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The Search for Christian America

4.21  ·  Rating Details ·  81 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
"The Search for Christian America" explores key questions raised by the movement asserting the Christian heritage of the U.S. and calling for its recovery. Through careful historical and contemporary analysis, the authors address such issues as: how much Christian action is required to make a whole society Christian; Puritan New England as case study; Christian principles ...more
Paperback, 200 pages
Published June 1st 1989 by Helmers & Howard Publishers (first published 1983)
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Robert Smith
Dec 09, 2011 Robert Smith rated it liked it
Shelves: history
This book addresses some key issues about the church in America. Is it really biblical or is it a combination of doctrine, Bible and patriotism? It also addresses and stresses the big problem of America being the New Jerusalem. Most of the book is dedicated to showing that America is not the New Jerusalem and falls far short. It dragged in some parts but overall it is worth the read. It is an eye opener for people who were born with the idea that America was a Christian nation and founded as suc ...more
Steven Wedgeworth
Jan 23, 2012 Steven Wedgeworth rated it liked it
While there are some helpful correctives to the popular "Christian America" notion, the authors fail to fully define and examine what is meant by the description. They exhibit a lack of familiarity with the classical Protestant understanding of the relationship between religion and politics, and thus continually use a sort of anabaptist framework. They don't want a full-blown anabaptist settlement, and thus they offer a sort of compromised secularism in its place. Much more should be said.
Matt Ely
Oct 29, 2014 Matt Ely rated it really liked it
Shelves: theology, history
Up front I'll say this is a little surreal. The book was written by a group of evangelicals during the Reagan administration, so some of the language seems dated and the concerns a little passe. For example, who is this Jerry Falwell fellow they keep talking about??? (Jk)

Okay, aside from that the book really does have a lot to offer. It's biggest contribution is probably tracing the way that Christian language changed and adapted over time, legitimizing the US government retrospectively, instead
...more
Cherise
Feb 13, 2012 Cherise rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history, christianity
The authors ( Three historians and professors ) ask a series of crucial questions, taking both a historical and contemporary approach, inductively concluding that the United States was not and is not a “Christian Nation.” They point out that even the idea of a Christian nation is ambiguous, but take the meaning “Christian Nation” throughout the book as a state of society reflecting the ideals presented in scripture. The authors address the problem with the assumption of America being a ‘Christia ...more
Coyle
Sep 02, 2009 Coyle rated it really liked it
Not quite as good as I was hoping for, given the all-star writing team. The authors spend too much time repeating the same point: that America is not the New Jerusalem. Of course, that's a very important point that should be emphasized...
Overall, though, the book raises important questions: are we mixing patriotism with Christianity? Are we really applying Biblical principles when we make arguments about our "Christian" history as a nation? Have we come to the point where we've confused the chur
...more
Courtney Huskisson
Apr 07, 2015 Courtney Huskisson rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
Noll's basic thesis is a warning to Christians about reading their theology back into the thinking of the founding fathers. Though the puritans desired a theocracy, this ideology broke down in the colonies and was not the main goal for the founding of America. In fact, many of the founding fathers were deists rather than theist. Noll debunks the idea of a 'Christian Nation' particularly in regards to a 'Christian America'.
jeremy
Aug 05, 2007 jeremy rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: patriots
Shelves: fightthepower
Three historians present the facts about the Christian influence on the establishment of America. Fair, critical and probably not the conclusion that religious people or presidents who say "take America back" want to hear.
(p.s. I am no so sure that Blacks and women want to take America back to 1776.)
Don
May 17, 2007 Don rated it really liked it
Talbot Course: Reformation and Modern Theology

"The purpose of this book is to help evangelical Christians learn to think historically. The final chapter should be required reading for all Christian scholars and students...An outstanding book." - Ronald Wells in Christian Scholars Review
Bjones
Oct 20, 2013 Bjones rated it really liked it
A must read for all evangelicals in need of an American Christianity history lesson.
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Mark A. Noll (born 1946), Francis A. McAnaney Professor of History at the University of Notre Dame, is a progressive evangelical Christian scholar. In 2005, Noll was named by Time Magazine as one of the twenty-five most influential evangelicals in America. Noll is a prolific author and many of his books have earned considerable acclaim within the academic community. The Scandal of the Evangelical ...more
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