chapter  3
12 Pages

Didi Herman: 'Then I Saw a New Heaven and a New Earth': Thoughts on the Christian Right and the Problem of 'Backlash'

Finally, and crucially, I use the phrase "conservative, evangelical Protestantism," as do many others (Bruce 1984,4-8), to describe a specific set of religious beliefs that, largely, may be boiled down to two key tenets: (1) biblical inerrancy and (2) premillennial dispensationalism. Very simply, biblical inerrancy is the belief that the Christian testament and, to some extent, the Hebrew bible are to be taken literally as the word of God. The idea that these documents are to be read in their 'social context' or interpreted in light of changing values is an abomination. Premillennial dispensationalism is the eschatological position held by the majority of American conservative Protestants. It holds that the world will descend into chaos and war; that the true believers will be raptured to heaven; that the anti-Christ will rise and seek to take over the world (the Tribulation); that Christ will return to defeat him (Armageddon) and usher in the millennial (the thousand-year reign of Christians on earth); and that, at the end of the millennial, Satan will again rise and be defeated and earth will be replaced by heaven (which will be populated by Christ and the saints).4