America: Turning A Nation To God, by Tony Evans
[Note: This book was provided free of charge by Moody Publishing. All thoughts and opinions are my own.]
I must admit that I liked this book a lot, even more than I expected to, but this book is not one that is likely to be readily popular by those who apply its approach to themselves. In reading a book like this one , one is reminded that a book that takes this sort of tough and uncompromising approach can only come from someone who has earned the right to speak that way through their own conduct and manner of living. I think it is clear that the author has earned that right, and in writing a book like this has not sought to couch unbiblical ideas and theories with biblical clothing, but has rather sought to apply the stories and approach of God towards ancient Israel and Judah to the contemporary situation of our country. I do not think the author necessarily has the correct understanding of everything he talks about, but I have no doubt in the author’s sincerity or in the worth of his message as a whole, even if that message is not always pleasant to read.
Overall, this book is a short volume of around 200 pages in length. After giving an introduction to our nation’s contemporary moral crisis, the author divides his remaining discussion into three parts with various supplementary material at the end. The first part of the book examines the need for people to return to the king of heaven and earth, with chapters on the king being our problem (1), returning with all one’s heart (2), the unshakable nature of the Kingdom of heaven (3), and the return of the King to rule over the earth (4). The next four chapters examine the need to return to God collectively as the Church, with a reminder of God’s promises to his people (5), the replacement of the physical understanding with the spiritual (6), the greatest and most important matters of God’s laws (7), and the need for the church to be ignited with the fire of revival (8). The third and final part of the book looks at how a nation can be turned to God, examining the danger of independence from God (9), the partnership of church and state (10), the need to create followers and not just fans (11), and a call for national revival (12). After this the book closes with a declaration of dependence, some notes, and two appendices on having a strategy for national impact as well as an introduction to the author’s Urban Alternative project.
There are at least a few ways where the author’s comments hit the reader with some force. There is the comment that a nation with as many professed Christians as ours should have a much greater social and cultural influence from those believers. The author points out the need for disciplines like prayer, fasting, and even tithing to be accompanied by the right attitudes towards God and others. The author eschews partisan fervor to remind the reader of the ethical basis of any godly nation in the laws and practices of the whole Bible, even finding in the Sabbath and holy days something worth appreciating for his largely Sunday-keeping reading audience. The author also reminds the reader over and over again that Christians are not to seek an escape from the world or an avoidance in involving itself in its concerns but are rather to place the physical in the context of the spiritual, rather than trying to pit the two against each other. Overall, this book is a wise if imperfect attempt to encourage a personal revival that leads to a revival of the church which in turn will revive the entire nation as a whole. If I am not sanguine about that goal, the author sees it as our only hope to avoid great judgment from God, and in that I am in full agreement with him.
 See, for example: