With Ann Coulter on his Monday radio show, Eric Metaxas seemed stunned that historians would critique his new book, If You Can Keep It. Coulter warned people that her new book would likely contain errors and Metaxas jumped off of that comment to complain that people have written essays about the errors in his book. Listen at 1:02:
He acknowledges that he got religious liberty in the colonial period wrong but implies he could change a sentence around to make it accurate. He glosses over his error by implying he only got it wrong in one sentence (not so, see this post). He also claims he is correct in his interpretation of John Winthrop’s “City of a Hill” speech. I think historians John Fea and Tracy McKenzie would enjoy hearing his defense.
Without naming him, Metaxas mentioned Fea’s six-part series critiquing the book. He seems amazed that his errors deserve scrutiny.
I am amazed that he is amazed.
The sorry state of books by Christian celebrities is illustrated by this exchange. Coulter and her publisher are going into print without sufficient fact-checking. Metaxas jumps right in and seems bewildered that Christian readers would expect that a book using history to make a case should be historically accurate.
Metaxas is happy to take the adulation of his readers who don’t know any better, but he is dismissive of those who point out reasonable critiques. On twitter, he has blocked me and several others who have brought these things to his attention. From this response, it seems to me that he doesn’t care that thousands of readers will need to unlearn the factual errors they have trusted in his book.
For more on the controversy surrounding Metaxas’ new book, see the following sources:
John Fea’s series
Tracy McKensie’s blog
Gregg Frazer’s review
My article in the Daily Caller
My blog posts addressing the errors