Time to begin looking ahead at the books of 2006. Leading our first report on coming attractions is a new edition of George Marsden's Fundamentalism and American Culture (Oxford Univ. Press). The March/April issue of B&C features an excerpt. A book that may seem far afield but that in fact complements Marsden's landmark study is D. G. Hart's John Williamson Nevin: High Church Calvinist, just out this month from P&R. "However offbeat Nevin's thought may sometimes appear," Hart writes, "his assessment of popular Christianity in the United States was arguably the most astute from the perspective of historical Protestantism that any American Reformed or Presbyterian ever formulated." Quite a claim! Check it out.
One of the most anticipated books of the year is Harry Stout's Upon the Altar of the Nation: A Moral History of the Civil War, due any day now from Viking. Look for Edward Blum's review in our March/April issue. And save a place next to Stout for Mark Noll's The Civil War as a Theological Crisis (Univ. of North Carolina Press), coming in April and also to be reviewed in our pages.
As the grandson of missionaries to China (where my mother lived until the age of ten), I am interested in missionary biographies and memoirs. I've seen some essays by Tim Bascom that have whetted my enthusiasm for his book Chamelon Days: An American Boyhood in Ethiopia, coming from Houghton Mifflin in June. And speaking of biography, Michael Kazin's A Godly Hero: The Life of William Jennings Bryan is due next month from Knopf; that too will be covered in B&C.
The cover-package of our May/June issue will focus on preaching and the state of the pastorate. And the subject of preaching brings to mind At Canaan's Edge (Simon & Schuster), the concluding ...1