Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Book Review: Standing For Christ In A Modern Babylon

Author: Marvin Olasky

Publisher: Crossway Books, 2003.

I got this book in a pastors conference hosted by Cubao Reformed Baptist Church. They always give such cool books! I always enjoy and benefit from reading authors who manage to combine biblical thinking, experience & expertise in their field, and a deep commitment to the glory of Christ and the good of people. Marvin Olasky, pundit, historian and journalist, seems to be one of them. You can read his biography here.

Olasky talks about the ignorance and bias in American media against biblical Christianity: how and why it developed, the harm it has done, the future danger it poses, and how Christians can respond to these abuses with love and wisdom. Although Olasky writes about the American situation, much of it reflects what's already happening here in the Philippines. So, I recommend this book to anyone whose ministry involves reaching out to educated, socially concerned people.

Here are some notable quotes:

“[Standing for Christ] will cost us, but the willingness to forgo applause from society's trendsetters distinguishes tough Christians from the Mr. Pliables of the world.”

“In our touchy society less cannot be more; it is better ethically to give rather than receive, but it is essential politically to add rather than subtract. Whenever media powers frame the issue as 'repression' or 'censorship,' Christians and conservatives lose.”

“Since the major political rule in our [country] is that he who talks of expanding choices normally wins, let's use that attitude to help Bible-based ideas gain a foothold.”

Rome's Emperor Trajan near the end of the first century A.D. banned voluntary associations of Christians, thinking they were not good for the health of the state – and he was right, because when Christians helped the poor, the state had less opportunity to step in and aggrandize itself.”

The father-son relationship that exists between God and redeemed man in Christianity, as opposed to the master-slave relationship of Islam, also has its tensions. Fathers face conflicting impulses: Do you hug a child with a mild injury, or do you tell him to be a man? That leads to a creative tension between soft and hard in Christianity, a tension that comes out in the compassionate conservative goal of being tough-minded but tenderhearted, a tension between God's holiness and God's mercy that is resolved through Christ's sacrifice.”

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