The Threat of Christian Nationalism
An urgent conversation with Professor Julie Ingersoll
On Thursday, the paid subscriber community at the Cottage hosted a live Zoom conversation on Christian Nationalism with Professor Julie Ingersoll of the University of North Florida. Julie is an expert on the subject with more than thirty years of research and a book (Building God’s Kingdom) on a very particular aspect of evangelical politics — Christian Reconstruction.
It was a serious, intense, and informative discussion about an significant and urgent subject.
The good folks in the paid subscriber community believed that the conversation was so important that many of them asked for an audio version to be shared with the ENTIRE Cottage readership — and with anyone you think would benefit from listening. This is a gift from the supporting community to the whole Cottage community.
Their comments included:
“The conversation was amazing and enlightening, as well as frightening. I hope you will be able to share it with a wider audience.”
“I would be in favor of sharing the audio version so that I could share it with colleagues. This whole discussion was depressing yet riveting! The discussion needs to move on and move out to those in power and power is in our votes!”
“This conversation is so rich, I, for one, hope it can be shared with as wide an audience as possible.”
“An audio version to be heard more widely will be invaluable these next few weeks. I was blessed to be with you yesterday and no matter how good my notes and/or memory might be, your dialogue with Professor Julie is far more riveting.”
“The topic of Christian Nationalism is widespread, but often without the perspective you and Julie provided. I've had many conversations with friends and associates and would welcome the opportunity to share this conversation with them.”
The discussion began with a definition of Christian Nationalism — and how Professor Ingersoll is convinced that this political movement is co-terminus with white evangelicalism. We talked about the development of Christian Reconstruction and how that became what is now called Christian Nationalism.
And we identified three streams of Christian Nationalism — the Christian Reconstruction/Theonomy stream from Reformed fundamentalism; the Charismatic-Pentecostal stream of Dominionism and the Seven Mountain Movement; and Theocratic Neo-Christendom Catholicism that influences several justices on SCOTUS. There is some technical vocabulary from religious studies, but I *think* we both explained terms to make the history and sociology as clear as possible.
We talked about how Christian Nationalism was impacting the midterm elections, as well the longer-term agenda for evangelicals in politics.
THANK YOU TO THE PAID SUBSCRIBER COMMUNITY for their generosity and support — and their insistence that this recording be shared with everyone.
The Cottage paid subscriber community meets on Zoom every Third Thursday for a conversation with an theologian, author, or professor to engage an issue or idea that deepens our understanding of religion in culture or politics.
The gatherings are live and provide an opportunity for attendees to ask questions and comment in real time. Video recordings of the conversations are sent out to all paid subscribers about a day after the live conversation.
We also host a monthly gathering calling Ruining Dinner in partnership with Tripp Fuller at Homebrewed Christianity — it is a rowdy, unscripted back-and-forth between friends about theology and politics.
If you’d like to support the Cottage financially and participate in these live events (with video recordings sent directly to your email), please click on the button below to upgrade.
Last summer, I wrote three essays on the theology and history of Christian Nationalism. Those three pieces — as well as discussion questions for reading and church groups — can be found in this single post: Understanding Christian Nationalism.
In the face of impossible odds, people who love this country can change it.
— Barack Obama
When people have the capacity to choose, they have the ability to change.
— Madeleine K. Albright
When you make a choice, you change the future.
— Deepak Chopra