Listening In: Tim Padgett

WARREN SMITH, HOST: I’m Warren Smith and today you’ll be listening in on my conversation with author and editor Tim Padgett as we discuss his new book about evangelicals and war.

Evangelicals are war mongering nationalists. They believe God is always on their side. They don’t tolerate any differences of opinion. If you read secular accounts of evangelicals, accounts from the pages of mainstream newspapers and other media outlets, you might believe that the statements that I just read are true. But to Tim Padgett, who grew up in an evangelical home and went on to get a PhD from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, these characterizations didn’t ring true at all. So he set out to discover what evangelicals have thought about war, patriotism, and nationalism.

He embarked on this quest by letting evangelicals speak for themselves in their own words from the pages of evangelical publications throughout the 20th century. The result is his new book Swords and Plow Shares: American Evangelicals on War, 1937-1973. This book examines the writings of evangelicals about World War II, Korea, the Cold War, and Vietnam. Some of those evangelicals included such legendary figures as Francis Schaffer, Karl Henry, Billy Graham, and Nelson Bell, Billy Graham’s father-in-law and one of the founders of Christianity Today magazine.

Padgett’s book busts some powerful myths about evangelicals and it also provides us models for how evangelicals should conduct themselves in the public square when we discuss contentious issues. It also has lessons for a 21st century America engaged in what is now the longest war in American history.

Padgett is the managing editor of, the website of the Colson Center for Christian Worldview. He’s also worked at the Francis Shaffer Institute and has spoken at Labree and the Evangelical Theological Society. We had this conversation in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Tim, welcome to the program. Great to have you on Listening In. It’s a little bit unusual because we work together every day and now here we are in this situation, which is a little different.

TIMOTHY PADGETT, GUEST: Right, yeah. It is a little different just to be the subject of one of these rather than merely sharing it.

SMITH: Tim, you’re on the program because you’ve written a significant book, Swords and Plow Shares: American Evangelicals on War, 1937-1973. And let me just start there. Why did you pick that era? 1937 to 1973, that’s sort of like the run up to World War II and the end of the Vietnam War.

PADGETT: Correct. Yeah. It’s interesting because if you’d asked me several years ago, a decade or so ago if I was going to study American history, I would have just laughed at you because I was like, oh, it hasn’t been gone on long enough. I just grew both just in the last last few years. I’d always enjoyed World War II history. I mean, it’s the biggest thing humanity’s ever done, as awful as it was. But that’s just a fascinating period. There’s a reason they make so many movies about that. And just the period of the 1940s, 50s, 60s, up to the 70s was just so interesting to me because there’s such titanic conflicts.

So much was at stake. Like I said, with World War II you had upwards of 60 million people killed in the war. And then with the Cold War, you had nearly the entire world locked into these two hostile alliances. And with nuclear weapons, we, for the first time in history, humanity could literally destroy itself. And so the stakes were so very high. And then you throw in some of the stuff about the eschatological things, with the creation of the state of Israel and things like that, it just makes for a very intense period. And that’s one of the things that I’ve always been fascinated by military history. And it’s not a ghoulish desire for war, but it in wartime you have humanity under intense pressure. When you have, like when people are fighting against a storm or an animal or something like that, there’s not the same sense of an intelligence trying to kill you.

But with war there’s someone with equal intelligence or perhaps greater intelligence who’s trying to wipe you out. And that offers dramatic tension. And that’s why so many wars are about conflicts.

SMITH: Well, one of the things that was especially interesting about your book, and I would say especially interesting to me as an evangelical Christian number one, and number two as a journalist who’s made his living for much of my adult career working for Christian organizations and Christian publications, is that you trace that history in the pages of evangelical publications like Moody Monthly, like the Southern Presbyterian Journal, which after several permutations morphed into WORLD Magazine, through Christianity Today, which of course is still around today. Why did you sort of choose that lens through which to view these global conflicts?

PADGETT: Well, some of it was pragmatic. This began as a dissertation and it was a focus on historical theology. And so how is it that I can connect church history into these passions that I had for studying the global conflicts of the 20th century. But part of it was just such a fascinating thing that as I began to study how non-Christians — and even some Christians — spoke about what evangelicals in particular, but Christians in general said about these wars. What they said in their non-Christian views didn’t line up with what I saw and understood from what these Christians actually said for themselves.

SMITH: Well, in fact, I would say, Tim, that that’s one of the things that is most interesting about your work and this book is that it’s kind of a mythbusting kind of a book. I mean, like you just said, that what the world was saying evangelics were saying was not in fact what evangelicals were really saying. And you document that in abundant detail. And so I would say among the myths that you bust, and correct me if I’m wrong or sort of amplify on these. One is that Christians are not monolithic. That there was a broad spectrum of views on the war and not just World War II but the Cold War and the Vietnam War, that Christians sometimes get accused of being passive and rolling over or get too aligned with one political party or the other. But there’s a rich history of Christian speaking truth to power in the pages of evangelical publications. And I think people, even evangelicals, are not fully aware of that history. And number three, and I think this is maybe a particularly important point, is that Christianity does not equal nationalism. That Christians have long sort of stood independent of the major political parties. And that may be a lesson for today.

PADGETT: Yeah, I think that it is. One thing that I think so often we look back at past history, history prior to our own time, through the lens of our time. And I think you can make a very strong argument that evangelicals in the last several generation or so have been significantly aligned with one political party, generally speaking, the Republican Party. But if you look back in this history, and this is one of the things that I was pleased to find out, is that none of these people neither much liked either President Roosevelt or President Truman that much. They were kind of neutral. When it came to Eisenhower, they very much liked him. President Kennedy was not in office long enough for them to hold much of an option, but they said some very positive things about him.

President Johnson, they’re generally supportive. And President Nixon, who’s coming to power around the time when evangelicals begin to align with one party or another, they were kind of back and forth about him. Sometimes liking him, but they clearly didn’t want to whitewash Watergate and they had some strong a disinclinations to support them wherever they go.

SMITH: Well and this went beyond, I mean your book stops in 1973 and the 1976 election with Jimmy Carter, a lot of people will say that evangelicals got him elected, that if it weren’t for the evangelical vote, the “born again vote” as they were calling it in that era, there would have been no Jimmy Carter as President of the United States. So all to say again that this idea that evangelical Christians align with one party or the other particular party is a real recent phenomenon.

PADGET: Yeah and a future project I would like to work on is to how that kind of came about. And one of the things that I really enjoyed about seeing this is that so many of these editorials or radio broadcasts occasionally or letters they could be both supportive of the United States in a given context, but also highly critical at the same time. And I think that, so as I said, for a future project, I want to work on how did that bifurcate? Eventually you kind of had a split where you had the Ron Ciders, Jim Wallaces, Tony Campolos who tend to focus on the critical, whereas others of the emerging “Religious Right” tend to be much more simply supportive. Whereas when you’re looking at the 1960s, 50s, 40s, the Carl Henrys, Francis Schaeffers, the Donald Barnhouses, they’re both critical and supportive. And that’s just something, it’s a very encouraging platform to emulate.

SMITH: Tim, there’s another aspect here that I want you to say a little bit more about, and that is the formation of the state of Israel and how that sort of affected what was written and affected what was going on sort of in the imagination of the evangelical,. Because what you had was, as we’ve already suggested, you had World War II, which was one of the most, in fact, I should think should probably be fair to say the most destructive war in human history… certainly one of. And then immediately after that, the formation of the state of Israel, sort of in the midst of all of that was the creation of the atomic bomb, not only by the United States but it quickly proliferated to other nations. So there were many evangelicals that were sort of caught up in this end times moment, you might say, this idea that with the formation of Israel, we were literally within a gener… And also with this apocalyptic weapon that we might literally be within a generation of Jesus’ return and the end of the age.

PADGETT: Yeah. I think it’s very fascinating. I mean, evangelicals are often reasonably critiqued for getting caught up in the hysteria. But one of the things that I tried to bring out was that they weren’t crazy for thinking that the world was coming to an end according to the pattern that they’d always believed because it all seemed to be falling into place. They had long predicted — or many of them at least — had long predicted that the Jews would come together and form a nation, that there would be, the weapons of, as I said in the book, elemental fire, literally the fire of the elements. That there would be these great alliances, one headed by Russia and another headed by what the descendants after a fashion of the Roman Empire. And all of these things came into place. And so while they may have been wrong about it, obviously the Lord did not come back in 1970 or 1988 or whatever the most recent prediction was. But they weren’t crazy for thinking so. They had good reason for thinking that.

SMITH: You know, as I read the book, it was kind of interesting to me to also think about the first century Christians as well. And I don’t know that there’s maybe ever been a period intervening where there were so many analogs where you had, you know, right after Jesus’ ascension, there were many Christians that thought that Jesus’ return was imminent and it took sort of a number of years before the church finally realized, you know, hey, we might be in this for the long haul. And they started sort of putting down roots and organizing churches and doing all of the things that now we understand as being part and parcel with the rise of Christendom in the first few centuries after Jesus.

In some ways, there’s never been another period in history until this one you’re talking about where Christians were looking for the imminent return of Jesus. And then time goes by and it didn’t happen and they had to sort of reorganize themselves and rethink what that meant for the way we live in this culture and in this world.

PADGETT: Yeah, you do see that even towards the end of the period. I quote I think it was Eternity Magazine where one of the authors is speaking to the editor. He quotes himself as when hearing a preacher say that, well, these bad things are happening, but we won’t see it because the Lord is going to come back. And you see this conversation between these two men. He says, didn’t we hear this 30 years ago? And he’s right. I mean the conversation had been going on for 30 years. They had been long been expecting that it was going to happen any day. And it sometimes drove their interpretation of a geopolitical events. And one of things that I found fascinating is that while it often drove their interpretation, it didn’t always drive their interpretation. You sometimes had some silly things like I remember this one moment where in June of 1940, at least it was published in June of 1940, one magazine writer had said that clearly we all know that the Italians will never join Nazi Germany in the alliance against Britain and France. And it just so happened to turn out then in June of 1940 the Italians under Mussolini join Nazi Germany, the alliance against Britain and France. And so they sometimes could make mistakes, but it was nice to see that even over time, they begin to check themselves. They began to say, you know, we need to be cautious here. We’ve been wrong before. We’ve gotten too enthusiastic before. Now sometimes it was rather ironic cause some of the people who were making those criticisms saying, we need to be cautious were the same people who had not been cautious before without checking themselves there.

SMITH: Tim, it may be fair to say — I’m not 100% sure because I haven’t done an exhaustive survey — that you may be the only person alive who has looked at evangelical publications going back to inception and read virtually every single one of them. And I mean every individual issue, the individual articles in there, given that I can’t resist, especially since you know, my own background in Christian journalism, I can’t resist asking some questions just about Christian journalism. I mean, how do we acquit ourselves historically? In other words, in looking at those publications, some of which go back to the 1930s, now in the year of our Lord 2019, do you look back and say, wow, what idiots we were, or, you know, this stuff holds up pretty well or is it a mixed bag, a little of both?

PADGETT: Well, sure. I think the easy answer  is a little of both. I mean, it was rather fun for this project, I went through all these magazines from 1937 to 1973 and then for a project a few years ago, I went through many of the same descendants of these magazines from 1989 to 2003. So, I got to see a lot of evangelical journalistic things and some of it’s the fun, you get to see the styles change over the years and the fascinations with technology that changes over the years. I remember one ad from, I think it was the 1940s, where they’re bragging about they had a new mimeograph machine that could do 20,000 copies of a single document with one inking or something like that. And I remember thinking how ironic that was that I was scanning them and then viewing them on my phone and just as technology progresses. And you just see that as technology progresses, as ideas progress, but you do have the same sort of theme. You do see in Moody Monthly, in the 1940s, I didn’t get to get into it in the book nearly as much as I would liked. But they had a great concern about chaplaincy. They had great concern about how the people in the home front could care for the people — both the wives and children — of the men who were off at war. And then in — it’s not in this, but it’s my MA thesis — going through stuff about the Gulf War ended up to the Iraq War, you see the same emphasis in WORLD Magazine. You see the same emphasis in Christianity Today. This, how do we, the people who are at home, how do we care for either the loved ones who are at home or provide for the ones who are off overseas fighting the war? Not just physically but psychologically, spiritually. And that was a common theme. You did see this ministerial aspect. It wasn’t merely ideological, it wasn’t merely political, but how can we love our neighbors in this moment?

And in terms of the ideology, in terms of the spreading, I think it holds up pretty well. I didn’t do this research myself, but when I taught college a few years ago, one of my students did kind of a parallel study for one paper and she talked about Time Magazine and Newsweek and stuff like that. And it was around the time of 9/11. And what I noticed from her paper was that the secular magazines were far harsher to enemies then the Christian magazines were. And that’s something that I think  is something to testimony to these Christian magazines that even in the midst of right after Pearl Harbor and even the midst of all this violence, there was a care not just for our side, but for the other side. And a warning against the inevitable hatred that get stirred up and passion that gets stirred up in a war, a desire to check that passion. To say, yes, there’s a time to kill, but we must not hate even as we do it. And so I think it does really hold up well.

SMITH: fYeah. Well, I am wondering, and I know this goes beyond the scope of your book and maybe your research to a certain extent, but I can’t resist asking the question nonetheless. Did you find any blind spots? In another words, you were examining magazines written in the 30s, 40s, 50s, and 60s primarily. And that was an era of great racial strife in this country. Did you find examples of evangelical Christian publications, either on the one hand being a biblical prophetic voice to the culture, and/or maybe saying some things that they wish they could take back?

PADGETT: Right. There was a bit of both. The racial aspect, which comes out in my book was not part of the original intention of study. One of the sections of each chapter is how evangelicals viewed American society. Because one of the charges against evangelicals throughout this period is that they’re just unthinking supporters and that it’s America is holy and God’s special country. And so I wanted to find some places where evangelicals were critical and this was a place I didn’t expect. I had expected that when it came to issues of race,  that these magazines would have been neutral at best and some of them were neutral at best. Some of them were very — glossed over the problems of racial injustice, of segregation, of discrimination, and things like that. And even things like lynching. Some of them were that way. Some of them fit the stereotype.

However, I was pleasantly surprised to find in nearly all of these magazines, a calling out of the church and society about racial issues long before it was the cool thing to do. I presented a paper a year or so ago where I noted that if a white evangelical pastor were to get up and criticize America’s history of racial injustice today, that would be widely applauded. But some of these comments that these guys were making, they would doing it in the 1940s. They were doing it in the 1950s. And this is at a time when not only could it cost them readership, could have cost them support, but it did. Several letters to the editor noted that they wanted to have their subscriptions canceled because of, as they said, the socialism of advocating racial integration, of getting rid of the segregation. And so there was this moment where it wasn’t simply that they were critical of American society and of the church. But they were doing so at a time when it wasn’t as safe a thing to do, as popular thing to do as it is now.

SMITH: So net-net then, this literary tradition, if I might be allowed to call it that, this journalistic tradition at least, has much to commend, it sounds like.

PADGETT: Yeah, I would say so. I mean, it has certainly their historical blind spots as we were talking a moment ago, there were times where their eschatological beliefs drove them to draw conclusions about who the good guys and the bad guys were in a given conflict or to make assumptions that simply didn’t have any basis in fact. They did have those errors. And certainly, again, not everyone was as strong on racial justice as they should have been, but I was pleasantly surprised. Having expected that it was going to be bad, to be pleasantly surprised that it was good a lot of the time, that was quite a good thing.

SMITH: Yeah. You know, Tim, some of the reviews of your book — and there have been a number of really excellent reviews of your book since it’s come out — have said that the book has surprises in it. And I think I’ve mentioned a few of them. You’ve debunk some stereotypes. From your point of view, what were you wanting people to see? Wanting people to get when they read the book? Can that be reduced to an idea or a couple of ideas?

PADGETT: Oh, it’s probably. I think that a title that I toyed with for a bit was that we’re not the monsters you think we are. And that one of the things I wanted to be able to say is, I think I said at one point in the conclusion, is that if you want to create an argument that evangelicals were xenophobic, that they were unhinged patriots, nationalists even, that they didn’t care about the implications of war and atomic warfare and obsessed with eschatology, you can build a very strong case, but you have to be selective. You have to ignore that while there’s some people who went overboard under this or that situation, a lot of others didn’t. And many times the very people who went overboard on one issue or another, were also critics of that stereotype in their own way.

There’s questions about the evangelicals and the state of Israel, and that it’s a little bit more complicated than the first impression might be. Early on in the 1930s and so on, many of the dispensationalists, they had a very high view of a future Israel, but they were very anti-Zionist at the same time. And then some of the people who with once the state of Israel came to be, many of them were very supportive, like a Moody Monthly, in particular, was just very supportive consistently of the state of Israel. But they also included in their voices that spoke against that trend. So they weren’t using blinkers. They were willing to countenance ideas that didn’t fit their pattern. And I think the atomic warfare I think was something that was very interesting because so much of when you talk about eschatology, some of the scholars talking about evangelicals, they seem to think that evangelicals are as heedless of the danger. Whereas one of the things I cited was a sermon preached by Wilbur Smith in 1945, in October of 1945, just weeks after the bomb had been dropped. And this was no, oh, it’s okay, nuke them all and let God sort them out. This was, we are grateful that the war is over, but oh my goodness, what have we done? The Pandora’s box. There was consistently that attitude, that grateful for the deterrent the nuclear weapon supplied, but also terrified as to what it could mean. They knew full well what a nuclear war could look like. There was one radio broadcast by Karl Henry in 1952 or 1953 where he was going on for quite some time about what it would mean to human civilization if there were to be a nuclear exchange. Roving bands of, you know, nomads is basically all he said that we’d be left with.

SMITH: Tim, I don’t want to go too inside baseball here, but I saw a lot of the names in your book there were sort of the mythic to me, almost legendary to me. You mentioned Wilbur Smith, for example. Taught at Fuller, taught at Moody, was at our Hope Magazine was kind of a well0known figure among evangelicals. Karl Henry, some people called him sort of the indispensable man of the evangelical movement. And our friend Greg Thornbury at the Kings College has written a biography of him recently. You mentioned Francis Shaffer, you’ve mentioned others. Nelson Bell, who was Billy Graham’s father-in-law and helped found both WORLD Magazine and Christianity Today.


SMITH: So, I mean, these are just folks that I’ve known who they were, at least vaguely about them, over the years. I’m just wondering, as you wrote this book, was there any character that sorta stood out for you as being either as a stylist or as a thinker that maybe we forgotten today or maybe did you have confirmed your views of someone like a Karl Henry?

PADGETT: Right. I mean, I would say that definitely Karl Henry is the one who I’ve come to appreciate the most throughout this project. Before I started working on it, I had a basic understanding of him, but I ended up going through his papers, in Chicago at Trinity. And you see these letters and this is a guy who had his hand in everything and he kept everything, which as a researcher was a little bit problematic because there was so much to go through. But he was involved in all sorts of factors. He was involved in schools. This is a guy with two earn PhDs. But I think I remember, I don’t know if I put it in the book, but this is a guy who could have this high level philosophical, theological discussion, but when he would preach sermons, he’d give an altar call. He really cared for people. And that was something important. And you just see that Christianity Today, during the time that I studied his works there, the depth of his thoughts. His careful thought, his willingness to listen to alternatives, to do the research, to do the hard, hard work. I think a chapter in his autobiography he was referred to is a workaholics vacation or something like that. The guy worked very, very hard.

And Francis Shaffer, I’ve definitely a fan of for many years since I was a child. My parents followed him for quite some time and just seeing his, again, his care. This is someone who I went through his papers in North Carolina and again just the personalness of it. This was not just abstract principles. Most of what I got from him were from personal letters. And sometimes those personal letters are to other evangelical luminaries, but sometimes it was just to people who asked questions, asked questions about war, asked questions about race, asked questions about all sorts of things.

And some of these others… L. Nelson Bell, again, just this is someone who was a medical missionary in China, helps to found Southern Presbyterian Journal, which you know, becomes, as you said, WORLD Magazine and also helps to found Christianity Today. And he was interested in all sorts of things. A guy with some rough edges. When he talked about atomic warfare, his analysis was a little callous at times, but he was well aware… he spoke of atomic weapons as basically just big bombs, but he wasn’t doing so in a naive way. He was saying it that they were just big bombs because noting how much destruction had come from conventional bombs. So he wasn’t naive about things. One thing that I was very fascinated by was that for most of these magazines there was this interchange of ideas, of writers, of editors. As I already mentioned, L. Nelson Bell, but Karl Henry shows up in several of these magazines. Francis Shaffer shows up in several these magazines. Billy Graham shows up in several, and there was this exchange between particularly between Our Hope, Eternity, Christianity Today, Moody Monthly, and Southern Presbyterian Journal. They tended to have lots of friends, to have good relationships with another.

SMITH: Well, you know, Tim, as we’re sort of winding down our conversation here, I can’t resist asking a question about lessons for today. I forget, it may have been Mark Twain. I don’t remember if that’s the right attribution, but he said history doesn’t repeat itself, but it rhymes. And we live in a time of war today. We live in a time when evangelicals are trying to make their voices heard in the public square. If you were a consultant to evangelicals who were wanting to speak into this cultural moment in a helpful biblical way, would it look like what it looks like now? What should we be doing different?

PADGETT: Well, I would say what we should do is keep your eyes on the prize, keep your eyes on the goal. And in this particular case, keep your eyes on the Lord. That the thing that I think that enabled these writers to stay consistent throughout complex situations is they kept first things first. And so they were able to say in 1937, in 1938, that the Soviet Union was a horrible tyrannical regime, yet also a couple of years later, say, we need to support the Soviet Union in the fight against Nazism. And the same complaints that they had — and this is something I did put in the book — is the same complaints that they had in 1968 when the Russians went into Prague and the Prague Spring, the brief uprising, that was the same complaint that they’d made 30 years earlier when the Germans had gone into Prague. And that is that it was about oppression. It was about a degradation of image bearers of God, and that tyranny needs to be opposed. And that you don’t put your trust in any sort of prince of whatever sort.

SMITH: So it sounds to me, and I don’t want to put words in your mouth, Tim, but as Christians, we should stand for the gospel. We should stand for the good, the true, and the beautiful, even if it is unpopular the moment because some future Tim Padgett will look at us and judge us either well or harshly based on how well we did that.

PADGETT: I think that yes, keeping focus on there and that means sometimes offering support where support is warranted, but also that doesn’t mean that you can’t offer criticism at the same time. If there’s a political leader who you’re unwilling to criticize and unwilling to say this is wrong, then your perspective is wrong. And I think that that’s the key thing we need to have his perspective. The other perspective to have here is that we’re going to make mistakes because sometimes these guys made mistakes in their analysis of things and we’re going to make those same mistakes, too. And we need to, again, be humble enough to admit that we could make mistakes, but be bold enough to make the mistake, to be bold enough to say what we think is right even if it turns out later that we were wrong.

SMITH: Tim, you close your book with a quote from Karl Henry, the man that we just talked about a few moments ago. It was from a speech that he gave in 1979 and it was called The Priorities of the Eighties was the name of that speech. It’s kind of interesting. We still write those kinds of speeches and write those kinds of articles today. You know, what to look for in 2020 or that kind of thing. So it’s interesting. But he said this, “I’m bullish on America compared to some of the alternatives, but I’m also bearish when I read the word of God and measure it to the contemporary drift.” And then from that quote, you say —you, Tim Padgett say, “Evangelical loyalty to their earthly citizenship was tempered by their reliance on divinely established standards of human morality and trumped by their abiding fealty to their heavenly citizenship.” 

It sounds to me that you are kind of issuing a benediction on these evangelical writers that you say that at the end of the day, while they were vitally concerned with what was going on, they never lost sight of the fact that they were indeed citizens of a heavenly kingdom and not an earthly kingdom.

PADGETT: Right. Yeah. I mean, I think that that just goes back to what I was saying earlier about them having perspective. It’s like the image of Peter walking into the water with Christ. When he looked at Christ, he was where he needed to be. But when he looked at the waves around him, he lost his place. And I think that needs to be our attitude, that we need to be able to say it is great that here in America we have religious freedom. It’s great that we have prosperity. It’s great that we have these things. And compared to some of the other things in the other nations of the world, some of the same nations that these guys were criticizing, you see some rising oppression in China and you see the same sort of thing in Russia and several other places that we need to be able to say, yeah, America is better than that. Our present situation is better than that, but at the time we need to hold onto the right perspective that ultimately the judge is not are we better than the Russians? Are we better than the Chinese or whoever you want to fill in the blank with. But how do we compare to what God has for us? And continue to strive for that. And I think that gives us a realism, an ability to engage with the world as it really is, both with outside nations and also with ourselves. But also helps us to be hopeful. That we don’t give up hope. We don’t give up our optimism that in the end, we’ve read the end of the book. I don’t mean the end of my book, the end of God’s book, the book of Revelation, God wins in the end and that is our ultimate goal and that’s where the all the emphasis on eschatology I think is so great is because it reminds us that God wins. And that is where our hope is and it’s not in any particular nation.

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