But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. And do not fear their intimidation, and do not be troubled, but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you yet with gentleness and reverence; and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame.  1 Peter 3: 14-16

Evangelical History - Apologetic Report

Ben Franklin and George Whitefield were a true odd couple in the history of 18th-century friendships. Whitefield was the greatest evangelical preacher of the era, while Franklin called himself a deist and doubted basic points of Christian orthodoxy. As I show in my new religious biography of...

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Aimee Semple McPherson (1890–1944) was a flamboyant, controversial, immensely popular preacher who the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel—a Pentecostal denomination which still exists today (with 1,600 churches and a quarter of a million...

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Wednesday, 17 May 2017 00:43

Should Donald Trump Be Removed from Office?

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In light of the revelations about Donald Trump ostensibly revealing classified intelligence to Russian officials, and asking James Comey to back off the Michael Flynn investigation, some conservatives (not to mention liberals) are raising the possibility of having Trump removed from office....

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Monday, 15 May 2017 10:09

A Secular Biography of George Washington

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John Rhodehamel’s new George Washington: The Wonder of the Age is a model biography in many ways. It features brisk writing and easy command of the facts of Washington’s life, without feeling the need to give a blow-by-blow of the first president’s career. It is one of...

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Sixty years ago--on Saturday, May 11, 1957--;38-year-old Billy Graham arrived in New York City. That evening he held a press conference at the Hotel New Yorker and was interviewed by Walter Cronkite for the CBS Evening News.

It had been eight years since the lanky,...

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Historian Barry Hankins, in 2002, noted the following about popular Christian historian David Barton:

In Barton’s presentations, any statement uttered by a Founding Father that is positive toward religion is used to show that they were all Christians and that they all intended the United...

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I am skeptical about "The Enlightenment." This ideologically freighted term implies the inexorable progress of scientific humanist thought. Beginning in the 18th century, the theory goes, such enlightened thinking triumphed over...

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On May 6, 1977, R.C. Sproul (b. 1939) and the Ligonier Valley Study Center launched the monthly magazine Tabletalk.

On the 40th anniversary of this resource that continues to serve the church, we’ve asked Stephen Nichols—the President of Reformation Bible College and Chief...

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My new biography of Benjamin Franklin is now ‘in stock’ at Amazon and other retailers! As I was writing my 2014 biography of George Whitefield, and I dug deeper into Whitefield’s relationship with Franklin, I became convinced that there was more to the story of Franklin’s...

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Monday, 01 May 2017 10:05

The North Korean Revival of 1907

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Today as tensions between North Korea reach heights not seen since the 1950s, it is easy to forget that northern Korea used to be one of the Asian strongholds of Protestant Christianity. As Atlas Obscura recently explained, the city of Pyongyang became known to missionaries as the “Jerusalem...

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I recently read my friend Douglas Winiarski’s new book, Darkness Falls on the Land of Light: Experiencing Religious Awakenings in Eighteenth-Century New England. The book comes from the University of North Carolina Press, one of the most distinguished outlets for books...

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Wednesday, 19 April 2017 21:32

Of Publishing and Platforms

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Karen Swallow Prior has a terrific post on the ways that author “platforms” can mislead prospective writers about what real influence entails.

Many [authors], understandably, are inspired to emulate the reach and influence of women like Ann Voskamp and Beth Moore. But they...

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Recently my family and I attended The Gathering at McLane Stadium at Baylor University. It was a follow-up to a similar event in Waco in 2015. The two primary emphases of the event were evangelism, and manifesting unity in the body of Christ. The event was...

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Tuesday, 11 April 2017 10:14

Pandering to Millennials?

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Should churches change for the sake of the rising generation? This is a perennial debate. At the Juicy Ecumenism blog, my friend Mark Tooley has given some historical perspective on why changing theology to suit the perceived preferences of the younger generation is always a bad idea....

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imageIt’s not every day that a Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist-historian like Frances FitzGerald publishes a 752-page tome on the history of evangelicalism in America with a press like Simon & Schuster. The Evangelicals: The Struggle to Shape America ...

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Today I am interviewing Mary Beth Swetnam Mathews about her new book Doctrine and Race: African American Evangelicals and Fundamentalism Between the Wars. Dr. Mathews is Associate Professor of Religion at the University of Mary Washington.

[TK] In the early twentieth century,...

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Wednesday, 29 March 2017 10:57

Where Did the “Billy Graham Rule” Come From?

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A recent Washington Post profile of Vice President Mike Pence quoted a 2012 piece which said “he never eats alone with a woman other than his wife.”

Not surprisingly, revelation of this practice was met with a fair bit of...

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In 1997 Mark Noll wrote a book entitled Turning Points: Decisive Moments in the History of Christianity (now in its third edition). Written for laypeople and introductory students—the book began as an adult Sunday School course at Noll’s...

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The most celebrated and controversial episode in the history of American fundamentalism came in 1925 in Dayton, Tennessee, at the Scopes “Monkey Trial.” As I have written before, liberals and evolutionists blew the significance of the Scopes Trial out of proportion. But with the play...

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Monday, 20 March 2017 10:23

Ben Franklin’s Calvinist Father

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One of the main arguments of my forthcoming biography of Benjamin Franklin is that Christian relatives and friends left a deeper imprint on the “deist” Franklin than we have previously recognized. I have written here earlier about Franklin’s Calvinist sister Jane, but in this post...

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The recent media buzz that Russell Moore’s job was in jeopardy at the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission happily turned out to be much ado about nothing . . . for the moment. Certain SBC churches, including Texas megachurch Prestonwood...

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Wednesday, 15 March 2017 23:31

A 2-Minute Introduction to Saint Patrick

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From Timothy Paul Jones’s Christian History Made Easy:

Authors: Justin Taylor...

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Today marks the 250th anniversary of President Andrew Jackson’s birth. Jackson, elected to the first of two terms in 1828, has long been known as one of the most powerful presidents in American history. But Jackson’s legacy may have never been so often discussed as in the past several...

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Sunday, 12 March 2017 10:30

A Tribute to Mark Noll, by Nathan Hatch

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Eerdmans has published a new book, releasing later this week, entitled Turning Points in the History of American Evangelicalism, edited by Heath Carter and Laura Porter. The book was inspired by and is dedicated to one of the great historians of religion in our time, Mark Noll, who recently retired...

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Thursday, 09 March 2017 08:07

Why Are Academic Books So Expensive?

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Many an academic author has had the experience of proudly announcing the publication of his or her new book, only to have some grumpy person ask, “Why is it so expensive?” I’ve certainly had this experience with publications ranging from my...

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