ROD DREHER’S NEW BOOK, Live Not By Lies, A Manual for Christian Dissidents is essential reading for any conservative desiring to prepare themselves and their family for the future. In my opinion, it was more specific and helpful than his first book, The Benedict Option. The title comes from a Solzhenitsyn essay written to the Russian people just prior to his imprisonment in the Gulag.
Dreher, a member of the Orthodox Communion, is a senior editor and blogger for The American Conservative.
The book divides into two sections. The first four chapters analyze our current situation. The conclusion? The West is ripe for what Dreher calls “soft totalitarianism.” I’m not convinced the totalitarianism will stay soft, but I hope he is right.
I found the second half of the book most helpful. It contains six chapters, each a talking point for preparedness.
Chapter Five: Value Nothing More than Truth. Be willing to suffer for your convictions. Be willing to speak out against the rampant lies that so dominate contemporary culture.
Chapter Six: Cultivate Cultural Memory. If the left can destroy our history, i.e. cultural memory, they can also destroy our identity. Think of the statue toppling going on all around the country. Don’t let this happen to you.
Chapter Seven: Families Are Resistance Cells. Strong families are the first level of resistance. The effectiveness of the nuclear family explains the sixties sexual revolution and its intended catastrophic impact on the nuclear family. The left would abolish the family if possible. Dreher includes interviews with the heads of extended families who effectively resisted totalitarianism in Eastern Europe.
Chapter Eight: Religion, The Bedrock of Resistance. Dreher shares many interviews with Christian leaders who suffered greatly for their faith. His point is that it is generally only faith that empowers one to pay the price needed to resist the left’s lies.
Chapter Nine: Standing in Solidarity. Besides the family and faith, small groups are essential. The State may take away the ability to meet in large groups forcing the church underground. If that happens a vibrant small group network will be essential.
Chapter Ten: The Gift of Suffering. Dreher relates the suffering of key Christian leaders. But in each case, they considered their suffering a gift from God. Although the suffering was acute, this chapter imparts confidence that God will enable us to persevere to the end.
Can’t recommend this book enough. If I still had children at home I would read key sections of it to them around the dinner table. Live Not By Lies is a God-given tool to help Christians persevered through the coming storm.