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The Book That Made America: How the Bible Formed Our Nation Review by Dawn OaksJerry Newcombe
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Ventura, CA 93001
Have you ever found yourself trying to defend the Christian heritage of our nation but not being able come up with the facts to support your convictions? Do your children understand that America is the greatest superpower in the world because she has historically taken the stance of being one nation under God? What will become of America if we continue to remove God from our country's future? These questions are answered within the 277 pages of The Book that Made America by Jerry Newcombe.
Newcombe's work is divided into four parts. Part One focuses on the unique role the Bible played in creating America, highlights what the Bible has to say about government, and also contains a fifty-question quiz to test your knowledge of our nation's Christian heritage. A twenty-page section gives detailed answers to each of the questions in the quiz. This quiz with answers would be a phenomenal resource in its own right. If you discussed just one question each day, I am confident that your child would have a greater knowledge of our country's Christian heritage than most adults have.
Part Two explores the relationship between the Bible and the settling of America, the Bible and education, and the Bible and the documents that were the forerunners to the Constitution. Having already taught our children about the settling of America, the colonists, the Puritans, and the Mayflower Compact, I certainly wish in hindsight that I had had The Book that Made America as a supplemental resource. We all know that the Puritans came to America to escape the religious tyranny of the Church of England. However, I was unaware that as "Jamestown was settled, it was to be called Jamestown - a place where England was advanced. However, they didn't put up a picture of the King. They put up an emblem of the King of Kings, the cross of Jesus Christ. That cross is a symbol of the Christian faith, and they were recognizing they were advancing the cause of the gospel when they arrived in the New World." This is just one of many facts that show the settlers' true intent to create a Christian nation.
Part Three of Newcomb's work highlights the Bible's impact on the lives of our Founding Fathers. Facts about our Founding Fathers abound in almost any history textbook. However, Newcombe includes biographical sketches and quotations from these great men that truly show their intent in creating a Christian nation. I must commend the author's thoroughness. Not only does he address the great ways that our Founding Fathers sought to uplift God in the establishment of our nation, but he unabashedly deals with their shortcomings. Libertarians have repeatedly thrown up the fact that Thomas Jefferson was a slave owner. They smile with a sense of having blown a "hole" in the Christian foundation of our nation. Newcombe closes Part Three by addressing this huge issue of slavery and other shortcomings of the Founding Fathers. He makes no excuse for them aside from the fact that, like you and I, the Founding Fathers were all sinners saved by grace. These men were incredible for the things that they did accomplish, but we must not put them on such a pedestal as being equal with our Savior, Jesus Christ.
The final section of the book discusses the Bible and the current American experience. Newcombe asks, "Where did we go wrong?" When did America betray her roots and start removing God from modern life, and what will be the result? Can America continue to thrive as a superpower without a renewed commitment to the God that has so richly blessed us? Mr. Newcombe is very honest and, in our family's opinion, Biblically accurate in stating that there are no guarantees that God will see fit to allow America to continue to exist into the future. We are in an emergency situation. The plea of this final chapter of the text is for us to fall on our knees before God and to pray for a regeneration of the hearts and souls of the people of our nation.
Just as a fish in a fishbowl in your child's room may sense that there is more out there but never truly understand what an ocean or lake is, our children will never truly comprehend what it means to be One Nation Under God based solely on their experience of what America is today. The Book that Made America shows them the ocean. This $18.95 investment will reap abundant rewards if it helps to ignite a fire within us as we consider what a magnificent Christian nation America was intended to be.