Top 10 Best Books to Read in Church & State Religious Studies - August 2021



Here are our top ten recommendations if you are looking for the best books to read in Church & State Religious Studies. We have made sure our list is diverse to cater to the interests of different types of readers.

1. Christianity and Wokeness: How the Social Justice Movement Is Hijacking the Gospel - and the Way to Stop It


Top 10 Best Books to Read in Church & State Religious Studies - August 2021

“White people should be less white.” “Whiteness is white supremacy.” “Silence is violence.” “You can never overcome your racism.” You’ve heard these baffling views—but do you know where they come from? The “wokeness” that emerged from the social unrest of 2020 has swept through schools, businesses, and even sports. Driven by the radical ideologies of Critical Race Theory and intersectionality, it has destabilized public and private life—including the Church. Many evangelicals have joined the crusade. Gripped by a desire for justice and rightly grieved by past evils like slavery, many pastors are preaching the woke gospel—identifying “whiteness” (an imaginary concept) with “white supremacy,” calling bewildered Christians to repent of their supposed guilt for the sins of past generations. But as theologian Owen Strachan makes clear, this is not true justice, nor is it true Christianity. While wokeness employs biblical vocabulary and concepts, it is an alternative religion, far from Christianity in both its methods and its fruit. A potent blend of racism, paganism, and grievance, wokeness encourages “partiality” and undermines the unifying work of the Holy Spirit. It is not simply not the Gospel; it is anti-Gospel. As Strachan traces the origins of wokeness, lays out its premises, and follows them to their logical conclusions, the contrast of that false faith with the Word of God stands out unmistakably. This succinct but groundbreaking work reveals that wokeness, like other heresies, is not really new. Nor is the antidote: Christ crucified for us.

  • Author: Owen Strachan
  • Publisher: Salem Books (July 20, 2021)
  • Genre: History, World
  • ISBN: 978-1684512430
  • Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches

                 

2. Jesus and John Wayne: How White Evangelicals Corrupted a Faith and Fractured a Nation


Top 10 Best Books to Read in Church & State Religious Studies - August 2021

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER The “paradigm-influencing” book ( Christianity Today ) that is fundamentally transforming our understanding of white evangelicalism in America. Jesus and John Wayne  is a sweeping, revisionist history of the last seventy-five years of white evangelicalism, revealing how evangelicals have worked to replace the Jesus of the Gospels with an idol of rugged masculinity and Christian nationalism―or in the words of one modern chaplain, with “a spiritual badass.” As acclaimed scholar Kristin Du Mez explains, the key to understanding this transformation is to recognize the centrality of popular culture in contemporary American evangelicalism. Many of today’s evangelicals might not be theologically astute, but they know their VeggieTales, they’ve read John Eldredge’s  Wild at Heart , and they learned about purity before they learned about sex―and they have a silver ring to prove it. Evangelical books, films, music, clothing, and merchandise shape the beliefs of millions. And evangelical culture is teeming with muscular heroes―mythical warriors and rugged soldiers, men like Oliver North, Ronald Reagan, Mel Gibson, and the Duck Dynasty clan, who assert white masculine power in defense of “Christian America.” Chief among these evangelical legends is John Wayne, an icon of a lost time when men were uncowed by political correctness, unafraid to tell it like it was, and did what needed to be done. Challenging the commonly held assumption that the “moral majority” backed Donald Trump in 2016 and 2020 for purely pragmatic reasons, Du Mez reveals that Trump in fact represented the fulfillment, rather than the betrayal, of white evangelicals’ most deeply held values: patriarchy, authoritarian rule, aggressive foreign policy, fear of Islam, ambivalence toward #MeToo, and opposition to Black Lives Matter and the LGBTQ community. A much-needed reexamination of perhaps the most influential subculture in this country,  Jesus and John Wayne  shows that, far from adhering to biblical principles, modern white evangelicals have remade their faith, with enduring consequences for all Americans. 15 black-and-white illustrations

  • Author: Kristin Kobes Du Mez
  • Publisher: Liveright (June 8, 2021)
  • Genre: History, World
  • ISBN: 978-1631499050
  • Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.3 inches

                 

3. The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion


Top 10 Best Books to Read in Church & State Religious Studies - August 2021

Why can’t our political leaders work together as threats loom and problems mount? Why do people so readily assume the worst about the motives of their fellow citizens? In The Righteous Mind, social psychologist Jonathan Haidt explores the origins of our divisions and points the way forward to mutual understanding. His starting point is moral intuition - the nearly instantaneous perceptions we all have about other people and the things they do. These intuitions feel like self-evident truths, making us righteously certain that those who see things differently are wrong. Haidt shows us how these intuitions differ across cultures, including the cultures of the political left and right. He blends his own research findings with those of anthropologists, historians, and other psychologists to draw a map of the moral domain, and he explains why conservatives can navigate that map more skillfully than can liberals. He then examines the origins of morality, overturning the view that evolution made us fundamentally selfish creatures. But rather than arguing that we are innately altruistic, he makes a more subtle claim - that we are fundamentally groupish. It is our groupishness, he explains, that leads to our greatest joys, our religious divisions, and our political affiliations. In a stunning final chapter on ideology and civility, Haidt shows what each side is right about, and why we need the insights of liberals, conservatives, and libertarians to flourish as a nation.

  • Author: Jonathan Haidt
  • Genre: History, World, Religious, Religion, Politics & State

                 

4. The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self: Cultural Amnesia, Expressive Individualism, and the Road to Sexual Revolution


Top 10 Best Books to Read in Church & State Religious Studies - August 2021

“Carl Trueman explains modernity to the church, with depth, clarity, and force. The significance of The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self . . . is hard to overstate.” —Rod Dreher , from the Foreword Modern culture is obsessed with identity. Since the landmark Obergefell v. Hodges Supreme Court decision in 2015, sexual identity has dominated both public discourse and cultural trends—yet no historical phenomenon is its own cause. From Augustine to Marx, various views and perspectives have contributed to the modern understanding of the self. In this timely book, Carl Trueman analyzes the development of the sexual revolution as a symptom—rather than the cause—of the human search for identity. Trueman surveys the past, brings clarity to the present, and gives guidance for the future as Christians navigate the culture in humanity’s ever-changing quest for identity.

  • Author: Carl R. Trueman
  • Publisher: Crossway (November 10, 2020)
  • Genre: History, World
  • ISBN: 978-1433556333
  • Dimensions: 6 x 1.38 x 9 inches

                 

5. The Harbinger II: The Return


Top 10 Best Books to Read in Church & State Religious Studies - August 2021

NEW YORK TIMES  and  USA TODAY Best-Selling Book From the author that brought you 6 New York Times best-selling books including The Harbinger, The Book of Mysteries, and The Oracle Is America heading to judgment? What lies ahead? Discover what no book has ever revealed . . . until now! Are the unprecedented crises of our times, the signs and warnings of coming judgment?    Does an ancient mystery hold the secret to the events of our times, and the future of America and the world?     Is this mystery even behind the shakings that have now overtaken the world and America?    How much time do we have left?    In 2012, Jonathan Cahn caused a worldwide sensation with the release of his first book and massive bestseller The Harbinger.  It was hailed as ‘stunning,’ ‘prophetic’ ‘mind-blowing,’ and ‘astonishing.’  Cahn followed it with bestseller after bestseller but he has always held off on writing a sequel.  But now, for the first time, Cahn opens up what could not be unlocked before -  the mysteries that couldn’t be revealed until the present time, the manifestations that have taken place since The Harbinger came out and up to the present hour, and the mysteries of what is yet to come.    Ever since The Harbinger was released, people have been asking … Is an ancient mystery determining America’s future? Have the harbingers of judgment continued to manifest on American soil?    Is America closer now than ever before to judgment and what lies ahead for America and the world? The Harbinger ended by speaking of what was yet to come.  That which was written is now coming true.  After years of holding back, because he believed it wasn’t yet the time, Jonathan Cahn has now written the sequel.   The Harbinger II is being hailed as “a prophetic masterpiece” even more powerful and stunning than the first book and will take the mystery to new dimensions and disclose what could not be revealed in The Harbinger or until now.    The Harbinger II will open up the mysteries of the Gate, the Watchmen, the Mystery Ship, the Word in the Ruins, the Book of Days, the Image, the Judgment Tree, the Children of the Ruins, the Convergence, the Handwriting on the Wall, and much more.  It will ultimately reveal the mystery of what is yet to come, including the Shakings, the Plague, the Western Terrace, the Island, the Day of the Watchman, and more.    As in the first book, the mysteries and revelations of The Harbinger II are completely real and are determining the course of world events to this day.  And the mysteries are, likewise, revealed through a narrative.  In The Harbinger II, the reader will witness the return of Nouriel, Ana Goren, and the mysterious figure known as ‘the prophet.’ The prophet will now continue the revelation from where it left off and open up mysteries as stunning and mind-blowing as the first.  As in the prophet’s first appearance, the revelations will be unlocked, one by one, through the giving of ancient seals, but also through dreams, and a little girl as mysterious as the prophet.   In The Harbinger II the reader will be taken on a mysterious and epic journey to uncover the new revelations: from an island in the waters of New England, to the steps of the Supreme Court, to the top of the tower at Ground Zero, to a primeval forest, to the House of Faces, to the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty.  The Harbinger II will also reveal the answer and the keys we each need to have for the days that lie ahead.    After reading The Harbinger II , you will never see the world the same way again.  Prepare to be blown away!

  • Author: Jonathan Cahn
  • Publisher: Frontline (September 1, 2020)
  • Genre: Christian Books & Bibles, Literature & Fiction
  • ISBN: 978-1629998916
  • Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.3 x 9.3 inches

                 



6. DARK AGENDA: The War to Destroy Christian America


Top 10 Best Books to Read in Church & State Religious Studies - August 2021

"Read this disturbing but vital book." — Tucker Carlson “One of the most intellectually compelling and rational defenses of Christianity’s role in America." — Gov Mike Huckabee "Exposes the intolerance of many atheists toward those who believe in God. As a Jewish agnostic, I think it is imperative that disbelievers not demonize believers and that believers not demonize disbelievers." — Alan Dershowitz DARK AGENDA is an extraordinary look into the left’s calculated efforts to create a godless, heathen American society — and how these efforts must be stopped. And it is written by David Horowitz, a Jew. A New York Times bestselling author and leading conservative thinker, Horowitz warns that the rising attacks on Christians and their beliefs threaten all Americans — including Jews like himself. The liberal establishment and their radical allies envision a new millennium in which Christianity is banished, Horowitz argues. He says that Judeo-Christian values are at the very root of America’s democracy. Kill off such values and all of our freedoms could perish. In Dark Agenda: The War to Destroy Christian America , Horowitz examines how our elites — increasingly secular and atheist — are pushing a radical agenda: How the left trashes Christian doctrines critical to the American Republic, much like radical Islam’s war on “infidel” cultures like ours. Why the left fights to keep prayer and religion out of public schools, and how those efforts fly in the face of Founding Father Thomas Jefferson’s intentions. How fanatical liberals helped create the religious right by targeting evangelicals and believing Catholics and other conservatives. How Barack Obama’s ultra-liberal agenda galvanized the anti-God, anti-religious left. The violent and shocking manifesto of Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger who advocated the use of dynamite to promote “revolutionary solidarity.” Filled with stories that demonstrate the mind-numbing reasons behind the secular Left’s smug disdain for Christianity, Horowitz traces the history of religious liberty from the Founding Fathers to now. He shows how the Founding Fathers put aside their own skepticisms about God and religion to write The Declaration of Independence. Today, he writes Donald Trump’s “genuine love for his country” has galvanized Christians to fight the secular war waged against them — as the president has become a lightning rod for the radical left. David Horowitz’s powerful new book brings vital insights into the war against Christianity and names the global radicals, leftist Democrats, and money-hungry fat cats of Hollywood and Wall Street responsible for it. Finally, a clear and sensible American voice — one that is not Christian but Jewish — stands up to the twisted rantings of those who want to tear down faith and bedrock of American values. In Dark Agenda: The War to Destroy Christian America , David Horowitz delivers an impassioned plea for the restoration of political sanity in America, a perspective that made America great by respecting the faiths of our fathers and mothers. The Best Book on Politics for Christians in 2019 —  The Stream

  • Author: David Horowitz
  • Publisher: Humanix Books (March 5, 2019)
  • Genre: History, World
  • ISBN: 978-1630061142
  • Dimensions: 6.2 x 0.8 x 9.1 inches

                 

7. Hope of Nations: Standing Strong in a Post-Truth, Post-Christian World


Top 10 Best Books to Read in Church & State Religious Studies - August 2021

Every week a terrorist attack, riot, or political scandal makes the headlines—and we feel the world around us shaking again. We struggle to separate truth from biased statements and hope from naïveté. We wonder how we got here and where these uncertain days will take us. One of the world’s top investigative reporters, John S. Dickerson, addresses this post-truth, post-Christian society in Hope of Nations. Hope of Nations shows us how and why the world is changing, where those changes will lead, and what it looks like to live like Christ in today’s society. With fascinating historical and political background, Dickerson helps us understand: The five major forces driving global change in the world today Why violent displays of Islam continue resurfacing The incoming moral, social, and political impact of American millennials Ten ways to respond biblically to trends shaping the world right now How to live with Christian courage and compassion in tumultuous times “Times of great social upheaval are times of great spiritual opportunity,” writes Dickerson. “You can live the adventure of this era with great purpose. You can know with confidence that the Creator of the universe appointed you to bring light and life to this moment in human history.” Among the youngest award-winning journalists and a seminary-trained pastor, Dickerson brings his reporting skills, generational perspective, and biblical insights to this groundbreaking book. Get a larger view of what is happening with your community, your government, and your international neighbors in this thoughtful look at global events in light of your unique Christian calling.

  • Author: John S. Dickerson
  • Publisher: Zondervan (June 5, 2018)
  • Genre: History, World
  • Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.9 x 8.4 inches

                 

8. The Color of Compromise: The Truth about the American Church’s Complicity in Racism


Top 10 Best Books to Read in Church & State Religious Studies - August 2021

A New York Times , USA Today , and Wall Street Journal bestseller! An acclaimed, timely narrative of how people of faith have historically--up to the present day--worked against racial justice. And a call for urgent action by all Christians today in response. The Color of Compromise is both enlightening and compelling, telling a history we either ignore or just don't know. Equal parts painful and inspirational, it details how the American church has helped create and maintain racist ideas and practices. You will be guided in thinking through concrete solutions for improved race relations and a racially inclusive church. The Color of Compromise : Takes you on a historical, sociological, and religious journey: from America's early colonial days through slavery and the Civil War Covers the tragedy of Jim Crow laws, the victories of the Civil Rights era, and the strides of today's Black Lives Matter movement Reveals the cultural and institutional tables we have to flip in order to bring about meaningful integration Charts a path forward to replace established patterns and systems of complicity with bold, courageous, immediate action Is a perfect book for pastors and other faith leaders, students, non-students, book clubs, small group studies, history lovers, and all lifelong learners The Color of Compromise is not a call to shame or a platform to blame white evangelical Christians. It is a call from a place of love and desire to fight for a more racially unified church that no longer compromises what the Bible teaches about human dignity and equality. A call that challenges black and white Christians alike to standup now and begin implementing the concrete ways Tisby outlines, all for a more equitable and inclusive environment among God's people. Starting today .

  • Author: Jemar Tisby
  • Publisher: Zondervan (January 7, 2020)
  • Genre: History, Americas
  • Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.62 x 8.4 inches

                 

9. Unholy: How White Christian Nationalists Powered the Trump Presidency, and the Devastating Legacy They Left Behind


Top 10 Best Books to Read in Church & State Religious Studies - August 2021

“In terrifying detail,  Unholy  illustrates how a vast network of white Christian nationalists plotted the authoritarian takeover of the American democratic system. There is no more timely book than this one.”—Janet Reitman, author of  Inside Scientology Why did so many evangelicals turn out to vote for Donald Trump, a serial philanderer with questionable conservative credentials who seems to defy Christian values with his every utterance? To a reporter like Sarah Posner, who has been covering the religious right for decades, the answer turns out to be far more intuitive than one might think. In this taut inquiry, Posner digs deep into the radical history of the religious right to reveal how issues of race and xenophobia have always been at the movement’s core, and how religion often cloaked anxieties about perceived threats to a white, Christian America. Fueled by an antidemocratic impulse, and united by this narrative of reverse victimization, the religious right and the alt-right support a common agenda–and are actively using the erosion of democratic norms to roll back civil rights advances, stock the judiciary with hard-right judges, defang and deregulate federal agencies, and undermine the credibility of the free press. Increasingly, this formidable bloc is also forging ties with European far right groups, giving momentum to a truly global movement. Revelatory and engrossing, Unholy offers a deeper understanding of the ideological underpinnings and forces influencing the course of Republican politics. This is a book that must be read by anyone who cares about the future of American democracy.

  • Author: Sarah Posner
  • Publisher: Random House (May 26, 2020)
  • Genre: Kindle Store, Kindle eBooks, History

                 

10. The Right Side of History: How Reason and Moral Purpose Made the West Great


Top 10 Best Books to Read in Church & State Religious Studies - August 2021

America has a God-shaped hole in its heart, argues  New York Times best-selling author Ben Shapiro, and we shouldn't fill it with politics and hate. In 2016, Ben Shapiro spoke at UC Berkeley. Hundreds of police officers were required from 10 UC campuses across the state to protect his speech, which was - ironically - about the necessity for free speech and rational debate.  He came to argue that Western civilization is in the midst of a crisis of purpose and ideas. Our freedoms are built upon the twin notions that every human being is made in God’s image and that human beings were created with reason capable of exploring God’s world.  We can thank these values for the birth of science, the dream of progress, human rights, prosperity, peace, and artistic beauty. Jerusalem and Athens built America, ended slavery, defeated the Nazis and the Communists, lifted billions from poverty, and gave billions spiritual purpose. Jerusalem and Athens were the foundations of the Magna Carta and the Treaty of Westphalia; they were the foundations of the Declaration of Independence, Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, and Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Letter from Birmingham Jail.  Civilizations that rejected Jerusalem and Athens have collapsed into dust. The USSR rejected Judeo-Christian values and Greek natural law, substituting a new utopian vision of “social justice” - and they starved and slaughtered tens of millions of human beings. The Nazis rejected Judeo-Christian values and Greek natural law, and they shoved children into gas chambers. Venezuela rejects Judeo-Christian values and Greek natural law, and citizens of their oil-rich nation have been reduced to eating dogs. We are in the process of abandoning Judeo-Christian values and Greek natural law, favoring instead moral subjectivism and the rule of passion. And we are watching our civilization collapse into age-old tribalism, individualistic hedonism, and moral subjectivism. We believe we can reject Judeo-Christian values and Greek natural law and satisfy ourselves with intersectionality, or scientific materialism, or progressive politics, or authoritarian governance, or nationalistic solidarity.  We can’t. The West is special, and in The Right Side of History , Ben Shapiro bravely explains that it’s because too many of us have lost sight of the moral purpose that drives us each to be better, or the sacred duty to work together for the greater good, or both. A stark warning, and a call to spiritual arms, this audiobook may be the first step in getting our civilization back on track.

  • Author: Ben Shapiro
  • Genre: History, World, Religious, Religion, Politics & State