Tag Archives: evangelicalism

There is a history to “Merry Christmas” and “Happy Holidays”

22 Dec

It’s the most wonderful fight of the year: the annual tussle between Christians who bravely defend “Merry Christmas” and the godless liberals who want to impose “Happy Holidays” on all of us. Or so the story goes on talk radio. But while President Trump promises to restore “Merry Christmas” to American life, those who insist on using the phrase as a sort of flag for conservative Christian culture misunderstand its history. Rather than religious, its origins are secular and commercial, even profane.

So begins historian Neil J. Young ‘s historical recounting of some of the history of “Merry Christmas” and “Happy Holidays” in America. You can read his entire Los Angeles Times op-ed here.



Can “Evangelicalism” Survive Trump?

14 Dec

Photo: Lisa Svelmoe

In fact what we call “evangelicalism” is made up of a vast number of different churches and organizations from around the world that are mostly disconnected with each other, even though they share a number of basic common features (notably, “biblicism,” “conversionism,” “crucicentrism,” and “activism,” as defined by David Bebbington). And if we start our thinking about “evangelicalism” by recognizing this fundamental diversity, that invites a second thought experiment: what if we thought first of “evangelicalism” in the light of its many majority world manifestations, instead of first through an American lens?

So writes historian George Marsden on evangelicalism. To read his entire post at the Anxious Bench, click here.

Jerry Falwell Jr. relishes new fight for Donald Trump as Liberty University peaks

1 Nov

Falwell calls Liberty University the Fox News of academia. But where is one of President Trump’s staunchest supporters taking the university he and his family built? Rick Seltzer provides an extensive report on Falwell and LU; you can read it all at Inside Higher Ed here: Jerry Falwell Jr. relishes new fight for Donald Trump as Liberty University peaks

‘Neo-Protestant’ challenge seen in France’s political upheaval

13 Sep

French leftist and self-described “Catholic atheist” offers an interesting take on the recent rise of Emmanuel Macron in France, according to Tom Heneghan at the Religion News Service:

this political sea change has come as the growing numbers of evangelicals in France — mostly immigrants from sub-Saharan Africa — have been making what Debray calls their “theology light and tacky services” the majority expression of faith among France’s small Protestant minority.

French Protestants make up only two percent of the population. Lutherans and Calvinists, respected by the Catholic majority as hardworking and honest, are in numerical decline while immigration is boosting the evangelical ranks.

“The halo of a neo-Protestantism made in USA grows year by year in our behaviour and in our suburbs,” he writes, referring to the poor outskirts of French cities where many immigrants live. France can hardly avoid “this theo-populist wave sweeping from Latin America to sub-Saharan Africa, from Central Asia to the Far East.”

Read the full story here: ‘Neo-Protestant’ challenge seen in France’s political upheaval | Religion News Service

The White Working Class, Trump & “the least of these”

12 Sep

Jon Witt is a sociologist who teaches at Central College in Pella, Iowa. He is the author of Soc, one the most popular introductory sociology textbooks worldwide, as well as The Big Picture: A Sociology Primer. He is also a member of the board of Perspectives: A Journal of Reformed Thought. Read this interview for some helpful perspectives on the white working class: The White Working Class, Trump & “the least of these” – THE TWELVE

The Shifting Landscape of American Religion

6 Sep

Here is a fascinating report on the current realities and trends in the U.S. religious landscape: PRRI

Prosperity Gospel Apocalypse: Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker’s PTL Empire

26 Jul

American Religious historian John H. Wigger tells the story of the collapse of the Evangelical Empire of Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker and compares aspects of Jim Bakker and President Trump: Prosperity Gospel Apocalypse: Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker’s PTL Empire

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