The publisher’s blurb says: Over the last thirty years, conservative evangelicals have been moving to the Northwest of the United States, where they hope to resist the impact of secular modernity and to survive the breakdown of society that they anticipate. These believers have often given up on the politics of the Christian Right, adopting strategies of hibernation while developing the communities and institutions from which a new America might one day emerge. Their activity coincides with the promotion by prominent survivalist authors of a program of migration to the “American Redoubt,” a region encompassing Idaho, Montana, parts of eastern Washington and Oregon, and Wyoming, as a haven in which to endure hostile social change or natural disaster and in which to build a new social order. These migration movements have independent origins, but they overlap in their influences and aspirations, working in tandem to offer a vision of the present in which Christian values must be defended as American society is rebuilt according to biblical law. This book examines the origins, evolution, and cultural reach of this little-noted migration and considers what it might tell us about the future of American evangelicalism.
Drawing on Calvinist theology, the social theory of Christian Reconstruction, and libertarian politics, these believers are projecting significant soft power. Their books are promoted by leading mainstream publishers and listed as New York Times bestsellers. Their strategy is gaining momentum, making an impact in local political and economic life, while being repackaged for a wider audience in publications by a broader coalition of conservative commentators and in American mass culture. This survivalist evangelical subculture recognizes that they have lost the culture war – but another kind of conflict is beginning.
This is a new volume from my friend and colleague, Crawford Gribben. He is Professor of History at Queen’s University Belfast and the author of a number of books. Just before this he published John Owen and English Puritanism. He, Darryl Hart, Chris Caughey, Matt Bingham, and I collaborated on the volume, On Being Reformed.
This is a valuable work for a few reasons. First, as the blurb says, rather than dismissing the Reconstructionist movement, he takes it seriously. He treats it fairly and he is able to interpret it well in light of his work on the history of Christianity, focusing particularly on eschatology. I have been studying and interacting with these movements for 40 years and I found this a very illuminating volume. I think you should read it.
It is available from Oxford University Press for $29.95.
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