I’m picking texts for my seminary, worldview class in the spring, and I think that Herbert London’s new book, America’s Secular Challenge, should be in the mix:
1. It’s wise. Not just clever. London gets it right basically: Pure secularism, our new “national religion,” is a dead, and deadly, end.
2. It’s sweeping. He moves artfully from natural science to the arts to economics.
3. It’s informative. For instance, I didn’t know that since 1933, one percent of American households have held 35% of the nation’s wealth; that, in Germany, declaring bankruptcy will permanently disqualify you from membership on a corporation board; that companies who buy naming rights to stadiums have a high mortality rate (TWA, Enron, etc.); that the OSS (the CIA’s forerunner) was staffed almost entirely by Yale men.
4. It models cultural literacy. E.D. Hirsch should love the apt citations of Tolstoy, Bellow, Newton, Leibniz, Frost, Dante, Orwell, Smith, Toynbee, Waugh, Chesterton, Paine, Aquinas, Hobbes, Grosseteste, and Mill.
5. It cherishes our linguistic birthright. Whether recalling Abraham Lincoln’s expression, “the silent artillery of time,” or reclaiming the venerable concepts, civitas and hubris, London shows his gratitude for the classic voice.
6. It reduces absurdities to absurdity. It marvels at the way that people can glory in multiculturalism (including defense of FGM) while bashing the culture of the West.
7. It’s edgy. It takes nerve to quote Saul Bellow, when he says, “I will read the Zulus when they have produced a Tolstoy.”
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?