Christian America and the Kingdom of God

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University of Illinois Press, Jul 24, 2009 - History - 232 pages
4 Reviews
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._x000B__x000B_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._x000B__x000B_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._x000B__x000B_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.

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Review: Christian America and the Kingdom of God

User Review  - Goodreads

One of my all-time favorites. When I think about how modern Christianity abuses the original movement, I refer to this book. Read full review

Review: Christian America and the Kingdom of God

User Review  - Goodreads

Though book could have been organized a little better (shorter chapters, perhaps?), I really learned a lot by reading this book. Hughes articulated thoughts brewing in my head and also left me with some more questions as to our duties as disciples in America. Read full review


Getting Our Bearings
1 Christian America As Gods Chosen People
2 The Witness of the Hebrew Bible
3 The Witness of the New Testament
4 Why Do We Think of America as a Christian Nation?
From the Scopes Trial to George W Bush

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About the author (2009)

RICHARD T. HUGHES is Distinguished Professor of Religion at Pepperdine University. He has published many books, including Models for Christian Higher Education, Proclaim Peace, Reviving the Ancient Faith, The Primitive Church in the Modern World, and The American Quest for the Primitive Church, among other titles, and his numerous articles have appeared in various scholarly journals.

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