“American Apocalypse: A History of Modern Evangelicalism”-A Response

Super enjoying American Apocalypse: A History of Modern Evangelicalism. Not a “Christian” book, per se. Written by a prof at Washington State University and published by Harvard. Basic assertion-evangelicalism is configured in an essential way by an apocalyptic model informed by dispensational premillenialism. He offers a very intense history of 20th century fundamentalism/evangelicalism that has explanatory power to it. He is naming names and telling stories. His paradigm certainly fits my experience. There is a unique combo of “any moment return of Christ” with a “this-worldliness” that characterizes the fluidity of the movement. I find the book’s description of people whose names were familiar to me as a child of particular interest, as well as the internecine battles within the movement.

I have tried in my life to develop more openness to the breadth of orthodoxy ensconced in the various parts of the church while yet holding onto the essential contributions of the Evangelical stream. Thus, some of my Evangelical buddies wonder at my liberalism and some of my Orthodox/RC friends wonder why I don’t just jettison what they see as my fundamentalism. I, by virtue of this, can only participate in certain kinds of Evangelical churches, most of whom are more conservative than I am in some respects but which offer me some continuity with Evangelical essentials. By the way, I am an amillenialist of a fairly determined kind but have learned that dispensationalist premills are fierce street fighters. smile emoticon. They take no prisoners.

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