Keller and Hansen on Douthat’s “Bad Religion: How We Became a Nation of Heretics”
Here are some comments on Ross Douthat’s new book, Bad Religion: How We Became a Nation of Heretics.
“Not only is Ross Douthat’s account of orthodox Christianity’s decline provocative, but his critique of today’s ascendant heresies is compelling. This volume is a sustained proof of Chesterton’s thesis that when people turn from God, ‘they don’t believe in nothing—they believe in anything.’ Everyone who is interested in why the church is faring as it is in U.S. culture today needs to get this book.”
Keller has begun blogging on some of the themes in the book.
And at TGC Collin Hansen has provided a review of the book. Here is an excerpt:
Bad Religion reads like what you’d expect from a skilled and tireless columnist: lots of interaction with books, essays, and studies to explain how great minds and dynamic leaders have changed culture from the top down. The book does not display the full wit of David Brooks, theological expertise of David Wells, or the sociological sophistication of James Davison Hunter. Yet I don’t doubt Christian thought leaders will and should read this book cover to cover. The only question is whether they can do anything about the problems Douthat had identified. As he admits, the influence of institutional church leaders has diminished relative to the upstart prosperity preachers and pop psychology writers.
And the conclusion of Collin’s review:
Whether Americans realize it or not, the country needs an orthodox, prophetic church. But the church today, bloated by a smorgasbord of heresy, is not fit to fulfill this calling. Heretical nationalism—whether vested in the markets, military, or government—has stifled our public testimony. For the sake of America, we must forsake the various heresies of Americanism.