Thy Kingdom Come

  • by Randall Balmer
  • Narrated by Jeff Woodman
  • 7 hrs and 0 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

For much of American history, evangelicalism was aligned with progressive political causes: nineteenth-century evangelicals fought for the abolition of slavery, universal suffrage, and public education. But contemporary conservative activists have defaulted on this majestic legacy, embracing instead an agenda virtually indistinguishable from the Republican Party platform. Abortion, gay marriage, public education: the Religious Right is fighting, and winning, some of the most important political battles of the twenty-first century. How has evangelical Christianity become so entrenched in partisan politics?Randall Balmer is both an evangelical Christian and a historian of American religion. Struggling to reconcile the contemporary state of evangelical faith in America with its proud tradition of progressivism, Balmer has headed to the frontlines of some of the most powerful and controversial organizations tied to the Religious Right.Deftly combining ethnographic research, theological reflections, and historical context, Balmer laments the trivialization of Christianity, and offers a rallying cry for liberal Christians to reclaim the noblest traditions of their faith.

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What the Critics Say

"With both scholarly credibility and popular stature as an expert, [Balmer's] professional success allows him to write a polemical book that takes some risks." (Publishers Weekly)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Historical Reality

This book is well worth the read. It attempts (and I believe rather successfully) to point out how the conservative right wing Republican Party has appropriated and groundlessly hijacked the name, evangelical. In my opinion it points out the areas in which right-wing conservatives have inappropriately attempted to blend religion with politics and governmental policy. These include tax structure, attacks on public education, and the supposed rallying cry, abortion.

As a church historian Balmer points out the proud legacy of evangelicals in the 19th century. As active progressives, they worked against slavery and other cultural inequities from a position of being unaligned with the government. It is Balmer's point at the First Amendment is the greatest gift the founding fathers could have given religion in the US. This separation however is coming under attack as right-wing conservative "evangelicals" attempt to institutionalize one moral perspective on the legislation of this country.

Well written and engaging, this book points out the inconsistencies between the "reinterpreted" history that conservatives want to claim and the actual reality of what evangelicals were involved with in reality.

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- Cliff J

A critique from within....

This is a refreshing book, in that it reveals the existence of "evangelical christians" who don't consider themselves part of the "religious right." Balmer describes the three decade long merging of the religious right with the Republican Party as a means to gain governmental power and support for their brand of religion.
He then reviews the history of state establishments of religion, and why the first amendment was added to the Constitution as part of the Bill of Rights. He argues that "freedom of religion" has been good for religion; while other countries, with established religions, see their religions withering away.
His book, among other things, is a call to evangelicals to reject the leadership of the religious right, and their attempts to "establish" their religion as the "official" one for the United States.
Balmer explains so much that just didn't make sense to me before. I recommend the book for evangelicals, and for anyone who has been concerned by the push, in recent years, to eliminate "separation of church and state."
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- David

Book Details

  • Release Date: 07-07-2006
  • Publisher: HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books