Resources for “Against: What Does the White Evangelical Want?”

As we move through our Wednesday evening study series, I’ll be updating this post every so often with resources and links so those who can’t make it to each session can still keep up with handouts, interviews, and things like that [permalink].

Feel free to explore these as you’d like (it’s not required for participation or anything, I just want to pass them along in case they’re helpful).

– Phil

Session 3 (January 22)

As we continue to unpack some of the introductory material from the book, here’s an article we will explore in session 3 (I encourage you to read it beforehand if possible):


Session 1 (January 8)

  • Defining Evangelical: This article, from The Atlantic, highlights several conventional nuances related to the term evangelical. It’s important to note that in his book Against, Tad is focused on a particular form of white evangelicalism that emerged in the last several decades in the U.S. This doesn’t mean his analysis is disconnected from previous strands of evangelicalism as described in this article, but it does mean there are a handful of distinctions to be made. For example, as we’ll learn in Week 2, Tad seeks to distance his analysis from that of David Bebbington, whose quadrilateral (cited in this article) is often viewed as the definitive description of evangelicalism.


  • The Evangelist: This article, from The Washington Post, introduces readers to Shane Claiborne, a popular white evangelical activist who advocates for a number of progressive policies. As such, it shows that contemporary white evangelicalism isn’t entirely monolithic in scope. As we’ll learn in Week 2, Tad’s focus is on the roughly 80% of white evangelicals who pledge their undying allegiance to Trumpism (sometimes called court evangelicalism). That’s what he’s trying to help us understand.


  • Religious Landscape Study: I absolutely love this resource; it’s a goldmine of demographic data. It has all kinds of interactive, sortable options on the sociology of religion in the United States. You can compare and contrast theological and political views among various groups of people, including those from different religious traditions altogether, as well as those within the same religion. For example, you can compare and contrast beliefs and political ideologies among Buddhists and Muslims, or among Protestant and Catholic Christians, or, even more specifically, among white evangelical Christians and black Protestant Christians, just to cite a few options. (You can even find local data specific to religion in Missouri.) While Tad cites lots of similar data in his book, this is a great place for you to track down what might be of particular interest to you.


  • This PDF is an excerpt from Stephen Prothero’s book, God Is Not One. It’s somewhat similar to the “Defining Evangelical” article posted above, but provides a bit more historical context.


  • Finally, here’s an overview of the study series featuring schedule, format, and class covenant.