From Oregon to Florida, and from Texas to North Dakota; from the tens of thousands Billy Graham's recent crusade brought to New York's Central Park to the evangelical activists who mobilized support for Pat Robertson and Jack Kemp at the 1988 Iowa caucuses, Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory crisscrosses the country to take readers on a journey into the heart of evangelical America. We visit an old-fashioned holiness camp meeting in St. Petersburg, Florida, an Indian reservation in the Dakotas, a huge trade show for Christian booksellers, and a fundamentalist Bible camp in the Adirondacks. But what stands out most in this book is the people Balmer meets on his journey, ranging from the evangelical filmmaker Donald Thompson to Pentecostal faith healers to fervent young evangelists working the beaches of southern California. It is through their eyes that we see into the heart of American evangelicalism, that we grasp the genuine appeal of the movement, and thereby arrive at a more accurate and balanced understanding of an abiding tradition that, as the author argues, is both rich in theological insights and mired in contradictions. For this edition, Balmer has added two new chapters, one offering a fascinating profile of disgraced TV evangelist Jimmy Swaggart, and the other a behind-the-scenes portrait of a Christian rock band on tour.
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From Library Journal:
Randall Balmer is professor of American Religious History at Barnard College, Columbia University and a visiting professor at Yale Divinity School. An editor-at-large for Christianity Today magazine, his commentaries on religion in America have appeared in newspapers across the country, and he regularly lectures at colleges, universities, and at such venues as the Chautauqua Institution and the Smithsonian Associates. Dr. Balmer was nominated for an Emmy Award for writing and presenting the PBS version of this book.
Balmer here presents a cross section of modern evangelical Christianity in America in 11 chapters, each sketching some aspect of this world from church camps and seminaries to missions and tent meetings. Every chapter is a narrative account of the author's experiences and conversations plus his own interpretations. Balmer (religion, Columbia Univ.) also gives historical and theological background when it is needed. Balmer grew up in the evangelical world, but his presentation is very even-handed; he is neither defending nor vilifying. Rather, he is trying to give his readers a feel for this very American tradition with a look at both the insights and problems that make this subculture so fascinating. Recommended for public libraries.
- C. Robert Nixon, M.L.S., Lafayette, Ind.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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