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564: How Rapture Theology Shaped America (Part 2)

How did a theological system that rejected Christian participation in politics eventually give birth to the Religious Right? Phil talks to historian Daniel Hummel about the spread of rapture theology in the 20th century, why it spawned so many conspiracies, the legacy of the Left Behind books, and why rapture theology remains so popular despite being rejected by nearly every evangelical seminary. Also this week, why did controversial author, Joshua Butler, resign from his church? The embrace of Tucker Carlson and Donald Trump by the Religious Right is proof that the movement is now entirely post-Christian. And reflections on the coronation of King Charles III.

Patreon Bonus: Bonus Interview with Daniel Hummel

Patreon Bonus: Getting Schooled: Feminism 101

0:00 - Sponsor - World Relief

0.50 - Intro

3:15 - Theme Song

3:36 - Sponsor: Blueland

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4:44 - Coronation of King Charles III

14:24 - News of the Good

17:42 - Resignation of Josh Butler

22:26 - The Post Christian Right

31:29 - The End of the Values Voter Wing of the GOP


49:12 - Sponsor: Hiya Health

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50:19 - Sponsor Miracle Made

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51:25 - Interview Intro

54:03 - The Scofield Bible and Fundamentalism Christianity

1:04:19 - Late Great Planet Earth

1:11:45 - Tim LaHaye and the Left Behind Series

1:20:39 - The Academic Decline of Premillennialism Dispensationalism

1:30:59 - End Credits

Links mentioned in news segment:

Josh Butler Resigns as Pastor Following TGC Article Backlash

More about World Relief

Tucker Carlson’s Dark and Malign Influence Over the Christian Right

Trump killed the ‘values voter’ wing of the GOP. It isn’t coming back in 2024

Other resources:

The Rise and Fall of Dispensationalism: How the Evangelical Battle over the End Times Shaped a Nation by Daniel Hummel

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Still listening to the podcast but found these episodes fascinating! I grew up in the Brethren movement and it was amazing to be told my own history (and also learn the origins of what I assumed as a young person was just “what the Bible says” as was mentioned). I was also in a slightly less conservative wing of the Brethren (although still very conservative!) and we used to joke about some of these things. For example, if you remember the song “My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness”….as teens we would jokingly sing “My hope is built on nothing less than Scofield notes and Moody Press”. LOL


Phil has talked about how important an indicator zip codes can be in guessing outcomes. You mentioned the importance of public schools and attention to academic rigor. This article is a good example.


Your podcast illuminates my lived experience growing up in the ‘80s with the popularized version of dispensationalist theology. One of the most damaging aspects of this theology, in my opinion, is the attitude that the only thing that we do on this earth that matters is saving souls because it’s all going to burn when we are caught up in the rapture. This attitude leaves a whole generation of Christians without a theological argument for the care of others outside of saving their souls.


May 12, 2023

Speaking as a Brit, I really enjoyed the coronation, and am glad Christian did too! Although I recognise that your scepticism/indifference, Phil and Skye, is actually shared by a lot of Brits, I enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I was going to. For me, it was mostly about how Christian the ceremony was, and how grounded in history while being uplifted by little touches of modernity, like Penny Mordaunt being the first woman to carry the sword and the many black Brits (including a friend of a friend - yes, Britain really is that small -) who played prominent roles. I don't have any great affection for Charles as a person, but as the ceremony reminded me,…


I often find it helpful to look to other countries to see how they view us when looking at extremes. Here is a list of countries who have travel advisories to the USA.

Rank choice voting and open/jungle primaries appear to be effective methods of finding more moderate candidates when gerrymandering is not an issue. To deal with that, independent, non partisan commissions (that cannot be overturned by legislatures) are helpful.

I tried to post a graphic I saw in late 2021 in The Financial Times regarding the relative extremism in the USA's major political parties, in comparison , to European parties. I'm not able to upload it here. I'll see if I can post it on Twitter.Even thoug…

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