New Book on Fundamentalism

Discussion in 'Fundamental Baptist Forum' started by John of Japan, May 12, 2011.

  1. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    A friend on the BB wrote and asked if I knew anything about the latest book on Fundamentalism, The Sword of the Lord: The Roots of Fundamentalism in an American Family by Andrew Himes. So I thought I'd better review it here. You can see the book on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1453843752/?tag=baptis04-20

    The truth is, my older brother wrote the book! I've read the book in four different versions since he began writing it, as he asked for my input all along and the input of various other family members, Fundamentalists and others.

    I do recommend the book highly. There are some things in it not complimentary to us Fundamentalists, but Andrew has approached the subject humbly and with a scholar's heart. It is copiously researched and when critical, it is gentle and kind.

    The gist of the book is that Andrew traces the development of modern Fundamentalism through the history of our family. Our grandfather was John R. Rice, the famous evangelist (1896-1980) who founded and edited the Sword of the Lord, and wrote over 200 books and pamphlets including his best sellers Prayer: Asking and Receiving, and Bible Facts About Heaven.

    Along this journey we learn some fascinating things such as what Rice ancestors fought in the Civil War, but we also learn some embarassing things such as what Rice ancestors owned slaves, and how Great Grandpa Rice was in the KKK (something that John R. Rice did not approve of).

    My brother Andrew himself has lead a life that leads like a novel, and he shares some of that in the book. (He is working on an autobiography that will be a humdinger.) He was the black sheep of the John R. Rice clan, quitting church and going to the U. of Wis. at Madison, one of the most radical schools in the country in 1968. There he was elected vice president of the huge student body, and led demonstrations against the war in Viet Nam.

    After that Andrew was at one time or another: a factory worker, a union agitator, a civil rights worker in the South, a motor cycle racer (one race, crashed, almost died), a Maoist revolutionary, a computer expert. Oh yes, I forgot to mention his stint at a little company out in Seattle called Microsoft! There he edited the developer's journal for the company and designed the first MSN website. And since his MS stint he's been a philanthropist and a film producer as well as an author.

    Just one caveat about the book: Andrew has come a long way back to the family and the faith of his childhood. However, if you had to classify him he'd probably be in the emergent camp--though his life and beliefs really defy classification. So there are places in the book where evolution and higher criticism, for example, are spoken favorably of. But don't let that stop you. Buy the book and be fascinated!

    One final note for my friends here on the BB. He does mention me (John R. Himes) several times as his brother who is a missionary in Japan. And in Chapter 26 he quotes from an unpublished essay by me about Grandpa John R. Rice's death.
     
    #1 John of Japan, May 12, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: May 12, 2011
  2. Aaron

    Aaron
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    I may just do that. Buy the book, I mean.
     
  3. Tom Bryant

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    I am looking forward to getting this book and reading it.
     
  4. humblethinker

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    I too want to read the book!
     
  5. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    Thanks for posting, folks. You will enjoy the book. :thumbsup:
     
  6. BKruppa

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    Hey John, I got to know some of your cousins quite well in the late 90's: Will Rice and his father. My wife and I took groups to their camp in TN, and were afforded the opportunity to participate musically in some services. A wonderful legacy in your family and I have learned quite a bit from reading several of John R. Rice books over the years.

    Is your brother's book centered more about family history or fundamentalist's history?
     
  7. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    Nice to hear from you, friend. Will's a good guy, and the Ranch is doing well with his leadership, from all we hear. And we love his father, but haven't had the chance to see him in a long time. Pete did come to Japan a few years back, though, and that was a blessing.

    Andrew's book is both. Let me put it this way. It is a look at the roots and history of Fundamentalism using through the history of the Rice family, which had its roots in the deep South. Thus, it doesn't deal very much with northern Fundamentalism, but does discuss in detail John R. Rice's complicated relationship with J. Frank Norris.
     
  8. Tom Bryant

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    That ought to be interesting! :smilewinkgrin:
     
  9. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    Not to mention the time at the John R. Rice funeral when either Grandma or a well-meaning aunt put Andrew, in his Marxist period, right next to Jerry Falwell at dinner time! :eek:

    Alas, no one thought to seat me next to Dr. Falwell. I would have appreciated the chance to get to know him! I did get to meet him briefly, though. Very gracious man. Later he invited Mom to give a testimony at his church. She was a total fan after that!
     
  10. menageriekeeper

    menageriekeeper
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    I've put it on my wish list!
     
  11. DHK

    DHK
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    I trust it will be a good book John. I just ordered it. The book was $16.95, but the shipping was $8.98. I paid more than half the price of the book in shipping. I did have a $25.00 gift card, but with tax that didn't cover the whole thing. I still ended up putting a little over $3.00 on a credit card. :(

    Anyway I will be looking forward to another good book on fundamentalism. Can you tell I don't shop much at Amazon?
     
  12. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    May all your wishes be fulfilled. :thumbsup:
     
  13. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    I really think you'll enjoy it and be educated some. I know I did and was. But you won't agree with all of it of course.
    Riiiiiight! :thumbs:
     
  14. DHK

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    No two men agree 100% on everything.
    When I went to Maranatha, in Wisconsin, I heard your grandfather preach many times. He was always a blessing.
     
  15. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    Always nice to hear that. He was always a blessing to me too. I think I read Prayer: Asking and Receiving 5 times or more.
     
  16. Mexdeaf

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    I just bought it on Kindle- an excellent read so far.
     
  17. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    And we have a (so far) satisfied customer! :wavey:
     
  18. Jim1999

    Jim1999
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    Your grandfather was one of the leaders in our battle against modernism. He is well remembered.

    If this book goes back to those days, it will be good reading as a reminder of keeping the faith once delivered to the saints.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  19. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    Hi, Brother Jim.

    This book is more about how Fundamentalism developed than its positions per se. (That's the book I would write, rather than my brother. :smilewinkgrin:) To do that it focuses on our one family, going way back to our Scots-Irish ancestors in the 18th century, and how they immigrated to America then. Then it discusses the development of the family in relationship to the Civil War, slavery, racism, etc. So while it does discuss the fight against modernism some, that's not a primary focus. The book doesn't even get into the 20th century until Ch. 8.

    Concerning John R. Rice, Andrew focuses more on him as a man, and how that man changed and grew even in his later years, than on the battles he fought.
     
  20. Tom Bryant

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    I am hoping they will get it on Nook... but no joy so far.

    Will have to get it somewhere else.
     

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