Introduction to “The Sword of the Lord”

January 1, 2011

From author Andrew Himes: "Christian fundamentalism in America emerged a century ago, the faith of generations of immigrants who had experienced war and revolution, removal and upheaval, and in response to the Enlightenment and the scientific revolution in the 18th and 19th centuries. The Scots-Irish who settled the South inherited both an evangelical legacy of abolitionism and social reform on the one hand, and responsibility for the painful and destructive consequences of human slavery on the other.

"I come from a long line of fundamentalist preachers -- including my dad, my brother, many uncles and cousins, my granddad, John R. Rice, the dean of American fundamentalists for decades until his death in 1980 -- and my great-granddad Will Rice -- who was a Baptist preacher, Texas State Senator, and a leader of the Ku Klux Klan. This book brings the complicated and contradictory story of fundamentalism to life through the generations of the Rice family -- who were immigrants, soldiers, farmers, slaveowners, refugees, and preachers -- as well as the story of my own life.

"In this book, I've brought it all together in a work of history, memoir, and personal testimony about the shape of faith and an image of God that can help us transform ourselves and change the world. I hope you'll join me in the conversation!"

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