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4.5 out of 5
ISBN/ASIN : 1581344589
Manufacturer : Crossway Books|
Release data : 29 June, 2004
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Pearcey's solution is worse than the problem
Nancy Pearcey criticizes American evangelical Christianity for being too democratic and allowing people to make up their own minds about what the Bible teaches. The solution is to re-establish religious authority to enforce dogmatic interpretations of Christian orthodoxy on the faithful. Churches should demand adherence to creeds and the clergy.
Wow. This is scary stuff. Do most evangelicals really want an authoritarian church, modeled on a corporate meritocracy, with the power to dictate your religious, moral, and political beliefs down to the smallest detail? Pearcey is a fellow at the Discovery Institute, a religious-right think tank that opens doors in the Christian community by opposing evolution. The truth, however, is that the Discovery Institute is an avid supporter of the Bush administration - even on issues that most evangelicals oppose (e.g., Bush's open immigration policy and job outsourcing). What we have in this book is an academic treatise that lays the groundwork for a resurgence in authoritarian religion.
Democracy, freedom, and individual responsibility are the best and most cherished aspects of our religious tradition. All of these things are rooted in Scripture and early Christian tradition - for example, presbyters had to unanimously elected by their congregations in the early church ("he who is over all must be chosen by all"), and Jesus himself said that no one was to be called teacher or father in the Christian community. The flaws in evangelical Christianity that Pearcey cites - the overly emotional worship and self-centered teaching, the cult of celebrity - result from our loss of genuine Christian contemplative spirituality and the embrace of a "personal relationship with God" that's based on emotional highs in its place. The cure for American Christianity isn't a dogmatic authority that will inevitably become corrupted by business and government institutions, but a recovery of true Christian spirituality.
The Religious Right paradigm has reached its zenith already, and its fall is inevitable.
Same Old Arguments
For thousands of years supernaturalists have been using the same arguments. The IDers have followed in their footsteps. This book puts forward the same illogical and unscientific claims in an attempt to support ID. The author fails by all standarsds to make a case. The bottom line is that there is no evidence for any of the assumptions or conclusions reached in this book. The truth has slowly made its way to the front and no fanatic whinning will stop it.
Preaching to the Chroir
I had sincerely hoped that this book would have put forth new and compelling arguments for Intelligent Design, but alas it fails miserably in this regard (as so many books of this ilk do). It is also quite obvious that this book won't disappoint those individuals seeking mere affirmation of their Christian faith---it does that in spades. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to understand that there is an exceedingly strong correlation between the level of one's religious conviction (ferocity) and one's openness to opposing ideas. To whit, to understand any position, one must be open to, and willing to seek out, opposing arguments. So for those daring, honest, and critical thinkers among us willing to view the thousands of years of dogma and fear wrought by religion within the light of reason, I strongly recommend George Smith's book: Atheism, A Case Against God. Smith's book plainly dissects and soundly defeats the tired eristic arguments of Intelligent Design and so many other illogical and unscientific claims put forth by all religions. Smith's book is nothing less than epiphanic.