Feb 25 2009

Book review: The Faith

 My suspicion, somewhat validated by the more critical articles I’ve read, is that Colson’s alarmist worldview stems in large part from what he sees as an Islamic encroachment on his prison ministry.  He has become a darling of the right-wing “news” entertainment circuit — Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, etc. — by bashing gays, espousing unregulated capitalism, and hawking Bush’s preemptive war as the best remedy for his fantastical “clash of civilizations” (a notion which any educated Orientalist will deride as pure poppycock).

To me, “The Faith” was little more than propaganda for his uber-conservative agenda (a quasi-theology almost), all gussied-up with a liberal (ironic, ain’t it?) helping of rah-rah, West is Best! faux patriotism and perfumed to high-heaven with a cheap cologne of hardly-difficult, hardly-contested (by the choir he’s preaching to, anyway) Christianity 101 doctrines.  That J.I. Packer is helping Colson market his wares is either evidence of a failing intellect, or a timely reminder of that old chestnut that every man has his price.  Needless to say, I am deeply disappointed by Packer’s willingness to be identified with a book that is so obviously inferior to his own writings.

Here are some links I found that helped me validate my worst suspicions about “The Faith.”  I do not agree with everything in them; in some cases, with very little that is in them.  You will, however, find some common threads in all of them that may sow a seed of doubt as to Colson’s intentions.

http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Evolution+of+a+%60hatchet+man’:+Charles+Colson’s+transition+from+prison…-a099187208

http://rightwingwatch.com/category/individuals/chuck-colson

http://www.religiousrightwatch.com/2006/02/chuck_colson_at.html

http://theopolitics.com/?p=2

http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/comments/allreviews.html?id=72949

http://www.au.org/site/News2?abbr=cs_&page=NewsArticle&id=5779

http://wmadsen.blogspot.com/2004/12/madsen-dominionist-religious-cult.html

http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL0812/S00263.htm

And there are many, many more.  I guess the thing that confirmed my worst suspicions was his deliberate deception in using events in the life of Bonhoeffer to advance his arguments against non-orthodox (by his definition) or “liberal” churches.  Using long-dead people to advocate for you is nothing new, but I find it especially distasteful in “The Faith.”

Permanent link to this article: http://levantium.com/2009/02/25/book-review-the-faith/

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