Many books taking on the subject of Christian nationalism identify, and rightly so, the idolatry, racism, and tribalism of the movement, but few theologically, academically, historically, and charitably dismantle the movement as well as Paul D. Miller, does in The Religion of American Greatness. But, dismantling Christian nationalism was not his sole goal in writing the book--he hopes his book assists Christians with being better witnesses.
Christian nationalism is not a new phenomenon. Nor is it a fringe element of the Republican party. In The Flag and the Cross professors Philip Gorski and Samuel Perry detail the history of Christian nationalism dating back to the 1600s, define its core beliefs, how it has adapted over the centuries, and suggest ways Americans can stop this substantial threat to American democracy.
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.
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 140 pages, author Randall Balmer traces the roots of the Religious Right and its wedding to the Republican party from the 1830s through the 1970s before linking the movement to its current iteration in the 21st century.
The church, specifically the American church in the context of Postcards from Babylon, has been seduced by the allure of power and influence. This is not a new phenomenon, but has been going on for hundreds of years. The intertwining of faith and empire has blinded our eyes to the teachings of the Bible that calls the church to be a counter-cultural, prophetic voice against violence.
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