Thursday, October 10, 2013

Book comments

I read When a Nation Forgets God over the weekend. I went into it knowing the politics of the author (typical right-wing Evangelical), so it didn't surprise me that the warnings were mostly about left-wing agendas. As you probably have gathered, I'm not a big "culture wars" proponent—the church did just fine when the Roman Empire was arrayed against it! Nor am I a big fan of the right-wing. OK, that's an understatement! I'm closer to socialist than I am to capitalist...

That being said, there are some good points in the book. He does make a point of saying that God doesn't favor one political or economic system over another. But he does use socialist almost as a swear word—as if capitalism has done a better job of the economy : (

The final chapter is definitely the best. He expounds on the danger of equating nationalism with Christianity. He sees this one of the reasons that the German church was unable to stand against Hitler. I think he's right.

If I had written the book, I would have included a few chapters on the problems of the right-wing agendas. For example, the left may be trying to expunge God from the public square, but the right is fine with him being there as long as he is the nationalistic, cultural god. They want to keep god confined to the U.S.'s interests—in short, God is an American.

I also would have included a chapter on the dangers of unbridled greed (read capitalism). The prophets rail against the greed of the upper class continually—there are more rebukes for exploiting the poor than there are about sexual immorality. Lutzer is silent on that, although he warns against the state. I fear big business more than big government! Big businesses are multinational, which means no government can control them. At least with government, you can either "vote the bums out" or perform a coup (I'm not advocating that!). Try that with a big business...

Hitler came to power promising to restore the values of Germany. Sound familiar? Octavian (Augustus) became emperor (technically, he wasn't called emperor, but he was in fact) promising to restore Roman values. Sound familiar? I haven't done a formal study, but my gut feeling is that more totalitarian regimes have come to power to restore traditional values than the ones promising to transform things in a new direction...

Just an
</idle musing>

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