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Why You Can't Stay Silent: A Biblical Mandate to Shape Our Culture (Focus on the Family) Hardcover – January 24, 2002

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 217 pages
  • Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (January 24, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1561799254
  • ISBN-13: 978-1561799251
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.3 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #467,679 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Minnery, an employee of Colorado-based Focus on the Family, decries the decline of morality in American schools, media and laws, and calls Christians to do something about it by becoming politically active. He refutes arguments that Christians shouldn't get involved in "the world" and that the church's primary responsibility is evangelism rather than social activism. For ammunition he cites Christian reformers throughout history, such as Harriet Beecher Stowe (whom he patronizingly calls "One Mom Who Mattered"). While acknowledging that "righteousness is a very broad objective," Minnery suggests specific strategies for future activists, such as determining whether or not someone has useful experience with an issue as do, for example, pro-life activists who have had abortions. His rhetoric sometimes overcomes his facts, as when he asserts that "students who want to meet on their own for an after-school Bible study often face bureaucratic delay" in approval for their gatherings. Since he provides no examples of this, and since such delays would verge on violating the Equal Access Act, this assertion comes across as hyperbole. Readers who agree with Minnery's unabashedly Republican beliefs will probably enjoy his call to arms and strategies for confronting the culture. Others might wonder why, given the centuries of activism in the Christian church, Minnery feels that such a battle cry is necessary, unless his goal is to revive the religious right's heyday of the 1980s.

Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer VINE VOICE on July 26, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Tom Minnery believes that Christians not only have a mandate to proclaim the gospel, but to see it exemplified in society as well. He believes that we are not really forced with choosing one or the other: either evangelize or do social reform. He says we can and should do both simultaneously. He rightly argues that meeting people's basic needs (of food, shelter, clothing, jobs, etc.) is part of what it means to be salt and light in the world. And such activities also make the gospel message much more palatable, much more believable, much more acceptable.
And the history of the Christian church is full of examples of the use of a whole gospel to meet the needs of whole people. Wherever missionaries went they did good deeds as they preached the good news. Hospitals were built, women and children were ministered to, hunger was dealt with, schools and job opportunities were developed, prison and work conditions were improved, and so on. It is exactly because so many Christians treated people as whole beings, not just souls to be saved, that so many people were in fact saved.
For example, many people became Christians in the early days of the church because of these acts of mercy and compassion. When a plague or pestilence swept through an area, most people would flee. But it was the Christians who stayed behind, ministering to the sick and needy. Many thousands of conversions took place as a result.
In this book Minnery, from Focus on the Family, provides examples of great saints whose lives were a testimony to many, not just because of the words they spoke but because of their actions as well. He looks at Theodore Weld, the Christian anti-slavery activist who made such an impact in nineteenth century America.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Bo J. Swenson on January 18, 2004
Format: Hardcover
The reason I bought this book was to inspire me to witness to other people. But this book does not do that at all- only because that is not its intentions. What this book is intended to do is convince people to speak up against government injustices and apocryphal issues (Ex. abortion). And that it does well. The author actually does convince you of reasons not to "stay silent". I believe these issues are very important in the community of Christians and I recommend this book if you want to stand up for what you believe in and take matters in your own hands. It even gives specifically examples of people who made a small protest against unapproved actions by the state/nation, not trying to make a controversy over it but ends ups gathering protesters around the nation to put an end to- what was in this case a very detestable magazine providing material of unhealthy sex talk for young girls. So it can not only show you why you should, but it also can help you lead protests (even over smaller issues) in your community/nation, when issues with bad values show up.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By David R. Bess VINE VOICE on August 20, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book broadens the Christian's view of witnessing, restoring it to a biblical perspective. For many years, believers have been misled to separate their influence upon souls from their influence upon society. The former has been encouraged, while the latter has been seen as undesirable. Minnery restores the biblical and historical balance by admonishing the church today to be both salt and light in a fallen world.

The author emphasizes that for too long the church has remained silent regarding the moral decay surrounding it. While political involvement and social action are not the only means to make a difference, they are important means that believers have neglected in the last several decades.

This book is a must-read for all Christians who desire to have a balanced, biblical approach to the society around them.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Dan Panetti VINE VOICE on June 26, 2007
Format: Hardcover
The author Tom Minnery serves as the Vice President of Public Policy for Focus on the Family and the intent of this book is really to respond to a book from Cal Thomas that chastised Christians for putting too much of an emphasis on political action as a redeeming force for mankind. Minnery challenges Thomas' assertions by putting forth the argument that Christians have always been a redeeming force within culture - a change agent for the good of mankind - not in an attempt to bring people to salvation, but more of an agent of God's common grace on all men. Minnery begins by stating that there are just some things so wrong or so outrageous that as followers of Christ we just can't sit and do nothing - silence would be tacit endorsement!

The book continues with historical examples of Christians who have engaged their culture for the cause of Christ throughout history. Of course, some Christians believe that controversy should be avoided at all costs and Minnery directly confronts that position and explains that a biblically-informed worldview understands that controversy with the world system should actually be expected by followers of Christ.

Minnery stresses that as followers of Christ the way we engage the culture is of primary importance - we must not be ugly to people even when we disagree on issues. He then counters one of the greatest hurdles to so many who want to get involved, but don't know how - the feeling of inadequacy or the question of what can one person really do to make a difference? Minnery gives numerous examples where one person did make a difference...or could have if they had been available for the Lord's service!

The book was good, but not outstanding.
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