What does the early 20th Century Presbyterian schism over the Modernist/Fundamentalist controversy have to do with mutually-assured-destruction, brinksmanship, and the Korean War? John Foster Dulles, that’s what. Dulles was the major shaper of mid-20th century American foreign policy and a minor figure in Presbyterian movements of the 1920s and 1930s.
In the new biography by John Wilsey, God’s Cold Warrior: The Life and Faith of John Foster Dulles, we learn about the theology and religious practice of this pivotal figure. As Wilsey points out, Dulles was very much the Forrest Gump of the first half of the 20th century, present at everything from the drafting of the Treaty of Versailles to the first negotiations that would lead to American involvement in Vietnam. This is an essential read for those who want to understand how foreign policy and mainstream Christianity used to intersect in American life.
Interview with the author available here: