Puritans on the Potomac

On a late November evening in 1867, two years after the end of the American Civil War, Celestia Ferris, chief washer-woman at the Bureau of Engraving, organized a prayer meeting not far from the U. S. Capitol. She was joined by a circle of earnest Christians, mostly of the Baptist persuasion, who . . . . Continue Reading »

Baylor at the Crossroads

I joined Baylor University’s faculty in July 2003 after a brief stint as a Visiting Fellow in the James Madison Program at Princeton. What drew me to Baylor is what has attracted, and continues to attract, hundreds of other prospective faculty members: the ideals and goals of the school’s . . . . Continue Reading »

America's First Baptist President

Warren Gamaliel Harding was the first Baptist to serve as President of the United States and the only Baptist president—thus far—to be a Republican. Neither Baptists nor Republicans are particularly proud of that fact these days, as Harding is generally ranked dead last among the nation’s . . . . Continue Reading »

Baptist Catholics

Contesting Catholicity: Theology for Other Baptists by curtis w. freeman baylor, 478 pages, $49.95 When I’m in a gloomy mood, sometimes I’d like to be a Baptist. Instead of all the venal bishops, political synods, and ignorant commissions, I’d have some controllable integrity to my church . . . . Continue Reading »

Gimmicks and God

I have a confession to make. In my former life as a Baptist youth evangelist, I did some things of which I am not now particularly proud. For example, on one occasion I dressed up like the devil and went to the local high school, where I told the students just arriving for class that day not to . . . . Continue Reading »