mccormick


bookshelf

Our Great Big American God by Matthew Paul Turner

God and country. Take a drive around the highways of America and within minutes you can spot a bumper sticker or two that proclaims love for God and country. On my commute, my wife and I would play a game: who could spot the first “in not of this world” bumper sticker. She usually wins within the first three miles.

In the United States, religion and patriotism are two ends of the same stick. It is unfathomable to be one but not the other. Can you be a patriotic atheist?

All Americans have a complicated relationship with religion, not just the religious or non-religious. Though I wholeheartedly believe that the United States is not a “Christian nation,” religion definitely impacts everyday matters in America.

I picked up Our Great Big American God via a recommendation from a colleague after discussing the role of Christianity in culture. The book is great at explaining the theology of certain groups throughout American history, starting with the Puritans and ending with the Moral Majority. Each group left significant on America, however, the lasting impacts were not really discussed in the book. I guess I was looking for more of an outsider’s view of Christianity in American history.

Additionally, I felt the author tried to throw in some wit here and there and it typically fell flat. At times he would address God like an independent figure and other times treat God like a figment of the collective’s imagination. All in all, it felt disjointed.

The book is good with lots of resources, it just did not fit my taste. I'm now more interested in the resources he used rather than this book.