cover image Last Call for Liberty

Last Call for Liberty

Os Guinness. IVP, $27 (336p) ISBN 978-0-8308-4559-0

British Evangelical firebrand Guinness (A Free People’s Suicide) raises the alarm about America’s declining freedom in this forceful, erudite polemic. He asserts that America contains two contradictory impulses: a striving to continue the Christian understanding of freedom found in the American Revolution, and the urge to collapse into the harmful, despotic, secularist version of liberty espoused in the French Revolution. In dense prose with frequently underdeveloped examples, he answers questions that he believes Americans should ask themselves about the country’s trajectory. These include how to define freedom (as increased capacity, rather than decreased restraint, in Guinness’s estimation), why freedom requires virtue, what methods of secularization opponents must fight, and why one must protect institutions to ensure freedom. Guinness also argues that non-Western religion cannot support freedom, the American Revolution was a truly conservative (not progressive) act, and civic education desperately needs resuscitation. In the end, the book becomes a call for return to what he views as the strong Christian morality of the Founding Fathers, grounded in restraint and respect for authority. Guinness’s impassioned tone, complex arguments, and dire warnings are sure to start conversations among readers interested in the intersection of politics and religion in America. [em](Oct.) [/em]