Thursday, May 07, 2009

Barna at the Evangelical Press Association meeting

Heard Barna last night in Indy at the Evangelical Press Association (there was another Christian press group there as well but my brain was so fried it didn't stick). He was talking about his new book. Tyndale generously gave us all free copies. It's at the office but I thumbed through it. The title is something like The Seven Faith Tribes.

The idea of faith tribes is interesting. They were like nominal Christians, captive Christians (those are the good guys, the slaves to Christ), Muslims, Pantheists, Skeptics, Jews, and one other group I can't remember. There were stats as you expect.

What began to dawn on me as I skimmed more from the book and listened to him talk, is that his goal was not what I expected. It started with a pro-America pitch. America isn't what it used to be. I'm used to all that.

But what was so surprising is that his ultimate goal was not "let's help get America back to its Christian roots"! He pointed out common values between all seven tribes and then urged, let's all the tribes get back to our common values to make America better!

This is very interesting. So is this book aimed primarily at non-captive Christian tribes? Why don't all you guys get back to your core values, which are the same as Christian core values?

OR, is this the ultimate trajectory of civil religion, where in the end, American patriotism not only surpasses Christian values covertly (which is normal) but overtly? The important thing is to get America back on track, not to draw others to Christianity? Is this what Barna thinks?


Craig Henderson said...

Gregory Boyd's last couple of blog posts have been about "The Patriot's Bible." No doubt you're familiar with "Myth of a Christian Nation." I find all the 'for God and country' things very alarming.

John Mark said...

Talk about piquing your interest. I hope you follow up on this.

John Mark said...

I don't have it in front of me, but I saw an advertisement which implied that Barna wants us to understand non-Christian religions so we can evangelize them.