Buy It, Borrow It, or Bag It: Our Great Big American God by Matthew Paul Turner

God book   If I were being totally honest with you, I have to say that the first thing that attracted me to this book was the cover. There was something about that scrubbed up family on the front that reminded me of my younger days when attending church was a dress up affair complete with white gloves and a kid-sized pocketbook. What I found inside would not be to everyone’s taste.

Turner takes readers on a journey through the evolution of Protestant faiths in America, how the puritans came to the “new world” to escape religious persecution and how they determined what the American concept of God would be. This book does not touch on Catholicism, LDS, and Jehovah’s Witnesses, Quakers, Amish or anything outside of mainstream Protestant faiths (e.g. Baptists, Presbyterians, Christian, etc.) It covers some of the “rock stars” of the evangelical movements who traveled from town to town to convert the masses and to spread the gospel message. Many of them do not fair very well in the retelling, but I was pleased to see that Billy Graham did. Turner is very kind to the minister that my father and grandparents regarded so highly.

In the end, I am glad I read this book, but at times it did get tedious. I would no sooner crack up at Turner’s text, and then be back in the 1700’s at the time of the Revolution and I expected it to be funny all the way through. If I had to do it all over again, I would have borrowed it from the library rather than actually pay for it, but if you are a religious history buff, you might enjoy it. Borrow It.

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