Monday, December 28, 2009

"Rediscovering God in America" – Book Review









This is a review of the book, "Rediscovering God in America" by Newt Gingrich, with photography by Callista Gingrich.

I'm not able to give the glowing report I had originally hoped to give.  Here's why.

On page xviii is a statement by Gingrich which is not backed up with a quote from any Founder:

"'True religion' was any religion that cultivates the virtues necessary to the protection of liberty." 

The entire introductory portion of the book seems to support a Deistic foundation rather than a Christian foundation for our country.  Gingrich seems to think that, because the Founders supported religious liberty, then they must have had no specific faith of their own.  Some, of course, did not.  But later in the book one finds many quotes from our Founding Fathers which either directly praise Christian principles as basic, fundamental, vital, etc; or which quote from the Bible.  This belies the image of vague universalism which Gingrich seems to attribute to the Founders as a group.

However, the book does later provide nice religious mini-biographies of earlier American leaders, a good compilation of quotes, and some passable (though hardly stellar) photographs.  Collectively, these do show that faith has historically been welcomed in the public square and in government.  For that reason, this book can be a good addition to a Christian reference library.


I am required by law to notify you that I received a free copy of the book under review.  However, the book was given to me free and clear by Thomas Nelson before my review was posted, and it remains free to me regardless of whether my review was positive or negative.  Thomas Nelson's instructions to Review Bloggers encourage honest criticism, both positive and negative.  What I have written is my unbiased opinion, and it was not influenced in any way by the receipt of the free book in question.

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