In the Name of God tells the story of two of the most iconic figures of national lore, George W. Truett and J. Frank Norris, who dominated much of the first half of twentieth century ecclesiology and culture not just in Fort Worth and Dallas but in the whole of America. Norris, at the First Baptist Church in Fort Worth, and Truett, at the First Baptist Church in Dallas lived lives of conflict and controversy with each other for decades. Both led the largest churches in the world in the 1920s and 1930s. Both shot and killed a man, one by accident and the other in self-defense. This work provides a virtual panoply of intrigue, espionage, confrontation, manipulation, plotting, scheming, and even blackmail. All in God’s name.
This is a Logos Reader Edition. Learn more.
In this carefully researched, thoughtfully framed, and beautifully written work, O.S. Hawkins has given us a fresh and illuminating look at two shaping figures in Baptist life and American Christianity during the first half of the twentieth century. Even for those who think they are familiar with these stories or who have an overview of Baptist life during this time period, In the Name of God will introduce new observations and connections that will provide eye-opening insights into the legendary lives of George W. Truett and J. Frank Norris. Truett, the ubiquitous leader and stately orator, and Norris, the fiery fundamentalist and Texas tornado, overlapped in so many contexts, yet understood their callings and purposes ever so differently. The first half of this book reads like a page-turning novel; the second half of the book offers a hermeneutical guide to the diverse and distinctive contributions of Truett and Norris, as well as to the longer-term implications of their approaches to life and ministry. Even if historians should quibble over some of the interpretive explanations offered, this book will be fascinating reading for all who are interested in twentieth-century religious movements and American culture, and will be essential reading for anyone interested in the various trajectories that Baptist life has taken in recent decades.
—David S. Dockery, distinguished professor of theology, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and president, International Alliance for Christian Education
Take two titanic personalities, two great cities, two famous pulpits, and two of the largest churches in the world--and then add two men shot dead, two rival visions of Christianity, two lasting legacies, and one earth-shaking feud, and you have O. S. Hawkins' book, In the Name of God. This is one of the most fascinating stories of our time, written by the one man who has a claim upon the entire story. It is incredibly well told and tremendously relevant. I recommend it eagerly.
—R. Albert Mohler Jr., president, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
This book by O. S. Hawkins, a Texas legend in his own right, is a marvelous read. It is well-researched, historically conversant, and written by a biographer who has a keen, almost barrel-aged, understanding of the human soul and psyche. Hawkins is close to his subjects in that he clearly honors and, in some ways, reveres them. However, his study of Truett and Norris is never hagiographic. It presents each man in full color, and works in colorful and arresting portraits of their peers, Baptist titans like L. R. Scarborough, W. A. Criswell, and more. In the Name of God is indeed clear-eyed about how both Truett and Norris failed in different ways. The study of two contrasting styles yields much wisdom in the gleaning, and reminds this reviewer of the outstanding juxtaposition of Hitler and Churchill by elite biographer Andrew Roberts. In sum, I regard this work with considerable respect and interest. It is academic and well-grounded in historical disputation but eminently readable and arresting. I learned numerous details from each man's career, and I found the material edifying and engrossing. Rehabilitating J. Frank Norris to some degree is a job for which there are few takers, but Hawkins succeeds in that task, and thus performs a service to the historical guild. All in all, In the Name of God is a rich study, and should make a real contribution to the conversation over this most vaunted of Baptist eras.
—Owen Strachan, associate professor of Christian theology, Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
In the Logos Reader Edition, this volume is enhanced to best fit the content. Scripture references are hand-tagged to integrate with powerful functionality in Logos Bible Software. Page milestones and internal citation tagging provide accurate points of reference. Search important words across resources to find exactly what you’re looking for. Take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive tools for reading digital content are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.