From Billy Graham to Sarah Palin: Evangelicals and the Betrayal of American Conservatism
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Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. / 2011 / Hardcover
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From Billy Graham to Sarah Palin: Evangelicals and the Betrayal of American Conservatism

Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. / 2011 / Hardcover

Expected to ship on or about 10/24/18.
Stock No: WW866288


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Product Description

A provocative account of recent evangelical Christian engagement with conservative politics written by a professor from Hillsdale College.

From Billy Graham to Sarah Palin: Evangelicals and teh Betrayal of American Conservatism provides a fresh, lively, iconoclastic history of evangelical Christians' involvement with American politics. Examining key evangelical political figures - from Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson to Billy Graham and Chuck Colson to Tony Campolo and Jim Wallis - D. G. Hart argues that American evangelicalism, from the right as much as the left, is (and always has been) a bad fit with classic political conservatism and its insistence on the limited role of government.

Whenever evangelicals have pushed for government solutions to moral or social problems or for crusading military and foreign policy ventures abroad, Hart argues, their religious and moral idealism has trumped the sober realism of classic conservatism and a careful understanding of the virtues of the American political system. Further, Hart predicts that, with such a tenuous relationship to the core principles of conservatism, evangelicals on the right are unlikely to remain politically conservative unless they finally accept--really accept--the limited uses of politics to effect lasting social change.

Readers of From Billy Graham to Sarah Palin are sure to find Hart's treatment and sobriety timely and compelling.

Product Information

Format: Hardcover
Number of Pages: 240
Vendor: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.
Publication Date: 2011
Dimensions: 9.00 X 6.00 (inches)
ISBN: 080286628X
ISBN-13: 9780802866288

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Publisher's Description

From Billy Graham to Sarah Palin provides an iconoclastic new history of the entrance of evangelical Christians into national American politics. Examining the key players of the “Religious Right” — Billy Graham, Jerry Falwell, Chuck Colson, James Dobson, Pat Robertson, and many others — D. G. Hart argues that evangelicalism is (and always has been) a bad fit with classic political conservatism.

Hart shows how the uneasy alliance of these unlikely political bedfellows has contributed directly to the fragmentation of today’s conservative movement. He contends that the ongoing burden of reconciling the progressive moral idealism of religious conservatives with the sober realism of political conservatives increasingly threatens this precarious partnership. Moreover, Hart suggests that evangelicals are unlikely to remain politically conservative in the long term unless they stop looking to big government to solve societal woes at home and abroad and at last embrace classic small-government conservatism for its own sake.

Author Bio

D. G. Hart is the author or editor of more than twenty books on American religion, including A Secular Faith: Why Christianity Favors the Separation of Church and State and Deconstructing Evangelicalism: Conservative Protestantism in the Age of Billy Grah

Endorsements

Modern evangelicalism, because of its many parts and persuasions, has been said to resemble a mosaic or even a kaleidoscope. In this timely book D. G. Hart gives a thorough overview of this mosaic, looking closely at contemporary evangelicals' political engagement in recent history. While much of evangelicalism has been seen as politically conservative, Hart makes an intriguing case that it has been so in an insufficient fashion. Evangelicals need to become more Augustinian in their theology, he argues, and begin attending as much to the Federalist Papers as they do to the Scriptures. This book offers an important challenge to evangelical leaders, pastors, and activists alike: focus on the 'permanent things,' remember your pilgrim citizenship, and never forget that the ultimate purposes of history are not determined by politics. This is not to diminish appropriate political concerns but to only put them in proper perspective. Buy a copy of this book for your pastor and also give one to your favorite Christian political activist. By doing so you will raise the level of theological, and political, conversation in the church.
-Michael Cromartie
Vice President, Ethics and Public Policy Center

Maximally enlightening political-religious argumentation.
-Booklist

Publisher's Weekly

This volume's title is misleading, since it says little about either Billy Graham or Sarah Palin. Instead it is a kind of literary history of prominent evangelical Christians' thinking about political conservatism. A church historian, Hart examines the writings of such figures as Carl McIntire, Jerry Falwell, Marvin Olasky, Chuck Colson, and Ron Sider, among others. He shows how their moral idealism is at odds with the realism, prudence, and preference for stasis that has characterized political conservatism. At a time when many view the relationship between evangelicals and the Republican Party as unquestionably tight, Hart suggests born-again Christians may actually have more in common with the aspirations of progress, change, and social improvement championed by the left. And he sagely hints that younger evangelical leaders may be rethinking the conservative impulse and veering closer to the center left, if not to the Democratic Party. This book might have benefited from a historical overview of conservatism in its early chapters and from a more accurate title, but its insights are acute and on target. (Aug.) Copyright 2011 Reed Business Information.

Editorial Reviews

Michael Cromartie
— Vice President, Ethics and Public Policy Center
"Modern evangelicalism, because of its many parts and persuasions, has been said to resemble a mosaic or even a kaleidoscope. In this timely book D. G. Hart gives a thorough overview of this mosaic, looking closely at contemporary evangelicals' political engagement in recent history. While much of evangelicalism has been seen as politically conservative, Hart makes an intriguing case that it has been so in an insufficient fashion. Evangelicals need to become more Augustinian in their theology, he argues, and begin attending as much to the Federalist Papers as they do to the Scriptures. "This book offers an important challenge to evangelical leaders, pastors, and activists alike: focus on the 'permanent things,' remember your pilgrim citizenship, and never forget that the ultimate purposes of history are not determined by politics. This is not to diminish appropriate political concerns but to only put them in proper perspective. Buy a copy of this book for your pastor and also give one to your favorite Christian political activist. By doing so you will raise the level of theological, and political, conversation in the church."


Booklist
"Maximally enlightening political-religious argumentation."

The Historian
"This book is a valuable contribution to the ongoing historiographical conversation regarding conservative politics in the United States and will certainly prompt an interested and lively discussion on this issue."
 
Journal of Church and State
"This is a book that deserves to be noticed and to be deeply pondered by every type of American evangelical Christian — especially those who engage politics and the public square."
 
The University Bookman
"Hart has done an excellent job of exploring the intellectual and political history. Furthermore, and more important, he has written the kind of book which forces the reader to grapple with his thesis and to be left more thoughtful in the process."
 
Kirkus Reviews
"Erudite and well-researched, Hart’s style is approachable and often witty. . . . General readers will be taken aback to learn that evangelical Protestantism isn’t always — and perhaps is only rarely — conservative in nature."
 
Voice of Reason
"A very provocative and interesting book."
 
The American Conservative
"Darryl Hart’s new book on the role of evangelical and the conservative movement offers a critical missing piece in understanding the ongoing role of evangelical Christian in American politics."

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