Catalogue


The making of evangelicalism : from revivalism to politics and beyond /
Randall Balmer.
imprint
Waco, TX : Baylor University Press, c2010.
description
vii, 89 p.
ISBN
9781602582439 (alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Waco, TX : Baylor University Press, c2010.
isbn
9781602582439 (alk. paper)
contents note
The age of revivals and the First Amendment -- The transition from postmillennialism to premillennialism -- The construction of a subculture -- The rise of the religious right.
catalogue key
6934051
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. 85-89).
A Look Inside
First Chapter
"Four turning points. Four critical junctures in the formation of American evangelicalism. Four times when, in Robert Frost's memorable words, 'two roads diverged in a yellow wood.' Each of these junctures - the transition from Calvinist to Arminian theology in the embrace of revivalism, the shift from postmillennialism to premillennialism, the retreat into a subculture, and the rise of the Religious Right - invites counterfactual speculation. What if evangelicals had gone another way, had taken a different road back there in Robert Frost's woods? Might history have been different? Might evangelicals had been more faithful to the gospel they espouse had they chosen a different course?"

--excerpted from the Introduction
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Library Journal on 2010-01-01:
First-time author Welch offers excellent prose with a laudable purpose: to promote understanding of evangelical Christians. In order to gain this understanding herself, Welch, a nonpracticing Jew, spent two years attending Jerry Falwell's Thomas Road Baptist Church, even joining a missionary trip to evangelize in Alaska, all the while concealing her identity as an unbeliever (she reveals the truth to her church friends at the end of her time with them). However, this is the record of "a journey to the heart of evangelical America" only if one considers Falwell to be at or near that heart-a claim most evangelicals would reject. Balmer (American religious history, Barnard Coll.; God in the White House), a well-known author on religious topics, provides a brief history of American evangelicalism with an emphasis on its genius for adaptability. He considers the rise of the religious Right to be a faulty adaptation and urges evangelicals to change course. Verdict Welch's book offers an engaging, personal look at one variant of Christian fundamentalism. Her book may be useful for public libraries seeking to balance less benign assessments in their collections and will give fundamentalists a sense of how they may be perceived by kindly outsiders. The political argument of Balmer's final chapters, while worth serious consideration, is frequently marred by a sardonic tone and will appeal primarily to readers whose views already align with the author's.-Lisa Richmond, Wheaton Coll. Lib., IL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Appeared in Choice on 2010-10-01:
Balmer (Barnard College) briefly discusses four transitions in American Evangelicalism, beginning with the theological shift from Calvinism in the Colonial Great Awakening to Arminianism in subsequent revivals. Vigorous Evangelical social reform efforts of the early 19th century preceded the transition to withdrawal from reform by 1900 and adoption of a premillennial expectation of the Second Coming. An extensive Evangelical subculture developed in the 20th century, producing separation from liberal theology and the secular culture. The final transition was cultural reengagement, beginning in the 1950s, and dramatic emergence of the religious Right in the 1970s. To this point, Balmer covers familiar ground. What is new is his linkage of the religious Right, not to the abortion issue initially, but to the IRS denial of tax-exempt status for segregationist schools. He concludes by sharply critiquing the Evangelical embrace of the Republican politics of Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush and with a postmortem--perhaps premature--for the religious Right after the 2008 presidential election. Balmer effectively argues, however, that the "prophetic voice" of Evangelicals will ring more truly "on the margins of society, not in the councils of power." Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-level undergraduates through faculty/researchers. W. B. Bedford Crown College
Reviews
Review Quotes
"The Making of Evangelicalismexhibits the acumen we have come to expect from its author. In eighty-four pages of sharp, passionate prose, Balmer manages to illustrate, instruct, redefine, excite, entertain, and most of all provoke, all the while tweaking the conscience of evangelicals as much the curiosity of outside observers. His approach results in a remarkable book, one that can (and should) be read by anyone who wants to learn the basic history of this movement and measure its profound and enduring impact on American society." --The Journal of Southern Religion(2011, Volume XIII)
"... this small book tells a story that should not be forgotten." --Ré Stooksberry, Congressional Libraries Today, 2011
"Trademark Balmer: he has written in his characteristically elegant prose--not just 'accessible,' but lovely--without sacrificing sophisticated analysis." --Lauren F. Winner, author of Girl Meets God, and Mudhouse Sabbath
"... this small book tells a story that should not be forgotten." --R Stooksberry, Congressional Libraries Today, 2011
Trademark Balmer: he has written in his characteristically elegant prose—not just ‘accessible,’ but lovely—without sacrificing sophisticated analysis." —Lauren F. Winner, author of Girl Meets God, and Mudhouse Sabbath
" The Making of Evangelicalism exhibits the acumen we have come to expect from its author. In eighty-four pages of sharp, passionate prose, Balmer manages to illustrate, instruct, redefine, excite, entertain, and most of all provoke, all the while tweaking the conscience of evangelicals as much the curiosity of outside observers. His approach results in a remarkable book, one that can (and should) be read by anyone who wants to learn the basic history of this movement and measure its profound and enduring impact on American society." -- The Journal of Southern Religion (2011, Volume XIII)
"Balmer effectively argues, however, that the 'prophetic voice' of Evangelicals will ring more truly 'on the margins of society, not in the councils of power.'" --W. B. Bedford, Crown College, CHOICE (2010, 48:2)
"Often challenging and at times provocative, The Making of Evangelicalism calls for serious reflection regarding evangelicalism's future. Even those who might disagree with Balmer's interpretations will profit from a serious reading and pondering of this engaging, lucidly written book." --David S. Dockery, President, Union University
"Seldom has so short a volume produced as much bang as this gem by noted historian and sometime politician Randall Balmer. For those who seek a greater understanding of the peculiar successes of evangelicalism in the American environment there can be no better starting point than The Making of Evangelicalism." --Harry S. Stout, Jonathan Edwards Professor of American Religious History, Yale University
This item was reviewed in:
Booklist, January 2010
Library Journal, January 2010
Choice, October 2010
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Main Description
With impressively clear prose and a superb command of history, best-selling author Randall Balmer offers a spirited history of evangelical Christianity in the United States. Effortlessly situating developments in evangelicalism in their wider historical context, he demonstrates the ways American social and cultural settings influenced the course of the evangelical tradition. By revealing the four key moments in the movement's history, he ably demonstrates how American Evangelicalism is truly American. Concluding with a manifesto directing where evangelicalism must go from here forth, Balmer's The Making of Evangelicalism will interest every reader--evangelical, mainline, secular--who wants to better understand evangelicals today.
Bowker Data Service Summary
This text offers a history of evangelical Christianity in the United States. Situating developments in envangelicalism in their wider context, it demonstrates the ways American social and cultural setting influenced the course of envangelical tradition.
Main Description
With impressively clear prose and a superb command of history, best-selling author Randall Balmer offers a spirited history of evangelical Christianity in the United States. Effortlessly situating developments in evangelicalism in their wider historical context, he demonstrates the ways American social and cultural settings influenced the course of the evangelical tradition. By revealing the four key moments in the movement’s history, he ably demonstrates how American Evangelicalism is truly American. Concluding with a manifesto directing where evangelicalism must go from here forth, Balmer’s The Making of Evangelicalism will interest every reader—evangelical, mainline, secular--who wants to better understand evangelicals today.

This information is provided by a service that aggregates data from review sources and other sources that are often consulted by libraries, and readers. The University does not edit this information and merely includes it as a convenience for users. It does not warrant that reviews are accurate. As with any review users should approach reviews critically and where deemed necessary should consult multiple review sources. Any concerns or questions about particular reviews should be directed to the reviewer and/or publisher.

  link to old catalogue

Report a problem