Evangelical History's articles

  1. Evangelical
This is a strange and enlightening account of where Benedict de Spinoza (1632-1677, portrait above), one of the first truly radical critics of the Bible, may have gotten some of his ideas. Taken from Richard Popkin, “Spinoza and Bible Scholarship,” in Don Garrett, ed., The Cambridge Companion to Spinoza (2006): Starting with Thomas Hobbes’s Leviathan, “there […]
  1. Evangelical
The pro-life issue is elegantly simple. Ironically, this elegant simplicity is what makes the 2020 election such a dismaying choice. Most of the political issues we’re confronting in 2020 are enormously complicated. COVID is a generational health emergency, but how best to handle it? We don’t know. The health care system in America is broken […]
  1. Evangelical
Today’s guest post is from Perry L. Glanzer, professor of educational foundations at Baylor University, and resident scholar with Baylor’s Institute for Studies of Religion. The greatest human evils and body counts of the past century—the Russian Gulags, the Holocaust, the Holodomor (the human-made Ukrainian Famine), the Chinese Cultural Revolution, the Armenian Genocide, the Cambodian […]
  1. Evangelical
The looming nomination of Amy Coney Barrett as a Supreme Court justice has renewed an ugly but persistent tradition in American politics: anti-Catholicism. Since 1517 there have been enduring and fundamental theological divides between Protestants and Catholics about tradition and Scripture, grace and works, the meaning of the Lord’s Supper, and more. Disagreement over theology […]
  1. Evangelical
I am teaching through Isaiah in my adult Sunday school class. History nerd that I am, I perked up in chapters 60 and 61 when the English Standard Version (and other modern translations) repeatedly uses the phrase “the wealth of the nations.” I immediately guessed that this phrase was the origin of Adam Smith’s classic […]
  1. Evangelical
Today’s interview is with John Turner, professor of religious studies at George Mason University, and the author of books such as the recently released They Knew They Were Pilgrims: Plymouth Colony and the Contest for American Liberty (Yale University Press). [TK] Your book came out in the 400th anniversary year of the founding of Plymouth […]
  1. Evangelical
You may have heard that all true Christians must vote the same way, but Christians have almost never manifested that political cohesion in American history. Christians have often divided along ethnic and geographic lines, reflecting the role of slavery, the Civil War, and civil rights. The truth is that traditionalist Protestant voters in America—if we […]
  1. Evangelical
Here’s my latest edition of New and Notable Books. As a reminder, these suggestions focus on recent books in history, especially American history and religious history. These books certainly may interest fellow historians, but I also try to suggest ones that are accessible and (somewhat) affordable to students and general readers. Ariel Sabar, Veritas: A […]
  1. Evangelical
Over at Cato Unbound, I recently participated in a roundtable on religion and the American Founding. One issue I addressed was the meaning of “deist” in the 18th century, which did not always entail the idea of an absent “clockmaker” god. People in 18th-century Anglo-America did not always use our textbook definition of a deist. Deist […]
  1. Evangelical
At Religion Unplugged, Jacqueline Rivers (Harvard/The King’s College) has a powerful essay on what a distinctively Christian response to racial violence and injustice would look like. Here’s a selection: For centuries, the lives of black people have been held cheaply: from slavery, through Jim Crow to race riots. Race riots, such as the one in […]

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