We are gearing up for Season 5 of The Way of Improvement Leads Home Podcast. Stay tuned. New episodes are almost here! If you are interested in conversations and commentary with some great historians and historical thinkers, you are not going to want to miss this upcoming season. We hope you will download episodes, write … Continue reading The New Season of The Way of Improvement Leads Podcast is Almost Here!
A few things online that caught my attention this week: Read old books Charlottesville a year later. And here Liberation theology Ross Douthat on the humanities Edmund Bailey O’Callaghan and Dutch America Suffrage and black women Promotional intellectuals History is not everything Is evangelicalism an “imagined community?” Scholarly reading On thinking Slavery at Princeton Who … Continue reading Sunday Night Odds and Ends
Back in June, I wrote a post about the 150th anniversary of the founding of First Baptist Church in Dallas, the congregation led by court evangelical Robert Jeffress. In that post I referenced Tobin Grant’s 2016 Religion News Service piece on the long history of racial segregation at First Baptist. Daniel Silliman’s piece at Religion … Continue reading Churches and the Legacy of Racism: A Tale of Two Congregations
Here is Trump today It took Trump and his team 24 hours to come up with this explanation? Does he expect the American people to believe this? And then he said that he accepts the intelligence community’s conclusion about Russia meddling in the 2016 election and immediately follows that statement with “could be other people … Continue reading Would or Wouldn’t?
Thanks to the good people at Givens Books for hosting the Lynchburg wing of the Believe Me book tour. This is a great independent bookstore! About thirty people came out for the event. The group included Liberty University faculty and alumni, area school teachers, and The Way of Improvement Leads Home blog readers. A few folks … Continue reading The *Believe Me* Book Tour Comes to Lynchburg, Virgnia
Yesterday USA Today published a piece I wrote about Trump and evangelicals. The editors chose the following title: “White evangelicals fear the future and yearn for the past. Of course Trump is their hero.” The article draws heavily from the introduction to Believe Me: The Evangelical Road to Donald Trump. Here is a taste: Donald Trump is about … Continue reading Yesterday’s Piece in *USA Today*
I spoke with Ivey DeJesus of Penn Live yesterday in my office. She asked me about the phrase “Make America Again.” Two corrections: I meant John Lewis, not “John Perkins” I meant those white supremacists in Charlottesville supporting (not protesting against) the Robert E. Lee monument believed that they were “making America great again.” Sorry … Continue reading The Meaning of “Make America Great Again”
It was announced on June 6, 2018. Here is the press release: The issue of Jefferson’s paternity has been the subject of controversy for at least two centuries, ranging from contemporary newspaper articles in 1802 (when Jefferson was President) to scholarly debate well into the 1990s. It is now the Thomas Jefferson Foundation’s view that … Continue reading It’s Official: Monticello Affirms Thomas Jefferson Fathered Children with Sally Hemings
Will be giving a Full Pardon to Dinesh D’Souza today. He was treated very unfairly by our government! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 31, 2018 D’Souza is right-wing pundit and conspiracy theorist. We have written about him several times here at The Way of Improvement Leads Home. And to think this guy used to … Continue reading Trump: Dinesh D’Souza is a “great voice for America”
We will be in Louisville on July 12 and Raleigh on July 15. We are looking for stops on July 13 and July 14, 2018 in one of the following cities or surrounding regions: Cincinnati, Lexington (KY), Nashville, Knoxville, Chattanooga, Asheville, Charlotte, Winston-Salem, Columbia (SC), Charlottesville, Charleston (WV), Lynchburg (VA) or Roanoke (VA). Let me … Continue reading The “Believe Me Book Tour” is Looking for Stops on July 13 and July 14, 2018
As far as I know, University of Virginia sociologist James Davison Hunter coined the term “culture wars” in his 1991 book The Culture Wars: The Struggle to Control the Family, Art, Education, Law, and Politics in America. Over at The Wall Street Journal, Jason Willick has a feature story on Hunter titled “The Man Who Discovered ‘Culture … Continue reading James Davison Hunter Talks About “The Culture Wars”
Yesterday Mike Pence appeared before a group of court evangelicals and Christian nationalists and exhorted them to “share the good news of Jesus Christ.” Here is a taste of a Christian Broadcasting Network piece on Pence’s appearance at the Watchman on the Wall Conference: In a last second surprise appearance before a pastors conference in … Continue reading Mike Pence Tells Pastors to “Share the good news of Jesus Christ.”
Here is a taste of Frank Rich‘s piece at New York Magazine. I don’t always see eye-to-eye with Rich, but he is right about this: Yes, Trump was sending a message with the horror show he orchestrated in Jerusalem. But the message had nothing to do with his administration’s purported goal of seeking peace in the Middle … Continue reading Frank Rich on Trump’s “Horror Show” in Jerusalem
Here is a taste of her report: The girls in red, white and blue plaid skirts and boys in khaki pants climbed aboard the bus with their parents before it pulled away from the Red Lion Inn in Arlington, Va. The 46 Mississippi sixth-graders from Tupelo Christian Preparatory School were headed to the Mall for … Continue reading *Washington Post* Reporter Sarah Pulliam Bailey Joins a Christian Nationalist Tour of D.C.
This is a great piece on the noted American historian. A taste of Gary Robertson’s article at Richmond Magazine: In a life that continues to be marked by leadership, accolades and influence, Ed Ayers — the son of a Tennessee used-car salesman and a fifth-grade teacher — says that when his feet hit the floor every … Continue reading Ed Ayers
Next weekend Episode 38 of The Way of Improvement Leads Home Podcast will be available via ITunes and most other podcasting sites. Our guest is Randall Stephens of Northumbria University. We will be talking with Randall about his new book The Devil’s Music: How Christians Inspired, Condemned, and Embraced Rock ‘n’ Roll. It is a great … Continue reading Season 4 of The Way of Improvement Leads Home is Coming to an End and We Could Use Your Support!
Today a national reporter from a major news outlet asked me if I knew of any evangelical leaders (broadly defined) who supported Trump in November 2016, but are now critical of him and his presidency in the wake of Charlottesville, Stormy Daniels, or other issues related to character or policy. Is anyone aware of evangelical … Continue reading Are There Evangelicals Who Have Changed Their Minds About Trump?
Apparently Liberty University has lost so many students in recent days that it now has fewer students than Grand Canyon University, a for-profit Christian college in Phoenix. Here is a taste of Alison Parker’s piece at Shareblue Media: Liberty University has long touted itself as the “world’s largest Christian university.” It’s president Jerry Falwell Jr. … Continue reading Is Liberty University Still “The World’s Largest Christian University?”
I have never heard of the blog Pulpit & Pen, but apparently they spent a lot of time offering readers “theology,” “polemics,” and “discernment.” The website is run by a Southern Baptist pastor in Montana named JD Hall. You can read more abou this website here. It should also be noted that Hall is not new … Continue reading Watch Out For the Evangelical “Marxist Brain Trust” Who Gathered at Wheaton College This Week!
Last weekend Edward Ayers gave a stirring and inspiration presidential address at the annual meeting of the Organization of American Historians in Sacramento. (See our coverage here). The title was “Everyone Their Own Historian.” I was not in Sacramento for the conference, but I followed along eagerly as Liz Covart of “Ben Franklin’s World” fame … Continue reading Edward Ayers on Confederate Monuments