Colonial Williamsburg parish church
This week PBS is airing a new six-part documentary called “God in America.” I missed the first two parts last night because for some odd reason I wanted to watch Brett Favre throw more interceptions.
The third and fourth parts air tonight (8 and 9 pm CST) while I am teaching (drat), and are described by TV Guide: “The first hour recalls how slavery split the U.S., and Northern abolitionists and Southern slaveholders both used the Bible to support their positions. Also examined is Abraham Lincoln’s spiritual journey, which was fed by the carnage of the Civil War and the death of his young son. The second hour details how modernity challenged traditional faith during the 19th and early 20th centuries via the establishment of Reform Judaism and the 1925 Scopes evolution trial.” Continue reading →
Here’s another one of those “candy bowls” containing brief news items on Christian-historical topics. I compiled this one for issue 88 (on C. S. Lewis) of Christian History & Biography:
Compiled by Chris Armstrong
The War for Souls
With its own national association (www.cwreenactors.com) and magazine (www.campchase.com) serving an estimated 50,000 re–enactors in the U.S., Civil War re–enactment thrives today. However, until a few years ago, the re–enactors who worked so painstakingly to replicate each detail accurately often overlooked an entire group of participants. On the battlefields and in the camps, these men fought a different war—the war for souls—and some paid the ultimate price. They were the roughly 1,200 to 1,400 Confederate chaplains, 3,000 Union chaplains, and 5,000 Christian Commission volunteers.
Alan Farley won’t let reenactors forget the chaplains or the faith that animated them. Farley, an evangelist who began attending these events as a child in 1984, now portrays General Lee’s chaplain—and presents the gospel—at Virginia reenactments. Continue reading →
OK, it’s December 4 and I can’t resist the urge any more. Time for a Christmas post!
I’m Dreaming of a Victorian Christmas
An ageless story reminds us of the values the Victorians can still teach us.
A particular Christmas, or to be more exact, two Christmases, entered the modern imagination in 1868 through a much-beloved storybook, coloring our vision of Christmas ever since.
The first of these Christmases takes place under the shadow of war—the Civil War. A few days before the holiday, the four young daughters of an absent army chaplain mope together in the home that now seems so empty. They ruefully consider their holiday prospects: their “straightened circumstances” have reduced the customary Christmas bounty to a mere dollar apiece, doled out by their mother. Continue reading →
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Tagged charity, children, Christmas, Civil War, family, John Bunyan, Little Women, Louisa May Alcott, New Testament, Pilgrim's Progress, social gospel, Victorian era, Victorianism