2014 demonstrated that, whatever the significance of Barack Obama’s two terms as our first African American president, we have hardly moved beyond national struggles over race and class. Failures to indict white policemen accused of the unjust killings of black men precipitated protests and online shouting matches about racial inequality, or just how to talk about race. Christians participated in (hopefully) profitable discussions such as the December 16, 2014 “A Time to Speak” event, hosted by Pastor Bryan Lorritts of Fellowship Memphis, at the Lorraine Motel and National Civil Rights Museum.
December 16 was also the 300th birthday of George Whitefield, the most important evangelist of the Great Awakening of the 18th century.
A lot of parties have put a lot of stake in the Great Awakening, the wave of religious enthusiasm which swept up and down the colonial seaboard in the early 1740s. To evangelicals, it shows how well revivals can work and entrenches them at the nation's foundation. To liberal Protestants during the cold war and to neoconservatives since, it has endowed American nationhood with moral ballast.
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