Reviews

|

This Thanksgiving, Stop Idolizing the Pilgrims
The First Thanksgiving: What the Real Story Tells Us About Loving God and Learning from History
Our Rating
4½ Stars - Excellent
Book Title
The First Thanksgiving: What the Real Story Tells Us About Loving God and Learning from History
Author
Publisher
IVP Academic
Release Date
September 1, 2013
Pages
219
Price
$10.23
Buy The First Thanksgiving: What the Real Story Tells Us About Loving God and Learning from History from Amazon

In 1623, Plymouth Colony Governor William Bradford proclaimed the first Thanksgiving. "The great Father," he declared, "has given us this year an abundant harvest...and granted us freedom to worship God according to the dictates of our own conscience." He directed the Pilgrims to gather that November, "the third year since ye Pilgrims landed on ye Plymouth Rock, there to listen to ye Pastor and render Thanksgiving to ye Almighty God for all his blessings."

Except Bradford didn't write that. Someone—we don't know who—fabricated this "proclamation" in the late 20th century. (And the "first Thanksgiving" actually happened in 1621, anyway.) Yet quotes from Bradford's "proclamation" circulate around the internet and appear in books such as 48 Liberal Lies About American History and Sermon Outlines for Busy Pastors. Surviving records from the Pilgrims actually tell us little about the "first Thanksgiving," tempting folks to fill in details where they don't exist. In this, the Pilgrims join a long line of historical characters that Americans—and especially some evangelicals—have attempted to form in their own image.

In The First Thanksgiving: What the Real Story Tells Us About Loving God and Learning from History, Robert Tracy McKenzie takes the historical challenges posed by the Pilgrims as his starting point. I cannot recall ever reading a book quite like The First Thanksgiving. It is an entertaining retelling of a seminal moment in American history—and a remarkable reflection on how Christians should handle history in general.

Crisis Point

American evangelicals seem to have reached a crisis point over the ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Browse All Book Reviews By:
Read These Next
Current IssueWhy Christians Are Abandoning the Orphanage
Why Christians Are Abandoning the Orphanage Subscriber Access Only
A new focus on the family is changing how Christians care for abandoned and neglected children.
RecommendedBernie Sanders Attacks Wheaton Grad’s Stance on Salvation
In Christ Alone: Bernie Sanders Attacks Wheaton Grad’s Stance on Salvation
Trump appointee hearing turns into a religious test for office.
TrendingKay Warren: 'We Were in Marital Hell'
Kay Warren: 'We Were in Marital Hell'
Through God's work in our lives, we've beaten the odds that divorce would be the outcome of our ill-advised union.
Editor's PickThe Church's Biggest Challenge in 2017
The Church's Biggest Challenge in 2017
Let’s get unchurched evangelicals back into church, and prejudiced evangelicals back to the Bible.
Christianity Today
This Thanksgiving, Stop Idolizing the Pilgrims
hide thisAccess The Archives

In the Archives

November 2013

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.