No Creeds! (Except What Celebrity Preacher Says)

  “The study of the religious convictions of self-taught Americans in the early years of the republic reveals how much weight was placed on private judgment and how little on the roles of history, theology, and the collective will of the church.” So writes Nathan Hatch in his assessment of American religion in his excellent… Continue reading No Creeds! (Except What Celebrity Preacher Says)

American Hymnody: The Musical Dark Ages

Around the turn of the 19th century, Christianity (and religion in general) was undergoing a change: it was becoming more and more democratic (a religion of the people, for the people, and by the people).  Not only did this democratization affect doctrine, ecclesiology, and piety, it also affected Christian and religious hymnody.  Here’s how Nathan… Continue reading American Hymnody: The Musical Dark Ages

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