REVIEW: Darryl Hart, From Billy Graham to Sarah Palin

My review of Darryl Hart’s latest book, From Billy Graham to Sarah Palin: Evangelicals and the Betrayal of American Conservatism, now appears on the Books & Culture website. Here are the opening paragraphs:

Everyone loves an iconoclastic thesis, the kind that elicits a flabbergasted response of “Oh, really?!” Three immediately come to mind: in an essay on military service, theological ethicist Stanley Hauerwas argues that gays (as a group) are morally superior to Christians (as a group); in God’s Battalions, sociologist Rodney Stark argues that the Crusades were a justified war waged against Muslim terror and aggression; and in Defending Constantine, theologian Peter Leithart argues that the heresy of Constantinianism should not be named after the historical Constantine.

Add this eyebrow-raising thesis to the mix: in From Billy Graham to Sarah Palin: Evangelicals and the Betrayal of American Conservatism (a book whose title and subtitle should have been switched), historian Darryl Hart argues that “the evangelical temperament is inherently progressive.” Despite being the largest single voting bloc in the Republic Party, Evangelicals—owing to their religious and moral idealism—are no more fitted to traditional conservatism than an armadillo is suited to Antarctica. Currently a professor at Hillsdale College, the premier academic enclave for conservatives, and prolific author of such books as A Secular Faith: Why Christianity Favors the Separation of Church and State, Hart offers a historical account of Evangelical political reflection since World War II.

Click here to read the whole review.

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2 thoughts on “REVIEW: Darryl Hart, From Billy Graham to Sarah Palin

  1. Christopher,
    Outstanding review of the book. The issues raised in the book are some of the frustrating aspect of pastoral ministry. Our folks love me, but there is a hint of suspicion about whether I am a liberal. I chuckle.

    I always enjoy your posts!
    Chul

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