Praise for American Liturgy

Cascade Books, 2021

“Highly recommended for preachers, teachers, study groups, and anyone who wants to take a new look at the relationship between Christian faith and American citizenship.”

“In a series of deeply personal and profound essays, Davis explores life in the United States through a theological lens and theology through a secular lens. The essays made me cry and laugh, but more importantly, they made me think about the intersection of faith and life.”

“Davis has provided a model example of what it means to think theologically about things that most Americans would consider far removed from the realms of the spiritual or theological.”

“Engaging essays and stories full of deep thoughts, major questions and doubts,
fears and humor anchored in today, connect historic US culture and Christianity.
Aha moments, tears, laughter, and agreement prompt more questions. James
Calvin Davis takes long-standing American culture apart, challenges traditions,
questions routine, then reconstructs it with new understanding and insight. Even
the footnotes are worthwhile. A fair and balanced writing, American Liturgy
offers any book group, Bible study class, or curious history reader an exceptional
tool for hours of lively discussion and consideration. A joy to read!

“Written in a conversational tone and with wry wit, these reflections are not ‘pop’ theology. They have depth and substance.”

“Two words appear in this book multiple times that remind me of why I love James Calvin Davis’s written work, spoken sermons, and steel-trap mind: bidirectional and nuance. He can talk about anything in such a complete and engaging way that it becomes part of a holy world that is all around us if we will only see it.”

“The theologian’s stroll through the year will bring chuckles, nods of agreement, and moments of introspection. His chapter on the ‘Holy War on Hate’ is a masterpiece.”

“The author brings scripture alive by using his own life experiences and the present-day challenges that we all face. With his depth of Biblical and historical knowledge, his desire for God’s peace in this world, and his humor, he makes this book a real joy to read.”

“If you are new to his writing, this book is a great way to come into the experience of his gifts. Could not more highly recommend.”

“James Calvin Davis reminds us that any interpretation of the Bible, any expression of the Christian gospel, is always embedded in particular culture and history. He then invites us to think theologically about the Christian experience of American culture, and the American experience of the Christian gospel. With the clarity and nuance his readers have come to treasure, Davis explores how the church is sometimes against, sometimes with, and sometimes for the cultures in which we find ourselves.”

“While there’s a lot of serious material in these pages, it is leavened with a good deal of wit, humor, and good-natured ribbing.”

“For any preacher who has tried to grapple with the often maddening trajectory of (White) American Christianity in the 21st century, the essay on MLK’s Birthday helpfully defines the contours of Two Americas, both of which believe they are fighting for the very soul of the nation. Spending the first half of his life in the Rust Belt and then the South, before moving to a college town in New England, Davis is able to offer both critique and appreciation of both sides of our raging culture war, but he takes a clear stand against the systemic legacy of slavery that is all too readily perpetuated by White Christian America.”

American Liturgy is as enjoyable as it is useful. I commend this text to any Christian preacher or teacher called to stand in the crucible of early 21st century America and speak a relevant theological word.“

“Embracing the joys and challenges of family life, the transcendent power of music, and some of the most difficult and crucial issues today, Davis writes unabashedly, taking on sensitive and challenging topics with grace, depth, and understanding. His expertise in historical and theological contexts informs the reader, while also shedding light on penetrating questions upon which we are called to reflect and respond.”

“While it is deeply theological through and through, it is also highly accessible for the average reader, filled with humor, stories, and insights, in chapters short enough to grab a quick read just before turning out the light at night.”

“As a pastor, I secretly dread secular holidays. Either I long ago ran out of things to say about them, or I have things to say, but doing so will likely tick off half my congregation. After reading this book, however, I’m actually excited about preaching on ‘the holy days of US culture.’ These warm, funny, and deeply personal essays find interesting and theologically rich angles on subjects that seem to offer little in the way of food for thought. Even Super Bowl Sunday yields a wonderful meditation on beauty, family and friendship, and the godliness of fun.”

“While Davis’s book is not addressed specifically to preachers, it helpfully engages a vexing issue that all preachers face: Should we acknowledge non-Christian holidays during worship?”

paperback and e-book available now wherever books are sold