How can a free republic maintain its freedom? "If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide." -- Abraham Lincoln
In this highly polarized age, political leaders on all sides debate what it means to be a free people. People confuse freedom with mere consumer choices. Popular movements contend against how government or corporate entities infringe upon individual and collective freedom. Economic crises and social inequities call into question whether our American notion of freedom is real or merely illusory. Cultural observer Os Guinness argues that the American experiment in freedom is at risk. While freedom is perhaps the most defining trait of American society, it is not enough for freedom to be won. It must also be sustained. Unrestrained freedom is unsustainable because it undermines the very conditions necessary for freedom to exist.
Guinness's careful study of history reminds us that it is not enough to have negative freedom from constraint. He calls us to cultivate the essential civic character needed for ordered liberty and sustainable freedom. True freedom requires virtue, which in turn requires faith. Only within the framework of what is true, right and good can freedom be found. "In the end," Guinness writes, "the ultimate threat to the American republic will be Americans. The problem is not wolves at the door but termites in the floor." The future of the republic depends on whether Americans will rise to the challenge of living up to America's unfulfilled potential for freedom, both for itself and for the world.
"Sometimes a book is so important and so timely that not to have read it is to embarrass oneself. This is such a book. Its message is so crucial and so clear that all Americans are obligated to read it and have a national conversation on its themes. No cultural commentator or politician who has not read this book should ever be taken seriously again. Let this book be the new litmus test. If you are serious about America, be familiar with its themes and expect to discuss them and to be tested on them. Rest assured that you will be, because America is now herself being tested on them. Alas, we will not be graded on a curve. This book's clarion call is both piercing and full of hope. May God help us to hear it and to take action." --Eric Metaxas, author of "Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy" and "Amazing Grace: William Wilberforce and the Heroic Campaign to End Slavery"
"In a passionate work that blends historical-cultural analysis with moral exhortation, Os Guinness finds at the heart of America's culture wars something different than what many observers have seen. He identifies a 'freedom war, ' a struggle over the very concept of freedom itself. As the Founders well understood, it is not enough for Americans to invoke endlessly the name of 'freedom' when they no longer agree as to what it means or what ends freedom is meant to serve. Guinness warns that freedom cannot long endure unless it is consecrated to purposes beyond itself. It is a warning worth heeding." --Wilfred M. McClay, SunTrust Chair of Excellence in Humanities, University of Tennessee
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