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Christianity TodayApril (Web-only) 2008

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Colson the Catechist
A culture warrior sets out to explain Christianity's essential doctrines.



Most Christians in the West lack the doctrinal and theological tools with which to stand fast in the onslaught of two hostile forces: Western secularism and Islamofascism. So say Charles Colson and his frequent coauthor Harold Fickett in The Faith, a book that celebrates the Christian faith's essential doctrines, beliefs held by Christians "everywhere, always, by all." Colson and Fickett believe that Christians are living in a unique time of special opposition: "Western culture is doing everything in its power to shut the door" by which humans pass from darkness to light. Only a robust reaffirmation of the essentials of Christian doctrine, they say, will provide a firm foundation for political and social engagement.

The first half of The Faith emphasizes what Christians believe about God, namely the reasons for his existence, his self-revelation to human beings, his triune nature, and the actions he has taken to defeat evil. The second half focuses on how our beliefs about God influence our beliefs about everything else, with Colson and Fickett articulating the Christian understanding of saving faith, reconciliation and forgiveness, the mission and nature of the church, sanctity of life, and so on. The result is a winning combination of Christian apologetics and Christian doctrine — a manifesto for looking at the world in a distinctly Christian way.

The authors not only see assaults on Christianity as external; they also warn against movements from within the church that they believe could undermine Christianity. Although they admit that much of the Emergent movement's protest of contemporary evangelicalism is on target, the authors critique what they see as the movement's prescription: a rejection of absolute truth. ...



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