Eric Metaxas is back in his studio. Today he interviewed former child television star and Christian activist Kirk Cameron. For 100 days, Cameron has been sitting in his backyard at a firepit talking with guests about America’s “providential history.” He prays that these discussions will trigger a great spiritual revival in the United States.
This raises an interesting theological question. Can God use really bad history to trigger a spiritual revival?
Cameron says the Pilgrims “discovered” the “Godly principles” that led to the flourishing of the United States of America. There is so much wrong with this statement. I don’t have the time to unpack this right now, but you can read my thoughts on this popular claim in chapter five of Was America Founded as a Christian Nation?: A Historical Introduction. The Christian nationalist attempt at drawing a direct line between the Pilgrims and the American Revolution is deeply problematic.
Cameron’s “history” lessons come from Marshall Forster’s and Mary Swanson’s 1982 book The American Covenant: The Untold Story. I have not read this book, but it appears to be a providential history along the same lines of Peter Marshall’s and Peter Manuel’s The Light and the Glory.
Cameron says that he and his online camp meeting followers are learning how the Pilgrims were “forced into socialism and communism” until they got smart enough to champion “free market’ principles. Just to be clear, communism, socialism, and capitalism did not exist in the 1620s. According to Cameron, the Pilgrims teach us that “socialism sucks.”