Seeking a Better Country

No, the title of this post does not mean I’m ready to leave America for a country that more highly cherishes limited government (does such a country even exist any longer?). Rather, it’s the title of the 2007 book by D. G. Hart and John Muether on the history of American Presbyterianism, Seeking a Better Country: 300 Years of American Presbyterianism, which I finished tonight. Every Presbyterian should own and read this book. I wish I had had it in seminary. The chart in the front cover on the “Split-P Soup of Presbyterian History” is worth the price of the book. Hart/Muether depict the history of our denomination(s) in all its beauty and in all its ugliness; they walk through every major controversy and split, and track various schools of thought down through the centuries. I particularly appreciated learning about segments of Presbyterianism of which I was formerly unaware, such as New School Presbyterians after the New School/Old School split of 1837, and the history of Presbyterianism post-Civil War.

This book is not for the feint of heart, nor for those who like to look back and find golden ages in history. It’s an easy read, but you won’t walk away very encouraged about Presbyterian prospects, no matter what side of the aisle you like to sit. But you will gain new insight into where we’ve come from, and you will gain a new longing for the better country, the heavenly city.

Tolle lege (take and read!)

SDG,
Ezra

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