Strange reports are coming from the land which gave us great preachers like Spurgeon and Lloyd-Jones. A strange tale of the “New Establishment” take-over where giants like C.S. Lewis and Owen Barfield engaged the culture and changed the literary world as we now know it. Sean Oliver-Dee, a religious affairs consultant, uncovers the myths behind these reports and shows us that the church in England is not only falsifying these reports but actually feeling the tremors of a rising church culture.
If the language in God’s Unwelcome Recovery: Why the New Establishment Wants to Proclaim the Death of Faith sounds vaguely familiar you may notice that New Atheists Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, and the late Christopher Hitchens were all bred on the grounds where the Inklings once lurked. The rise of the “Nones” in the United States and the language used by the “New Establishment” is nothing short of what can be attributed to the rise of militant atheism the men above represent.
This book uncovers the plot to bury Christianity by proposing three statements regarding the vitality of the Christian world view:
- The gradual death of religion is a good excuse to ignore the views of Christians (and I would add to that a certain level of hatred toward them),
- Encouraging Christianity to die will benefit society (causing the Christian voice to be suppressed in the public square)
- Scientific progress will necessarily cause the death of faith
It’s an interesting read as Oliver-Dee explores these three propositions in depth. I’ll start with the third one in saying that the new atheism has claimed that only Naturalism has a proper place in thought life of both Brits and Americans. Great Christian philosophers like William Lane Craig, Alvin Plantinga, and John Lennox have repeatedly offered statements which the Naturalistic world view can not account for.
In exploring the second proposition, that society will benefit if Christianity dies out, the Establishment ignores historical facts which point to an increase in economic status, value in education, and an overall well-being of the populous as we see with Calvin’s Geneva during the time of the Protestant Reformation.
On the surface of the first proposition it seems like a pretty harmless offering to an alternative view of reality which Christianity offers. But if you dig down and read volumes like Sam Harris’ Letter to a Christian Nation you will notice the lengths one has to go through to completely silence the Christian, often implying that death would be an adequate solution to the problem.
As a book built on reports and numbers, this small introspection into the Church of England has much to offer us here in the States. As our cultures collide and stand together in a day of radical terrorism, jihadist beliefs, and a crumbling moral foundation, God’s Unwelcome Recovery certainly does the church a service in helping to uncover the falsities which the Establishment or New Atheism would like us to believe.
God has always delivered on his promises we should have no reason to believe any other outcome in our day. Let us in America and across the world who are in Christ stand together and proclaim the message of the gospel with unwavering resolve. Let us teach believers how to think and let us continue to shape the world view of the watching world with the precepts stretched out before us in God’s eternal word. Bravo Sean Oliver-Dee for helping us to do so.