White Evangelical History 101 mid-term exam

White Evangelical History 101 mid-term exam February 26, 2024

This is an open-book, take-home exam. All answers must be written long-hand in the blue books provided. The use of ChatGPT or any other LLM or plagiarism bot will result in a failing grade, not because the use of these tools is prohibited, but because answers provided by their use will inevitably be of failing quality. Students are also discouraged from presenting “five-paragraph essays” or employing similar formulae designed to make them sound like they are using ChatGPT and the like. Write like humans talk.

1. The “Bebbington Quadrilateral” was devised by historian David Bebbington for his book Evangelicalism in Modern Britain: A History from the 1730s to the 1980s. Discuss ways in which this four-part description of evangelicalism may or may not be useful for understanding white evangelical Christianity in America in the 21st century.

2. Contrast the four elements of the Bebbington Quadrilateral with the five elements of the Campolo Quadrilateral (“We don’t drink, dance, smoke, or chew. Or go out with girls who do”). Which do you think yields more consistently accurate results for discerning between those who are and are not white evangelicals? (Defend your answer.)

3. I mean, like, white Protestants who demand the criminalization of abortion do tend to be biblicistic and conversionist. And if one spends a great deal of time carefully explaining what one does or does not mean by “crucicentrism” and “activism,” then those descriptions can also be made to seem applicable to many or even most of the white Protestants who demand the criminalization of abortion. Such Christians also tend to subscribe to other cultural and subcultural markers, such as refraining from drinking and dancing, although these cultural markers have shifted over generations. But does it ever strike you as odd the lengths we go to to avoid describing white Protestants who seek to criminalize abortion as people who are: 1) white; 2) Protestant; and 3) demand the criminalization of abortion?

4. What is the earliest date at which any person might possibly have subscribed to a form of Christianity akin to the form of Christianity now referred to as “evangelical”? (Be specific.) What technology was necessary for this form of Christianity to arise? To what extent do you believe “evangelical Christianity” is capable of acknowledging the necessity of technological change for its existence as a form of Christianity? (Be speculative.)

5. What is the earliest date at which any person might be accurately described as “white”? (Give examples.) What technology was necessary for “whiteness” to arise? To what extent do you believe whiteness is capable of acknowledging the necessity of technological change for its existence as an identity? (Give offense.)

6. Was a fundamentalist in 1912 an evangelical? Was a fundamentalist in 1925 an evangelical? Was a fundamentalist in 1947 an evangelical? Was a fundamentalist in 1990 an evangelical? Is a fundamentalist in 2024 an evangelical?
(Answers should explain the significance of these dates.)

7. The existence of “Neo-evangelicalism” as a movement that arose in the mid-20th century implies that there also exists a “paleo-evangelicalism.” How would paleo-evangelicalism differ from Neo-evangelicalism?

8. Select any name from the following list and provide two reasons why that person should be considered a white evangelical and two reasons why they should not be, then provide a tie-breaker. Jonathan Edwards. Phillis Wheatley. Charles Hodge. Aimee Semple McPherson. Charles Coughlin. Billy James Hargis. Franklin Graham. Jim Wallis. Jake Van Dorn. Kenneth Copeland. Al Mohler. Lonnie Frisbee. Tammy Faye Bakker. (Be charitable.)

9. List three attributes, beliefs, or qualities that would disqualify any person from the category of “white evangelical.” (Be careful.)

10. List three great white evangelical works of art and discuss why there aren’t any.

11. Your answer to question No. 9 ought to have included some discussion of the absolutizing claim that abortion is murder in its most egregious form. Select three of the things this absolutizing core tenet functions to minimize or disregard entirely and discuss whether this function is the purpose of this claim or whether the primary functions of this claim are somehow unrelated to the choice to make it.

12. None of the questions above mentions slavery. Is this because none of the questions above is about slavery or because all of them are?

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