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
Thursday, 12 September 2019 14:27

The Best Biographies of William Wilberforce

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Today’s post is by Michael Morgan (D.Min., Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary). Michael is researching a PhD on Wilberforce and the clergy at the University of Leicester, under the supervision of Professor John Coffey. He works for William Tennent School of Theology (williamtennent.org)...

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Monday, 02 September 2019 14:49

Jonathan Edwards, Mentor

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In this post I am interviewing Rhys Bezzant about his new book, Edwards the Mentor (Oxford University Press). Bezzant has served as an ordained priest in the Anglican Diocese of Melbourne, and presently teaches church history at Ridley College, where he directs the Jonathan Edwards Center...

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Monday, 26 August 2019 14:22

Five Great Books on Thomas Jefferson

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Thomas Jefferson was no evangelical, but he is of great interest to many evangelicals, just as all the major Founding Fathers are. I am in the midst of research and writing for a moral biography of Jefferson, which has given me a chance to catch up on the vast literature on him. Here are five...

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In late August 1619, a shipment of “20 and odd Negroes” arrived on a ship to Virginia. They were not the first Africans in Virginia, but this human cargo is widely viewed as the beginning of slavery in the English colonies. This symbolic moment reverberated through the Civil War, the...

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Tuesday, 23 July 2019 14:52

New and Notable Books – Summer 2019

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This is the inaugural post of a series of occasional lists I plan to compile, to highlight new or forthcoming books in American religious history or the history of colonial/Revolutionary America.

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In this post I am interviewing Darren Dochuk, author of the new book Anointed with Oil: How Christianity and Crude Made Modern America (Basic Books, 2019). Dochuk is associate professor of history at the University of Notre Dame, and a longtime friend of mine dating back to our PhD program at Notre...

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Tuesday, 09 July 2019 13:47

Happy Birthday, Mr. Calvin

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Jehan Cauvin (John Calvin) was born on July 10, 1509 in Noyon, a town in Picardy, which was a province of the Kingdom of France. He  was was the second of six children born to Jeanne le Franc (daughter of an innkeeper from Cambrai) and Gerard Cauvin (registrar to the ecclesiastical court).

His...

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A staple of “Christian America” history is the claim that “half,” or “twenty-nine” of the signers of the Declaration of Independence had “seminary” or “Bible college” degrees. This claim unfortunately shows up in Fourth of July sermons and...

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Wednesday, 26 June 2019 14:18

Faith in ‘Back Row America’

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Being “spiritual but not religious” has become an American cliche. Growing evidence suggests, however, that being “spiritual” (having individualistic piety) without being “religious” (connected to a congregation) is not just unbiblical, but it has bad social...

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For Christians who want to study history—or just to think more carefully about what history means and how it should be responsibly interpreted—the two best books to start with (in my view) are:

  1. Nathan Finn, History: A Student’s Guide, in the Reclaiming the Christian...

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Monday, 03 June 2019 14:39

Virtue Signaling and Historical Presentism

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One of Americans’ favorite pastimes is establishing their moral superiority by denouncing dead people. Every week brings news stories of some politician scoring points, or a university cleansing itself, by removing a name, a monument, or in some other way purifying our historical memory.

Of...

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J. I. Packer, writing more than 30 years ago in A Quest for Godliness: The Puritan Vision of the Christian Life (Crossway, 1990), 31–34:

Our numbers, it seems, have increased in recent years, and a new interest in the old paths of evangelical theology has grown. For this we...

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Tuesday, 14 May 2019 14:39

How to Call Christians Out on Twitter

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Every day on Twitter and other social media sites, Christians call each other out for being “woke” (or not woke enough), “misogynist,” “politically correct,” “heretical,” and much more. Such debates seem typically (on all sides) to generate a lot of...

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Readers of this blog have almost certainly heard a sermon illustration to this effect: Bankers learn how to discover counterfeit money not by studying fake currency but by spending so much time handling the real thing that they learn to feel the difference. (I’ve never independently verified...

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Monday, 06 May 2019 14:06

The Fault Lines of Biblical Scholarship

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I was recently prompted to read (listen to, actually) Paula Fredriksen’s When Christians Were Jews by her engaging Wall Street Journal essay “When Jesus Celebrated Passover.” Readers will note that I am not a theologian or a biblical scholar, but merely a historian...

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Thomas Kidd’s American History textbook is now available.

  • Volume 1 covers 1492 to 1877, from early American encounters to Reconstruction.
  • Volume 2 goes from 1877 to the present, covering the post-Reconstruction era up to the age of terrorism.

Totaling nearly 700 pages—and...

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The ESV Study Bible contains some helpful notes on what we know about Golgotha and the tomb of Jesus.

For many centuries, Christians have worshiped at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in the belief that this was the place where Jesus was crucified, buried, and rose from the dead.

This view was...

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The CBS show God Friended Me was recently renewed for a second season. The series revolves around a mysterious “God account” on Facebook that sends main character Miles Finer (Brandon Micheal Hall) friend suggestions for people the account wants Finer and his friend/love interest...

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Not everyone finds reading John Calvin a spiritually profitable experience.

The great literary critic and professor Alan Jacobs recently wrote, after returning to Calvin’s Institutes:

I consistently find him to be dour, rigid, cold, insensitive to the human condition, and prone to make...

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I recently reviewed Geordan Hammond and David Ceri Jones’s George Whitefield: Life, Context and Legacy (Oxford, 2016) at the Journal of Religion. This book reflects the latest in scholarly approaches to Whitefield and early evangelicalism, and is definitely not in the hagiographical...

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Mark Noll, writing in The New Shape of World Christianity: How American Experience Reflects Global Faith (IVP Academic, 2009):

It is as if the globe had been turned upside down and sideways.

A few short decades ago, Christian believers were concentrated in the global north and west, but now...

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Monday, 25 March 2019 14:12

Presbyterian Pentecostals?

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Douglas Winiarski (Univ. of Richmond) has a remarkable article in the latest William and Mary Quarterly on the history of the jerking exercise, or the “jerks,” in the Second Great Awakening. Religious historians since the 1800s have often alluded to outbreaks of the jerks in the...

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A 72-minute documentary, Billy Graham: An Extraordinary Journey, is now available for free on Netflix for its subscribers.

The film, produced by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, is (as one would expect) uniformly laudatory regarding the evangelist’s remarkable life and influence for...

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We are pleased today to run this guest post by church historian Jason G. Duesing, author of Mere Hope: Life in An Age of Cynicism (B&H Books, 2018). Dr. Duesing serves as Provost and Associate Professor of Historical Theology at Midwestern Seminary. You can follow him on Twitter.

For...

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The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Poems and Devotions (available in paperbackleather, and audio) is a modern-day spiritual classic.

But few people know who was behind it, where the prayers come from, and how they were collected.

Here is an FAQ, based on what I can...

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