A breathtaking history of American evangelicalism and its influence on modern secular America.
Evangelical Christianity is a paradox. Evangelicals are radically individualist, but devoted to community and family. They believe in the transformative power of a personal relationship with God, but are weary of religious enthusiasm. They are deeply skeptical of secular reason, but eager to find scientific proof that the bible is true.
In Apostles of Reason, Worthen recasts American evangelicalism as a movement defined not by shared doctrines of politics, but by the problem of reconciling head knowledge and heart religion in an increasingly secular America. She shows that understanding the rise of the Christian right in purely political terms, as most scholars have done, misses the heart of the story. The culture wars of the late twentieth century emerged not only from the civil war within evangelicalism itself-a battle over how to uphold the commands of both faith and reason, and how ultimately to lead the nation back onto a path of righteousness.
An ambitious intellectual history, this book weaves together stories from all corners of the evangelical world to explain the ideas and personalities--the scholarly ambitions and anti-intellectual impulses--that have made evangelicalism a cultural and political force.