Depending on the places you get your news or the social circles you run in the term Christian nationalism has a positive or negative connotation. With the explosion in conversation around the term since the January 6 insurrection, it is challenging to divorce the definition, good or bad, from today's context. This is where Taking America Back for God immensely helps. Sociologists Samuel Perry, (University of Oklahoma), and Andrew Whitehead, (Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis) draw primarily on data from the 2017 Baylor Religion Survey to provide a nuanced and constructive look at the term that has influenced American politics for decades.
For many Christians how we approach sex boils down to one statement - it should happen within the confines of marriage between a man and a women. While that is a good starting point Christian culture writ large has done an abdominal job of talking and teaching about sex within a Christian framework. Best-selling Christian books such as Every Man's Battle (4 million copies sold) and Love & Respect (2.2 million copies sold) promote devastating ideas such as sex as a need just for the husband, obligation sex, and seeing women's bodies as dangerous. Authors Shelia Wray Gregoire, her daughter Rebecca Gregoire Lindenbach, and Joanna Sawatsky have made it their life's work to correct that narrative.
Power of the sword versus power of the cross. Control of behavior versus transforming lives from the inside out. A tribal kingdom versus a universal kingdom. A tit-for-tat kingdom versus a returning evil with good kingdom. One set of characteristics describes a kingdom of the world while another details the distinct way of the kingdom of God. In The Myth of a Christian Nation author and pastor, Greg Boyd provides a strong scriptural foundation to repudiate that any nation on earth can be a Christian nation because any kingdom of the world is intrinsically opposed to the kingdom of God.
How did the Republican party and white evangelicals become synonymous? Has abortion always been the focus of the Republican party and white evangelicals? In a tight, accessible 100 pages, author Randall Balmer traces the roots of the Religious Right and its wedding to the Republican party from the 1830s through the 1970s and then links the movement to its current iteration in the 21st century.
Many American Christians have bifurcated their lives into the secular and the sacred. We have divorced divine meaning from our mundane tasks and everyday jobs. We have adopted the rhythms, beliefs, and postures of the world. As a result, there is little difference between how Christians and non-Christians live their lives. Americans of all ages are leaving the church while depression, hopelessness, and suicide continue to climb. Author and priest Tish Harrison Warren says it doesn't have to be this way.
Within many Christian and non-Christian circles there is an underlying assumption that technology will outpace humans; that we will unleash an evil or divine secret we were never meant to uncover. Author Tony Rienke says hogwash.
Few Christian books can integrate and appeal to Scripture without sounding preachy, pretentious, or perfunctory. Even more so when an author takes on a polarizing subject such as guns. And yet this is what Michael W. Austin's God and Guns in America excels at. Biblically rooted as well as logically sound, Austin's approachable writing style is like sitting with a friend telling you how and why they arrived at a conclusion - in this case, his view on guns/gun violence through a Christian lens.
For those wondering if the issue with policing is a couple of bad officers or if it is the system, 28-year law enforcement veteran Matthew Horace unequivocally paints a picture of a broken system in his memoir The Black and the Blue. Before critiquing the system, Horace unequivocally says he is a cop while also being unequivocally a black man. He has lived on both sides of a police gun.
In a previously curated article Jemar Tisby aptly recommends that white and Black Americans should commemorate Juneteenth differently. One of the ways non-Black Americans can commemorate the holiday is to learn about the history of Black people in America. On Juneteenth consists of a collection of six engrossing essays interlacing author Annette Gordon-Reed's memories from growing up in Jim Crow Conroe, TX as the first Black student in her elementary school with the complexities of American history, specifically Texan history, replete with its myths, legends, and truths.
What if the way most Americans understand democracy is fundamentally flawed? What if the vast majority of Christian views of human nature has blended with popular culture? What if this misunderstanding has resulted in idolatry and hubris? In We the Fallen People, author Robert Tracy McKenzie digs into the past for insight into our present political morass.