We live in dark times. Christians wonder: Are the best days of the Christian faith behind us? Has modernity made Christian thought irrelevant and impotent? Is society beyond all hope of redemption and renewal?
In Renaissance, Os Guinness declares no. Throughout history, the Christian faith has transformed entire cultures and civilizations, building cathedrals and universities, proclaiming God's goodness, beauty and truth through art and literature, science and medicine. The Christian faith may similarly change the world again today. The church can be revived to become a renewing power in our society—if we answer the call to a new Christian renaissance that challenges darkness with the hope of Christian faith.
In this hopeful appeal for cultural transformation, Guinness shares opportunities for Christians, on both local and global levels, to win back the West and to contribute constructively to the human future. Hearkening back to similar pivotal points in history, Guinness encourages Christians in the quest for societal change. Each chapter closes with thought-provoking discussion questions and a brief, heart-felt prayer that challenges and motivates us to take action in our lives today.
"How we see the world shapes what we do in the world. Unfortunately many in the West have lost the ability to see our culture through the lenses of history and Christian faith, and God's people oscillate between cultural captivity or fearful activism. Thankfully Christ has given us church leaders like Os Guinness to restore our sight. Drawing from history, Scripture and his own experience of global Christianity, Os helps us see our present circumstances in the right light. He illuminates why the catastrophizing done by many Christians amid cultural change is unwarranted, but also soberly addresses the genuine challenges we face with new clarity and gravity. Most helpful of all, Os directs our sight back to Christ, the author and completer of our faith, in whom we find both the courage and the resources to be his people in our time. You will not regret a single minute invested in this book."
"This is a profound, realistic and hopeful book that reminds us that even in the darkest times the power of the gospel can change the world. Guinness issues a clarion call to the Christian West to take up the battle against secularization by refusing to be conformed to the spirit of the age. We do not isolate ourselves from culture. Rather, Guinness calls for renewal: in our confidence in God, in the power of the gospel and in the great truths of Scripture, even as we engage with the world around us. No other writer I know offers such a rich background of astute cultural analysis combined with a deep understanding of history. I finished this book feeling a deep sense of hope, which was fortified by his powerful prayers at the end of each chapter. If we heed the wisdom in this marvelous book, we could well become effective agents for Christ for such a time as this."
"Os Guinness has written another terrific book, at once a zinging indictment of cultural idolatry in the Christian West and a clarion call to renewal on the model of Christ in the Gospels and the witness of the apostles. This is a highly readable, big-picture book, eminently suitable for discussion in groups, not least because it calls for a collective examination of conscience. His incisive eloquence and lucid prose, his witty, trenchant turn of phrase and zest for critical and theological realism mark this little volume as vintage Guinness; his call to a renaissance of authentic evangelical Christianity will renew in many their will to hope in a dark time, spero in Deo."
"Drawing on his years of perceptive cultural analysis and his wide understanding of history, Os Guinness issues a penetrating call to the Christian church to take up the battle against the deep inroads of secularization by refusing to be conformed to the spirit of the age. This book encourages us to learn from the past and avoid repeating its mistakes, to be aware of the oft-forgotten influence of Christianity on Western culture and to engage more deeply with the truths of Scripture. It rightly argues for a return to God, not to an era, and sees our only hope in a return to the confidence in God and his power that characterized the early Christians, whose lives were defined by their fundamental credo: 'Jesus Christ is Lord.'"
"For decades Os Guinness has been one of the most nuanced, realistic, yet hopeful voices calling Christians to engagement with culture. This latest volume from him should not be missed by anyone. Os summarizes some of the most helpful recent discussions, updates many of his own lifelong challenges to the church and provides many fresh insights. Highly recommended."
"Renaissance balances realism about our precarious cultural situation with a hope grounded in the continuing sovereignty of God and his promises."
"Guinness is a profound thinker, weaving historical analysis, biblical insights, psycho-social understanding, and cultural awareness into deeply insightful conclusions. Recommend to pastors and ministry leaders."
"[A] well-constructed, fun to read, challenging, and hopeful book. I highly recommend it."
"Guinness has written an eminently readable book with nuanced criticism and observations on the times that we are living in and how we as a church can best work as a body in living out our Christian mandate of being salt of the earth and light of the world."
"This marvelous book represents a summation of the years of study, reflection, and engagement that Os Guinness has lived. I would urge everyone concerned about the trends in the world, in the church, and in their souls, to read it and find themselves galvanized by Christian hope."
1. Our Augustinian Moment
2. Grand Global Tasks
3. Unnecessary, Unlikely, Undeniable
4. The Secret of Cultural Power
5. The Dynamics of the Kingdom
6. Our Golden Age Is Ahead
Postscript: One More Time Again?
An Evangelical Manifesto