Friday, June 08, 2012

In Need of a Revolution

“THE COMING REVOLUTION: Signs from America’s Past that Signal Our Nation’s Future”  by Richard G. Lee  published by Thomas Nelson

I had mixed feeling reading this book. On one hand the author did a lot of whining and crying about the terrible conditions of our country, which I got tired of reading about. On the other side where the author talked about the founding of our country and the circumstances surrounding it, it was a great read.

The author’s purpose of the book was to help us understand the environment of our countries revolutionary period and thus apply that to our political conditions of today.

The author states that, “The first Revolution was preceded and inspired, I believe, by the Great Awakening…I have come to believe that we are in the early stages of another awakening, perhaps of even greater magnitude.”

The author makes the points that:

  1. our founding fathers were Christians and that our country must return to our founding principles in order to restore our nation. He quotes from John Adams “…Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”
  2. That our founders understood ‘original sin’ and the danger of unlimited power.
  3. That the Great Awakening under the leadership and preaching of men such as Jonathon Edwards and George Whitfield was a uniting factor in the revolution. “Before the Great Awakening the colonies had very little in common. They didn’t even like each other very much. But as the Awakening began to spread from town to village… there was a new sense of connection and cooperation between the colonies… This new sense of unity eventually developed into what we would recognize today as the American Spirit.”
  4. That the pulpit’s (preacher) call for a renewal of faith was also a call to resist tyranny.
  5. That education which followed the Great Awakening was for the most part Christian. “Fully 106 of the first 108 colleges in America were founded as Christian institutions. By the mid-nineteenth century there were 246 colleges in this country, virtually all of them founded either by Christian denominations or by individuals motivated by their Christian convictions.”
Where I whole-heartedly agreed with (how could I disagree with the facts) and enjoyed reading of the history of our nation during the revolution. In some regards the author fails to go far enough in his relating our history to our present dilemma.

I feel that:

  1. The author tends to equate a capitalist economy with a Christian worldview. Capitalism is corrupt if not balanced with the doctrine of original sin. If we forget about the sinfulness of man capitalism becomes a breeding ground for exploitation and greed.
  2. Whereas during and before the revolution preachers were looked at with respect and thus listened to. Today that respect does not exist, thus for the most part preachers are only preaching to the choir.
  3. Revival must begin in the church. Trying to reach the outsider without first renewing the inside is a waste of time. Those on the outside will only respond when they see that those on the inside our genuine. The church needs to take care of its own sin before condemning the sin of others. It needs to look at itself in the mirror before trying to force a mirror on others. 

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