Dinesh D?Souza, a former White House analyst of domestic policy, and currently research scholar at Stanford University, earned name and fame for his book What'sSo Great about America which became a bestseller. He wrote other books too after this, but of late, his new book on Christianity which is being reviewed is posing a challenge to believers and non-believers alike in the West.
In this book, the author poses certain pertinent questions to believers?Is Christianity relevant in today'sworld? Can the educated man and woman believe in Christianity? Does any Christian abide by Christianity? He looks at Christianity with a questioning eye and tries to find answers to certain questions troubling his mind and those of others in the West.
The author begins by referring to various interpretations of scripture and says that the Bible uses a range of literary techniques?some of which are straightforward narrative in the accounts of Jesus Christ'slife; some of which is parable as in the stories told by Jesus to illustrate a point; and some of which is metaphor as when Jesus says, ?I am the vine and you are the branches? or when he tells his accusers, ?Destroy the temple and I will raise it again in three days (here he is referring to his resurrection).?
The author says that the Christians are called upon to be ?contenders? for their faith, i.e. be prepared to stand up for their beliefs when opposed. ?This is possible only when you are clean in your mind about Christianity because it no longer forms the moral basis of society and many of us reside in secular countries where the Bible carries no weight or where a different language is spoken than that in the church.? He proves that Christianity is the main foundation of Western civilisation and the root of the most cherished values of Christians.
But, in order to give reasons, one must be able to communicate the reasons to those who don'tshare their beliefs. In other words, the author wants that Christians should know the greatness of Christianity before they can help in its spread. He criticises those Christians who have become ?post-modernists of a sort. They live by the gospel of the two truths ?instead of engaging this secular world, most Christians have retreated into a Christian sub-culture where they engage Christian concerns and then step back into a secular society, where their Christianity is kept out of sight until the next church service. He points out that the Bible is opposed to this divided lifestyle and advises one ?not to be of the world, sharing its distorted priorities, but it does call upon believers to be in the world, fully engaged.?
The author launches a strong attack on secularism which came into existence on the belief that science and modernity would satisfy the impulses and needs once met by religion, ?but a rebellion against secularisation suggests that perhaps important needs are still unmet, and so people are seeking a revival of religion, perhaps in a new form?to address their specific concerns within a secular society,? says the author.
He talks of fundamentalism and criticises ?Hindu militants and Islamic radicals of the bin Laden stripe? as he considers them a menace to the world.
Here is a book which is propagating the importance of Christianity in its own way.
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