Randall Balmer’s book, “Thy Kingdom Come: How the Religious Right Distorts the Faith and Threatens America: An Evangelical Lament”, has been reviewed at Scott McKnight’s blog, The Jesus Creed.Â McKnight’s series ofÂ review posts is titled: The Case forÂ Liberal Evangelicals.
McKnight reviewsÂ chapters in theÂ book that are absolutelyÂ key to evangelicalÂ and faith discussion in the US.
Part One: Chapter 1 is about abortion, homosexuality, and the ruse of selective literalism.There are 65 comments under this chapter, and I am amazed at how hands on McKnight is with the commenters. I do believe bloggers set the tone for their guests, and having seen the flame wars, hatred, condemnation, scorn and ignorance on many conservativeÂ faith blogs, this is indeed a thought provoking, civil and challenging conversation.Â
McKnight and his commenters (including Balmer) maintain this tone through all six parts of the review.
Part Two: Does Christian entanglement in politics lead to Constantinianism?
37 comments under that post, that also don’t degenerate, maintaining what many of us long for, civil and respectful discussion.Â
Part Three: Education – the abandonment of the religious right to a public school system, losing the mutual understanding of fellow citizens. 100 comments under that topic and no comment disintegration, common to longer threads.
Part Four: Evolution or intelligent design, science or faith?Â 58 comments. Interesting to see what chapters in Balmers book generate wider input.
Part 5: Environmentalism? Where do you stand? Are you green, dark green, light green, or something else?Â 37 comments
Part 6:Â Balmer asks what has happened now that the Republicans have gained the power and now that the Religious Right has its biggest ever influence at the political level? This was a provocative section for me. Is what has happened (or not happened) an indication that the RR does not have enough power or that it has a slightly different agenda than Balmer suggests? Has the church lost it’s prophetic voice.Â 33 comments
The last chapter interests me as a Canadian simply because acquiesce and pursuit of political power is more of an issue Canadian evangelicalsÂ see occurring in Canada’s Religious Right also. People of faith in Canada are less likely to perceive environmentalism as a none issue, intelligent design, abandonment of public school and a mass exodus into home schooling for reasons Balmer outlines, aren’tÂ the kind of front burner issues they are in the US as yet.