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The Impossibility of an Evangelical Conservatism

January 14th, 2019 | 13 min read

By Matthew Lee Anderson

Rusty Reno has concluded that I am a “respectable evangelical,” an appellation which he does not intend as a compliment. His comments come in response to my article for America Magazine, on the relationship of conservative Catholics and Evangelicals under and beyond Trump. Reno suggests that whatever insights the piece has, the “rank-and-file are invisible” in my description of evangelicalism’s political landscape, “neglecting the obvious fact that [‘old guard’ evangelicals like Jerry Falwell, Jr. are] leaders because so many people follow them,” and adopting “a New York Times analysis of the great bulk of evangelical voters who voted for Trump.”

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Matthew Lee Anderson

Matthew Lee Anderson is an Associate Professor of Ethics and Theology in Baylor University's Honors College. He has a D.Phil. in Christian Ethics from Oxford University, and is a Perpetual Member of Biola University's Torrey Honors College. In 2005, he founded Mere Orthodoxy.