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
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We often think of New England as one of the most unchurched (or de-churched) regions of the country. So you may be surprised to know that the number of churches in Boston actually doubled between the 1960s and the year 2000. Much of the increase is due to the growth of immigrant-focused evangelical...

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Wednesday, 16 May 2018 12:21

Who Was Lady Jane Grey, the 9-Day Queen?

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Lady Jane Grey (1536/7–1554) is a daughter of the Reformation whose story of faithfulness and grace deserves to be better known.

But in order to explain why an 18-year-old Christian girl was beheaded after a nine-day reign as Queen of England, we first have to back up and offer a quick primer...

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The white evangelical response to the civil-rights movement has been much debated. In general, white evangelical leaders (especially by Billy Graham) were cautiously supportive of civil rights, but they also did not want to antagonize white segregationist allies in their denominations. Nor did they...

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Andrew R. Lewis, Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Cincinnati, is an expert on evangelicals and politics, church-state relations, conservative legal activism, and rights politics. His new, important, and timely book, The Rights Turn in...

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Monday, 30 April 2018 14:05

The Border, the Families, and the Church

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Francisco Cantú’s The Line Becomes a River: Dispatches from the Border is the epitome of a well-timed book. Cantú, a third-generation Mexican-American, worked for the Border Patrol from 2008-2012. He has written a quietly beautiful but disturbing memoir about his...

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At the recent Theologians on the Christian Life conference, hosted by Bethlehem College & Seminary in Minneapolis, I had the opportunity to sit down with John Piper for an hour to talk about the role of history and biography in his life.

Here are some of the questions I asked:

    • Do you recall your...

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Monday, 23 April 2018 14:01

Should You Pursue a Ph.D.?

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I routinely get questions from undergraduate and Master’s students, at Baylor and elsewhere, about applying to Ph.D. programs. Here is some of my standard advice to those thinking of pursuing a Ph.D. and a career as a college or university professor.

How do I choose a Ph.D. program? I had...

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Daniel Silliman (PhD, Heidelberg University) is a Lilly Postdoctoral Fellow at Valparaiso University. A U.S. historian, he is writing the history of bestselling evangelical fiction, including Janette Oke’s Love Comes Softly. As the season finale for When Calls The Heart airs&nbs...

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Thursday, 19 April 2018 13:12

David Brainerd’s 300th Birthday

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April 20 marks the 300th birthday of David Brainerd, the celebrated missionary to Native Americans and protege of Jonathan Edwards. Edwards’s publication of Brainerd’s journal made Brainerd an enduring inspiration to many Christians, including missionaries, for a century and more after...

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There has been a lot of discussion lately about race and evangelicals, some of it spawned by TGC’s phenomenally successful and provocative #MLK50 conference. Anyone wanting to foster understanding and Christian love between people of different ethnicities will also need to read in a...

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50 years ago tonight, 39-year-old Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his final speech in Memphis, at the Mason Temple Church, an African American Pentecostal church. He would be assassinated the following evening.

In his book Martin Luther King’s Biblical Epic: His Great, Final Speech (Jacks...

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It’s not every day that the secular media does a feature story on Bible scrolls. But 60 Minutes recently did just that, with coverage on efforts by scholars to read thousands of damaged scrolls (which may contain biblical material, or other ancient Greek writings) of Herculaneum. Herculaneum...

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Monday, 19 March 2018 14:23

When Did Evangelical Christianity Begin?

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One of the most debated questions recently about the history of evangelical Christianity is when evangelicalism began. Some scholars, especially Christian historians, have tended to see continuity between the evangelical Christianity of the Great Awakening and earlier Reformation traditions....

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I have tended to think of George Whitefield and Billy Graham as the two titans of evangelism in the English-speaking world. But Michael Hamilton makes a good case that Dwight Moody was an even more important predecessor for Graham, because of the way that Moody fused traditional evangelical beliefs...

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Archival work is essential part of the historical process. If you have benefited from reading good history, you should be thankful for the unsung heroes who collect, catalog, and make available old documents and letters for future generations.

For 20th-century evangelicalism, Billy Graham stands at...

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Thursday, 08 March 2018 13:56

Will There Ever Be Another Billy Graham?

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Over at First ThingsI have a piece reflecting on evangelical Christianity after Billy Graham, and whether there will be another evangelist like him. Here’s a sample:

As soon as word broke about the death of Billy Graham, the most influential Christian evangelist of the twentieth century,...

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Bruce Hindmarsh is the James M. Houston Professor of Spiritual Theology at Regent College, Vancouver, and the author of books including John Newton and the English Evangelical Tradition and The Evangelical Conversion Narrative. I recently interviewed him about his new book, The Spirit of Early...

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Tuesday, 27 February 2018 13:01

The Story Behind Billy Graham’s Prison-Built Casket

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Today’s post is from Byron R. Johnson, distinguished professor of the social sciences at Baylor University, director of Baylor’s Institute for Studies of Religion, and co-author of the book The Angola Prison Seminary: Effects of Faith-Based Ministry on Identity Transformation,...

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Thursday, 22 February 2018 23:14

Billy Graham, the Cold War, and “Hell Bombs”

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My Baylor colleague Philip Jenkins has a fascinating post at the Anxious Bench blog on Billy Graham’s Cold War context in the 1950s. Here’s a sample:

Though in later years Graham was known as a moderating voice within the evangelical movement, his missions of the 1950s were more overtly...

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In 1998 Mark Noll wrote, “The passing of Billy Graham will make the end of an important historical era.”

I wanted to ask Noll, along with his friend and former colleague George Marsden, about the life and legacy of the great evangelist, who died on February 21, 2018.

It’s often...

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Monday, 12 February 2018 23:49

80 Years Ago Today: The Conversion of John Stott

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John Stott (b. 27 April 1921) was confirmed in the Anglican Church in 1936, at the age of 15.

But he was not converted—expressing saving faith and repentance in response to the divine call—until Sunday afternoon on February 13, 1938, when he heard the 40-year-old Rev. E.J.H. Nash...

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Tuesday, 06 February 2018 13:04

Has ‘Evangelical’ Become Toxic?

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University of Pennsylvania law professor David Skeel has a sensible editorial at the Wall Street Journal pleading with evangelicals not to give up on their movement. Here’s his conclusion:

I believe that Christianity is self-correcting. And because evangelicalism is a faithful...

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Whenever the topic of George Whitefield comes up in my classes, I always have to tell the students, “I know it looks like you’d pronounce his last name White-field, but it is pronounced Whit-field.” Therein lies the reason why Whitefield, the greatest evangelist of the 18th...

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A number of academic books include an intriguing 1840 quote, and editorial insertion, about Manifest Destiny and “the” Antichrist. The quote says that Manifest Destiny and the spread of Protestantism into Catholic lands represented the “beginning of the downfall of [the]...

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Monday, 08 January 2018 13:28

Alan Jacobs and Augustinian Anthropology

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I recently read my friend and Baylor colleague Alan Jacobs’s erudite and accessible book Original Sin: A Cultural History. This book is a model of the kind of Christian apologetics that might actually reach non-Christians. Humankind’s flawed nature is an intractable problem...

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