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The Christian church is as soon as once more at a historic crossroads.

What has emerged prior to now few years is a society antithetical not solely to conventional Christian beliefs but in addition to plain outdated human decency and good old school science. The Christian connection to widespread decency and goal science is incontestable. And the present negation of cheap decorum (kids should not be uncovered to cross-dressing exhibitionists) and fundamental science (trans-sex doesn’t equal organic actuality) is unmistakable.

How did the emergence of extraordinary confusion and evil come up, and the way can it’s extricated? Enter “Religionless Christianity: God’s Reply to Evil” by Eric Metaxas. The guide is an pressing follow-up to the writer’s “Letter to the American Church.”

Mr. Metaxas asserts that, earlier than right this moment, America has confronted two make-or-break threats in its historical past. The primary was at its founding with the Conflict of Independence from Britain, and the second was the Civil Conflict.

Now, America is dealing with a 3rd existential risk to its existence, with myriad nefarious forces arrayed towards it. In America, we face “forces from inside and with out which can be devotedly devoted to eradicating all Washington and Lincoln and each patriot in our historical past held expensive and fought for.”

The proffered answer is “religionless Christianity.”

The idea of “religionless Christianity” derives from Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s coining of the time period in stark opposition to Christian apply that’s merely superficial piety and enjoying church. Bonhoeffer is the pastor-theologian who warned the German church within the Thirties of Hitler’s malevolence.

Though the German church of the Thirties was sadly unreceptive, Mr. Metaxas believes that Bonhoeffer “knew that if we might embrace a ‘religionless Christianity,’ we actually would defeat the evil that’s in any other case inconceivable to defeat and see God’s glory in our technology.” Moreover, “‘religionless Christianity’ has all the time been a dramatic and revolutionary power for good. That is an simple historic reality, however can we within the church understand it nicely sufficient to not be cowed into silence on it?”

With 14 partaking and lucid chapters, “Religionless Christianity” covers the gamut from the origin of right this moment’s predicament by means of the church’s culpability to the potential for an imminent Final Days. All through, Bonhoeffer is referred to in “Religionless Christianity” for example of the acute challenges of dwelling out a dedicated religion through the Third Reich and the disasters that observe Christian noncommittal and aloofness.

The ultimate chapter in “Religionless Christianity,” aptly titled “Be Enormously Inspired,” concludes with a very hopeful answer solidly based mostly on biblical references.

An total theme of “Religionless Christianity” is that this: “True Christianity is aware of no actual boundaries as a result of it’s allied with Reality itself, which has no boundaries.”

These grounded within the fact are inspired to remain sturdy of their religion and never be discouraged or bullied by the seemingly insurmountable occasions of the day.

In 1967, the guide “How one can Be a Christian With out Being Spiritual” by Fritz Ridenour was initially revealed for teenagers and younger adults by Gospel Mild Publications. The guide was based mostly on the teachings discovered within the guide of Romans and guided readers on a path akin to religionless Christianity. Studying “How one can Be a Christian With out Being Spiritual” a few years in the past modified my dedication to Christian apply, and right this moment, Religionless Christianity has definitely enriched that change.

Lastly, a phrase of warning: Scripture warns that “until the Lord builds the home, the builders labor in useless.” So, readers of “Religionless Christianity” are suggested to verify the Holy Spirit is main any actions they take.

And with the Lord’s management at this crucial time in historical past, let the church proceed to observe the highway of the cross and apply religionless Christianity for the church’s personal sake, the sake of the nation, and certainly the sake of the world.

• Anthony J. Sadar is an adjunct affiliate professor of science at Geneva Faculty in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania, and co-author of “Environmental Threat Communication: Rules and Practices for Trade” (CRC Press).

• • •

Religionless Christianity: God’s Reply to Evil

By Eric Metaxas
Regnery Religion, April 23, 2024
140 pages, $25.99

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