Okay...so now onto the topic that actually birthed the idea for this series, the blog post from Boyd about the American Patriots Bible. He wrote 4 posts in all....and a two part book review for Out of Ur....Christianity Today's blog. Boyd is not impressed with this Bible. Neither are a lot of other people....
The description from the publishers of this Bible found on Amazon:
THE ONE BIBLE THAT SHOWS HOW 'A LIGHT FROM ABOVE' SHAPED OUR NATION. Never has a version of the Bible targeted the spiritual needs of those who love our country more than The American Patriot's Bible. This extremely unique Bible shows how the history of the United States connects the people and events of the Bible to our lives in a modern world. The story of the United States is wonderfully woven into the teachings of the Bible and includes a beautiful full-color family record section, memorable images from our nation's history and hundreds of enlightening articles which complement the New King James Version Bible text.
On Amazon, the customer reviews were both positive and negative. Some praising the Bible and it's content...others going so far as to say it sickened them. Following are some assorted and varied remarks from some of the reviews......
There is simply no better a resource than the American Patriots Bible to illustrate the factual and critical link between our Creator Father and our Founding Fathers. This Bible details the strong and ever present connection between the Judeo-Christian ethics used to found our nation and the God that continues to bless the greatest country on the face of his Creation.
This is a must have in every library.
This book should sit on the shelf of every library in America, both public and private. It is one of the those special tools which will be used over and over again; read, studied, and treasured for it's depth of content and insight into our country's history and founding ideals.
Okay so those are obviously the positive reviews...and there were a lot of positive reviews. But there were negative reviews too....plenty of them....
As an Evangelical Christian, I love the Bible. I also love this country, and I am descended from a line of men who have served in the American military since the Civil War era. However, I am deeply disturbed by this Bible and by the nationalistic "Christianity" that it exemplifies.
To conflate American Patriotism and militaristic American Nationalism with Christianity is to turn America's Wars into Holy Wars. To literally weave together the Scriptures and the Flag, presenting them as one united and holy blend, is unholy. The effect is to create an "American Jesus" who is really a War God. With all my heart, I believe that to print The American Patriot's Bible is to desecrate the Word of God.
But after the anger has burnt off, I am just saddened by this Bible, deeply saddened, because I know that many American Christians, even some who attend my own church, will not feel revolted by it at all. I am terribly afraid that Thomas Nelson made a wise business decision in producing this blasphemous Bible.
Please know that there are American Christians deeply wounded and ashamed of the existence of this Bible.
And another that connects this Bible and evangelical's approval of the use of torture.
Finally, it's no surprise that a recent survey revealed that the group that was most supportive of torture by the U.S. on enemy combatants was conservative, evangelical Christians. Have they forgotten Jesus' admonition that "Whatever you did to the least of these you did to me."? Ironically the very torture that the U.S. is guilty of (waterboarding - simulated drowning) is the very act which 5 Japanese officers were convicted of and sentenced to death. But wait, when we did it we had reason to fear a catastrophic attack against our people and that was something the Japanese never had to fear- was it?
What was that? 5 Japanese officers were convicted of and sentenced to death for waterboarding....??? Are you sure about that? More about that tomorrow....and more about the survey which showed that evangelical Christians were the most likely to approve of using torture as an interrogation method following that....