How America’s Genius for Freedom has become its Greatest Threat
By Os Guinness (InterVarsity)
In his forthcoming book scheduled for release in October, Os Guinness analyzes the paradox of freedom and how the United States is caught between two versions of it expressed in the revolutions of 1776 and 1789.
The American revolution of 1776 rose from the ideals of classic liberal freedom, while the French revolution of 1789 championed what Guinness calls left/liberal freedom. The former freedom is rooted in covenant and responsibility; the latter is grounded in throwing off any restraint of the self. The former can maintain society, although it is difficult itself to maintain, because it is concerned with “the other,” while the latter tends to destroy societies because it is primarily concerned with “the self.”
Lest one be unsure what freedom is best, Guinness proffers ten questions to guide the reader in carefully distinguishing the two forms of freedom. His hope is to equip readers to save America from what seems its headlong rush toward demise.
Guinness’ chilling analysis is not for the faint of heart, reading as warmly as Robert Bork’s Slouching Toward Gomorrah, which is to say the reader can be forgiven for feeling less-than-hopeful. Readers must also have a long attention span and be able to think deeply and clearly about Guinness’ message as Last Call for Liberty is not a light read.
Eric Black, executive director, publisher and editor