The United States of America chose intelligently and rigorously not to have a national religion/faith. American Christians have not been so rigorous, even if intelligent. Instead of a national religion we have Americans of all persuasions seeking to express their viewpoints and claims and, at the same time, using the political process to implement those persuasions for the nation — even if only slightly cleverly disguised. Both Republicans and Democrats think their agendas and platforms are the most Christian while many leaders avoid partisan politics from the pulpit (many don’t) while they use the same to announce which moral issue points to which political party. We don’t have a national religion but instead religionists who want it to go national.
Enter the Bible, and in particular, the American Bible Society, and it should not take long to see in the picture to the right an open Bible in one hand and American flag in the other. A recent and exceptional book by John Fea, called The Bible Cause: A History of the American Bible Society, tells this story through one institution — the American Bible society — but in so doing Fea demonstrates the constant intersection of Bible and nation building. I recommend this book for all churches and for all schools, colleges and universities. The impact of the ABS is of magnitudes and often enough totally unknown. Fea is an exceptional historian of the church in America. His expertise in connecting ABS to American church history is all over this book.
Before I begin this: those who read the New Testament in Greek or the Old Testament in Hebrew or the Septuagint in Greek read from an ABS or United Bible Societies produced edition. Many of the most important tools used in Bible studies today were produced by or in cooperation with the ABS.
Read the entire review here.