In His New Book, Eric Metaxas Whitewashes George Whitefield on Slavery

In his new book If You Can Keep It, Eric Metaxas provides an overview of early American history in order to remind us what is special about America. In the process, he provides a pithy formula for national success, but he makes significant historical errors and glosses over important facts. One such fact is the involvement of evangelist George Whitefield in introducing slavery to Georgia.In his chapter on Whitefield (which appears to be summarized without attribution from Thomas Kidd's … [Read more...]

Thomas Kidd: Ted Cruz’s Traveling Companions Make Him a Non-Option

Today Baylor University historian Thomas Kidd opines on the plight of Republicans as the November election approaches. After reviewing the options on the GOP side (Trump, Cruz, Kasich), Kidd comes down about where I do: Kasich is (for him reluctantly, for me enthusiastically) the best choice. However, he echoes the worry of many Kasich supporters that a contested convention might not go to the Ohio governor.Faced with a Cruz-Clinton match up, Kidd also shares my conviction on Cruz. Sorry, … [Read more...]

Glenn Beck Says God Divinely Anointed Ted Cruz to be President

Glenn Beck counters Baylor history professor Thomas Kidd for saying Cruz hasn't been divinely anointed. With the #wifewars2016 and National Enquirer and all, this has to be one of the strangest presidential races ever.John Kasich, anyone?  … [Read more...]

Thomas Kidd on Why the Southern Baptists Canceled Ben Carson’s Speech

Recently, the Southern Baptist Convention canceled Ben Carson's appearance at a SBC pastor's conference. A group within the convention, Baptist21, had objected and won the day. Baylor history professor Thomas Kidd had this to say in Monday's edition (4/27/15) of the Washington Post: This was a welcome outcome to what had the potential to be a serious snafu for the SBC. Whatever the organizers’ intentions, Baptist21 has this exactly right – hosting any political candidate carries a tacit imp … [Read more...]

Historian Thomas Kidd on Deism During the Founding Era

This brief primer by Thomas Kidd in how deism was understood during the founding era is well worth reading.Kidd cuts through the fog often generated by Christian nationalists (e.g., David Barton) and the new atheists regarding the religious beliefs of the founders. A brief sample: So what was deism? In spite of all its diversity, deism was a strain of rationalist religion – many of its advocates, like Jefferson, would have called themselves Christians – which focused on the ethical, rat … [Read more...]

The Great Confrontation of 2012: David Barton and the Evangelical Historians

In August 2012, Thomas Nelson (now part of Harper Collins Christian) pulled David Barton's book The Jefferson Lies from publication. This rare move by Thomas Nelson took place in the midst of efforts by several people to confront Barton with his errors. While I cannot tell the whole story (in part because I don't know it and in part because the main players are not willing to discuss it completely), I can provide a little more insight into the situation. The door was opened to this by a footnote … [Read more...]

Who Are the Real Evangelicals? A Q&A with Historian Thomas Kidd

Historian and author Thomas Kidd caught my attention again with his column at Anxious Bench about evangelicals who are not evangelicals. He contends there that there are four groups of Christians who are often confused for historic evangelicals but should not be considered evangelicals. Theological liberals make up the first group, and orthodox Presbyterians (I would add Christian reconstructionists) the second group. The next two groups, advocates of the prosperity gospel, and Christian nation … [Read more...]

Historian Thomas Kidd: On Slavery and George Whitefield

Thomas Kidd is professor of history at Baylor University and a prolific writer. In 2012, World Magazine published Kidd's reporting on Thomas Nelson's decision to remove David Barton's book The Jefferson Lies from publication.In October 2014, Yale University Press will publish Kidd's book on George Whitefield. In his most recent newsletter, Kidd addresses the uncomfortable fact that many otherwise admirable figures in our history owned slaves. In the case of Whitefield, he not only owned … [Read more...]