Broken Words: The Abuse of Science and Faith in American Politics is a book I would describe as provocative and challenging. Having grown up in an evangelical church and learned that abortion was wrong, homosexuality the worst sin and evolution is a theory without any merit, I found this book challenged things I always believed to be true.
For instance, in chapter five, Dudley talks about young earth creationism, he explains that "Seventh Day Adventists comprised the only significant number of adherents to the idea of a worldwide flood responsible for the fossil record and a young earth." [pg 130] One of Ellen G. White's disciples, George McCready Price, believed White's "vision was divinely inspired and dedicated his life to finding scientific support for it." In 1923 he wrote a book, The New Geology." That book later was revised and updated by Henry Morris and John Whitcomb and published in 1961 under the title of The Genesis Flood. So, as Dudley puts it, "Ellen G. White's divinely inspired interpretation of Genesis, filtered through Price, then filtered through Morris, was widely disseminated to the evangelical community." [pg 131] To me, that's a bit disturbing.
Another example would be "when does life begin?" In chapter two, Dudley tackles the sensitive subject of abortion, the "Right to Life" concept and how evangelical leaders use(d) it to sway opinion in the church, on various political candidates.
Though I may still be pro-life and believe in a young earth, Broken Words has caused me to think about why I believe some of the things I do. Does what I believe stem from just what the Bible says? Or has some of my beliefs been molded by other people's political agendas and faulty scientific research?
Does it make me less of a Christian because I may or may not agree with every evangelical leader and whatever political statement they may be promoting? I don't think so.
I think Broken Words is a very good book because it does cause a person to examine where they stand on these hot topics. Questioning why we take the stances we do is good, it causes us to seek out answers.
Jonathan Dudley has appeared on CNN's Newsroom with Kyra Philips and written for CNN.com, The Huffington Post, and the Yale Daily News. He also served as an ethical consultant for the National Institute on Drug Abuse and a reviewer for the International Journal of Drug Policy. He graduated with a B.S. in biology from Calvin College , an M.A. in ethics from Yale University Divinity School , and is currently a M.D. student at The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.
This book was provided by Jonathan Dudley for the purpose of reviewing. I am under no obligation to write a positive review.