Required Reading: Fundamentalist America Defends Its Borders

The knives are sharp!  At the Religion in American History blog, Randall Stephens has published a collection of snippets of angry reviews of his recent book and New York Times op-ed.

For all those who are trying to make sense of Fundamentalist America, the book, the op-ed, and the hostile reviews are all worth reading.

Stephens and his co-author Karl Giberson took to task the culture of conservative evangelical Protestantism–maybe the most powerful single faction of what we call Fundamentalist America–for supporting a raft of puffed-up self-declared experts.  Stephens and Giberson themselves are evangelical Christians and teach at a Christian college.  But the false experts, they insist, do not represent the totality of evangelical Protestant intellectual life.  A fundamentalist “Rejection of Reason” is only one possible style of evangelical belief.

The angry denunciations of their work demonstrate the defensive stance of some twenty-first century conservative Christians.  As Stephens points out in his blog post, the “haters” were notable for the “red-faced, veins bulging-out-of-the neck, barking jeremiad passion” of their reviews.