Activity

  • M Taylor posted an update 2 months, 4 weeks ago

    “The Religion Of American Greatness” by Paul Miller is a great read for anyone interested in evaluating the concept of American nationalism. The author appears to be a conservative evangelical and has concerns on where extreme nationalism can take our wonderful (and in my view, the best) country. Around 300 pages, the author addresses many topics, including:

    – White evangelicals can be ignorant about the rest of the country.

    – How American nationalism grew after the end after the Cold War.

    – Nationalism vs. Patriotism.

    – Potential dangers of an overly nationalistic approach (i.e., pressuring others to think, act, etc. the way you do – too much conformity and not enough independent thought). For example, I got into a discussion a group of fellow Christians about the 2016 presidential election about who would win the Republican nomination. While we all stated we would not vote for Donald Trump during the Republican primary (I am a registered independent), I made the “mistake” of saying that I thought that he, although certainly not in my top 10 choice of Republican candidates, had the best chance of beating Hillary Clinton. I said that because compared to decades ago, our country now places much more priority on economic issues as opposed to values/moral issues. Needless to say, they did not like my comment and independent thought.

    – Having a love of country (allowing others to think differently) over a love of nationalism (mindless conformity).

    – Summary of the definition of nationalism.

    – Instead of forcing a uniform culture, our country has the obligation to protect the various cultures (including those of majority and minority populations) within our country.

    – Problems with nationalism.

    – Attempts by Christians to use the Bible to promote a nationalistic approach to our country. For those who try to do this, remember Judas Iscariot and how he futilely tried to make Jesus Christ a political leader while Jesus had a much more important goal – God’s kingdom.

    – The futility of trying to compare American with Israel.

    – The potential for nationalism to become idolatrous – for example, nationalism can become a substitute religion for Christianity.

    – Observations about the “Christian Right”.

    After reading the book, here’s what I like:

    – Covers a wide variety of relevant topics relating to American nationalism.

    – The author professes to be a conservative Christian who is conservative on moral and economic issues.

    – The author does not resort to name calling and is fair in his criticisms and views on nationalism and liberalism.

    – Good flow from chapter to chapter.

    – Helpful bibliography for further reading.

    – While an academic read, the book is relatively easy to read and follow.

    – Good scriptural index used by the author to reinforce his biblical beliefs on various issues, whether or not you agree with him.

    Overall, a very good and timely read and recommended. I was given a review copy by IVP in exchange for a fair review and appreciate the opportunity.