Christians live in a world increasingly intolerant to expressions of faith. Erwin W. Lutzer likens the state of Christians today to that of Jews in the days of Jeremiah who found themselves carried off to the nation of Babylon, surrounded by a strange culture. Like biblical Daniel and his friends, we need to be lights in a dark world.
The strange culture that surrounds us today needs to feel the impact of Christianity. Lutzer faults the church for teaching college students but not training them to express the reliability of scripture and a Christian worldview of ethics, sexuality and personal values. He writes, “Most college students are not talked out of their faith, they are mocked out of it. Shamed into silence.”
Chapters address “When the State Becomes God,” “The Church, Technology, and Purity,” “Transgenderism, Sexuality, and the Church” among others. Lutzer warns against five “false gospels” that have crept into the evangelical church as churches leave Jesus standing outside their doors.
While stating we probably won’t be thrown into a furnace as Daniel’s friends were, Lutzer warns we might lose our jobs because we won’t sanction same-sex unions or sharia law. We might lose customers or friends for violating “political correctness.” Opposition to our faith, according to Lutzer, is to be expected.
This book is a valuable resource for church leaders, parents and anyone else who wants to stand firm in a world of shifting values. Lutzer offers sound guidelines for parents regarding the use of technology. He challenges the church to discuss transgenderism and inform people of the danger of embracing such trends, yet challenging them to love those who do.
Lutzer sees the church as the keeper of the springs of pure doctrine and scriptural values. He warns against being lured into New Age theology and allowing promoters of Islam to slip into positions of influence. He wraps up the book with pointers on what the church needs to do to survive in a hostile culture.
This is an important read. Twelve pages of notes document Lutzer’s work. He writes in a style that’s clear and easy to understand as he equips us to respond and influence today’s culture.