Early America

Book Review: Believe Me by John Fea

As someone who grew up steeped in the conservative political world of the Evangelical Christian movement in the US, I was continually stunned by the ability (and willingness) of Evangelicals to continue to make excuses for the seemingly un-Christian behavior, attitudes, and rhetoric of Donald Trump. In his book, Believe Me, John Fea (my colleague at […]

Nothing New Under the Sun: Racism in America (Again)

My friend, and fellow MennoNerd, Drew Hart shared a link on Twitter this morning to a piece he wrote in August 2013. The piece speaks to the relationship of 400 years of discrimination from the origins of black slavery through the modern day. While the most recent incident mentioned in the piece is the Trayvon Martin […]

Was 4 July Really Independence Day?

Set aside for a second when the Declaration was first drafted (2 July), when it was signed (August, I believe) or when it was finalized (reportedly as late as November). None of these have anything to do with the question in the title. The question is about the word independence, but not whether the United […]

The Hidden Side of Monticello

Thanks to John Fea for the link to this video from a new project about the slaves that once called Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello “home”. Just Friday I was reading about Jefferson in Fea’s Was America Founded as a Christian Nation? The book is an essential read for those wanting a full historical treatment of that question. […]

The History of Church vs. State in the U.S.

John M. Barry offers a little historical perspective on the origins of the church/state relation debate. Not too surprisingly, the debate about the relationship between church and government in the US dates back to the earliest colonies. Barry looks specifically at the Massachusetts Bay Colony and more specifically the thoughts of Roger Williams. Here is […]

Can Glenn Beck Read?

I’m not so sure after the uproar of the last week or so. It all started with a post by my friend and colleague John Fea. Dr. Fea is the chair of the Department of History here at Messiah College, a thoughtful Christian, and an exemplary historian specializing in early American History. He is very […]

On the “Plain” Meaning of Scripture

Over at the Pangea Blog on Patheos, Kurt Willems explores what he considers to be a flawed way of reading Scripture. He represents it by the concept of what Scripture “plainly” means to the reader. The idea seems reasonable. Why would God make Scripture “tricky” such that the meaning wasn’t clear? The problem with this technique is […]