Understanding evangelicals

Blessed Assurance: A History of Evangelicalism in America, by Randall Balmer

Thirty years ago Dial Press commissioned me to write a book on the Protestant experience in America (Righteous Empire) for its bicentennial series. I was asked to exclude the "evangelical" half of mainly white Protestantism, since William R. Taylor was to write about it. That his book never appeared does not matter so far as the 18th and 19th centuries are concerned, since Protestantism and evangelicalism were largely one and the same then. Only in the 20th century did the two diverge. Even so, I smuggled figures like Billy Graham and some other evangelicals into my account. The two stories cannot really be disentangled.


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