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
Historian Caroline E. Janney wonders if we can “right the past.” “Re-Righting History” was the theme of an episode in Katic Couric’s documentary mini-series America Inside Out. You can watch it here. Here is a taste of Janney’s post at AHA Today: This film offers a powerful reminder that memory is always about the present—about using the past … Continue reading A Historian of Civil War Memory Reviews Katie Couric’s “Re-Righting History”
I am not really sure where to begin with this video. Let’s take, for example, the scene of Lee and Grant shaking hands at Appomattox. How can this be interpreted apart from Trump’s famous “very fine people on both sides” line after Charlottesville? I think David Blight might have something to say about this. What … Continue reading Trump and Huckabee Do American History
I was happy to contribute to Sarah Pulliam Bailey’s piece at The Washington Post. Here is a taste: Trump’s speech mimics a long American tradition of using religion to address a national tragedy. “We expect our president to address evil and calm fears in this way,” said John Fea, a professor of history at Messiah College in … Continue reading Trump Follows the Presidential Script in the Wake of the Florida School Shootings
It is not pretty. Kilgore says that the book should actually be titled Our Faith in Donald Trump. Here is a taste of his review at New York Magazine: But ultimately, as the increasingly hagiographic tone of the book shows, Brody and Lamb and the conservative Evangelical thought-leaders they represent are working hard to overcome any doubts … Continue reading Journalist Ed Kilgore Reviews Brody and Lamb’s *The Faith of Donald Trump: A Spiritual Biography*
A new genre is emerging in popular religious writing in America. Let’s call it the “I am no longer an evangelical because of Donald Trump” genre. I have flirted with this genre many times here and elsewhere, but never to the degree of Illiff School of Theology profressor Miguel De La Torre. In a scathing … Continue reading The “I am no longer an evangelical because of Donald Trump” genre
According to Khari Johnson of Venture Beat, American history podcasts are “having a moment.” We believe that The Way of Improvement Leads Home Podcast is part of that “moment,” but we could use your support to keep things going. We are lining up some great guests for the rest of Season 4. So far this … Continue reading The Popularity of American History Podcasts
I was going to do some posts on this today, but Warren Throckmorton has things covered pretty well. Read his post here. I will make a few comments based on Throckmorton’s post: Eric Metaxas appears to have lost his way. Even his fellow New York City evangelical and The King’s College chancellor Greg Thornbury has called … Continue reading Evangelicals Respond to the President’s Racist Remarks
Check out Michelle Boorstein’s and Sarah Pulliam Bailey’s Washington Post piece on court evangelical Johnnie Moore. The thirty-four-year-old political operative says on his webpage that people think he is “one of the world’s more influential young leaders” and a “modern day Dietrich Bonhoeffer.” Boorstein and Bailey describe him as the “gatekeeper” for the court evangelicals. He has to … Continue reading Court Evangelical Johnnie Moore “Walks the Line”
Aaron Hanlon, an English professor at Colby College, thinks that it is. Here is a taste of his Chronicle of Higher Education piece, “Political Correctness Has Run Amok–on the Right“: Take a recent incident at Liberty University. An evangelical pastor who was critical of President Jerry Falwell Jr.’s support for the Trump administration was removed from campus and … Continue reading Is Political Correctness a Two-Way Street?
Yesterday, Religion News Service published a 2017 retrospective on the Trump clergy. These are the ministers who I have called the “court evangelicals.” Glad that some of my work over the year has been highlighted in the piece. Here is a taste: When someone like Robert Jeffress or Jerry Falwell Jr. says ‘This is the … Continue reading “All the President’s Clergy”
I am teaching the Civil War this semester. In fact, I have class tonight. I am thinking of starting the class with John Kelly’s recent claim that the Civil War was caused by “the lack of an ability to compromise.” I watched the video of Kelly’s interview with Laura Ingraham of Fox News. In that … Continue reading Thoughts on John Kelly’s Civil War Comments
I am still trying to get my head around Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke‘s comments about monuments on federal lands. Here is a taste of his recent interview with Breitbart: No monuments are going to be removed from federal land,” Zinke assured viewers, reiterating the commitment he made in July when, long before the violent clashes in Charlottesville, … Continue reading Interior Secretary: Removal of Confederate Monuments Will Lead to Complaints from Native Americans
Season Four of The Way of Improvement Leads Home Podcast is well underway. So far this season we have talked about white supremacy, race, and Charlottesville with historian Kelly Baker (Episode 26), and teaching history with Kevin Gannon, aka “The Tattooed Prof” (Episode 27). In Episode 28, which drops on Sunday, we historicize Mara-a-Lago (Donald … Continue reading Are You Supporting The Way of Improvement Leads Home Podcast?
The Daily Progress has a nice piece on Kirt von Daacke, Professor of History at the University of Virginia and the university’s co-chairman of the President’s Commission on Slavery, who has been tweeting the results of his research. Check out his tweets @slaveryuva Here is a taste: Kirt von Daacke, an assistant dean of history … Continue reading Tweeting the History of Slavery at the University of Virginia
Robert Cook is professor of American History at the University of Sussex. This interview is based on his new book, Civil War Memories: Contesting the Past in the United since 1865 (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2017). JF: What led you to write Civil War Memories? RC: I’ve been working at the intersection of race, politics, and historical memory in … Continue reading The Author’s Corner with Robert Cook