New Shades of Evangelicalism — Jesus and Justice

Jesus and JusticeUtilizing numerous collections in the holdings of Wheaton College, Peter Goodwin Heltzel has recently published Jesus and Justice: Evangelicals, Race, and American Politics (Yale University Press). Receiving very positive responses Heltzel’s book looks into American religion and its difficult relationship with cultural forces such as politics, slavery, race and justice through the lens of four evangelical social movements: Focus on the Family, Christian Community Development Association, the National Association of Evangelicals, and Sojourners. The Wheaton College Archives & Special Collections houses the records of the latter two organizations. Through these lenses Heltzel traces the roots of contemporary evangelical politics to the prophetic black Christianity tradition of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the socially engaged evangelical tradition of Carl F. H. Henry. Heltzel shows that the basic tenets of King’s and Henry’s theologies have led their evangelical heirs toward a prophetic evangelicalism and engagement with poverty, AIDS, and the environment — shining new light on the ways evangelicals shape and are shaped by broader American culture.

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