Richard Gamble has written a blistering review of The American Patriot’s Bible. Gamble is dead-on in his thoughts about evangelicals, civil religion, and the abuse of both the Bible and American history among so many politically conservative evangelicals, including not a few Southern Baptists. Almost every semester I have a student or two in my Baptist history classes who argue that America is a Christian nation, the notion of a free church in a free state is a pagan concept, etc. One day a student complained in another professor’s class that I was teaching that church and state should be separate. He asked my colleague what he thought. The professor said that he agreed with me because “our people” tend to get drowned in “Christian nations.” Amen!
For what it’s worth, the wife of a good friend of mine was horrified to receive a free copy of this book at an event during the SBC Annual Meeting in Louisville. She saw it as a key commentary on why Southern Baptists need a Great Commission Resurgence–because too many of us have become distracted by a desire to return America to her “Christian roots” (among other distractions) rather than laboring for the sake of the gospel so that more Americans (and people from every tribe, tongue, and nation) will become Christians. I agree 100%.
(I would also recommend you read Gamble’s fantastic book The War for Righteousness: Progressive Christianity, the Great War, and the Rise of the Messianic Nation. Conservatives are not the only one who use Christian jargon and spurious history to advance a political agenda.)