissance in the past fifty years, so here’s a list of five excellent books on evangelicals and their history. The usual disclaimers: I’m not including [Read More...]

Spirits Eat Ripe Papaya

Spirits Eat Ripe Papaya

It’s beach-reading season—and I have a can’t-miss recommendation. Spirits Eat Ripe Papaya, the debut novel of St. Mary’s College (Ind.) history professor Bill Svelmoe, is a hysterical account of the foibles of good-hearted, but sometimes naïve missionaries. I recommend the book for several reasons. First, it offers texture and empathy. I grew up in the [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...]

Redeemer: The Life of Jimmy Carter, Part 2

Redeemer - The Life of Jimmy Carter

Beginning in the 1970s, evangelical voters significantly influenced electoral outcomes.  Throughout the 1980s, they emerged as an increasingly- reliable Republican voting block.  By the time the 1990s dawned, significant evangelical involvement in the political process meant that effectively, the Republican nomination could not be secured without their support.  And, in the closely-contested general election of 2004, [Read More...]

Redeemer: The Life of Jimmy Carter, Part 1

"He's History's Greatest Monster."

When Marge Simpson forgets to pay for a bottle of rum at the Qwik-E-Mart, she ends up serving thirty days in jail for shoplifting.  Without Marge’s famous marshmallow squares to sell, Springfield’s Beautify Our Parks Bake Sale falls short of its goal, forcing the town to purchase a statue of Jimmy Carter instead of Abraham [Read More...]

Have Visions Ceased?

luther-tischreden

In his published account of his first visionary experience, Joseph Smith reported that a Methodist preacher reacted to his report of his vision with utter contempt: “he treated my communication not only lightly, but with great contempt, saying it was all of the devil, that there were no such things as visions or revelations in [Read More...]

Evangelicals Not Welcome

It’s been a long time since most public and private universities and colleges in the United States desired the active presence of evangelical Christians in their midst. After the YMCA/YWCA and the Student Volunteer Movement backed away from their evangelical roots, groups such as Inter-Varsity, the Navigators, and Campus Crusade for Christ filled the vacuum. [Read More...]

“Then I Shall Be a Wicked Child, and the Great God Will Be Very Angry with Me”

New England primer

One beautiful spring afternoon four years ago, I came across a horrifying scene in my living room. One of my two-year-old sons was standing on the back of the couch with his legs spread and his arms outstretched. My other two-year-old son stood facing him with an imaginary hammer in his hand and a determined [Read More...]

A Review of David Swartz’s Moral Minority

David Swartz is off this week – here is an excellent review of David’s Moral Minority: The Evangelical Left in an Age of Conservatism, from the Church History blog:  It did not have to be. The Falwells, the Dobsons, the Reeds, the LaHayes, all those who may well have given more contours to the term “evangelical” than [Read More...]


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