Karl Martin Publishes Essay in Fides et Historia

Karl Martin photo

Dr. Karl Martin's essay, "Apocalyptic Providentialism in the Historical Narratives of Herbert W. Armstrong" is in the current issue of Fides et Historia

The essay argues that the historical narratives of Herbert W. Armstrong (1892-1986), the founder of the Worldwide Church of God, follow the pattern of apocalyptic providentialism by presenting the Bible as a coded book holding the key to understanding the identity and destiny of contemporary nation-states, especially the United States. By employing apocalyptic providentialism, Armstrong was able to maintain a sacred destiny for Anglo-American-Israelites in the United States during a period of perceived national decline.

He did so by delaying the final ascendency of Anglo-American-Israelites until the coming age that he called the Wonderful World Tomorrow. Armstrong’s narrative identifies him as a bourgeois nationalist as the term is used by David W. Noble. That is, Armstrong remained committed to the nation-state as a natural (indeed, sacred) space as the elites in his society shifted to a belief in the realm of international capitalism as sacred in the years following World War II. In doing so, Armstrong  continued a pattern of American writing that maintained a vision of a Christian America with a sacred destiny.