Skip to site content

Author David Swartz

David Swartz is associate professor of history at Asbury University in Wilmore, Kentucky. He is the author of “Moral Minority: The Evangelical Left in an Age of Conservatism.”

Even as US Christians today exercise immense economic, military and cultural power, an example from a Latin American ministry in the ’60s shows what can happen when they give up power to develop strong Latin leadership. […] Read More

Two families, the Rockefellers and the Pews, built their dynasties viewing oil as a liquid blessing of God and marker of ‘celestial hope’ for the US, the world and God’s kingdom. Their descendants have mostly repudiated that view. […] Read More

As many evangelicals perpetuate Christian nationalism and seek access to political power today, they should recall the courageous stance of a Christian and GOP senator who prophetically spoke truth to power in 1973. […] Read More

Southern Baptist Theological Seminary penned a 70-page report on the seminary’s shameful complicity in slavery, Jim Crow and white supremacy. While the clear-eyed report is not enough, it is a strong start. […] Read More

Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle was charged in 1921 with the sexual assault of actress Virginia Rappe at a raucous Hollywood party. According to investigators, the 266-pound film star attacked and raped her, ultimately killing Rappe when her bladder burst “under the weight of his fat body.” See more of the story here. Despite the allegations, Arbuckle […] Read More

Former Trump strategist Steve Bannon said recently that Catholic priests only support undocumented immigrants because they need them to “fill the churches.” On the face of it, his comment seems dismissive, even cynical. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops responded with a statement asserting, “Our pro-immigration stance is based on fidelity to God’s word and […] Read More

My research on the anti-trafficking movement in Thailand primarily tracked U.S. Christian networks. As I suspected, the many missionaries and humanitarians I interviewed represented remarkable diversity. Some, horrified by sex trafficking, emoted like the passionate evangelicals they were. Others articulated the structural causes of trafficking with considerable sophistication. Some prescribed spiritual conversion. Others recommended more […] Read More

Christians, who are people of the Book, follow political scripts as well as biblical scripts. The Right preaches small government and identifies with the Republican Party. The Left preaches an interventionist government and identifies with the Democratic Party. There are almost exact religious analogues. The public face of the Christian Left matches the Democratic Party, […] Read More

Was missionary work liberating for women? It depended. “Multiple freedoms and multiple opportunities reinforced each other,” writes historian Jane Smith in “The Gospel of Gentility,” “and [female missionaries] described themselves as ‘fulfilled,’ ‘found’ and ‘happy.'” “My face is so red and rosy I look like I had had an over dose of paint,” Jessie Ankeny […] Read More

Charles Spurgeon, a Reformed Baptist known as the “prince of preachers” in the 19th century, remains revered. Known especially for his devotional writings, he currently ranks in the top 100 best-sellers of Christian literature on Tom Nettles, a professor of historical theology at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, says that contemporary fascination with Spurgeon is […] Read More