Faltering Christian Soldiers

Eerdmans justly enjoys a reputation as one of America's leading Christian publishers; however, as modern Christianity itself becomes increasingly fragmented and secularized, publishing books that try to represent the whole of it, as these two volumes do, becomes increasingly problematic. Though the United States has never been united by a single communion or creed, until quite recently it did enjoy near unanimity on such fundamental doctrines as the Fatherhood of God and on the universal applicability of the Golden Rule and the Ten Commandments. "We are a Christian people," affirmed the Supreme Court in 1931. As these two works show, that spiritual consensus is crumbling. Now mention of God the Father brings anathemas from feminist theologians, while leading ministers refuse to "impose" any values—even those from the top of Sinai—on anyone.

A few of the contributors to Eerdmans' Handbook to Christianity in America are disturbed by the spiritual disintegration of the nation: one writer laments that in the 60's the churches "took up the chorus of selfism"; another perceives that modem "rights" activists have typically had "no theology at all." But many of them laud the new "liberation" movements, "the new pluralism" with its "moving away from an emphasis on the differences between Christianity and...

Join now to access the full article and gain access to other exclusive features.

Get Started

Already a member? Sign in here