Description: Do the American dream and the Christian faith share the same goals? Apel explodes the belief that the American way is based on Christian principles and shows you how the myths of individualism, relativism, the self-made man, and six other commonly held beliefs are opposed to biblical principles. 279 pages, softcover from Word.
From the back cover: "Are Americans God's chosen people? Are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness the biblical goals of the Christian faith? Does what best suits a person's individual need automatically coincide with God's will?
"Many people have grown up thinking so. But these beliefs are not biblical. They are not Christian in their origin. They are a result of what author Pat Apel defines as Americanism.
"Americanism is a combination of history, people, places, and customs that shape and form the way we perceive ourselves, our rights, and our nation. It's the world view, unique to our nation that confuses and mistakenly blends the American Dream with the Christian faith.
"It misleads us into a cultural Christianity that voids sacrifice. That denies the need for accountability. That spurns discipline. A false faith built on materialism, selfishness, and the search for 'the good life.' It's impossible to escape. It's subtle, at times. And it's dangerous."
Excerpts from the book: "Vance Packard, in his 1957 book, 'The Hidden Persuaders,' says that excepting those behind the Iron Curtain, Americans are the most manipulated people in the world. The bombardment from the media in the secular world more than anything else guides our conduct and our thoughts." (p. 100)
"...we should recognize that we are no more a Christian nation than present-day Israel is the Jewish nation. We are a secular state with a mythology which places us at the center of the universe. We should not fool ourselves into thinking that our mythology justifies our actions." (p. 197)
"Martin Lloyd-Jones writes: 'The man who thinks he is godly because he talks about God and says he believes in God and goes to a place of worship occasionally but is really living for certain earthly things--how great is that man's darkness.'" (p. 127)
"We live in a country with double vision. One vision calls us to the American Dream with its seductive myths and siren song of selfish success. The other calls us to a faith in God and His truth. One is a call to status and wealth; the other a call to holiness and community." (p. 258)
Philologos Review: This book wasn't easy reading but overall worth the effort. I don't agree with some of the people he quotes, but what he does quote from them seems to be when they are at their best. For this price, a great addition to any library.
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