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David Swartz

As many evangelicals perpetuate Christian nationalism and seek access to political power today, they should recall the courageous stance of a Christian and GOP senator who prophetically spoke truth to power in 1973. […] Read More

Southern Baptist Theological Seminary penned a 70-page report on the seminary’s shameful complicity in slavery, Jim Crow and white supremacy. While the clear-eyed report is not enough, it is a strong start. […] Read More

Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle was charged in 1921 with the sexual assault of actress Virginia Rappe at a raucous Hollywood party. According to investigators, the 266-pound film star attacked and raped her, ultimately killing Rappe when her bladder burst “under the weight of his fat body.” See more of the story here. Despite the allegations, Arbuckle […] Read More

Former Trump strategist Steve Bannon said recently that Catholic priests only support undocumented immigrants because they need them to “fill the churches.” On the face of it, his comment seems dismissive, even cynical. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops responded with a statement asserting, “Our pro-immigration stance is based on fidelity to God’s word and […] Read More

My research on the anti-trafficking movement in Thailand primarily tracked U.S. Christian networks. As I suspected, the many missionaries and humanitarians I interviewed represented remarkable diversity. Some, horrified by sex trafficking, emoted like the passionate evangelicals they were. Others articulated the structural causes of trafficking with considerable sophistication. Some prescribed spiritual conversion. Others recommended more […] Read More

Christians, who are people of the Book, follow political scripts as well as biblical scripts. The Right preaches small government and identifies with the Republican Party. The Left preaches an interventionist government and identifies with the Democratic Party. There are almost exact religious analogues. The public face of the Christian Left matches the Democratic Party, […] Read More

Was missionary work liberating for women? It depended. “Multiple freedoms and multiple opportunities reinforced each other,” writes historian Jane Smith in “The Gospel of Gentility,” “and [female missionaries] described themselves as ‘fulfilled,’ ‘found’ and ‘happy.'” “My face is so red and rosy I look like I had had an over dose of paint,” Jessie Ankeny […] Read More

Charles Spurgeon, a Reformed Baptist known as the “prince of preachers” in the 19th century, remains revered. Known especially for his devotional writings, he currently ranks in the top 100 best-sellers of Christian literature on Amazon.com. Tom Nettles, a professor of historical theology at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, says that contemporary fascination with Spurgeon is […] Read More

In 1345, on a cold Tuesday night just before Easter, a miracle happened in Amsterdam. A dying man, given the Eucharist, vomited it right back out. His caregivers were amazed to see that it had re-emerged from his mouth whole. They threw the host on a fire, perhaps thinking that this was the least sacrilegious […] Read More

Jay Beaman, a sociologist at Warner Pacific College in Portland, Oregon, likes to do historical experiments. After extensive research, he sends emails to members of Ancestry.com, telling them that he has found a relative of theirs who claimed religious objection on their World War I draft card. These relatives were members of holiness and Pentecostal […] Read More