Reviews of The Sword of the Lord

Blog Reviews of The Sword of the Lord

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Understanding America a little bit better

I call myself an ecumenical Buddhist/Hinduist, raised in a Catholic country. I have been pretty clueless about anything Protestant except for what I studied in school, and I have been filled with questions about the origins of Fundamentalism in this country. 

Before reading this book, any mention of Fundamentalism made me roll my eyes and close down my (open) mind. Andy's book has provided a very interesting context and perspective on issues such as racism and sexism. Interesting and easy to read, it has helped me understand America a little bit better.

Fascinating, horrifying and deeply moving

Fascinating, horrifying and deeply moving at the same time. I've never read anything that gave me more insight into the background to the Civil War or that explained the roots of fundamentalism so clearly. The parallels between the development of the movement and the author's intensely felt but only partially understood childhood beliefs (rejected in adolescence to be replaced - eventually - with a passionate desire to make the world a better place) are skilfully and touchingly handled.

We build our lives on stories

We build our lives on stories...the stories told to us about who we are as individual people, about our country, and our family's history. This idea...that so much of our identity and understanding is wrapped up in the stories we believe about ourselves and our origins is something that is becoming more and more interesting to me. I've always enjoyed history in the broadest sense of the word, but it's not until recent years, even months, that I've considered just how profoundly "history' affects us.

Fundamentalism as social system

The Sword of The Lord by Andrew Himes recounts the historical development of Protestant religious fundamentalism in the United States. I found it most helpful that this history was interspersed with the anecdotal and public history of the author’s own multi-generational family of fundamentalist preachers going back at least six generations. This approach brings a realism to the dryness sometimes found in written history.

An epic contribution to the history of faith in America

My personal library contains works by many renowned scholars who have penned books or spent years of their lives exploring the issue of Christian Faith in America…a few of the most notable include multiple volumes written by Robert Wuthnow of Princeton’s Center for the study of American Religion, Juan Williams This Far by Faith, Nancy Tatom Ammerman’s Bible Believers – Fundamentalists in the Modern World, James F.

Embers of anger, wonder, compassion, gratitude, fierce disgust and a thousand other emotions

Andrew - the work you have done on your family's history is nothing short of extraordinary in your book The Sword of the Lord. It has sparked embers of anger, wonder, compassion, gratitude, fierce disgust and a thousand other feelings and emotions in me. More times than I can count I experienced ah ha moments while reading it. It is so important that you continue your courageous journey in telling the stories so that some may heal.

A great read for sinners and saved alike

American Fundamentalism was rooted in the migration of thousands of Calvinist Protestants to the British colonies before the American Revolution. The "Scotch-Irish", French, Germans and others escaping religious persecution in their homelands flocked to the relative freedom of America and brought a strong aversion to state-supported religion with them. From these beginnings grew a commitment to the separation of church and state that was eventually enshrined in the US Constitution. 

An insider's view

As a child, John R. Rice would come and preach at my church. I remember him and Jack Hyles preaching a Sword conference there. In fact, in one of Hyles‚Äô books he mentioned a story that took place while they were speaking there. During a break Rice went missing. Hyles says he found him playing hopscotch with a child down the street. While in college I lived in the ‚ÄúJohn R. Rice Hall.‚Äù While living there I wrote a song (parody) ‚ÄúOn the cover of The Sword of the Lord‚Äù sung to the tune of ‚ÄúThe Cover of Rolling Stone.‚Äù 

An amazing account of a journey

Dear Andy -- I just finished reading the book today (I got bogged down making notes) and finally decided to just READ... At chapter 17 the book began to "soar" for me;  I couldn't put it down until I finished.  You have done a beautiful job. Some will be angry at what you share but many hearts will be touched.  Perhaps you have, indeed, found what you were born to do! 

Book alert for students of modern church history: Unique perspective on fundamentalism in the 20th century

My uncle, Andrew Himes, and my father, John R. Himes, are both grandsons of noted fundamentalist evangelist John R. Rice (founder of the Sword of the Lord publishing company). Despite their shared heritage, they have taken two significantly different paths in their lives. Now my Uncle Andy is set to publish a unique take on fundamentalist Christianity in the 20th century with his forthcoming book, The Sword of the Lord: The Roots of Fundamentalistm in an American Family.