Book Reviews: ‘Patriotism from an American Pulpit’ and ‘Moving On’

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Patriotism from an American Pulpit: The Legacy of America’s Founding Fathers

By Darwyn Hassert (CreateSpace)

Hassert 200Darwyn Hassert preached patriotism from his pulpit at least 90 times during his 30-plus years in ministry. Patriotism from an American Pulpit contains 13 of those sermons that describe “the legacy of America’s founding fathers,” defined as approximately 250 individuals who significantly influenced, prominently led or substantially affected the formation of the United States.

The retired Bible church pastor divides the addresses into four categories—foundation of the republic, perpetuation of the republic, explanation of the republic and preservation of the republic. In the discourses, Hassert delves into the colonial era, the events leading to the Declaration of Independence, the Revolutionary War, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Within a context of biblical truth, the author quotes from sermons, speeches and writings of the period, as well as the documents themselves. Apart from the sermons, the author advocates Christian engagement in the political process through acquiring knowledge, voting, supporting candidates, writing letters to editors and considering candidacy for public office.

In Patriotism from an American Pulpit, Darwyn Hassert offers a well-documented apologetic for the influence of Christian faith on America’s founding fathers and therefore on the founding of the United States. In so doing, he encourages pastors to preach patriotism rather than politics from their pulpits.

Kathy Robinson Hillman, immediate past president

Baptist General Convention of Texas



Moving On: Surviving the Grief of Forced Termination

By Deanna Harrison (A Book’s Mind)

Moving On 200Deanna Harrison combines at least three good books into one slim volume. Written by the spouse of a fired pastor, Moving On is part memoir; part biblical study of vocational calling, anger and grief; and part how-to guide for surviving a forced termination.

Harrison does well with the biblical study. She knows her Bible, and she handles Scripture both faithfully and insightfully. She also researched best-practices for overcoming adversity, processing both anger and grief, and charting a new path toward wholeness, productivity and joy.

So, you could justify buying this book as a Bible study/devotional guide and as a process manual for starting over in life. Either is a sound investment.

Deanna Harrison 140Deanna HarrisonThe real reason to buy this book, however, is the memoir. Harrison paints a vivid picture of what happens in a life and a marriage when a church fires a minister.

People get fired every day. And let’s face it, many of them—ministers included—deserve it. But ministerial terminations happen on a different plane. Except for moral failure, most of the time a pastor gets fired, the reasoning is purely personal. It’s subjective, a judgment call. More significantly, a pastoral firing strikes at the pastor’s and spouse’s identity. It casts into question God’s call, not only to vocation but to congregation. Harrison throws open the curtains and allows readers to see what life looks like inside a fired pastor’s home.

So, two groups of people should read this book. First, fired ministers and their spouses will find identity and comfort in Harrison’s brave, generous accounting. Second, and at least as urgently, church members who are thinking about firing a minister for anything less than moral grounds should see and consider the consequences of what they’re about to do.

Marv Knox, editor

Baptist Standard


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