Christian America and the Kingdom of God

ISBN-10: 0252032853
ISBN-13: 9780252032851
Edition: 2009
List price: $30.95
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Description: The idea of the United States as a Christian nation is a powerful, seductive, and potentially destructive theme in American life, culture, and politics. Many fundamentalist and evangelical leaders routinely promote this notion, and millions of  More...

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Book details

List price: $30.95
Copyright year: 2009
Publisher: University of Illinois Press
Publication date: 6/25/2009
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 232
Size: 6.25" wide x 9.50" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.144
Language: English

The idea of the United States as a Christian nation is a powerful, seductive, and potentially destructive theme in American life, culture, and politics. Many fundamentalist and evangelical leaders routinely promote this notion, and millions of Americans simply assume the Christian character of the United States. And yet, as Richard T. Hughes reveals in this powerful book, the biblical vision of the "kingdom of God" stands at odds with the values and actions of an American empire that sanctions war instead of peace, promotes dominance and oppression instead of reconciliation, and exalts wealth and power instead of justice for the poor and needy. With conviction and careful consideration, Hughes reviews the myth of Christian America from its earliest history in the founding of the republic to the present day. Extensively analyzing the Old and New Testaments, Hughes provides a solid, scripturally-based explanation of the kingdom of God--a kingdom defined by love, peace, patience, and generosity. Throughout American history, however, this concept has been appropriated by religious and political leaders and distorted into a messianic nationalism that champions the United States as God's "chosen nation" and bears little resemblance to the teachings of Jesus. Pointing to a systemic biblical and theological illiteracy running rampant in the United States, Hughes investigates the reasons why so many Americans think of the United States as a Christian nation despite the Constitution's outright prohibition against establishing any national religion by law or coercion. He traces the development of fundamentalist Christianity throughout American history, noting especially the increased power and widespread influence of fundamentalism at the dawn of the twenty-first century, embodied and enacted by the administration of President George W. Bush and America's reaction to the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. Timely and provocative, Christian America and the Kingdom of God illuminates the devastating irony of a "Christian America" that so often behaves in unchristian ways.

Brian D. McLaren is a prominent, controversial evangelical pastor. He was recognized as one of Time magazine's "25 Most Influential Evangelicals in America" in 2005, and is the founding pastor of Cedar Ridge Community Church in Spencerville, Maryland. Born in 1956, Brian McLaren graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park, with BA and MA degrees in English. After several years of teaching English and consulting in higher education, he left academia in 1986 to become the founding pastor of Cedar Ridge Community Church, a nondenominational church in the Baltimore-Washington region. Many of the books that McLaren has authored, including the "A New Kind of Christian" trilogy, deal with Christianity in the context of the cultural shift towards a new emerging church movement.

Foreword
Acknowledgments
Introduction: Getting Our Bearings
Christian American As God's Chosen People
The Witness of the Hebrew Bible
The Witness of the New Testament
Why Do We Think of America as a Christian Nation?
A Fundamentalist Vision for Christian America: From the Scopes Trial to George W. Bush
Notes
Index

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