American Revivalist Hymns (Marsden)

(This is a repost from February, 2012). Many aspects of today's shallow American hymnody are rooted in the 19th-century revivals.   This is a huge topic, of course, but to get a little glimpse I like how George Marsden writes about it in Fundamentalism and American Culture. "The surge of revivalism associated with the rise of… Continue reading American Revivalist Hymns (Marsden)

Anti-Intellectualism and American Revivalism

The historic Christian church has typically been a thinking church.  From Paul to Augustine to Bernard to Aquinas to Calvin to Owen (including many others), Christianity has had a robustly intellectual side to it.  Many Christians have taken seriously Jesus’ command to love God with our minds. In the American church, however, there has been… Continue reading Anti-Intellectualism and American Revivalism

The Bible and America’s Founding Fathers

Many of us have heard the argument that America needs to get back to its biblical (or Christian) roots which our founding fathers established.  But it isn’t quite that simple.  We have to ask this twofold question: what did our founding fathers think about the Bible and about Christianity? Noll, Hatch, and Marsden answer it… Continue reading The Bible and America’s Founding Fathers

The Impossibility of Returning to ‘Christian’ America

A few days ago I promised to return to this outstanding book: The Search for Christian America.  Here are a few paragraphs from the latter part of the book.  These words will be a tough read for those of us schooled with textbooks that exaggerated the “Christian” influence in America’s formative years.  I’m still amazed… Continue reading The Impossibility of Returning to ‘Christian’ America

The (Futile?) Search for Christian America

Here’s a book that deserves to be brought back into our discussions and onto our reading lists: The Search for Christian America by Mark Noll, Nathan Hatch, and George Marsden.  It was first published in 1983 and then expanded in 1989.  But the message is completely relevant for Christians today. Here are some questions the… Continue reading The (Futile?) Search for Christian America