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The Kingdom, the Power, and the Glory: American Evangelicals in an Age of Extremism (2023)

Tekijä: Tim Alberta

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
24411111,278 (4.35)5
An award-winning journalist follows up his New York Times bestseller American Carnage with this profoundly troubling portrait of the American evangelical movement in which he investigates the ways in which conservative Christians have pursued, exercised and often abused power in the name of securing this earthly kingdom.… (lisätietoja)
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    Losing Our Religion: An Altar Call for Evangelical America (tekijä: Russell Moore) (M_Clark)
    M_Clark: The Russel Moore and Tim Alberta books provide different perspectives on the same issue: the politicization of the evangelical movement. Moore is a main figure in Alberta's book.
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Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 9) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
Gets a bit repetitive, but manages to interesting throughout. ( )
  mariannedawnl | May 18, 2024 |
I’ve admired Tim Alberta’s work in the Atlantic for some time. I didn’t know a lot about Alberta’s personal life, especially his devotion to his religion and his knowledge of the Bible and the clerical world in general. I felt a bit like an interloper reading this book since I’ve not been a religious person since saying goodbye to the Catholic schools of my youth. One thing about this book is certain: critics can’t claim the Alberta is a “woke” lefty non-believing journalist out to do a hit job on the corrupt evangelical world. The man could step into a pulpit of any church in America and preach a kick a….well, suffice it to say he knows what he’s talking about in his revelations about the seedy evangelical world. What struck me most is Alberta’s observation that the teachings of Jesus are the antithesis of the combative, take no prisoners attacks of so many of those on the religious right. Alberta’s statistics (from reputable sources) should give the evangelical world a wake up call to realizing that they are about one generation away from extinction. The only disappointment about this book is that the very people who need it most aren’t likely to pick it up. They wouldn’t want to be accused of being…..”woke.” ( )
  FormerEnglishTeacher | Apr 26, 2024 |
Superbly reported. Extremely timely and relevant. This is a thorough examination of how many in the American Church have lost their way and fed a habit of idolatry instead of keeping their focus on Jesus Christ. As a result, many who consider themselves evangelicals have helped Protestant organizations (churches, political organizations, universities, et al) amass great wealth and political power, all at the expense of their souls and what could have been harmony in the United States. ( )
  eg4209 | Apr 21, 2024 |
This book is eye-opening and terrifying. ( )
  auldhouse | Mar 20, 2024 |
Summary: A several years-long study of why much of the evangelical movement turned to hard right, nationalist politics, ignoring character and embracing the pursuit of power to enforce its vision of American greatness.

Tim Alberta, a writer for The Atlantic, who had written articles critical of the former president, was stunned in the summer of 2019 when his father, an evangelical pastor outside Detroit, died suddenly of a heart attack. What stunned him even more was that a number of people at his father’s funeral, instead of offering comfort and condolences, took him to task for what he had written. One, a family friend, left him a letter accusing him of being a traitor. Subsequently, conversations with his father’s successor, Chris Winans, told a tale of controversy during COVID over church closures, mask mandates and more. Winans watched many depart for a church down the road preaching a political gospel people wanted to hear instead of the counter-cultural gospel of Jesus Pastor Winans preached.

All this set Alberta on a cross-country quest to understand what was happening in much of American evangelicalism, from a tent church in the South, to the ministry of Robert Jeffress, to the campus of Liberty University. Alberta remains a faithful Christian and this book is not an exvangelical hatchet job. Much of the book allows leaders in their own words to talk about their embrace of an American greatness gospel, motivated by an idea of reclaiming a white vision of America in the 1950’s, even as boomers from that era began to die off and the actual population of the country became far more culturally diverse. He questions the flip-flop from the excoriation of Bill Clinton for his moral failures to the embrace of a president just as flawed, if not more so. He received no good answers, just the justification that the needs of the hour required such a man. Some interviewees expressed quiet reservations not reflected in their subsequent public rhetoric.

He also chronicles the stories of the wounded. Russell Moore was a former leader of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Church, a man of impeccable religious conservatism who nevertheless opposed the former president and also stood up against sexual abuse in the church against its executive leadership. He was forced out and left the denomination. David French, fought for religious liberty cases on university campuses and at one time wrote for the National Review. When he wrote against the former president, the threats became so bad, both he and his wife began carrying firearms. One of the most courageous was a Liberty University professor, popular with students being fired for not obeying the administration. He refused to resign, accept a severance package and sign a non-disclosure agreement. He offers an account of Rachael Denhollander, fighting for anti-abuse policies in the Southern Baptist Church while forced out of her own congregation.

He portrays his own father’s embrace of the culture wars and efforts to reclaim American greatness, and how the seeds that bore fruit in 2015 were sown many years earlier through Falwell’s Moral Majority and Ralph Reed’s Christian Coalition. Combine that with congregations nourished on talk radio and conservative cable news networks and you had a populace discipled, not by the gospel of Jesus but by the gospel of America. Instead of a vision for a global kingdom of God, what mattered was the kingdom of America. Instead of zeal for the greatness of God, it was zeal for the greatness of America. In short, what Alberta portrays is political idolatry in the guise of Christianity.

What’s troubling to see is people from rural pastors to Jerry Falwell, Jr., using this gospel to build their own kingdoms, drawing off people from other congregations with the lure of their false gospel. For some, there is power and glory in their nearness to earthly political power. And while all this is happening, many Gen Z children are heading for the exits, and many others as well.

Alberta concludes where he began, at the church his father once pastored. He’s heartened to find that, despite all the wounds, Chris Winans has persisted, pursuing a strategy of “pull, don’t push” with his people, offering sound teaching to make them question their own beliefs. The church had replaced its losses and was leaning into a vision of faithful presence in the culture rather than “owning the libs.” He entertains the hope, even as he wonders how this all will work out that this “hidden gospel,” hidden in quiet acts of everyday faithfulness will lead to a new revealing of Christ.

Jesus said we cannot believe in both God and Mammon. This is the kind of choice and the kind of divide that runs through the accounts of this book. I’m increasingly struck through recent reading that the draw of Mammon is the belief that it works. That seems the only justification people offer for embracing a political faith so opposite the teaching of scripture. What is not said is that in so doing we are saying that we don’t believe in the way of Jesus, the way of loving enemies, of expanding the reach of his rule to “sinners,” Samaritans, and even Gentiles, and walking the way of the cross. Are we willing to persist in what is foolish and weak, believing it reflects the power and wisdom of God?

Part of the challenge is that our attention, on social and news media, is on the gospel of Mammon. During his remarks at his father’s funeral, and in a recent interview, Alberta repeatedly offers the challenge that if we claim to place Jesus first, that we spend more time in scripture, in reading nourishing Christian books and taking in podcasts and sermons, than listening to the media of Mammon. Perhaps, in this season of Lent, fasting from this media and feasting on the word of God may be a start. Hopefully, it will remind us whose kingdom, power, and glory we are called to seek. ( )
  BobonBooks | Feb 28, 2024 |
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It was July 29, 2019 - the worst day of my life, though I didn't know that quite yet.

The traffic in downtown Washington D.C. was inching along. The mid-Atlantic humidity was sweating through the windows of my chauffeured car. I was running late and fighting to stay awake. For two weeks I'd been sprinting between television and radio studies up and down the East Coast, promoting my new book on the collapse of the post-George W. Bush Republican Party and the ascent of Donald Trump. -Prologue
Chris Winans was in trouble.

It was a frigid afternoon in February 2021, and Winans, the senior pastor of Cornerstone Evangelical Presbyterian Church, sat down across from me in a booth at the Brighton Bar and Grill. It's a comfortable little haunt on Main Street in my hometown, backing up to a wooden playground and a mill pond. But Winans didn't look comfortable. He looked panicked, even a big paranoid, glancing around him as we began to speak. Soon, I would understand why. -Chapter One: Brighton, Michigan
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An award-winning journalist follows up his New York Times bestseller American Carnage with this profoundly troubling portrait of the American evangelical movement in which he investigates the ways in which conservative Christians have pursued, exercised and often abused power in the name of securing this earthly kingdom.

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