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Last Call for Liberty

Last Call for Liberty
How America's genius for freedom has become its greatest threat

By Os Guinness
IVP 336pp $27.00
This book can be purchased here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07GJXRDYD/ref=dp-kindle-redirect? encoding=UTF8&btkr=1
Or here: https://www.ivpress.com/last-call-for-liberty

Reviewed by David W. Virtue, DD
October 24, 2018
The great American republic is in the throes of its gravest crisis since the Civil War, a crisis that threatens its greatness, its freedom and its character...the deepest threat is not the foreign invader but the American insider. The problem is not America against the world, or the world against America, but America against itself, citizens against citizens, government against citizens, one president against another president, and one view of America in radical opposition to another. Americans have become their own most bitter enemies and even the enemies of their centuries-old republic.

America, writes Dr. Os Guinness, one of America's foremost social critics, is locked in a mortal struggle for what each side believes is the soul of the republic. Heedless of the consequences, each side thinks the worst of the other. The once-visionary leadership of the free world has ground to an inglorious halt, and the suddenness of America's decline is shocking as well as tragic to its admirers.

The roots of the crisis are deeper than many realize. Guinness argues that we face a fundamental crisis of freedom, as America's genius for freedom has become her Achilles' heel. Our society's conflicts are rooted in two rival views of freedom, one embodied in "1776" and the ideals of the American Revolution, with its essentially Jewish and Christian views, and the assumptions and ideas of "1789", the French Revolution, with its essentially progressive and secularist views. The question is which fits the founders' understanding of freedom and the requirements of a free republic as the founders established it? America has become a house divided and Americans must make up their minds as to which freedom to follow. Will the constitutional republic be restored or replaced?

This grand treatment of history, civics and ethics in the Jewish and Christian traditions represents Guinness's definitive exploration of the prospects for human freedom today. He calls for a national conversation on the nature of freedom and poses key questions for concerned citizens to consider as we face a critical chapter in the American story. He offers readers a checklist by which they can assess the character and consequences of the freedoms they are choosing.

The biblical view insists on the essential place of truth, rejecting the dangers of the post-truth, power-driven world, and therefore provides a secure basis for freedom and for trust in society as well as a standing critique of the constant danger of the abuse of power.

The biblical view provides for the freedom of conscience for all, without exception, including all those who differ and dissent from the biblical view.

Guinness believes that 1776 answers freedom's questions better than 1789 and that the latter represents a disordered view of freedom that spells political suicide for the American republic -- as Lincoln warned.

The key to the remedy of the American crisis of freedom lies in a fresh exploration of the Hebrew notions of creation and covenant that lie behind both American freedom and the US Constitution.

Guinness asks the question, "Will a covenantal and constitutional renewal take place in America as the century unfolds? Is there an American leader with the vision, the courage, and the knowledge of history to be the covenant restorer in the land?"

The challenge of the present moment confronts an America with a titanic choice: covenant, chaos or control? Renewal or decline? Wellspring or social and cultural desert? The coming generation will be the crunch generation for freedom, just as it will also be part of the crunch generation for the future of the world.

In an anguished cry, Guinness pleads, "America, America. Do you know what time it is? Do you understand the meaning of this moment? Freedom is at stake. Act worthy of yourselves, your great experiment in freedom, your unfinished story, and the challenge of the hour and humanity. God, history, and the watching world await your answer...will you die by your own hand? Will you listen, reflect, and turn around, or will you continue to rush headlong toward, like Rome, a fall beyond belief? The hour for your decision is now."

This book is a must read for every thoughtful American as we face coming elections and what lies ahead for America.

The book will be launched at a Trinity Forum Evening Conversation at the National Press Club in Washington DC on Thursday, November 1, and live streamed for those who cannot be there.


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