Seeking a Better Country is a readable and lively survey of American Presbyterianism since its founding in 1706. Its aim is not to celebrate but to understand how Presbyterians formed one of the largest and most influential denominations in the United States, and to identify historical developments that led to Presbyterian decline.
Those seeking inspiration will have to look elsewhere. This is a sobering account of division, missed opportunities, and unrealized potential on the part of a church with exceptional theological, human, and material resources too often squandered on a worldly cultural agenda. The authors’ goal is accuracy, and the response they evoke is not celebration, but critical self-awareness, leading, they hope, to self-correction and reform. For all who are concerned for the future of Presbyterianism, this is an important book.
Senior Minister, Independent Presbyterian Church, Georgia
Sean Michael Lucas
Historians D. G. Hart and John Muether provide an account of American Presbyterian history that makes a basic and challenging argument: in their great success, Presbyterians in America have often lost sight of their spiritual mission of preaching the Word and administering the sacraments. Not exactly an uplifting message, and yet one that we need to hear! For in making their case, these authors not only provide a compelling account of Presbyterianism in America; they also offer a vision of Presbyterian identity that deemphasizes the noise, jazz, and heroes of this present age for a better country, that is a heavenly one, whose maker and ruler is God.
Senior Pastor, Independent Presbyterian Church
Seeking a Better Country does far more than simply chronicle the first three centuries of American Presbyterian history. It is a trenchant assessment of the Presbyterian legacy in the United States by two leading conservative scholars. It should be on the bookshelves of pastors and students alike.
President, Westminster Theological Seminary