The Jesus Movement

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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...]

Evangelical Philosophers in the Chronicle

I don’t think of the Chronicle of Higher Education as an especially hospitable venue for evangelicals. Thus, I was surprised this week to read a fascinating and even-handed portrait of William Lane Craig. Written by Nathan Schneider, the piece follows Craig from the evangelical subculture (including his part-time teaching at Biola) to debates against atheists [Read More...]

Two New England Women

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Is history an art or a science? History is empirical and creative. We can marvel at both the diligence of archival research (which itself often involves creativity) and at the creativity of a historian who can unlock the past to us in all of its stunning strangeness and similarity. “History … [is] an imaginative creation,” [Read More...]

Religion and the Victory of Same-Sex Marriage

About a decade ago, the historian David Chappell wrote a thoughtful book about religion and the civil rights movement, titled A Stone of Hope: Prophetic Religion and the Death of Jim Crow. Among other ideas, Chappell presents the argument that the supporters of civil rights, ultimately, had religion on their side. In other words, while [Read More...]

The Rise of Liberal Religion

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I’ve recently cracked open Matthew Hedstrom’s recently published The Rise of Liberal Religion. Hedstrom’s book is providing me with an opportunity to reconfigure my thinking and teaching on the respective trajectories of twentieth-century (and beyond) Protestant liberalism and evangelicalism. In recent decades pundits and some scholars have made much of the post-WWII evangelical resurgence, coupled [Read More...]

The Quandary of African American Evangelicalism

Guest post from Miles S. Mullin II, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary’s J. Dalton Havard School for Theological Studies: John Fea’s recent Anxious Bench post, “Where Are the Studies of Twentieth-Century Black Evangelicalism?” raised an excellent question, one that confronted me over a decade ago as a graduate student in Dennis Dickerson’s Religion and the Civil Rights [Read More...]

Pew Report: More Nones, Fewer Protestants

This week’s big religious headline was a Pew Report that documented (among other trends) the rapid rise of religiously non-affiliated Americans (“nones,” colloquially). The ranks of the unaffiliated (comprised of atheists, agnostics, and those with “nothing in particular”) rose from 15.3% of the U.S. population in 2007 to 19.6% in 2012. Although Pew carefully notes [Read More...]

The Future of Evangelicalism Online

From an important post from Patheos Director of Content, Timothy Dalrymple, in which he envisions the future of the Evangelical Portal at Patheos: Evangelicals are neither loved nor respected in the American public square.   This is due in part to our enduring and principled commitment to truths and values the rest of mainstream society rejects, [Read More...]

Joel Osteen, Evangelical

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For many Americans, Joel Osteen is the public face of evangelical Christianity. For many evangelical Christians, Osteen is not an evangelical Christian. Despite what follows, I have never taken much of an interest in such debates. Arguing over whether or not someone is an “evangelical” is rarely fruitful or uplifting. In fact, when I watch [Read More...]

Phillis Wheatley’s Genius in Bondage

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Others at the Anxious Bench know far more about the subject than I do, but I enjoyed reading Jonathan Yeager’s Books & Culture review of Vincent Caretta’s new biography of Phillis Wheatley (A Genius in Bondage reads the subtitle). I’ve always wanted to know more about Wheatley, especially after becoming somewhat familiar with Atlantic World [Read More...]


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