Metaxas’s concern for his country is admirable. If You Can Keep It raises important questions. What kind of republic did the founders want to create? What role does history play in the preservation of the American republic today? How should we understand patriotism in a world that includes a growing number of critics who are disillusioned with some of the directions our country has taken?
Again, these are all good questions. Unfortunately, Metaxas does a very poor job of using American history to answer them. This book is filled with historical errors of both fact and interpretation. It also has serious theological problems, particularly in the way it conflates American history and the kingdom of God. Frankly, this book is an intellectual mess. Metaxas’s entire argument about the current state of the American republic is based on an incredibly weak and faulty historical and theological foundation. It is an example of how not to use the past to make an argument in the present and serves as yet another example of what historian Mark Noll has described as the “scandal of the evangelical mind.”
Over the course of the next several days I will offer my thoughts on this book here at The Way of Improvement Leads Home. Stay tuned for additional posts.
Tuesday, July 5, 2016
Fea on Metaxas' new "Christian Nation" book.
See John Fea on Eric Metaxas' venture into this territory here. A taste: