Religion: Calvinist Comeback?

Calvinism was once virtually the American Faith. It came to New England with the Puritans, to New York with the Dutch Reformed, to Pennsylvania with the German Reformed. And wherever Scottish Presbyterians went in the U.S., predestination, 90-minute sermons, and the "Shorter Catechism" went with them.

But the faith of ascetic, heretic-burning John Calvin was stern, hard and alien to a boisterous young country in a nature-taming age. Calvinism insisted on 1) the total depravity of man, 2) a God who, for His own good reasons, irrevocably divided all mankind into the Elect and the Damned, 3) strict "blue laws."-

Is Calvinism's stern...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!