Hillary Clinton’s Spiritual Stamina

As the reality of Hillary Clinton’s unexpected defeat sinks in, as pundits jockey to offer the definitive postmortem and journalists attempt to decipher what, precisely, an impending Trump presidency might entail, public focus has largely shifted away from Clinton herself. For nearly four decades Hillary Clinton has found herself at or near the center of [Read More…]

The Problem with Protecting our Wives and Daughters

Don’t get me wrong. I’m glad many evangelicals are lining up to condemn Trump’s vulgar behavior, revealed most recently (and incontrovertibly) in the appalling video tape released by the Washington Post last Friday. Jerry Falwell Jr., a staunch Trump supporter, had this to say about the video: “…it was reprehensible. We’re all sinners, every one [Read More…]

An Open Letter to the ESV Translation Committee

I’m not a biblical translator, or even a biblical scholar. I’m a historian. As a historian, I was intrigued when I heard the news that “the Permanent Text of the ESV Bible” had been released. (The English Standard Version, for those not in the know, is an “essentially literal” translation of the Revised Standard Version.) [Read More…]

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, By Their Words

by Katelyn Guichelaar and Kristin Du Mez The national party conventions of the past two weeks have offered us political theatrics, stolen words, and soaring rhetoric. They also provide us with a moment to reflect on the paths each candidate has taken to secure their party’s nomination. More specifically, to consider the words they have [Read More…]

From “Mannish Woman” to Missionary

Sarah Goodrich, a missionary to China, begged her family and friends back at home in the United States not to picture her as “a mannish woman.” That she had to issue such a plea reflected a common American judgment of female missionaries at the turn of the twentieth century. The single woman missionary, writes historian [Read More…]

An Appalachian Revivalist in Queen Victoria’s South Africa

In 1866 William Taylor, a renegade Wesleyan evangelist from the Appalachians, arrived in the south of Africa. A tall six feet with a long, scraggly beard that draped down over a barrel chest, Taylor was “a Methodist preacher of the old school.” He was “adept at charming his hosts, delivering folksy sermons, deflecting opposition, spinning [Read More…]

THE FAITH OF WALES

I am a fully certified Welsh person. In fact, other products of my hometown of Port Talbot include Richard Burton and Anthony Hopkins, with Rowan Williams and Catherine Zeta-Jones born down the road. We specialize in high drama. Through the years, I have also published extensively on Welsh history, which offers an interesting case-study in [Read More…]

THE DAMNATION OF THERON WARE

I recently described the problem of finding useful novels that could be used to teach on American religion, and particularly evangelicalism. As I remarked, some books are wonderful as sources, but they are anything but friendly to evangelical Christianity. As a case in point,  I cite Harold Frederic’s The Damnation of Theron Ware (1896), which [Read More…]

FROM LIBERAL TO GLOBAL?

In the American Spectator, Mark Tooley discusses the recent General Conference of the United Methodist church in a piece called “United Methodists Transition from Liberal to Global.” The article’s main argument is not surprising in light of Mr. Tooley’s strongly conservative advocacy through the years. As often in the past, he says that liberal Western [Read More…]

United Methodists Maintain Traditional Stance on Sexuality

After a week of vitriolic debates and parliamentary wrangling, the United Methodist Church has concluded its quadrennial General Conference. In the lead story coming out of the meeting, delegates voted to maintain the denomination’s traditional stance on human sexuality, which holds that homosexual acts are “incompatible with Christian teaching.” That vote was keyed by the presence of [Read More…]