Book Review: One Nation Under God

One Nation Under God:  His Rule Over Our Country, by Tony Evans

[Note:  This book was provided free of charge by Moody Publishers.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.]

I must admit that I was unfamiliar with the author’s writing, not least that this book was part of a large series that deals with the question of different levels of government and a sound biblical view of them [1].  This short book is a good introduction, I think, to the author’s work, and I was curious enough about the author’s other books that I will definitely seek to read more of them if they are available.  The author himself is the founder of an urban-based national ministry and serves as a pastor in Dallas, Texas, and this book manages to avoid many of the unfortunate dichotomies that hinders the adoption of more socially-minded practices among morally conservative denominations and churches because the social gospel is (largely correctly) associated with an embrace of immorality while this book’s embrace of justice comes with a healthy dose of respect and regard for the laws of God as well as the OT prophets, which is a message I can definitely approve of.

This slim volume, almost pocket-sized, is about 100 pages in length and contains four chapters between an introduction and conclusion.  The author moves from why a nation needs God (1) to a look at the relationship between God and government (2) that shows that government has limited functions and serves the interests of God (not the other way around).  After this the author looks at the connection between a nation and freedom (3) and demonstrates that without righteousness there will be no freedom from a variety of social ills.  Finally, the author discusses the need for biblical justice (4), and unlike a great many writers who attempt this sort of discussion, he appears to have a good idea about what is involved in biblical justice.  After the conclusion the author discusses the Urban Alternative in an appendix as a way of encouraging help for his goals at social renewal.  Throughout the volume the author talks about his own life and his own experience and shows himself to possess at least some grasp of the Jubilee and the relationship of the Sabbath (in its expansive form) and liberty and justice, issues of considerable interest to me as a writer and speaker, and thankfully of the author here as well.

The author, in general, manages to combine a sound reading of the Bible that demonstrates the interests of God in providing as much liberty as people can properly handle with his own experiences as a black man involved in the ministry.  His understanding of many levels of government and his desire to encourage self-government among his readers is demonstrative of a thoughtful way of breaking through the false dilemmas between different kinds of Christianity that exist in the United States.  The author’s boldness in looking at the message of the Hebrew prophets through the point of view of contemporary America leads him to demand a complicated and widespread turning to God unless we are willing to accept that God has cause to judge us for our disobedience to Him as a nation.  The author speaks of collective sins and looks to reconciliation not only between man and God but between Americans and others, especially (not surprisingly) when it comes to matters of ethnicity.  Perhaps strangely, given the author’s biblical focus, is his desire to partner with public schools as an agent of positive social change, especially given the negative and ungodly social change that public schools have been so instrumental in pushing over recent decades.

[1] See, for example:

https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2017/12/06/book-review-nkjv-unapologetic-study-bible/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2012/08/18/two-approaches-to-government-part-two/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2018/05/07/book-review-the-beginning-of-politics/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2017/08/21/the-curious-connection-between-protestant-theology-and-constitutional-law/

About nathanalbright

I'm a person with diverse interests who loves to read. If you want to know something about me, just ask.
This entry was posted in Bible, Biblical History, Book Reviews, Christianity, Church of God, History and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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