Pews in sunlight

News & Announcements

Adult Education – Christian Nationalism

April 17, 2024

Christian Nationalism

We take up an issue that we started to explore last November. Christian nationalism is a political ideology and cultural framework that seeks to merge American and Christian identities. In this day when both American identity and Christian identity are undergoing massive shifts in definition and meaning, the reappearance and rise of Christian Nationalism (CN) is an alarming, reactionary response.

The focus of our discussion will be Tim Alberta’s article in The Atlantic, “My Father, My Faith, and Donald Trump” (November 28, 2023), adapted from Alberta’s important new book The Kingdom, the Power, and the Glory: American Evangelicals in the Age of Extremism (Harper, 2023).

May 10 marks the 90th anniversary of the Barmen Declaration. Written primarily by Reformed theologian Karl Barth in 1934, Barmen was the manifesto of the Confessing Church during the Nazi period in Germany. Designed to prevent the capitulation of the churches to hostile cultural forces, it has been accorded authoritative status throughout the Protestant world, including the PC(USA), for its emphasis on the centrality and all-sufficiency of Christ. We will hold Alberta’s article and Barmen in critical tension.

Upcoming: May 5

“Here, in our house of worship, people were taunting me about politics as I tried to mourn.” Tim Alberta, The Atlantic, November 28, 2023.


Bibliography for Understanding Christian Nationalism

Kelly J. Baker, Gospel According to the Klan: The KKK’s Appeal to Protestant America (University Press of Kansas, 2017).

Randall Balmer, Bad Faith: Race and the Rise of the Religious Right (Eerdmans, 2021).

Pamela Cooper-White, The Psychology of Christian Nationalism: Why People Are Drawn In and How to Talk Across the Divide (Fortress Press, 2022).

Kristen Kobes Du Mez, Jesus and John Wayne: How White Evangelicals Corrupted a Faith and Fractured a Nation (Liveright, 2021).

Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt, Tyranny of the Minority: Why American Democracy Reached the Breaking Point (Penguin Random House, 2023).

Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt, How Democracies Die (Penguin Random House, 2018).

Jonathan Haidt, The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion (Vintage, 2013).

Robert Pd. Jones, The Hidden Roots of White Supremacy and the Path to a Shared American Future (Simon & Schuster, 2023)

Kaitlyn Schiess, The Ballot and the Bible: How Scripture Has Been Used and Abused in American Politics and Where We Go from Here (Brazos Press, 2023)

Andrew L. Whitehead, American Idolatry: How Christian Nationalism Betrays the Gospel and Threatens the Church (Brazos Press, 2023).

Find more resources on belonging

Explore our resources on connection, community, and belonging from this past September.

Belonging Articles