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Book Review

Book Review: Truth Over Tribe

May 24, 2023

Originally published: “Patrick Miller and Simon Keith, Truth Over Tribe: Pledging Allegiance to the Lamb, not the Donkey or the Elephant. (Colorado Springs, CO: David C. Cook, 2022),” in Presbyterion 49. no 1 (Spring 2023), upcoming.

Reflecting on the last five to ten years of cultural changes is both dizzying and confusing. While there have always been disagreements among Americans, even strong disagreements, it seems that disagreements have become intensified. From political responses in 2016 and 2022 to reactions to Covid-19 to dealing with racial tension—it seems that Americans are more divided than ever. Local pastors Patrick Miller and Keith Simon address the issue of tribalism and polarization in their latest book Truth Over Tribe, which is both a diagnostic of our current cultural moment and proposed solutions for the church moving forward. Miller and Simon yearn for the church to be filled with people “schooled in the ways of enemy love, humility, meekness, and truth-telling” (19). This book is their attempt to inculcate such biblical virtues into American Christians so they can be more faithful to God and loving towards their neighbor. 

The authors diagnose the present reality of American culture as tribalism, the instinct to form isolated groups, which rarely, if ever, interact with one another. This is happening politically but more than ever, tribalism is fracturing relationships, work-dynamics, and cultural unity that Americans have enjoyed through years past. As pastors, Miller and Simon have numerous examples of how tribalism has both impacted their particular church and their community at large in Missouri. The book assumes that the reader affirms that tribalism is harmful or at least one is growing weary of the heightened polarization in our culture. The book is intended for this particular audience and I fearful that those who are on the extreme edges of the tribes may not heed the call toward action. Many people who live on the extreme right or left may have no trouble with their tribalism or they completely blind to it. This book is written for Christians who yearn for a better way to engage our culture with the love of Jesus yet are struggling how to speak the truth in love. 

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