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The Search for Christian America

April 5, 2011

Peter Nenadov at The Gospel Coalition interviews Mark Noll on the longview of evangelical alliances.  Noll is one of the authors of The Search for Christian America and says that developments in the past 25 to 30 years reveal a healthier understanding of American history and public engagement within evangelicalism:

The good news is that many are doing serious work in theology and biblical studies without an unhealthy allegiance to a particular political agenda. All-out patriotism has an idolatrous potential to it, and many within and outside of evangelicalism have highlighted the disastrous consequences of Christianity driven by the pursuit of political power rather than motivated by the proclamation of the gospel. As a result, evangelicals are not only speaking against abortion, but also speaking about the needs of the fatherless. And, as The Gospel Coalition is seeking to do, there is a willingness to focus primarily on the gospel and find unity in it, not in getting someone elected to political office.

The bad news is that nonsense is also alive and well. There are many who still think Jefferson and Washington were evangelicals. And many still take their cues from talk radio, rather than the Bible or more serious works of history. So there are encouraging signs and developments within evangelicalism, but the popular distortions are still with us. As George Marsden commented on the book, “The Search for Christian America has sold its thousands, but others have sold their millions.”

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From → Culture, History

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