Aikman begins by reviewing the current literature on the state of Christianity in America, paying special attention to what has been written about American teens and young adults.
He asks, “Was America ever a Christian nation?” If your criterion is that 90 percent of the population considered themselves Christians (even if they never went to church), then, Aikman writes, America was at one point Christian. But, others argue, if you mean the nation was a society reflecting the ideals of Scripture, then early America does not deserve to be called Christian. Aikman notes that Winthrop did desire to build such a state, with laws modeled on the Old Testament.
He reviews the steady rise of opposition to Christianity in the U. S., describing the works of Hegel and Feuerbach and their effect on American universities. He traces the influence of Darwinism and follows the changes in the academic world and culture. He notes the influence of Billy Graham and then the erosion of respect for Christianity in the 1960s. He concludes that driving out religion, specifically Christianity, from higher education altogether succeeded to a large extent.
Aikman writes that serious setbacks to Christianity can and have been reversed, such as the Wesleyan revival in England. This is not the end of the story for Christianity in America. He reports on the Chinese rediscovering God, the resurgence of theism in academic philosophy departments, the work of Christian campus organizations, and the renewed interest in Calvinism among the young.
This is a good introductory review of Christianity in America. Those who have read a great deal on the topic may not find anything new here.
The encouragement at the end of this book gives one hope. Christianity may be down, but it is not out.
See more about this book at www.onenationwithout.com.
David Aikman is an award-winning print and broadcast journalist, a bestselling author, and a foreign affairs commentator based in the Washington, DC area. You can learn more about him at www.davidaikman.com.
Baker Publishing Group, 204 pages.
I received a complimentary egalley of this book for the purpose of this review.