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Read e-book online American Apocalypse: A History of Modern Evangelicalism PDF

By Matthew Avery Sutton

The first accomplished historical past of recent American evangelicalism to seem in a new release, American Apocalypse indicates how a gaggle of radical Protestants, expecting the top of the realm, mockingly reworked it.

Matthew Avery Sutton attracts on large archival learn to record the methods an firstly imprecise community of charismatic preachers and their fans reshaped American faith, at domestic and out of the country, for over a century. Perceiving the us as besieged by means of Satanic forces―communism and secularism, relations breakdown and govt encroachment―Billy Sunday, Charles Fuller, Billy Graham, and others took to the pulpit and airwaves to give an explanation for how Biblical end-times prophecy made feel of an international ravaged through worldwide wars, genocide, and the specter of nuclear extinction. Believing Armageddon was once nigh, those preachers used what little time used to be left to warn of the arriving Antichrist, retailer souls, and get ready the state for God’s ultimate judgment.

through the Nineteen Eighties, President Ronald Reagan and conservative Republicans appropriated evangelical rules to create a morally infused political time table that challenged the pragmatic culture of governance via compromise and consensus. Following 9-11, the politics of apocalypse persisted to resonate with an frightened population looking a roadmap via an international spinning uncontrolled. Premillennialist evangelicals have erected mega-churches, formed the tradition wars, made and destroyed presidential hopefuls, and taken desiring to hundreds of thousands of believers. Narrating the tale of contemporary evangelicalism from the point of view of the devoted, Sutton demonstrates how apocalyptic considering keeps to exert huge, immense impact over the yankee mainstream today.

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Extra resources for American Apocalypse: A History of Modern Evangelicalism

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32 Scofield reiterated the message of ministers like Darby. His Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth, originally published in the 1880s, significantly influenced many radical evangelicals. According to Scofield, God had chosen the Old Testament Jews to rule over an earthly kingdom in a very specific geographic location in the Middle East. Had they accepted Jesus as the Messiah, the millennium would have commenced. But when they rejected him, God turned to the Gentiles, establishing a church from which to rule over a spiritual kingdom composed of citizens of all nations.

Whether conservative, creedal Christians, innovative liberals and modernists, or something in between, most late nineteenth-century Protestants felt optimistic about the future. They longed for the coming of the millennium, a thousand-year period of peace, prosperity, and righteousness described in the book of Revelation, which they hoped to help inaugurate through their own good works. They believed that the return of Christ would mark the conclusion of the millennium. As a result they identified as “postmillennialists,” based on their conviction that the second coming of Christ would occur after the millennium.

The Church of the Holy Trinity was packed. Despite a light rain falling outside, ministers and laypeople converged on Madison Avenue and Forty-Second Street to listen and learn. Speakers included the emerging luminaries of the premillennial movement such as Samuel H. Kellogg, A. J. Gordon, and Nathaniel West, men whom generations of fundamentalists later quoted with reverence. Over one hundred ministers sat on the platform near a placard that read, “Surely I come quickly. Amen. 13 The 122 men who signed the call for the conference included Presbyterians, Baptists, Episcopalians, Congregationalists, and Methodists.

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