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IVP Academic

This Rebellious House

American History and the Truth of Christianity


by Steven J. Keillor

This Rebellious House
  • Length: 368 pages
  • Published: October 03, 1996
  •  Print on Demand
  • ISBN: 978-0-8308-1877-8
  • Item Code: 1877
  • Case Quantity: 28
Print on Demand

There was a day when the plausibility of Christianity was debated on a philosophical and metaphysical basis: Does God exist? Can a good God create and sustain a world marred by evil? Can peoples in all times and places take seriously the very particular claims made by and for Jesus Christ?

Today Christianity is often challenged not from philosophy or metaphysics but from history. Rather than attack the supposed proofs of God's existence, skeptics of all sorts (college professors, journalists, members of ethnic minority groups, women, and especially Generation Xers) are more likely to point to slavery, patriarchalism, mistreatment of Native Americans and other historical examples of Christian oppression as evidence that Christianity is either misguided or untrustworthy. These revisionist views of U.S. history, most prominently developed in the proposed National Standards for United States History, have recently captured the attention of the wider American public via reports on Nightline and in the pages of Time and several national newspapers.

In This Rebellious House historian Steven Keillor meets the new challenges head-on. Examining events in the United States from Columbus to Clinton, he first disabuses us of the notion that our nation has ever been a genuinely "Christian" one. Then he focuses in turn on various political, economic and cultural policies or events (the Civil War, westward expansion) that are now often cited to "disprove" or "debunk" Christianity. Relying on essential Christian assumptions and on the best of contemporary historical scholarship, he refutes each of these challenges with a provocative, compelling and robustly pro-Christian reading of U.S. history.

Here is a significant new resource for historians, students, Christians and all citizens of conscience caught in the crossfire of our nation's current culture wars.

"This swashbuckling, learned, sometimes infuriating, often surprising, opinionated, pious, devastating and altogether useful book interprets the course of American history by linking the best historical scholarship with an explicitly Christian point of view . . . [It] keeps mind and soul awake . . . This is a very important work."

Mark Noll, in Christian Century




1. 1492: The Seven Deadly Sins Tumble out of Europe

2. Africa Comes to the Americas, Christ Comes to the Slaves

3. Born from Above: Puritans, Conversions, the Great Awakening

4. Gentlemen Think Up a Revolution, a Republic a Constitution

5. Rebel, Young Patriarch, Go West with the Country

6. The Great Duel: North South Drop Debate Take Up Arms

7. Exodus: Slaves Freed, Capitalism Enters Its Promised Land

8. Women Aim for Reform Equality but End Up with Consumerism

9. History's Accelerator: America Abroad, for Pious Impious Ends

10. Getting Real: The U.S. Adjusts to Reality to Fight Totalitarianism

11. "At Sixes Sevens": A Revolt Against Realism Splinters America

12. Splinter-New: Media-Driven, Networked, Niched, New Age America



Steven J. Keillor (PhD, University of Minnesota) is an independent historian and was previously an assistant professor at Iowa State University. He has published several scholarly books in American history and political biography including Grand Excursion: Antebellum America Discovers the Upper Mississippi, Erik Ramstad and the Empire Builder, and This Rebellious House: American History & the Truth of Christianity. He has edited a Civil War memoir No More Gallant a Deed and written a book of essays and poems, Prisoners of Hope: Sundry Sunday Essays (Regent College Press). He writes in a log cabin in Minnesota.

BY Steven J. Keillor

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