My blog posts revolve around my interests and vocation as a historian: the intersection of history and contemporary church life, the intersection of history and contemporary politics, serendipitous discoveries in archives or on research trips, publications and research projects, upcoming conferences, and speaking engagements.
I sometimes blog for two other organizations, the Canadian Baptist Historical Society and the Centre for Post-Christendom Studies.
The views expressed in these blogs represent the views of the authors, and not necessarily those of any organizations with which they are associated.
A few years ago, I had a conversation with a fine young Christian man who was pondering going into politics. He asked me if I had any suggestions for reading on the subject but my answer at the time was not very helpful.
But now I know what book I would recommend without hesitation!
Not every day events answer the questions of students before professors can develop a satisfactory answer. But that just happened to me.
A few weeks ago, I was lecturing on evangelicals and revivalism, with a specific focus on nineteenth-century revivalism in the American frontier (associated with places such as Cane Ridge, Kentucky).
I made it clear that Methodism (evangelicalism) from its origins under John Wesley, Charles Wesley, and George Whitefield had revivalism woven into its DNA – and that focus on renewing the church and seeing souls saved continue to mark the movement to this day.
Those familiar with the movement would know that Methodist revivalism ranged from quiet and “proper” all the way to loud and “wild”. And the wild aspects often led to critics attacking the movement as a bunch of dangerous enthusiasts.
After the class a student asked me what that type of revival would look like today. I gave a brief answer, but it was not one that I was really was satisfied with.