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How Now Shall We Live? [Hardcover]

Charles Colson , Pearcey Nancy Pearcey
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Sept. 1 1999
2000 Gold Medallion Award winner!
Christianity is more than a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. It is also a worldview that not only answers lifes basic questions—Where did we come from, and who are we? What has gone wrong with the world? What can we do to fix it?—but also shows us how we should live as a result of those answers. How Now Shall We Live? gives Christians the understanding, the confidence, and the tools to confront the worlds bankrupt worldviews and to restore and redeem every aspect of contemporary culture: family, education, ethics, work, law, politics, science, art, music. This book will change every Christian who reads it. It will change the church in the new millennium.

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From Amazon

How Now Shall We Live was the heart cry of a people who lived during the Jewish exile from the Promised Land, yet it is no less the unspoken prayer of the faithful today. As author Chuck Colson puts it, "We live in a culture that is at best morally indifferent ... in which Judeo-Christian values are mocked ... in which violence, banality, meanness, and disintegrating personal behavior are destroying civility and endangering the very life of our communities." It is no small wonder that Colson--the founder of Prison Fellowship Ministries and author of several renowned Christian works--considers this book the most important work of his life.

America, Colson states, is now in a post-Judeo-Christian era. Technically, this is what "postmodernism" means. In a generation in which the most respected brands of thought about reality declare that "God is dead," it is clear that a faith-based worldview does not prevail. So how do we teach our children that belief in God is respectable and intelligent? How do we fulfill our mandate to make "disciples of all nations" when friends and coworkers find the Christian perspective foolhardy and--in terms of rational thought--almost insane? Most important, how do we renew our entire culture, especially as it infects the global community, with the "common grace" of reinstating a prevailing belief in God and in His moral order?

These questions' implications are far-reaching, and Colson's thorough inquiry is a ready match for the challenge. In effect, this book delivers a logical, more than just "because the Bible says so" framework for interpreting the Gospel to the postmodern world, while also illustrating the vision for a culture based entirely on Biblical principles--powerful tools, indeed.

Christians are taught to love God with all their hearts, all their strength, and all their minds. How Now Shall We Live emphasizes that not to use one's mind in this idea-saturated culture is to abandon dying neighbors to bleed by the side of the road while going about one's religious way. As Colson puts it, "turning our backs on the culture ... denies God's sovereignty over all of life." It's this compassionate severity and prodding intelligence that make this book not only a good read, but a life-changing one as well. --Courtenay Gebhardt

From Publishers Weekly

International prison ministry leader Colson, most famous for his role in the Watergate scandal and his subsequent conversion to Christianity, has co-written with Pearcey what he believes to be the most important book of his career. Picking up where the late American theologian Francis Schaeffer's book and film series How Then Shall We Live? left off, Colson attempts to explain why American culture has become "post-Christian" and what must be done to "rebuild it with a biblical worldview." He believes that Christian salvation is not just personal but "cosmological," redeeming all of creation. Colson's work is a mixed bag. When he outlines his theology, shares personal stories or explains the various Supreme Court cases that touch upon religion's role in American life, he is thoughtful and articulate, yet the work suffers from a narrow perspective and an overdependence on the opinions of a few others, especially Schaeffer. As the author of a book that ostensibly engages recent developments in science, art and philosophy from a Christian point of view, Colson too easily dismisses opposing views without expressing a full understanding of them (Stephen Hawking's time theories amount to "little more than fantasy," for example). Such an approach to humanist ideas makes this a sermon strictly for the evangelical choir, although Colson intends the book to inspire debate in the wider culture and Tyndale is launching a $250,000 marketing campaign to sell it. (Sept.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth Reading Twice Aug. 1 2003
It's simply astounding how good this book is. It's content-rich, intellectually satisfying, spiritually convicting, and culturally and politically relevant. It's the last book I asked my daughter to read before she left for college. It's all organized brilliantly and presented with intellectual dignity. Colson and Pearcy don't hold any punches spiritually, arguing that Christianity offers the best answers to all philosophical, scientific and ideological challenges -- we must simply resolve to articulate them to a lost society. In sum, a very engaging and profound work. I'll be going through it again with each of my other three children.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Should Be Required Reading for Christians July 14 2003
This is one of the best books I have ever read; to be honest, five stars isn't enough! Colson convincingly demonstrates the importance of worldview and ideas,and how almost all of today's problems stem from incorrect worldviews and bad assumptions. Especially touching are the people who are real life examples of how faith can change our nation, one community, one person at a time. He shows that a healthy nation can only come about only when our basic assumptions about God and our purpose here on earth are correct. Buy it, and put it at the top of your bookshelf.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Modern Worldview at its best Nov. 9 2003
Colson does a good job in this work of breaking down complex worldview and theological issues to the common man. While many texts on these subjects leave readers scratching their heads, this book breaks it down for the average reader. While one could maybe do without the long winded stories in the beginning of each chapter and skip to the meat, this is still none the less a good book. Nancy Pearcy adds her expertise and that helps shore up some of the more complex issues. One caveat to this book, it is done from the perspective of a very modern thinker who can put just about anything into a formula. If that is your style, you will love this book. B
Joseph Dworak
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Best Books Ever!! Oct. 3 2003
If you have any questions about various worldviews, this is the book for you. Don't be intimidated by its length--it is so full of interesting anecdotes that you won't be able to put it down.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome perspective July 14 2003
This is a very non-preachy way of explaining why Christianity makes sense in light of so many other choices. This is a very clear and easy to read book that isn't dumbed down, so the intellectually studied and the casual reader will both find it time well spent.
Simply put, this book explains how the most natural thing we can do is live a Christian way of life.
Yeah God for Chuck Colson!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Soli Deo Gloria April 21 2003
This book had the same effect on me that lightning has on a tree. My mind has never been the same since. This book reminds Christians that Christianity goes beyond the walls of the Church into the secular arena. Its mandate is for Christians to engage secular culture with the demands of God.
The outline of the book is simple: How did we get here (the debate on creation vs. evolution)? What is wrong with us (here they show the fallacy of any worldview that denies the sinfulness of man and builds a worldview on human goodness as opposed to biblical morality)? And finally, How do we fix it (Showing that redemption is found in Jesus Christ alone)? After addressing and answering these questions Colson this shows how we, as orthodox Christians, should live. The Chapter. "Soli Deo Gloria" I read on my knees in worship of such a God.
This chapter has offended several reviewers, namely the reader from Oakbrook, IL. This reader claims that Colson's list of "classical offerings" has "lyrics or imagery" as bad as the (I won't use an adjective) rock bands. First, the reader provided no source; secondly, and I have personally checked the "classical offerings" that Chuck presents and very few, if any, have lyrics at all (so much for the reprehensible lyrics Colson is guilty of presenting. Honestly, how many classical music songs have lyrics?)!
All of this notwithstanding, this is one of the finest books written this decade. It has permanently changed my thinking and possibly my future. Now that I have praised it I will now critique it. Colson, and I will keep my criticism low because he has heard this complaint many times, came very close to betraying orthodox Christianity when he and Neauhus devised the Evangelicals and Catholics Together Document.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent but Lacks Apologetic Tactics April 10 2003
The book is a wonderful, comprehensive analysis of the prevailing naturalist worldview present in North America. From what I understand this view is even more pervasive in Europe. The repetition of Creation, Fall, and Redemption drives home the basis for which we should evaluate and view our culture.
The book is extensive and thus, quite lengthy. Various real-life stories are included throughout that help the book from becoming too dry.
The only thing missing are solid methods of shooting down the logical fallacies committed by those who hold such naturalist worldviews. This is understandable considering the weight of the book. There are numerous other resources available for such study.
All in all, this book should be a must-read for real Christians and Non-Christians as well.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic book about Christian worldview Nov. 30 2002
I enthusiastically recommend this as one of the best books I've read in years. How Now Shall We Live? explains and promotes the Christian worldview of the world, mankind, the culture, and, of course, how Christians should make a positive impact on our society. The books is well-researched, and offers strong arguments with extensive footnotes. The writing style is thoroughly engaging. Mr. Colson mixes potent stories with straightforward narrative.
If you are a Christian, or a thinking person looking for answers not found in the secular world or the pop culture, I encourage you to get a hold of this book!
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