Many Protestants until around 1975 thought so. Lyman Beecher, the father of Harriet Beecher Stowe who wrote Uncle Tom’s Cabin, for instance wrote in 1834 about the problem of assimilating Roman Catholics to America’s republican (and Protestant) ethos: If they could read the Bible, and might and did, their darkened intellect would brighten, and their bowed down mind would rise. If they dared to think for themselves, the contrast of protestant independence with their thralldom, would awaken the desire of… Read more

Lots of Roman Catholic authors are writing about the conflict between Ash Wednesday and Valentine’s Day. This hasn’t happened for seventy years and it brings into conflict that desire for pleasures often times satisfied by chocolate and a commitment to fast from certain physical delights during the forty days of Lent. Here is how one Lutheran tries to resolve the tension: Valentine’s Day is about the imperfect and faltering love human beings have for each other—a love primarily erotic or… Read more

The reason for asking is that Reformed Protestants (the better name for Calvinism) don’t believe in the freedom of the will and most Americans believe that self-determination is as natural as a Big Mac. University of Notre Dame sociologist, Christian Smith, described the American notion of freedom this way (though he was also speaking about his profession, the academic study of society): American sociology as a collective enterprise is the realization of the emancipation, equality, and moral affirmation of all… Read more

Political and social conservatives in the U.S. constantly lament that the mainstream institutions — universities, the media, the press, and sectors of the government — have become centers for the kind of sentiments that animated the anti-Vietnam protesters of the 1960s and 1970s. Those opposed to the war (and in favor of drugs, sex, and rock ‘n’ roll) believed the war was immoral, that the American government had deliberately deceived the public, and that the United States was not on… Read more

The only reason why anyone who wasn’t an evangelical cared was because folks like Jerry Falwell, James Dobson, and Pat Robertson were showing up on the radar of national politics. Read more

The idea that evangelicals support for Donald Trump is an anomaly or a form of hypocrisy is naive. Read more

People act for a variety of reasons. That includes evangelicals when they vote. Read more

Why is it that the critics of evangelicals are as moralistic as Trumpian evangelicals try to be in their endorsements? Read more

The controversy over the papacy’s abduction of a Jewish boy, Edgardo Mortara, continues and reveals the ways in which Roman Catholics now have the liberty to do what Martin Luther could not do and remain in the church. Two recent essays both take issue with the pope, Pius IX, the very same pontiff responsible for making papal infallibility a dogma, in ways that resemble Luther’s objections to Leo X. Matthew Frank, for instance, sets himself up as the arbiter of… Read more

Some people are worried about Christian/evangelical higher education and think the current climate of gay marriage and transgenderism may be the one that forces religious institutions either to conform or to resist. Either way, they lose their identity or their legitimacy. Near as I can tell, Carl Trueman kicked off the worried blog posts: Thus, for Christian educational institutions, the way ahead may be very hard. It will not simply be a matter of budgeting without federal loans. It could… Read more

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