HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: One Nation without God?: The Battle for Christianity in an Age of Unbelief
Author: David Aikman
Publisher: Baker Books, republished 2013
ISBN-13: 978-0801014093 Hardcover
ISBN-10: 0801014093 Hardcover
ISBN-13: 978-0801014123 Paperback
ISBN-10: 0801014123 Paperback
Language level: 1
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing and/or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing and/or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Recommended reading level:
Rating: ***** 5 stars (EXCELLENT)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Aikman, David. One Nation without God?: The Battle for Christianity in an Age of Unbelief (published in 2012 by Baker Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group, P. O. Box 6287, Grand Rapids, MI 49516). Those of us who are older in years have undoubtedly noticed a marked difference between 21st century culture and the days of our youth. Whereas in former times the majority of our population appeared to uphold Judaeo-Christian values, today it seems as if Christianity in America is under siege, with the litigation over coaches starting games with prayer, the expulsion of students from college for refusing to endorse beliefs at odds with the Christian faith, and judicial decrees against Christian businesses for not supporting abortion and homosexuality. All of this shows a declining influence of Christianity in the public square. Can Christianity in this country survive the advances of secularists and remain influential in our culture? And if a new spiritual awakening is possible, what form will it take?
Author David Aikman, a former senior correspondent for Time Magazine, thus proving that not all people in the mainstream media are necessarily biased toward secularism, who now teaches at Patrick Henry College (with which many homeschoolers are acquainted), begins this book by using concrete examples and direct quotes from reporters, judges, bloggers, and other influencers to demonstrate the rise of hostility toward Christian expression in America and the alarming decline of orthodox belief even among some who call themselves Christians. He then goes back to demonstrate, again with copious quotations, how that, while not all of them were evangelical Christians, our founding fathers based their ideas solidly on a Biblical worldview. Next, he gives a detailed explanation of how we got from there to where we are now, starting with “the German poison” of the early 1800s that influenced Americans such as Horace Mann and John Dewey, down to the countercultural beatniks and hippies like Tom Hayden in the 1960s and 70s. Finally, he offers some glimmers of hope that just maybe “God Is Coming Back.” Someone gave me a copy of One Nation Without God?, but I don’t remember now who it was.
The only caveats which I have to offer are that the kind of “Christianity” promoted by Aikman looks heavily Calvinistic and that of his “glimmers of hope,” T. D. Jakes has recently been involved in some controversy over his alleged evolution on same-sex marriage, though Jakes says that his stand on the issue has not changed, and Mark Driscoll claims that “God audibly spoke to him.” There are so many good quotes which I could pull from the book that I just don’t have room for them all. I’ll just conclude with one of his observations. “More lasting, however, and more dangerous for people who wanted to live out the Christian faith, was the assumption by Hollywood and popular entertainment, from television soap stars to stand-up comedians, that it was now normative for men and women romantically drawn to one another to engage in sex outside of marriage. Characters in television dramas who looked down on such behavior were roundly mocked or ridiculed, despite plain statistical evidence gathered by secular universities (i.e., not by Christian churches) that premarital cohabitation inevitably raised the likelihood of subsequent divorce.” Anyone concerned about the state of things in America should find this a fascinating and eye-opening read.