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The Making of Evangelicalism
From Revivalism to Politics and Beyond
With impressively clear prose and a superb command of history, best-selling author Randall Balmer here 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—the transition from Calvinist to Armenian theology in the embrace of revivalism, the shift from post-millennialism, the retreat into a subculture, and the rise of the Religious Right—Balmer masterfully demonstrates how American evangelicalism is truly American and concludes with a manifesto directing where evangelicalism must go from here forward.
Chapter 1: The Age of Revivals and the First Amendment
Chapter 2: The Transition from Postmillennialism to Premillennialism
Chapter 3: The Construction of a Subculture
Chapter 4: The Rise of the Religious Right
"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
"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
"... this small book tells a story that should not be forgotten."
—Ré Stooksberry, Congressional Libraries Today, 2011
"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 48, 2
“This is trademark Randall Balmer: he has written in his characteristically elegant prose—not just ‘accessible,’ but lovely—yet he has not sacrificed sophisticated analysis in the name of reaching a broad audience beyond the Ivory Tower."
—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)
Randall Balmer is John Phillips Professor in Religion and Chair of the Department of Religion at Dartmouth College. A prolific and highly esteemed writer, he is the author of Thy Kingdom Come: How the Religious Right Distorts the Faith and Threatens America; God in the White House: How Faith Shaped the Presidency from John F. Kennedy to George W. Bush; and Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory: A Journey into the Evangelical Subculture in America.