D. G. Hart

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To hear some people talk, you would think that the birth of freedom, democracy, and the modern world started with the Protestant Reformation. In fact, the coincidence of faith and modernity has less to do with Martin Luther than with John Calvin, the reformer who had the audacity to question the rule of bishops and […]

D. G. Hart
Monday, August 29th 2022

Reformed Resurgence: The New Calvinist Movement and the Battle over American EvangelicalismBy Brad VermurlenOxford University Press, 2020304 pages (hardcover), $99.00 What is the health of Reformed Protestantism, and how do you administer the physical exam? Brad Vermurlen’s new book on the New Calvinist Movement (hereafter NCM) answers this question by looking at the influence of […]

D. G. Hart
Brad Vermurlen
Thursday, July 1st 2021

Theological Retrieval for Evangelicals: Why We Need Our Past to Have a FutureBy Gavin OrtlundCrossway Books, 2019218 pages (cloth), $21.99 Think back to the 1980s television show Family Ties. Readers born since then may be surprised to learn this was Michael J. Fox’s start as a Hollywood celebrity. In this sitcom, the actor (who went […]

D. G. Hart
Gavin Ortlund
Sunday, November 1st 2020

Protestants and American Conservatism: A Short History by Gillis J. Harp Oxford University Press, 2019 323 pages (hardback), $34.95 Since about the time when Jerry Falwell Sr. founded the Moral Majority in 1979 (with lots of help from Republican Party operatives), confessional and evangelical Protestants have generally identified as conservative. In Christian terms, being conservative […]

D. G. Hart
Gillis Harp
Friday, May 1st 2020

“The West” is not a phrase that Protestants frequently use. Of course, part of the problem is the way President Trump sullied the idea in his 2017 speech in Poland in which he used “the West” to stand for a common civilization shared by both Poles and Americans that included politics, history, and artistic expression. […]

D. G. Hart
Wednesday, July 24th 2019

David A. Hollinger begins Protestants Abroad with a startling assertion: “The Protestant foreign missionary project expected to make the world look more like the United States. Instead, it made the United States look more like the world” (1). A reader could well imagine that missionaries went to other parts of the world in hopes of making […]

D. G. Hart
David A. Hollinger
Wednesday, May 1st 2019

In 1981, when Ronald Reagan became president of the United States, Christians had an easy time identifying as political conservatives. After all, Reagan checked all the boxes of movement conservatives while showing friendliness to families and churches. He was firmly anti-Communist, a proponent of limited government and reduced spending (except for the Pentagon), and surprisingly […]

D. G. Hart
Monday, September 10th 2018

The enduring influence of Christianity on many of its greatest critics is one of modern history’s paradoxes. In Damning Words: The Life and Religious Times of H. L. Mencken, D. G. Hart highlights this apparent incongruity in the life of the legendary American agnostic—from his childhood in the last decade of the nineteenth century to […]

Simonetta Carr
D. G. Hart
Monday, January 1st 2018

When you hear the phrase “Christian society,” your mind likely turns to Christendom. In his book The Religious Crisis of the 1960s (Oxford University Press, 2007), historian Hugh McLeod described Christendom as a place where Christian leaders have close ties to civil authorities, where laws originate from Christian convictions, everyone is assumed to be a […]

D. G. Hart
R. R. Reno
Friday, June 30th 2017

Has God ordained certain techniques or forms for the church's growth? The one reliable God-given method is the natural and organic one of baptizing infants born to believing parents. In the past, confessional Protestants, such as Presbyterians and Lutherans, planted new churches in a remarkably calm way. Several families would move away from a community […]

D. G. Hart
Wednesday, July 1st 2015

In the summer of 2009, when scholars, pastors, and the historically minded laity were celebrating the 500th anniversary of John Calvin's birth, The Washington Post ran an op-ed piece by a constitutional attorney who attempt-ed to give reasons for not only Protestants but all Americans to commemorate the Frenchman's birth. Ac-cording to Doug Phillips, "On […]

D. G. Hart
Roland Boer
Tuesday, November 1st 2011

What is the theological equivalent for the conundrum about the tree that falls in the woods without a hearer? What happens when a theological bomb is detonated but no one seems to notice? Is it still a bomb? Is it still destructive? Re-Thinking Missions, a book published in 1932 just when it seemed the fundamentalist […]

D. G. Hart
Friday, April 29th 2011

In 1982, the Yale University historian of colonial America, Jon Butler, wrote a provocative article on the First Great Awakening and called the colonial revivals "an interpretive fiction." His subject was less the eighteenth century than the particular efforts of nineteenth-century American pastors to construct a narrative of awakenings led by Jonathan Edwards and George […]

D. G. Hart
Thomas S. Kidd
Friday, December 17th 2010

If you listen much to Christian radio (though I can’t say I recommend it), born-again Protestants apparently believe that change is a big part of being Christian. The Bible and the Holy Spirit will change the lives of believers, sometimes in radical proportions. In their public presentation, evangelicals are not shy about being “change-agents.” Change […]

D. G. Hart
Randall Balmer
Monday, November 1st 2010

Does the average worship service of a local Presbyterian congregation say anything in general about the human condition? Does it reveal much about the township or county in which its members reside? Is it possible, in other words, to generalize about topics other than religion on the basis of a small church's weekly service? Social […]

D. G. Hart
Laurie F. Maffly-Kipp
Thursday, July 1st 2010

“Modern Reformation has championed confessional Reformation theology in an anti-confessional and anti-theological age.”

Picture of J. Ligon Duncan, IIIJ. Ligon Duncan, IIISenior Minister, First Presbyterian Church
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