Tag Archives: evangelicalism

On Evangelicals, a Christian America, and Supporting Trump–an Evangelical Historian’s Lament

29 Jun

John Fea is a Christian, a historian, and a friend. His new book, Believe Me: The Evangelical Road to Donald Trump, has just been released by Eerdmans Publishing. At History News Network, he has an opinion piece about evangelicals, thinking historically, and politics. You may read the piece here. (See his related piece at The Atlantic on evangelicals and fear here.)

Advertisements

Evangelical Fear Elected Trump

24 Jun

White conservative evangelicals in America are anxious people. I know because I am one.

Our sense of fear, perhaps more than any other factor, explains why evangelicals voted in such large numbers for Donald Trump in 2016 and continue to support his presidency.

The Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist and essayist Marilynne Robinson once wrote, “Fear is not a Christian habit of mind.” The great poet of the Jersey shore, Bruce Springsteen, sings, “Fear’s a dangerous thing. It can turn your heart black you can trust. It can take a God-filled soul, and turn it to devils and dust.”

So begins my friend historian John Fea’s brief history of white evangelicals and fear. It is based in large part on his new book, Believe Me. You may read the rest of this Atlantic piece by him here.

Is Jerusalem embassy part of God’s grand plan? Why some evangelicals love Israel

16 May

(RNS) — On Monday (May 14), the Trump administration unveiled its new Jerusalem embassy. Many American evangelicals cheered because they understood the United States’ recognition of Jerusalem as the “once and eternal” capital of Israel as a fulfillment of biblical prophecy.

Trump chose two evangelical ministers to offer prayers at the dedication of the embassy. Robert Jeffress, pastor of the First Baptist Church of Dallas, delivered the invocation. John Hagee, pastor of Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, gave the benediction.

Both clergymen adhere to dispensationalism, a theology informed by a literal reading of biblical prophecy. Most Americans have never heard the term “dispensationalism,” but they might have been exposed to this view of history through the popular “Left Behind” novels published in the 1990s and 2000s by Christian authors Jerry Jenkins and Tim LaHaye.

So begins my friend John Fea’s post at Religion News Service. You may read his entire piece here.

IS THE CHRISTIAN RIGHT DRIVING AMERICANS AWAY FROM RELIGION?

2 May

A religious cross is seen as the moon is illuminated by sunlight reflected off the Earth during a total lunar eclipse on October 8th, 2014, in Los Angeles, California.

Religion in America has been rocked in recent decades by two societal shifts: the rise of Christian evangelicals as a right-wing political force, and the increasing number of people who decline to affiliate with any faith tradition.

New research presents evidence that these trends, usually discussed separately, are in fact related. It reports the rate at which people disassociate themselves from religion is higher in states where the Christian right exerts its political muscle.

So begins Tom Jacobs’ report at Pacific Standard on some new research. You may read the entire report here.

NEW BOOK ON TRUMP AND EVANGELICALS GETS IT MOSTLY RIGHT

17 Apr

In the wake of Donald Trump’s election (and since) many tried to answer the question, “Why would evangelicals support him?” According to the Pew Research Center 81 percent of white evangelicals voted for Donald Trump, an astonishing margin given Trump’s lack of church involvement and his, um, complicated personal history. But few solid analyses have come from within the movement itself. Instead, most pundits have either treated evangelicalism as an oddity or revealed their own personal alienation from the movement.

Messiah College historian John Fea has earned the right to author a book on this topic. His research focuses on American Christianity, including his nuanced, Was America Founded as a Christian Nation? that book put the lie to David Barton’s Christian nationalist mythology, and his critiques of evangelical writer Eric Metaxas, which earned a blocking on Twitter. Fea’s blog, “The Way of Improvement Leads Home,” enjoys wide appreciation. I consider John a friendly and admired acquaintance.

So begins Greg Carey’s friendly-yet-critical review of my friend John Fea’s new book Believe Me. You may read the entire review (at Religion Dispatches) here.

Billy Graham’s Legacy

21 Mar

A photograph shows Franklin and Billy Graham sitting together in stadium seats.

When Billy Graham died on February 21, 2018, the media response was immediate, heartfelt, and deeply contentious. In the rush of articles and social media postings, scholars and journalists debated Graham’s legacy, both for evangelicals and for the world at large.

So begins historian Melani McAlister’s concise overview of recent assessments of the late Billy Graham. You may read her entire essay at the Organization of American Historian’s Process site here.

“Evangelical” in the Early Twenty-First Century

28 Feb

Historian Mark Noll discusses “evangelical” and “evangelicalism” as descriptors, and about the History of Evangelicalism series he co-edited, here.

Exploring the Past

Reading, Thinking, and Blogging about History

Enough Light

"In faith there is enough light for those who want to believe and enough shadows to blind those who don't." - Blaise Pascal

Lenten Lamentations

Preparing to Participate in God's Mosaic Kingdom

The Text Message

Discoveries from processing and reference archivists on the job

john pavlovitz

Stuff That Needs To Be Said

Wirelesshogan: Reflections from the Hogan

"History is the record of our loves in all their magnificent and ignoble forms." Eugene McCarraher

The Way of Improvement Leads Home

"History is the record of our loves in all their magnificent and ignoble forms." Eugene McCarraher

the way of improvement leads home

reflections at the intersection of American history, religion, politics, and academic life

The Pietist Schoolman

The website and blog of historian Chris Gehrz

Native News Online

American Indian News

thepracticalhistorian

Your guide to practically true history.

THE TWELVE

Reformed. Done Daily.

i-history

by Alex Scarfe

blogwestdotorg.wordpress.com/

Thoughtful Conversation about the American West

Northwest History

"History is the record of our loves in all their magnificent and ignoble forms." Eugene McCarraher

%d bloggers like this: