The Banner of Truth Trust Turns 60 Years Old

Sixty years ago, almost all of the Puritan books had been out of print since the 19th century. That all changed on this day in 1957.

What Andrew Jackson Could Teach Donald Trump about Religion

A guest post by historian Miles Smith, who suggests one way that Donald Trump could start following more closely in Andrew Jackson’s footsteps.

The Day Martin Luther Luther King Jr. Prayed at the Billy Graham New York Crusade

On July 18, 1957, the pastor of Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama–Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.–gave a public prayer at Madison Square Garden as part of the long-running Billy Graham evangelistic campaign.

In an earlier interview with historian Grant Wacker, I asked him about the background of this development by Graham to address racial justice through his ministry. He responded:

Till then, his racial justice efforts were mostly memorable for starting to de-segregate his crusade audiences in 1953 (possibly 1952). In the context of the early 1950s, insisting that he would not tolerate segregated audiences was a momentous and courageous step. One Graham biographer, generally not sympathetic to him, called it his “handsomest hour.” But 1953 was not 1957. “Time makes ancient truth uncouth,” the poet James Russell Lowell had said. Graham knew that he had to do more.

From the beginning at the Garden, Graham saw that his audiences were overwhelmingly white. A few days in, he contacted his black friend Howard Jones, the pastor of a large African-American Christian Missionary Alliance church in Cleveland, and asked what he should do about it. Jones advised, do not wait for blacks to come to you. You need to go to them. The sub-text was clear: you and everything else about your crusade–associates, artists, music, choir, and congregation–present a virtually solid white front. If blacks are hesitant to come, what would you expect?

The Montgomery Bus Boycott–led by King–had ended just seven months earlier, in December of 1956.

King was 5’7″. …

St. Augustine: Should His Name Be Pronounced *AW*-gus-teen or aw-*GUS*-tin?

A friendly debate.

What Did It Mean to “Hit the Sawdust Trail”?

Where did the term come from and what did it mean?

When God Blesses a Needle of Truth in a Haystack of Mental Error

J. I. Packer reminds us that we all receive more in the way of mercy and help from God than the quality of our thoughts would warrant.

What Is Revisionist History?

Reexamining the iconic imagine of the Civil Rights Era.

What If “Nature vs. Nurture” Aren’t the Only Relevant Categories?

How the categories of creation, sin, and grace give us more nuance in thinking about who we are and how we develop.

The Reading List for a PhD Seminar on the History of American Fundamentalism and Evangelicalism

This fall I’ll be co-leading a PhD seminar. Here are the books that will be required and assigned.

Why Our Man-Made Lights Obscure the Stars Above

Søren Kierkegaard: “His lights obscure the stars, which the poor peasant, driving without lights, can see gloriously in the dark but starry night.