Thursday, 27 November 2014

New Reviews of Early Evangelicalism: A Reader

I noticed some recent reviews of my anthology, Early Evangelicalism: A Reader.

Ian McDonald of Birmingham City University in the UK wrote a review in the Baptist Quarterly, calling the book a "helpful new publication" that draws together a number of sources on the development of modern evangelicalism, with introductions for each chapter that are "clear and succinct, and set each contribution in its correct context." McDonald points out that there are several lesser-known evangelicals in the book that supplement the better-known figures of Jonathan Edwards, George Whitefield, and the Wesley brothers. Naturally, McDonald highlights the Baptist representation in the book, citing the excerpts from William Carey, Andrew Fuller, Isaac Backus, John Ryland Jr., and Anne Steele.

In Michael Haykin's review in the Southern Baptist Journal of Theology, he wrote that the book "fills a definite lacuna" in American and British evangelicalism. Like McDonald, Haykin speaks of the plethora of lesser-known figures in the anthology, including Phillis Wheatley, Samson Occom, Esther Edwards Burr, and the Baptists Anne Steele, Andrew Fuller, and John Ryland Jr. Haykin also notes the inclusion of excerpts from Calvinists, Arminians, and Moravians, showing the broad theological beliefs of early evangelicals.

Finally, Ed Loane of Moore Theological College in Australia, writes a brief review for Churchman, calling the book "a very encouraging read" that "will no doubt find its place as a leading source book for students of the period but could equally be used as an edifying stimulant for spiritual meditation as part of a daily quiet time." I found this last phrase very interesting. If you know of others who are using the book as a devotional, please email me.

Many thanks to professors McDonald, Haykin, and Loane for these favorable reviews!

Thanksgiving Break!

The fall semester is finally over. I have graded the last papers and exams, just in time to enjoy Thanksgiving and the holidays.

In my last classes, I asked the students to evaluate each course and to give me feedback on the textbooks that we used. In my "Religion in Southern Culture" class, the students unanimously approved of Christine Heyrman's Southern Cross: The Beginning of the Bible Belt, and most liked Randall Stephens's The Fire Spreads: Holiness and Pentecostalism in the American South. But there were mixed opinions on Albert Raboteau's Slave Religion: The "Invisible Institution" in the Antebellum South and Charles Reagan Wilson's Judgment and Grace in Dixie: Southern Faiths from Faulkner to Elvis. The issue with Raboteau's book had mostly to do with chapter two, which features extensive details on a debate between the sociologist Franklin Frazier and the anthropologist Melville Herskovitz on the retention of African rituals among the American slave population. Some students also complained that we didn't spend enough time studying the Civil War, and would have liked to read a book devoted specifically to that topic. I was surprised that not everyone approved Judgment and Grace in Dixie. The problem with this book, apparently had to do with the difficulty of the assignment that I gave them to find the thesis and two supporting evidences for each chapter. Since Wilson's chapters are so brief, students often struggled to find specific examples as evidence of the thesis.

In my final class on "The History of Evangelicalism," students raved about Barry Hankins's Evangelicalism and Fundamentalism: A Documentary Reader. They found many of the excerpts to be humorous, especially the last few that we read on anti-Catholicism, and liked the contemporary nature of the primary sources and subsequent discussion in class on those topics. I was surprised that there were mixed opinions about Mark Noll's The Rise of Evangelicalism and David Bebbington's The Dominance of Evangelicalism (out of fear, I didn't ask students about my own Early Evangelicalism: A Reader!). While I thoroughly enjoyed the books by Noll and Bebbington when I read them for the first time, many found these texts to be too dense and overwhelming, in terms of details. I didn't receive any substantial feedback on Brian Stanley's The Global Diffusion of Evangelicalism. Both classes allowed me the opportunity to review the contents of my fall courses with fresh eyes so that I could think about potential changes that I may make if I teach them in the future.

During the past several weeks I have been reading a lot about colonial Boston. For those of you interested in the early Congregationalist churches in Boston, I highly recommend Mark Peterson's The Price of Redemption: The Spiritual Economy of Puritan New England. More than any other author, Peterson presents a detailed evaluation of the tensions among members of Boston's first churches. I have also been reading older books on Boston, such as Nathaniel Shurtleff's A Topographical Historical Description of Boston.

For my "fun" reading, I recently finished Eileen Bebbington's biography of her husband, A Patterned Life: Faith, History, and David Bebbington. As a former Bebbington student, I found the book to be very interesting and entertaining. It provided me insight on understanding Bebbington's quirky mannerisms, showing how much of his life is "patterned" into a disciplined regiment. During the Thanksgiving and holiday break, I intend to start reading Grant Wacker's new biography of Billy Graham.


Thursday, 13 November 2014

Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair

What I wouldn't give to go to this year's Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair (November 14-16). Sadly, I will be grading papers for most of this weekend.


Sunday, 9 November 2014

Book Reviews on the History of Evangelicalism

I am in the process of grading papers for my courses at UTC. One of the classes that I am teaching this semester is "The History of Evangelicalism." In additional to readings from Mark Noll's The Rise of Evangelicalism, David Bebbington's The Dominance of Evangelicalism, Brian Stanley's The Global Diffusion of Evangelicalism, my Evangelicalism: A Reader, and Barry Hankins's Evangelicalism and Fundamentalism: A Documentary Reader, students are required to choose a book to review from an approved list that I provide. I give students a lengthy list of books on evangelicalism, and they are to select one book and write a 3-4 page review.

Whenever I provide these kind of extensive lists for book reviews, I never cajole students to read any particular title, and so I am always fascinated by their choices. Out of list of one hundred books, what book will they choose? Some students select books based on their denominational background (Methodism and Pentecostalism), parachurch affiliation (Campus Crusade), people who interest them (David Brainerd and John Newton), or a period of time that they wanted to study (the Roaring Twenties, the Great Awakening), while others are interested in reading a book by a known author (five people read Kate Bowler's book Blessed after she gave a lecture). Highlighted below are the books that this crop of students reviewed.





Approved Book List for The History of Evangelicalism



General Studies

David Bebbington, Evangelicalism in Modern Britain: A History from the 1730s to the 1980s (Rutledge, 2005)

Mark Hutchinson and John Wolffe, A Short History of Global Evangelicalism (Cambridge, 2012)

George Marsden, Understanding Fundamentalism and Evangelicalism (Eerdmans, 1991)



The Eighteenth Century



Catherine Brekus, Sarah Osborn’s World: The Rise of Evangelical Christianity in Early America (Yale, 2012) 
Brown-Lawson, John Wesley and the Anglican Evangelicals of the Eighteenth-Century (Pentland, 1994)

Vincent Carretta, Equiano the African: Biography of a Self-Made Man (Georgia, 2005)

J.C.D. Clark, English Society, 1660-1832: Religion, Ideology and Politics during the Ancien RĂ©gime  (Cambridge, 2000)

Vincent Carretta, Phillis Wheatley: Biography of a Genius in Bondage (Georgia, 2011)

Milton J. Coalter, Gilbert Tennent, Son of Thunder: A Case Study of Continental Pietism’s Impact on the First Great Awakening in the Middle Colonies (Praeger, 1986)

Joseph A. Conforti, Samuel Hopkins and the New Divinity Movement: Calvinism, the Congregational Ministry, and Reform in New England Between the Great Awakenings (Eerdmans, 1981)

Michael J. Crawford, Seasons of Grace: Colonial New England’s Revival Tradition in Its British Context (Oxford, 1991)

Eifion Evans, Daniel Rowland and the Great Evangelical Awakening in Wales (Banner of Truth Trust, 1985)

Linford Fisher, The Indian Great Awakening: Religion and the Shaping of Native Cultures in Early America (Oxford, 2012)

John R. Fitzmier, New England’s Moral Legislator: Timothy Dwight, 1752-1817 (Indiana, 1998)

John A. Grigg, The Lives of David Brainerd: The Making of an American Evangelical Icon (Oxford, 2009)

Allen C. Guelzo, Edwards on the Will: A Century of American Theological Debate (Wipf and Stock, 2008)

Timothy D. Hall, Contested Boundaries: Itinerancy and the Reshaping of the Colonial American Religious World (Duke, 1994)

Alan Harding, Selina: Countess of Huntingdon (Epworth, 2008)

Alan Harding, The Countess of Huntingdon’s Connexion: A Sect in Action (Oxford, 2003)

Michael A. G. Haykin, One Heart and One Soul: John Sutcliff of Olney (Evangelical Press, 1994)

Richard P. Heitzenrater, Wesley and the People Called Methodists (Abingdon, 1995)

David Hempton, Methodism: Empire of the Spirit (Yale, 2005)

D. Bruce Hindmarsh, The Evangelical Conversion Narrative: Spiritual Autobiographies in Early Modern England (Oxford, 2008)

D. Bruce Hindmarsh, John Newton and the English Evangelical Tradition (Eerdmans, 1996)

David Ceri Jones, ‘A Glorious Work in the World’: Welsh Methodism and the International Evangelical Revival, 1735-1750 (Cardiff, 2004)

Thomas S. Kidd, The Great Awakening: The Roots of Evangelical Christianity in Colonial America (Yale, 2009)

David W. Kling, A Field of Divine Wonder: the New Divinity and Village Revivals in Northeastern Connecticut, 1792-1822 (Pennsylvania, 1993)

Frank Lambert, The Founding Fathers and the Place of Religion in America (Princeton, 2006)

Frank Lambert, Inventing the “Great Awakening” (Princeton, 2001)

Bryan F. Le Beau, Jonathan Dickinson and the Formative Years of American Presbyterianism (Kentucky, 1997)

Phyllis Mack, Heart Religion in the British Enlightenment: Gender and Emotion in Early Methodism (Cambridge, 2011)

George Marsden, Jonathan Edwards: A Life (Yale, 2003)

J. C. S. Mason, The Moravian Church and the Missionary Awakening in England, 1760-1800 (Royal Historical Monographs, 2011)

Richard Newman, Freedom’s Prophet: Bishop Richard Allen, the AME Church, and the Black Founding Fathers (NYU, 2009)

Geoffrey F. Nuttall, Howel Harris, 1714-1773: The Last Enthusiast (University of Wales, 1965)

Geoffrey F. Nuttall, Richard Baxter and Philip Doddridge: A Study in a Tradition (Oxford, 1951)

Colin Podmore, The Moravian Church in England, 1728-1760 (Oxford, 1998)

Henry Rack, Reasonable Enthusiast: John Wesley and the Rise of Methodism, 2nd edition (Abingdon, 1993)

John Saillant, Black Puritan, Black Republican: The Life and Thought of Lemuel Haynes, 1753-1833 (Oxford, 2002)

Boyd S. Schlenther, Queen of the Methodists: The Countess of Huntingdon and the Eighteenth-Century Crisis of Faith and Society (Durham, 1997)

John Howard Smith, The Perfect Rule of the Christian Religion: A History of Sandemanianism in the Eighteenth Century (SUNY, 2010)

Harry S. Stout, The Divine Dramatist: George Whitefield and the Rise of Modern Evangelicalism (Eerdmans, 1992)

John R. Tyson, Assist Me to Proclaim: The Life and Hymns of Charles Wesley (Eerdmans, 2008)

Mark Valeri, Law and Providence in Joseph Bellamy’s New England: The Origins of the New Divinity in Revolutionary America (Oxford, 1994)

W. R. Ward, Early Evangelicalism: A Global Intellectual History, 1670-1789 (Cambridge, 2010)

W. R. Ward The Protestant Evangelical Awakening (Cambridge, 2002)

John Wigger, Taking Heaven by Storm: Methodism and the Rise of Popular Christianity in America (Oxford, 1998 and Illinois, 2001)

John Wigger, American Saint: Francis Asbury and the Methodists (Oxford, 2009)

Robert J. Wilson, The Benevolent Deity: Ebenezer Gay and the Rise of Rational Religion in New England, 1696-1787 (Pennsylvania, 1984)

John Wolffe, The Expansion of Evangelicalism (IVP, 2007)

Jonathan Yeager, Enlightened Evangelicalism: The Life and Thought of John Erskine (Oxford, 2011)



The Nineteenth Century

Debby Applegate, The Most Famous Man in America: The Biography of Henry Ward Beecher (Three Rivers, 2007)

Philip S. Bagwell, Outcast London: A Christian Response: The West London Mission of the Methodist Church, 1887-1987 (Epworth, 1987)

Edith Blumhofer, Her Heart Can See: The Life and Hymns of Fanny J. Crosby (Eerdmans, 2005)

Ruth Bordin, Frances Willard: A Biography (UNC, 1986)

Anne M. Boylan, Sunday School: The Formation of an American Institution (Yale, 1982)

Catherine Brekus, Strangers and Pilgrims: Female Preaching in America, 1740-1845 (UNC, 1998)

James T. Campbell, Songs of Zion: The African Methodist Episcopal Church in the United States and South Africa (UNC, 1998)

Jay Riley Case, An Unpredictable Gospel: American Evangelicals and World Christianity, 1812-1920 (Oxford, 2012)

Richard Carwardine, Evangelicals and Politics in Antebellum America (Yale, 1993)

Roy F. Coad, A History of the Brethren Movement (Paternoster, 1968)

Lyle Dorsett, Billy Sunday and the Redemption of Urban America  (Eerdmans, 1991)

Frank Douglas, Less Than Conquerors: How Evangelicals Entered the Twentieth Century (Eerdmans, 1986)

Bruce J. Evensen, God’s Man for the Gilded Age: D. L. Moody and the Rise of Modern Evangelism (Oxford, 2003)

James R. Findlay, Dwight L. Moody, American Evangelist: 1838-1899 (Chicago, 1969)

Paul C. Gutjahr, Charles Hodge: Guardian of American Orthodoxy (Oxford, 2011)

Charles Hambrick-Stowe, Charles G. Finney and the Spirit of American Evangelicalism (Eerdmans, 1996)

Nancy Hardestry, Women Called to Witness: Evangelical Feminism in the Nineteenth Century, 2nd edition (Tennessee, 1999)

David Hempton, Evangelical Disenchantment: Nine Portraits of Faith and Doubt (Yale, 2008)

Timothy Larsen, Crisis of Doubt: Honest Faith in Nineteenth-Century England (Oxford, 2009)

Timothy Larsen, Christabel Pankhurst: Fundamentalism and Feminism in Coalition (Boydell, 2002)

Timothy Larsen, A People of One Book: The Bible and the Victorians (Oxford, 2011)

Donald M. Lewis, Lighten Their Darkness: The Evangelical Mission to Working Class London, 1828-1860 (Greenwood, 1986)

Kathryn T. Long, The Revival of 1857-58: Interpreting an American Religious Awakening (Oxford, 1998)

Amanda Porterfield, Mary Lyon and the Mount Holyoke Missionaries (Oxford, 1997)
Dana L. Robert, Occupy until I Come: A. T. Pierson and the Evangelization of the World (Eerdmans, 2003)

Ernest Sandeen, The Roots of Fundamentalism: British and American Millenarianism, 1800-1930 (Chicago, 1970)

John Wolffe, The Protestant Crusade in Great Britain, 1829-1860 (Oxford, 1988)



The Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries

Randall Balmer, Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory: A Journey Into the Evangelical Subculture in America, 4th edition (Oxford, 2006)

Kate Bowler, Blessed: A History of the American Prosperity Gospel (Oxford, 2013)

Joel A. Carpenter, Revive Us Again: The Reawakening of American Fundamentalism: 1925-1950 (Oxford, 1997)

Alister Chapman, Godly Ambition: John Sott and the Evangelical Movement (Oxford, 2014)

John A. D’Elia, George Elson Ladd and the Rehabilitation of Evangelical Scholarship in America (Oxford, 2008)

Darren Dochuk, From Bible Belt to Sunbelt: Plain-Folk Religion, Grassroots Politics, and the Rise of Evangelical Conservativism (W. W. Norton, 2011)

Elaine Howard Ecklund, Korean American Evangelicals: New Models for Civic Life (Oxford, 2006)

Michael Emerson and Christian Smith, Divided by Faith: Evangelical Religion and the Problem of Race in America (Oxford, 2000)

Larry Eskridge, God’s Forever Family: The Jesus People Movement in America (Oxford, 2013)

R. Marie Griffith, God’s Daughters: Evangelical Women and the Power of Submission (California, 1997)

Barry Hankins, Jesus and Gin: Evangelicalism, the Roaring Twenties and Today’s Culture Wars (Palgrave Macmillan, 2010)

D. G. Hart, Defending the Faith: J. Gresham Machen and the Crisis of Conservative Protestantism in America (Johns Hopkins, 1994)

D. G. Hart, Deconstructing Evangelicalism: Conservative Protestantism in the Age of Billy Graham (Baker Academic, 2003)

Edward J. Larson, Summer for the God’s: The Scopes Trial and America’s Continuing Debate Over Science and Religion (Harvard, 1997)

Michael Lindsay, Faith in the Halls of Power: How Evangelicals Joined the American Elite (Oxford, 2007)

George Marsden, Fundamentalism and American Culture: The Shaping of Twentieth-Century Evangelicalism, 1870-1925, 2nd edition (Oxford, 2006)

George Marsden, Reforming Fundamentalism: Fuller Seminary and the New Evangelicalism (Eerdmans, 1987)

Steven P. Miller, The Age of Evangelicalism: America’s Born-Again Years (Oxford, 2014)

Mark Noll, The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind (Eerdmans, 1994)

Brian Steensland and Philip Goff, eds., The New Evangelical Social Engagement (Oxford, 2013)

David R. Swartz, Moral Minority: The Evangelical Left in an Age of Conservativism (Pennsylvania, 2014)

John G. Turner, Bill Bright and Campus Crusade for Christ: The Renewal of Evangelicalism in Postwar America (UNC, 2008)

Molly Worthen, Apostles of Reason: The Crisis of Authority in American Evangelicalism (Oxford, 2014)

Grant Wacker, Heaven Below: Early Pentecostals and American Culture (Harvard, 2001)