[Note: This book was provided free of charge by Aneko Press/Life Sentance Publishing in exchange for an honest review.]
At 300 pages of bold and blunt and courageous writing, there is a lot to praise about this book. It is a stirring call to arms for self-avowed Fundamentalists willing to consider liberalism a cult and to excoriate lukewarm congregations for putting up with lukewarm ministers more interested in preserving 501c(3) status and treating church like a corporation than with preaching the word of God as it relates to moral evils. The book is detailed and takes no prisoners in its approach–it shows a wide degree of discussions in everything from the long train of judicial tyranny to discussions about Common Core education, abortion, gay marriage (and this before the court’s recent decision), and has a wide historical scope. The author is clearly both passionate about the need for general societal repentance in order to escape divine justice, and has a firm commitment to encouraging Christians to be in the world but not of it.
In terms of its organization, the book has several clearly organized chapters of somewhat uneven length. The book begins with several chapters that demonstrate how mainstream Christianity reached its present sad state in American society, and encourages believers not to be ashamed of the Gospel message, pointing out that many ministers have been afraid to preach out against sin as a result of their moral cowardice. The book spends most of its length discussing the perversion of court decisions by corrupt judges looking for pretexts and proof texts, looks at judicial tyranny, and spends a substantial time discussing the horrors of abortion. The author then discusses liberalism as a cult, which introduces a less appealing aspect of the author’s rhetoric which is worthy of some discussion, and then discusses the assaults on traditional marriage, a discussion on worldviews, a strong condemnation of common core in education, and a criticism of the rise of interest in witchcraft and the occult (Harry Potter and Twilight come in for special condemnation here, as does the general apparent influence of musicians to demonic influence onstage). At this point the book speeds towards its conclusion with a call for struggle as well as a premillennial view of Jesus Christ’s return.
There are some aspects of this book that are worthy of critique. For one, the author engages in some logical fallacies when he defends the Constitution on a view of originalism while defending his view on orthodoxy based on a viewpoint of general contemporary consensus. The fact that the author himself defends views about the law of God that would be considered by some as legalist while simultaneously using the term legalism to club sects that the author simultaneously views as authoritarian and sometimes gnostic is also somewhat disingenuous. Also worthy of criticism is the somewhat partial and uneven extent to which the author engages in political discussion–the book details ways that crony capitalism has led in part to the dangerous rise of the state, but there is no attempt to critique social wrongs involving a failure of mankind to steward the earth or address historical failures like slavery and racism, about which the author is mostly silent except as a way of scoring points against the eugenics movement and contemporary abortionists. These matters do not negate the effectiveness of the book in its discussion of contemporary moral failings, but they represent chinks in armor that can be used as targets in partisan reviews that will ignore the book’s insights and focus strictly on its liabilities, using the book’s fierce rhetoric to encourage hostility against fundamentalist views. Another area of commentary worthy of discussion are those areas that the book does not focus on that are worthy of mention, perhaps in later books by the author. In particular, the book seemed to advocate an adversarial and countercultural strategy by Christians to go underground and oppose the corrupt present legal and political order, but the author’s general pessimism about Christian attempts in the 20th century at building cultural infrastructure make this book mostly preaching against evil rather than building a biblical alternative that can serve as a rallying point for believers tired of oppositional politics and looking for something positive on this side of the kingdom. In some areas, this book could have served to be longer, and more optimistic. After all, a call to arms not only needs defiant courage, but also a clear vision for comprehensive victory. That’s what Dietrich Bonhoeffer would provide, anyway.