A scholar of American Christianity presents a seventy-five-year history of evangelicalism that identifies the forces that have turned Donald Trump into a hero of the Religious Right. How did a libertine who lacks even the most basic knowledge of the Christian faith win 81 percent of the white evangelical vote in 2016? And why have white evangelicals become a presidential reprobate’s staunchest supporters? These are among the questions acclaimed historian Kristin Kobes Du Mez asks in Jesus and John Wayne, which delves beyond facile headlines to explain how white evangelicals have brought us to our fractured political moment. Challenging the commonly held assumption that the “moral majority” backed Donald Trump for purely pragmatic reasons, Du Mez reveals that Donald Trump in fact represents the fulfillment, rather than the betrayal, of white evangelicals’ most deeply held values. Jesus and John Wayne is a sweeping account of the last seventy-five years of white evangelicalism, showing how American evangelicals have worked for decades to replace the Jesus of the Gospels with an idol of rugged masculinity and Christian nationalism, or in the words of one modern chaplain, with “a spiritual badass.” As Du Mez explains, the key to understanding this transformation is to recognize the role of culture in modern American evangelicalism. Many of today’s evangelicals may not be theologically astute, but they know their VeggieTales, they’ve read John Eldredge’s Wild at Heart, and they learned about purity before they learned about sex—and they have a silver ring to prove it. Evangelical books, films, music, clothing, and merchandise shape the beliefs of millions. And evangelical popular culture is teeming with muscular heroes—mythical warriors and rugged soldiers, men like Oliver North, Ronald Reagan, Mel Gibson, and the Duck Dynasty clan, who assert white masculine power in defense of “Christian America.” Chief among these evangelical legends is John Wayne, an icon of a lost time when men were uncowed by political correctness, unafraid to tell it like it was, and did what needed to be done. Trump, in other words, is hardly the first flashy celebrity to capture evangelicals’ hearts and minds, nor is he the first strongman to promise evangelicals protection and power. Indeed, the values and viewpoints at the heart of white evangelicalism today—patriarchy, authoritarian rule, aggressive foreign policy, fear of Islam, ambivalence toward #MeToo, and opposition to Black Lives Matter and the LGBTQ community—are likely to persist long after Trump leaves office. A much-needed reexamination, Jesus and John Wayne explains why evangelicals have rallied behind the least-Christian president in American history and how they have transformed their faith in the process, with enduring consequences for all of us.
A scholar of American Christianity presents a seventy-five-year history of evangelicalism that identifies the forces that have turned Donald Trump into a hero of the Religious Right.
A New Gospel for Women tells the story of Katharine Bushnell (1855-1946), author of God's Word to Women, one of the most innovative and comprehensive feminist theologies ever written. An internationally-known social reformer and women's rights activist, Bushnell rose to prominence through her highly publicized campaigns against prostitution and the trafficking of women in America, in colonial India, and throughout East Asia. In each of these cases, the intrepid reformer struggled to come to terms with the fact that it was Christian men who were guilty of committing acts of appalling cruelty against women. Ultimately, Bushnell concluded that Christianity itself - or rather, the patriarchal distortion of true Christianity - must be to blame. A work of history, biography, and historical theology, Kristin Kobes DuMez's book provides a vivid account of Bushnell's life. It maps a concise introduction to her fascinating theology, revealing, for example, Bushnell's belief that gender bias tainted both the King James and the Revised Versions of the English Bible. As Du Mez demonstrates, Bushnell insisted that God created women to be strong and independent, that Adam, not Eve, bore responsibility for the Fall, and that it was through Christ, "the great emancipator of women," that women would achieve spiritual and social redemption. A New Gospel for Women restores Bushnell to her rightful place in history. It illuminates the dynamic and often thorny relationship between faith and feminism in modern America by mapping Bushnell's story and her subsequent disappearance from the historical record. Most pointedly, the book reveals the challenges confronting Christian feminists today who wish to construct a sexual ethic that is both Christian and feminist, one rooted not in the Victorian era, but rather one suited to the modern world.
A “masterful and meticulous”* feat of reportage that explains one of the central mysteries of the Trump era: the unholy marriage of Trump and the evangelicals, as officiated by the alt-right. *Jane Mayer, author of Dark Money Why did so many evangelicals turn out to vote for Donald Trump, a serial philanderer with questionable conservative credentials who seems to defy Christian values with his every utterance? To a reporter like Sarah Posner, who has been covering the religious right for decades, the answer turns out to be far more intuitive than one might think. In this taut inquiry, Posner digs deep into the radical history of the religious right to reveal how issues of race and xenophobia have always been at the movement’s core, and how religion often cloaked anxieties about perceived threats to a white, Christian America. Fueled by an antidemocratic impulse, and united by this narrative of reverse victimization, the religious right and the alt-right support a common agenda–and are actively using the erosion of democratic norms to roll back civil rights advances, stock the judiciary with hard-right judges, defang and deregulate federal agencies, and undermine the credibility of the free press. Increasingly, this formidable bloc is also forging ties with European far right groups, giving momentum to a truly global movement. Revelatory and engrossing, Unholy offers a deeper understanding of the ideological underpinnings and forces influencing the course of Republican politics. This is a book that must be read by anyone who cares about the future of American democracy.
Do women and men have different intellectual, spiritual, moral, or emotional capacities? Over the centuries, women have read and interpreted the story of Eve, scrutinizing the details of the text to discern God's word for them. Biblical scholar Amanda Benckhuysen traces the history of women's interpretation of Genesis 1-3, allowing the voices of women to speak of Eve's story and its implications for life today.
Drawing on history, public opinion surveys, and personal experience, Robert P. Jones delivers a provocative examination of the unholy relationship between American Christianity and white supremacy, and issues an urgent call for white Christians to reckon with this legacy for the sake of themselves and the nation. As the nation grapples with demographic changes and the legacy of racism in America, Christianity’s role as a cornerstone of white supremacy has been largely overlooked. But white Christians—from evangelicals in the South to mainline Protestants in the Midwest and Catholics in the Northeast—have not just been complacent or complicit; rather, as the dominant cultural power, they have constructed and sustained a project of protecting white supremacy and opposing black equality that has framed the entire American story. With his family’s 1815 Bible in one hand and contemporary public opinion surveys by Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) in the other, Robert P. Jones delivers a groundbreaking analysis of the repressed history of the symbiotic relationship between Christianity and white supremacy. White Too Long demonstrates how deeply racist attitudes have become embedded in the DNA of white Christian identity over time and calls for an honest reckoning with a complicated, painful, and even shameful past. Jones challenges white Christians to acknowledge that public apologies are not enough—accepting responsibility for the past requires work toward repair in the present. White Too Long is not an appeal to altruism. Drawing on lessons gleaned from case studies of communities beginning to face these challenges, Jones argues that contemporary white Christians must confront these unsettling truths because this is the only way to salvage the integrity of their faith and their own identities. More broadly, it is no exaggeration to say that not just the future of white Christianity but the outcome of the American experiment is at stake.
Author of the international bestsellers The Diabetes Code and The Obesity Code Dr. Jason Fung returns with an eye-opening biography of cancer in which he offers a radical new paradigm for understanding cancer—and issues a call to action for reducing risk moving forward. Our understanding of cancer is slowly undergoing a revolution, allowing for the development of more effective treatments. For the first time ever, the death rate from cancer is showing a steady decline . . . but the “War on Cancer” has hardly been won. In The Cancer Code, Dr. Jason Fung offers a revolutionary new understanding of this invasive, often fatal disease—what it is, how it manifests, and why it is so challenging to treat. In this rousing narrative, Dr. Fung identifies the medical community’s many missteps in cancer research—in particular, its focus on genetics, or what he terms the “seed” of cancer, at the expense of examining the “soil,” or the conditions under which cancer flourishes. Dr. Fung—whose groundbreaking work in the treatment of obesity and diabetes has won him international acclaim—suggests that the primary disease pathway of cancer is caused by the dysregulation of insulin. In fact, obesity and type 2 diabetes significantly increase an individual’s risk of cancer. In this accessible read, Dr. Fung provides a new paradigm for dealing with cancer, with recommendations for what we can do to create a hostile soil for this dangerous seed. One such strategy is intermittent fasting, which reduces blood glucose, lowering insulin levels. Another, eliminating intake of insulin-stimulating foods, such as sugar and refined carbohydrates. For hundreds of years, cancer has been portrayed as a foreign invader we’ve been powerless to stop. By reshaping our view of cancer as an internal uprising of our own healthy cells, we can begin to take back control. The seed of cancer may exist in all of us, but the power to change the soil is in our hands.
Based on extensive inside sources, including exclusive interviews with the President and Vice President, The Faith of Donald J. Trump explores his rarely discussed, but deeply important, religious beliefs and relationships with leading Evangelicals. The Chief Political Correspondent for the Christian Broadcasting Network and the "Jesus in the Public Square" columnist for the Washington Times explore the rarely discussed, but deeply important, religious beliefs and worldview of Donald J. Trump and his advisors. Donald J. Trump was raised as a Presbyterian and has praised both Christianity and the primacy of the Bible. In the Oval Office, he has surrounded himself with close advisors who share his deep faith. In this deeply reported book, David Brody and Scott Lamb draw on unparalleled access to the White House to explain President Trump’s connection to the Christian faith, the evangelical right, the prosperity gospel, and the pressing moral and ethical issues of our day. In part, the authors argue, President Trump won over evangelicals not by pandering to them, but by supporting them and all their most important issues without pretending to be something he’s not. Though the forty-fifth president is far from the perfect vessel—he has been married three times—his supporters argue that Donald Trump may be just what America needs. This book reveals how he has surrounded himself with believers who think he is the one guiding figure who can return us to the traditional values—hard work, discipline, duty, respect, and faith—that have long been the foundation of American life, and truly make America great again in all ways.
Now a National Bestseller! Evangelicals are losing the culture war. What if it’s their fault? In 2016, writer and filmmaker Ben Howe found himself disillusioned with the religious movement he’d always called home. In the pursuit of electoral victory, many American evangelicals embraced moral relativism and toxic partisanship. Whatever happened to the Moral Majority, who headed to Washington in the ’80s to plant the flag of Christian values? Where were the Christian leaders that emerged from that movement and led the charge against Bill Clinton for his deception and unfaithfulness? Was all that a sham? Or have they just lost sight of why they wanted to win in the first place? From the 1980s scandals till today, evangelicals have often been caricatured as a congregation of judgmental and prudish rubes taken in by thundering pastors consumed with greed and lust for power. Did the critics have a point? In The Immoral Majority, Howe—still a believer and still deeply conservative—analyzes and debunks the intellectual dishonesty and manipulative rhetoric which evangelical leaders use to convince Christians to toe the Republican Party line. He walks us through the history of the Christian Right, as well as the events of the last three decades which led to the current state of the conservative movement at large. As long as evangelicals prioritize power over persuasion, Howe argues, their pews will be empty and their national influence will dwindle. If evangelicals hope to avoid cultural irrelevance going forward, it will mean valuing the eternal over the ephemeral, humility over ego, and resisting the seduction of political power, no matter the cost. The Immoral Majority demonstrates how the Religious Right is choosing the profits of this world at the cost of its soul—and why it’s not too late to change course.