by Timothy Beach-Verhey Baylor University Press, 320 pages
reviewed by ROGER J. GENCH
In this fine book on public theology, Timothy Beach-Verhey seeks to find a way for American Christians to contribute to public discourse without seeking to dominate it (as in the past) or to accommodate to its assumptions (our current temptation).
In July, the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) will receive two documents of great relevance to Christians and Jews and to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict in the Middle East. They are already drawing fire from both Jewish and Palestinian groups.
In 1954, George Docherty preached a sermon at New York Avenue church in Washington, D.C., and suggested that since morality is based on a Judeo-Christian foundation, the Pledge of Allegiance should include a reference to God. President Eisenhower was seated in the congregation and was moved by the sermon. As a result, Docherty’s sermon was influential in the movement to change the Pledge of Allegiance to include the phrase "under God."