In this collection of essays, Albert Mohler tackles the most controversial issues in American society today. Now I don’t like politics, and I see all political systems as slowly rotting structures that we prop up as best we can for as long as we can. Ultimately they are all doomed to fail… but as a Christian I have a responsibility to prop where I can.
This should not be from a desire to see my particular architectural preference take shape, but because I am to love my neighbor as I love myself. And that means patching a leaky roof even though the roof will eventually fall in. It means, in Tolkien’s words, “fighting the long defeat.”
Mohler refers to Augustine’s epic view of history from the Christian perspective, City of God, and Augustine’s division of all people and all history into two cities, the City of God and the City of Man. We live now in the City of Man that is passing, and yet we have a responsibility to do for it what we can.
Political activism cannot save the world and we should never put our hope in flawed human systems—but if we love our neighbors, we will seek their good. And we can’t do that without engaging our culture and asking (and answering) the hard questions.
There are so many helpful and relevant topics touched on in this short book. Most were not new to me, but Mohler brings a level of clarity and common sense to the discussion that I have rarely seen. In several places, I felt quite convicted; for example, I’ve bought into our culture’s growing assumption that we all have the right not to be offended—a right that is preposterous in a culture of free speech. If I have the right to never be offended by what others say, others do not have the right to speak freely. We can’t have it both ways!
Though Mohler is able to diagnose the problems, he isn’t always able to offer an optimistic, practical answer. In the chapter about the educational system in the U.S. and how it is increasingly being used to indoctrinate children in the secularist position, all that Mohler can really offer is the advice that Christian families should have “an exit strategy” from the public school machine. This isn’t his fault; the momentum is all on the side of secular activists who have been busy writing curriculum and directing the educational culture in America for decades. We can’t fix the system, but we can at least plan ahead to protect our children.
This is a quick and easy read that I finished in a day. But the issues it addresses are anything but simple. Wending his way without hesitation through sensitive issues and general cultural drifts, Mohler makes sense of the chaos and shares a biblical perspective on the most contested questions in our world today. I highly recommend this book for Christians and non-Christians alike; even if you don’t agree with Mohler’s stance, he is one of the clearest voices articulating the biblical Christian position. Excellent. ( )Joni and Ken The Valley of Vision »