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America’s Christian Roots: An Interview of Historians Noll & Marsden (Miniblog #135)

by Carson T. Clark on October 17, 2012

Mark Noll and George Marsden aren’t exactly household names, so I wanted to offer a little background information for the many who are unfamiliar. Both men are professing Reformed evangelicals. Their mutual field of expertise is American religious history and they’re widely regarded in sacred and secular spheres alike for the the excellence of their scholarship. Noll is best known for his book, The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind, of which I’m personally fond.11.It remains my favorite book because it saved and transformed my faith. His magnum opus is America’s God: From Jonathan Edwards to Abraham Lincoln. Marsden doesn’t have a work that compares to Noll’s in terms of popularity but he’s academically well-known for books like Fundamentalism and American Culture and The Soul of the American University: From Protestant Establishment to Established Nonbelief. His magnum opus is Jonathan Edwards: A Life. As for the subject matter at hand, in 1983 they with Nathan Hatch co-authored The Search for Christian America and have individually published numerous other books and articles exploring related themes. As for this interview, I think it nothing if not excellent. The point of view Noll and Marsden advocate is factually sound, nuanced, respectful, civil, charitable, self-critical, humble, discerning, and I dare say even pastoral there near the end. I love these guys! They embody what christian scholarship is, or should be, all about.22.H/T to Derek Rishmawy for passing this my way. I’m not gonna lie. I was giddy like a school girl when I saw it on my Facebook wall. Much thanks, good sir.

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