Item description for Evangelism in America: From Tents to TV by William Packard...
This probing study is a lively and even-handed consideration of Christian evangelism in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries down to the phenomenally popular television evangelists and their legions of fans and followers. He profiles four people: Dwight L. Moody, Billy Sunday, Aimee Semple McPherson, and Father Divine. He also discusses the open and pervasive involvement in national politics.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9.03" Width: 6.02" Height: 0.73" Weight: 1.16 lbs.
Release Date Feb 28, 2000
ISBN 0595000614 ISBN13 9780595000616
Availability 0 units.
More About William Packard
William Packard is founder and editor of the New York Quarterly. He has been a professor of poetry at New York University for over twenty years and is a poet, screenwriter and playwright as well. He lives in New York City.
William Packard currently resides in the state of New York.
Reviews - What do customers think about Evangelism in America: From Tents to TV?
Incomplete and innacurate Apr 7, 2005
In the preface, Packard admits that he's directly descended from Dwight L. Moody, an evangelist during the late 1800s. His chapter on Moody is not objective, setting the tone for the rest of his book, which is little more than an overview padded with way too many of his opinions.
Packard says former big-league baseball player Billy Sunday's "lifetime batting average was a highly respectable .248". That's not even an average batting average. "Respectable" is certainly subjective, but hitters aren't usually considered good until they have a .300 average or better: "highly respectable", to me, would be maintaining an average above .300 over most of a career. Sunday's main attribute was his speed, though Packard exaggerates that skill by reporting, "Sunday's total stolen bases was a phenomenal 236, putting him well ahead of Rogers Hornsby (135) and Babe Ruth (123)". Ruth was legendary mainly as a slugger who also had a far more "respectable" lifetime batting average than Sunday: he wasn't known for baserunning prowess. One of his famous gaffes was being thrown out trying to steal second base to end the 1926 World Series. Hornsby's .424 average still stands as the all-time high for a single season; he wasn't counted on to steal bases. As for Sunday, he played during an era when pitchers didn't come to a set position with runners on base, so he should have stolen more bases than he did. His speed was mainly an asset while playing defense (he was an outfielder), which is why he stayed in the majors as long as he did with his mediocre batting average.
Packard claims that Madalyn O'Hair was an evangelist, saying, "her zeal and determination were as fervent as the most Fundamentalist of American Evangelists" (he always capitalizes evangelist, and he lumps O'Hair with various evangelists who he didn't think rated an entire chapter). His point may be valid, but his terminology is wrong: the definitions of evangelism are all about promoting religion, specifically Christianity. O'Hair usually promoted herself. In the same paragraph, he claims that the religious lie "In God We Trust" was one of "the Deistic expressions which our Founding Fathers thought fit to ornament on our money". The phrase was first put on coins during the Civil War, and then forced onto all currency during the McCarthy hysteria in the mid-1950s. The founding fathers had been long dead by then.
He also reports that world heavyweight champion Cassius Clay changed his name to Mohammed Ali in 1963. Clay didn't become the champion until 1964, when Sonny Liston failed to answer the 7th round bell in their fight. He changed his name within the next several weeks.
Prior to this book, Packard wrote poems, novels and plays: this is his first attempt at non-fiction. Maybe he should stick with what he knows best.