Richard Gamble and Jeff McDonald join us again. On this episode, McDonald introduces several significant points about William Jennings Bryan, including his early life and upbringing in a strong evangelical tradition, his belief that schools and universities posed a problem to religious freedom, and his concern that students could be led away from faith into unbelief if they fell under the influence of mind worshipers. He also notes Bryan’s political career and his advocacy for economic and religious freedom, as well as his influence on the Democratic party and his ongoing relevance to current political issues.
Jeffrey McDonald is a Presbyterian minister, historian, and author of John Gerstner and the Renewal of Presbyterian and Reformed Evangelicalism in Modern America (Wipf & Stock, 2017).
Richard M. Gamble is Professor of History and holds the Anna Margaret Ross Alexander Chair in History and Politics at Hillsdale College.
- 00:07 Introduction
- 02:40 The Presbyterian Scholars Conference
- 10:27 William Jennings Bryan
- 18:48 Misconceptions about Bryan
- 22:05 Bryan’s Background
- 26:49 The Round Table Club
- 32:30 Concerns Regarding Religious Freedom and Education
- 37:11 Responding to Secularism
- 39:04 Machen and Libertarianism
- 41:11 Surprising Findings about Bryan
- 50:17 Bryan as a Nebraskan
- 53:26 Learning from Bryan
- 58:17 Conclusion
- David W. Beggington, ed., The Gospel and Religious Freedom: Historical Studies in Evangelicalism and Political Engagement (Baylor University Press)
- Christ the Center episode 776 — Melvin Grove Kyle, J. Gresham Machen, and the League of Evangelical Students
- Christ the Center episode 599 — John Gerstner and the Renewal of Presbyterian and Reformed Evangelicalism
- Christ the Center episode 593 — The Battle Hymn of the Republic and Civil Religion
- Jeffrey S. McDonald, “Advancing the Evangelical Mind: Melvin Grove Kyle, J. Gresham Machen, and the League of Evangelical Students”
- Richard M. Gamble, A Fiery Gospel: The Battle Hymn of the Republic and the Road to Righteous War (Religion and American Public Life)
- Richard M. Gamble, The War for Righteousness: Progressive Christianity, the Great War, and the Rise of the Messianic Nation. Wilmington, DE: ISI Books, 2003.
- Richard M. Gamble, The Great Tradition: Classic Readings on What It Means to be an Educated Human Being. Wilmington, DE: ISI Books, 2007.
- Richard M. Gamble, In Search of the City on a Hill: The Making and Unmaking of an American Myth. New York: Continuum/Bloomsbury, 2012.
Christ the Center focuses on Reformed Christian theology. In each episode a group of informed panelists discusses important issues in order to encourage critical thinking and a better understanding of Reformed doctrine with a view toward godly living. Browse more episodes from this program or subscribe to the podcast feed.