In The Lost Soul of American Protestantism, D. G. Hart examines the historical origins of the idea that faith must be socially useful in order to be valuable. Through specific episodes in Presbyterian, Lutheran, and Reformed history, Hart presents a neglected form of Protestantism-confessionalism-as an alternative to prevailing religious theory. He deftly argues that the history of confessional Protestantism is vitally important to current discussions on the role of religion in American life, as it is more concerned with the prosperity of the community of believers than with the spiritual health of the nation as a whole. Hart suggests that, contrary to the legacy of revivalism, faith may be most vital and influential when it is not practical.
D. G. Hart is professor of church history and academic dean at Westminster Seminary in California.
Foreword Chapter 1: The American Way of Faith Chapter 2: Confessional Protestantism Chapter 3: Defining Conservatism Down Chapter 4: The Intolerance of Presbyterian Creeds Chapter 5: The Sectarianism of Reformed Polity Chapter 6: The Irrelevance of Lutheran Liturgy Conclusion: Confessional Protestantism and the Making of Hyphenated Americans