100 books like Inventing a Christian America

By Steven K. Green,

Here are 100 books that Inventing a Christian America fans have personally recommended if you like Inventing a Christian America. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The Evangelicals: The Struggle to Shape America

Kathleen Wellman Author Of Hijacking History: How the Christian Right Teaches History and Why It Matters

From my list on the Christian Right as a political power.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a history professor at Southern Methodist University. When some students in my university classes believed that the Enlightenment was so evil I should not be allowed to teach it, I wondered what they were taught in high school. I became more directly involved when I spoke before the State Board of Education of Texas against the ahistorical standards they stipulated for history, including that Thomas Aquinas and John Calvin were central to the Enlightenment and Moses to the founding documents of the United States. These standards distorted history to emphasize the role of religion in the American founding. I wondered: How could a state school board stipulate such ahistorical standards? Where had they come from? Who supported them and why? I wrote Hijacking History to address these questions.

Kathleen's book list on the Christian Right as a political power

Kathleen Wellman Why did Kathleen love this book?

This Pulitzer prize-winning history, thoroughly researched and engagingly written, is a must-read for anyone who wants to understand the history of American evangelicalism. While it now defines the religious right, evangelicalism has espoused different religious and political positions from its eighteenth-century founding to the present, as Fitzgerald thoroughly documents. Initially, a populist rejection of established churches, in the nineteenth-century evangelicals split over the issue of slavery; Southern evangelicals insisted that the Bible endorsed it. In the twentieth century, evangelicals separated from fundamentalists and became more politically engaged as American business interests used religion to wrest evangelicals from the Democratic Party and political conservatives identified abortion as the issue most likely to galvanize them.

Since the 1980s evangelicals have become a dependable voting bloc for the Republican Party, but Fitzgerald concludes, younger evangelicals are more open and concerned with climate change and gender equality. There is no book I can recommend…

By Frances FitzGerald,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Evangelicals as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

* Winner of the 2017 National Book Critics Circle Award
* National Book Award Finalist
* Time magazine Top 10 Nonfiction Book of the Year
* New York Times Notable Book
* Publishers Weekly Best Books of 2017

"A page turner...We have long needed a fair-minded overview of this vitally important religious sensibility, and FitzGerald has now provided it." -The New York Times Book Review

"Massively learned and electrifying...magisterial." -The Christian Science Monitor

This groundbreaking book from Pulitzer Prize -winning historian Frances FitzGerald is the first to tell the powerful, dramatic story of the Evangelical movement in America-from the Puritan…


Book cover of From Bible Belt to Sunbelt: Plain-Folk Religion, Grassroots Politics, and the Rise of Evangelical Conservatism

Kathleen Wellman Author Of Hijacking History: How the Christian Right Teaches History and Why It Matters

From my list on the Christian Right as a political power.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a history professor at Southern Methodist University. When some students in my university classes believed that the Enlightenment was so evil I should not be allowed to teach it, I wondered what they were taught in high school. I became more directly involved when I spoke before the State Board of Education of Texas against the ahistorical standards they stipulated for history, including that Thomas Aquinas and John Calvin were central to the Enlightenment and Moses to the founding documents of the United States. These standards distorted history to emphasize the role of religion in the American founding. I wondered: How could a state school board stipulate such ahistorical standards? Where had they come from? Who supported them and why? I wrote Hijacking History to address these questions.

Kathleen's book list on the Christian Right as a political power

Kathleen Wellman Why did Kathleen love this book?

Darren Dochuk’s From Bible Belt to Sunbelt is a fascinating account of a crucial development in the evolution of the Christian right—how evangelicals first became Republicans. He argues when many Southern evangelicals moved during the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression from the Southern states to urban centers of Southern California, especially Los Angeles and Orange County, they fundamentally altered American politics. Southern evangelical preachers and businessmen argued against the New Deal and the United Nations as incipient communism but also opposed the civil rights movement. These messages flourished within its intended audience who evolved from New Deal Democrats to staunchly right-wing Republicans. This political shift among Southern evangelicals led directly to both the rightward turn of the Republican Party and its Southern Strategy with Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan. The powerful alliance of Republicans and evangelicals made it a national movement and fostered evangelical business empires, including those of…

By Darren Dochuk,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked From Bible Belt to Sunbelt as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From Bible Belt to Sun Belt tells the dramatic and largely unknown story of "plain-folk" religious migrants: hardworking men and women from Oklahoma, Texas, and Arkansas who fled the Depression and came to California for military jobs during World War II. Investigating this fiercely pious community at a grassroots level, Darren Dochuk uses the stories of religious leaders, including Billy Graham, as well as many colorful, lesser-known figures to explain how evangelicals organized a powerful political machine. This machine made its mark with Barry Goldwater, inspired Richard Nixon's "Southern Solution," and achieved its greatest triumph with the victories of Ronald…


Book cover of Jesus and John Wayne: How White Evangelicals Corrupted a Faith and Fractured a Nation

Kathleen Wellman Author Of Hijacking History: How the Christian Right Teaches History and Why It Matters

From my list on the Christian Right as a political power.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a history professor at Southern Methodist University. When some students in my university classes believed that the Enlightenment was so evil I should not be allowed to teach it, I wondered what they were taught in high school. I became more directly involved when I spoke before the State Board of Education of Texas against the ahistorical standards they stipulated for history, including that Thomas Aquinas and John Calvin were central to the Enlightenment and Moses to the founding documents of the United States. These standards distorted history to emphasize the role of religion in the American founding. I wondered: How could a state school board stipulate such ahistorical standards? Where had they come from? Who supported them and why? I wrote Hijacking History to address these questions.

Kathleen's book list on the Christian Right as a political power

Kathleen Wellman Why did Kathleen love this book?

In Jesus and John Wayne, Du Mez examines the rise of the Christian right through the lens of popular culture. She argues that over the past seventy-five years evangelicals have remade Christianity into a form of toxic masculinity and Christian nationalism. They have extolled strong, heroic models of masculinity from the fictionalized characters in John Wayne and Mel Gibson movies to political figures, including Ronald Reagan, Oliver North, and even Donald Trump. Their projected strength was vital to protect and promote Christian values. This muscular Christianity supports patriarchy, authoritarianism, and aggressive foreign policies, and opposes the expansion of rights for minorities and women. Du Mez explores a vast array of artifacts of evangelical popular culture—popular books, movies, songs, and merchandise—all intended to promote those values as the essence of Christianity. Jesus and John Wayne helps to explain how evangelicalism became the cultural and political force it is today and how…

By Kristin Kobes Du Mez,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Jesus and John Wayne as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In Jesus and John Wayne, a seventy-five-year history of American evangelicalism, Kristin Kobes Du Mez demolishes the myth that white evangelicals "held their noses" in voting for Donald Trump. Revealing the role of popular culture in evangelicalism, Du Mez shows how evangelicals have worked for decades to replace the Jesus of the Gospels with an idol of rugged masculinity and Christian nationalism in the mould of Ronald Reagan, Mel Gibson and above all, John Wayne. As Du Mez observes, the beliefs at the heart of white evangelicalism today preceded Trump and will outlast him.


Book cover of The Power Worshippers: Inside the Dangerous Rise of Religious Nationalism

Andrew L. Whitehead Author Of American Idolatry: How Christian Nationalism Betrays the Gospel and Threatens the Church

From my list on Christian Nationalism in the United States.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been fascinated by the relationship between Christianity and the United States for decades. Much of my work in the area of Christian nationalism is the result of my personal religious history and experiences, as well as my work as a social scientist. I’ve always been fascinated by how religion influences and is influenced by its social context. Christian nationalism in the US is a clear example of how influential religious ideologies can be in our social world.

Andrew's book list on Christian Nationalism in the United States

Andrew L. Whitehead Why did Andrew love this book?

This book painstakingly traces the powerful people and groups that support and perpetuate Christian nationalist ideologies and efforts across the United States. This book pairs well with social science texts in that it highlights the powerful networks that mobilize the millions of Americans who embrace Christian nationalism. 

By Katherine Stewart,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Power Worshippers as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

For readers of Democracy in Chains and Dark Money, a revelatory investigation of the Religious Right's rise to political power.

For too long the Religious Right has masqueraded as a social movement preoccupied with a number of cultural issues, such as abortion and same-sex marriage. In her deeply reported investigation, Katherine Stewart reveals a disturbing truth: this is a political movement that seeks to gain power and to impose its vision on all of society. America's religious nationalists aren't just fighting a culture war, they are waging a political war on the norms and institutions of American democracy.

Stewart pulls…


Book cover of Listen America!

Frances FitzGerald Author Of The Evangelicals: The Struggle to Shape America

From my list on understanding the ethos of the Christian right.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was a correspondent in Vietnam in 1966, 1971, 1973, and 1974. I worked for The New Yorker on the last three dates, and I have been back several times since the end of the war. My book, Fire in Lake won the Pulitzer Prize, the Bancroft Prize for history, and the National Book Award, among other prizes.

Frances' book list on understanding the ethos of the Christian right

Frances FitzGerald Why did Frances love this book?

Falwell was the first in US history to attempt to organize white evangelicals into a voting group, and this is his manifesto. It’s a must-read because he introduces all the themes of the movement ever since.

By Jerry Falwell,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Listen America! as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Paperback book by Jerry Falwell that is the conservative blueprint for Americ's moral rebirth.


Book cover of God's Last and Only Hope: The Fragmentation of the Southern Baptist Convention

Frances FitzGerald Author Of The Evangelicals: The Struggle to Shape America

From my list on understanding the ethos of the Christian right.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was a correspondent in Vietnam in 1966, 1971, 1973, and 1974. I worked for The New Yorker on the last three dates, and I have been back several times since the end of the war. My book, Fire in Lake won the Pulitzer Prize, the Bancroft Prize for history, and the National Book Award, among other prizes.

Frances' book list on understanding the ethos of the Christian right

Frances FitzGerald Why did Frances love this book?

A liberal Southern Baptist, Leonard describes the fundamentalist takeover of the largest Protestant denomination. The take over accompanied the South’s transformation into a Republican stronghold and made the Christian right a serious force in American politics. Leonard is one of the best-known historians of the Convention and of contemporary religion in the South.

By Bill J. Leonard,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked God's Last and Only Hope as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Analyzes the recent controversy between moderate and fundamentalist Baptists from an historical perspective


Book cover of The South and the North in American Religion

Frances FitzGerald Author Of The Evangelicals: The Struggle to Shape America

From my list on understanding the ethos of the Christian right.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was a correspondent in Vietnam in 1966, 1971, 1973, and 1974. I worked for The New Yorker on the last three dates, and I have been back several times since the end of the war. My book, Fire in Lake won the Pulitzer Prize, the Bancroft Prize for history, and the National Book Award, among other prizes.

Frances' book list on understanding the ethos of the Christian right

Frances FitzGerald Why did Frances love this book?

Strangely, very few books about the Christian right explain the differences between southern and northern evangelicals. Hill’s book is an eye-opener. It links theology directly to politics. A historian, Hill is a wonderful writer.

By Samuel S. Hill,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The South and the North in American Religion as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In this comparative history of religious life in the South and the North, Samuel Hill considers the religions of America from a unique angle. Tracing the religious history of both areas, this study dramatically shows how a common religion was altered by hostilities and then continued to develop as separate entities until recently. Coming almost full circle, both North and South now find their religions again to be highly similar. Two factors, Hill believes, were major influences in the diversification of the regional religions: the presence of Afro-Americans as an underclass of people with a distinctive role to play in…


Book cover of The Book of Jerry Falwell: Fundamentalist Language and Politics

Frances FitzGerald Author Of The Evangelicals: The Struggle to Shape America

From my list on understanding the ethos of the Christian right.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was a correspondent in Vietnam in 1966, 1971, 1973, and 1974. I worked for The New Yorker on the last three dates, and I have been back several times since the end of the war. My book, Fire in Lake won the Pulitzer Prize, the Bancroft Prize for history, and the National Book Award, among other prizes.

Frances' book list on understanding the ethos of the Christian right

Frances FitzGerald Why did Frances love this book?

An analysis of Falwell’s theological rhetoric and the changes he made in it to persuade fundamentalists and other evangelicals to go into politics that most had considered taboo. A fascinating book by a great anthropologist.

By Susan Friend Harding,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Book of Jerry Falwell as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

National polls show that approximately 50 million adult Americans are born-again Christians. Yet most Americans see their culture as secular, and the United States is viewed around the world as a secular nation. Further, intellectuals and journalists often portray born-again Christians, despite their numbers, as outsiders who endanger public life. But is American culture really so neatly split between the religious and the secular? Is America as "modern" and is born-again Christian religious belief as "pre-modern" as many think? In the 1980s, born-again Christians burst into the political arena with stunning force. Gone was the image of "old-fashioned" fundamentalism and…


Book cover of Money, Possessions and Eternity

Scott LaPierre Author Of Your Finances God's Way: A Biblical Guide to Making the Best Use of Your Money

From my list on finance books for biblically conservative Christians.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am the teaching pastor of Woodland Christian Church, a role I've held since 2010. I preach God’s Word 1 to 3 times weekly, and I'm also a conference speaker and author. While I do some counseling and discipling, my main focus is on teaching and preaching, which involves studying God’s Word for 20 to 30 hours per week. I've learned biblical financial principles and I'm passionate about equipping people with them. With ten children on a single-income pastor’s salary, I've had to apply these principles in my own life, which has reinforced their importance and effectiveness.

Scott's book list on finance books for biblically conservative Christians

Scott LaPierre Why did Scott love this book?

I have been a fan of Mr. Alcorn for years, not just as an author and pastor but as a Christian. He has applied his own financial teaching and an incredible way. When he was sued for picketing at an abortion clinic he didn’t want to because he knew the proceeds would go toward abortionists. This caused him to learn to live on very little.

In this book, he provides an eternal view of our temporary wealth and possessions. The primary focus, spread over the course of the book, can be boiled down to one point: the heavenly perspective we should have will help us be good earthly stewards. In Mr. Alcorn’s own words, the book is “thoroughly researched…a biblical comprehensive view,” and I completely agree that it is.

He strives to cover every conceivable topic related to money, such as investing, retirement, gambling, inheritances, giving, and the list goes…

By Randy Alcorn,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Money, Possessions and Eternity as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This practical and refreshing theology of money contains topical and Scripture indexes, a study guide, and five helpful appendixes.

Randy Alcorn presents a biblical and comprehensive view of money and possessions, including the following: Why is money so important to God? How can we be liberated from materialism? What should we do about debt? How much does God want us to give? What about gambling? Investing? Insurance? Saving? Retirement? Inheritance?Who wants to settle for fleeting treasures on earth . . . when God offers everlasting treasures in heaven? It’s time to rethink our perspectives on money and possessions. In this…


Book cover of How to Manage Your Money: An In-Depth Bible Study on Personal Finances

Scott LaPierre Author Of Your Finances God's Way: A Biblical Guide to Making the Best Use of Your Money

From my list on finance books for biblically conservative Christians.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am the teaching pastor of Woodland Christian Church, a role I've held since 2010. I preach God’s Word 1 to 3 times weekly, and I'm also a conference speaker and author. While I do some counseling and discipling, my main focus is on teaching and preaching, which involves studying God’s Word for 20 to 30 hours per week. I've learned biblical financial principles and I'm passionate about equipping people with them. With ten children on a single-income pastor’s salary, I've had to apply these principles in my own life, which has reinforced their importance and effectiveness.

Scott's book list on finance books for biblically conservative Christians

Scott LaPierre Why did Scott love this book?

Larry Burkett founded Crown Financial Ministries, had an accompanying radio show, and wrote many financial books. I am thankful for Mr. Burkett and all of his contributions to God’s kingdom. His program has been used by many individuals and churches and is the closest rival to Dave Ramsey’s program.

He has many wonderful books I could have chosen, but I stuck with this one because of the foundation in Scripture. As the subtitle communicates, it is “An in-depth Bible study on personal finances.” I recommend this book to anyone who wants to know how to manage their finances according to biblical principles.

By Larry Burkett,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked How to Manage Your Money as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

People often try managing their money apart from God's plan. Bad plan.

Until people have an attitude change about money, it will continue to control and confuse them. How to Manage Your Money is an excellent tool to get readers on track toward a liberated financial life. This newly repackaged bestseller contains updated material and a step-by-step, in-depth study of God's principles for money management.


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