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screencapture of the Christian Century, August 4, 2020


 Jesus and John Wayne [is] something more than a book of cultural history. Du Mez is facing a problem that besets many ex-evangelicals and former fundamentalists these days: How did the people who taught us to love Jesus end up braying and hooting for this reality television star? Trump hates losers; Jesus broke metaphysics in order to become one.

How did a movement that, in the 19th century, was synonymous with Methodist feminists and circuit-riding antislavery activists come to be identified with a view of men, America, and history best described as Confederate? How did so many evangelical Christians come not only to tolerate but to like the kind of masculinity that Trump performs? No single book can answer these questions, but Du Mez fills a lot of gaps in the story.

This is a book about people who sound like caricatures because, for the sake of influence or fame, they became caricatures.

Philip Christman, The Christian Century

Indeed, the book convinced me—an ex-fundie who had to beg his parents for permission to listen to rock music—that the early fundamentalists had it right: Christians should steer clear of pop culture. At least, fundamentalists should steer clear of it. They pick the wrong stuff, and they learn the wrong lessons from it.

Philip Christman. “Kristin Kobes Du Mez’s History of the Manly Godly Man: How American Evangelicalism Baptized Male Aggression.” The Christian Century. August 4, 2020.

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