Academic journal article Anglican and Episcopal History

American Apocalypse: A History of Modern Evangelicalism

Academic journal article Anglican and Episcopal History

American Apocalypse: A History of Modern Evangelicalism

Article excerpt

American Apocalypse: A History of Modem Evangelicalism. By Matthew Avery Sutton. (Cambridge: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2014, Pp. xiv, 459. $35.00.)

The past one hundred years of American history, as seen through the lens of the Christian evangelical movement ... or the past one hundred years of the Christian evangelical movement, as seen through the lens of American history. . . no matter your perspective, Matthew Avery Sutton's expansive overview of this uniquely American cultural and religious phenomenon weaves together the stories of ecclesial history and civic history into a compelling narrative which draws the reader into the complexity of American religion and politics, and how those two forces have sometimes competed, and sometimes cooperated, for the hearts and minds of the American citizens. Grounded in an uncompromising pre-millennialism-a theology which believes that the world as we know it is about to come to a violent and cataclysmic end, to be followed by the second coming of Jesus and a thousand-year reign of peace- twentieth-century evangelicals sought to prepare themselves and their followers for the end of one world and the advent of another by actively engaging the cultural and political forces of the day, and to interpret current events through their premillennial framework. As Sutton writes: "In anticipating the immanent end of the world, fundamentalists paradoxically transformed it" (7).

Sutton offers a detailed account of the early days of the evangelical movement in the United States, providing an eminently readable chronology of the principal actors and issues which eventually coalesced what we understand today to be the multi-denominational evangelical movement today. …

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