THE CURRENT CULTURAL MOMENT IS UNSETTLING. New terms (WOKE, Critical Theory, Critical Race Theory, Postmodernism, Cisgender, etc.) come faster than we can process them. Western culture is experiencing unprecedented turmoil and upheaval. Confusion seems to abound. What is happening? How did we get here? Where are we going? Of course, publishers have printed a library of books to address these issues. It is a profitable subject. So here are a few of my favorites. Hopefully, you will read at least one. I believe all that do so will be greatly edified. We cannot fight an enemy we do not understand!
Slaying Leviathan by Glenn Sunshine
Academic, Glen Sunshine, wrote this book to provide us with a history of “inalienable rights,” limited government, and if and when Christian resistance is legitimate. The subtitle is “Limited Government and Resistance in the Christian Tradition.” Seventeenth-century English philosopher, Thomas Hobbes, wrote Leivathan. He argued that the rights of the King are absolute. Of course, Sunshine disagrees.
“Jesus said give to God what is God’s and to Caesar what is Caesar’s. Church and state have different spheres of authority in God’s economy. Christianity is the only world religion to grow without state support. The state has no sovereignty over the individual conscience. Every Christians first obligation is to God not the state.”
Sunshine suggests that sphere sovereignty is crucial. Each sphere (State, Family, Church) must stay within its sphere. When it doesn’t, tyranny is usually the fruit. Whenever one of these spheres (think the family) shrinks or shrivels, the government will fill the void attempting to fix and replace it.
In clear, easy-to-understand prose, Sunshine traces the development of these ideas from Augustine, through the Reformation, and to the present. Since armed conflict is always possible, Christians would be smart to read and understand the issues. Sunshine clarifies them in the contents of this highly readable book.
Victims Revolution by Bruce Bawer
Bawer is a theologically liberal, but socially conservative, “gay Christian.” The subtitle is “The Rise of Identity Studies and the Closing of the Liberal Mind.”
Nevertheless, I found this book an extremely helpful, if not enlightening, expose of what is being taught in the social sciences department at your local university. The “victims” that compromise the topic of the book, are women, gays, transgendered, fat people, hispanics, blacks, etc. The first chapter is history of how we got here. It alone is worth the price of the book. Then Bawer devotes a separate chapter to “womens studies,” “black studies,” gay studies, etc. Tragically, Bawer notes that women’s studies is the most popular major on contemporary American university Campuses.
After reading this book you will probably not send your eighteen year old to the local university—unless they are studying accounting, engineering, architecture, or the hard sciences.
Cynical Theories by Pluckrose and Lindsay
The authors begin with this statement.
“The main tenets of [cultural] liberalism are political democracy, limitations on the powers of government, the development of universal human rights, legal equality for all adult citizens, freedom of expression, respect for the value of viewpoint diversity and honest debate, respect for evidence and reason, the separation of church and state, and freedom of religion.”
Subsequent chapters describe how Postmodernism—originating from the philosophy of a gay, French, sadomasochist, academic, Michel Foucault—and Critical Theory is destroying this old liberal consensus that has held Western Culture together for millennia. Other villains are Post Colonialism and Cultural Marxism. Not being Christians the authors are good at analyzing the problem, but not so good at providing solutions. Nevertheless, I highly recommend this book.
If you’ve read any of these books would love to see your comments below.