- Hardcover: 592 pages
- Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.; 1st edition (Aug. 15 1999)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0842318089
- ISBN-13: 978-0842318082
- Product Dimensions: 15.9 x 4.8 x 24 cm
- Shipping Weight: 1 Kg
- Average Customer Review: 67 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #424,508 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
How Now Shall We Live? Hardcover – Aug 15 1999
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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.
Top customer reviews
As far as content, this book is a winner. Colson looks at how Christians must relate Christ to a world that no longer shares a similar worldview. He structures this in a classic Reformed pattern of Creation, Fall, & Redemption.
Some of the material covered in this book is expanded from Colson's previous book *Kingdoms in Conflict* but this book is far more readable, passionate, and practical. This is one of the best books I have read in three years. A must read for every Christian wanting to intelligently deal with the issues of our day.
Now Charles Colson can be added to the list of intellectual prophets (like Francis Scheffer, Os Guinness, Malcolm Muggeridge, and James Sire) who dare to remind us that there's a dangerous world of false ideas and true ideas that need to be sorted through if we are to remain on top of our world. The world of ideas requires a critical understanding to keep from tumbling into an inferno of deceit and falsehood.
When James Sire developed his world view catalog, _The Universe Next Door_, he spurred a great number of Christians to consider the deeper issues behind human thought. He wrote: "I am now convinced that for a person to be fully conscious intellectually he should not only be able to detect the world views of others but be aware of his own--why it is his and why in the light of so many options he thinks it is true." Sires list of basic questions to consider in discerning one's worldview included:
1. What is the prime reality? 2. Who is man? 3. What happens to man at death? 4. What is the basis for morality? 5. And what is the meaning of human history?
In his new book, Charles Colson also pares the essential questions down to four, but with a new twist: "How Now Shall We Live."
1. Where did we come from and who are we? 2. What has gone wrong with the world? 3. What can we do to fix it? 4. How now shall we live?
Colson's discussion of these important questions takes us through the biblical view of linear history progressing through the Creation, the Fall, God's Redemption of mankind, and God's Restoration of His intended order for all creation.
The biblical view of Creation lets us know who we are and where we came from. The discussion of origins and human nature is critical to understanding the Christian worldview and being able to contrast it with opposing worldviews.
Everyone believes there are some things wrong with this world but many worldviews do not know how to answer this question. Colson pulls no punches in illustrating how sin has infected the world. An understanding of the historic human fall--the doctrine of original sin--is essential to understanding human nature and evil that is so pervasive in our world.
But he does not neglect the Christian message of hope: Redemption. Having years of experience in his Breakpoint radio ministry to weave storied essays providing this message of hope, Colson with the masterful help of his Breakpoint editor, Nancy Pearcy, provides unique perspectives on the gospel message. The biographical redemption of former abortionist Bernard Nathanson compels the reader to see that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is real and true.
Finally, Colson's insights into contemporary culture reveal that he is on top of our post-Modernistic world. He's nailed our turn into the new millennium right on the head in his model for "restoration." Christians need to engage their culture at every aspect in order to restore a modicum of civility to civilization, to restore beauty and historic principles of aesthetics to music and art, to restore ethical treatment of human beings in the medical professions, to restore humane treatment of the weak and dispossessed until Christ brings final restoration to His Creation.
Read How Now Shall We Live to find out about the Christian worldview. Study it for it's penetrating analysis of contemporary culture. Enjoy it for its provision of hope in a fallen world. Discuss it with others so that as a group you can engage it from different perspectives and glean thoughts you may have missed on your own. But most of all, live it, and use it's biblical insights to give you a fresh start in applying the Christian worldview to all of life--in your home, at work, in your entertainment and diversions, in your relations and ministry to others. Use it to remain on top of the world.
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