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Lone Wolfe

A new book signals that a growing movement of Protestant resourcement has achieved a critical mass.

(By JNix/Shutterstock)

As evangelicals go, so goes the country. Evangelicals certainly think so, left and right. Since the 2016 election, the culture war within American evangelicalism has been broadcast to the wider world. Being a liberal evangelical explainer—a tattle tale of your conservative brethren—has become a path to mild celebrity and pats on the head from elite institutions. In the aftermath of the electoral justice protests on January 6, 2021, figures such as Jemar Tisby, Russell Moore, and David French quickly associated the attendees with something called “Christian nationalism.” The label had been popularized amongst the teachers’ pets by sociologists Andrew Whitehead and Samuel Perry the year before. What it denotes varies with the user, but its connotation is clear: Christian nationalists are the bad sort of evangelical. 

If they are going to call you something anyway, perhaps you should make it your own. That at least was the thinking of Stephen Wolfe, a Louisiana State University Ph.D. and self-described country scholar, and Canon Press, of Moscow, Idaho, notoriety. Wolfe’s The Case for Christian Nationalism, which partly comes out of his work as a postdoctoral fellow at Princeton’s James Madison Program, has made the most of a moment and sold very well. Set to break into mainstream controversy at any time as of this writing in December 2022, it has already caused quite a stir in evangelical circles. Wolfe has stepped into the arena with a remarkable work of Christian political theory well worth reading, and he is set to have a grueling year.


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