We are announcing our August theme here at Wife With A Purpose Ministries a tad early because our theme will be a book that we hope you will read along with us!
From the publisher:
A NEW York TIMES BESTSELLER
“Already the most discussed and most important religious book of the decade.” —David Brooks
In this controversial bestseller, Rod Dreher calls on American Christians to prepare for the coming Dark Age by embracing an ancient Christian way of life.
From the inside, American churches have been hollowed out by the departure of young people and by an insipid pseudo–Christianity. From the outside, they are beset by challenges to religious liberty in a rapidly secularizing culture. Keeping Hillary Clinton out of the White House may have bought a brief reprieve from the state’s assault, but it will not stop the West’s slide into decadence and dissolution.
Rod Dreher argues that the way forward is actually the way back—all the way to St. Benedict of Nursia. This sixth-century monk, horrified by the moral chaos following Rome’s fall, retreated to the forest and created a new way of life for Christians. He built enduring communities based on principles of order, hospitality, stability, and prayer. His spiritual centers of hope were strongholds of light throughout the Dark Ages, and saved not just Christianity but Western civilization.
Today, a new form of barbarism reigns. Many believers are blind to it, and their churches are too weak to resist. Politics offers little help in this spiritual crisis. What is needed is the Benedict Option, a strategy that draws on the authority of Scripture and the wisdom of the ancient church. The goal: to embrace exile from mainstream culture and construct a resilient counterculture.
The Benedict Option is both manifesto and rallying cry for Christians who, if they are not to be conquered, must learn how to fight on culture war battlefields like none the West has seen for fifteen hundred years. It’s for all mere Christians—Protestant, Catholic, Orthodox—who can read the signs of the times. Neither false optimism nor fatalistic despair will do. Only faith, hope, and love, embodied in a renewed church, can sustain believers in the dark age that has overtaken us. These are the days for building strong arks for the long journey across a sea of night.
If you are lucky enough to have a Mom and Pop bookshop near you, please buy or order it from them.
Our reading schedule will be thus:
Week One, August 1 – 10th, pages 1-77.
Week Two, August 11th- 18th, pages 78-143.
Week Three, August 19th 21st, pages 79-194.
Week Four, August 21st-31st, Finish and conclusion.
Please read along with @TraditionalMike and I. Follow our blog posts and thoughts on social media and chime in as you like.
We will be posting polls, thoughts and conversation starters as well as ways we are implementing The Benedict Option in our own, daily, lives.
I look forward to hearing your thoughts on this intriguing book and the concept of Christian survival in a modern world.
**Update: Some in our group have read ahead and wrote up a quick review to help the rest of us put some of Dreher’s final conclusions into perspective. I think it’s incredibly important to keep this in mind as we go forward with this book. Remember, no modern book is perfect.
“While “The Benedict Option” contains an important message for all Christians unfortunately parts of it shame people in the past for working to build institutions to preserve their cultural legacy. While It is true that one can make an idol out of race it is important to consider that the Bible frequently tells us to order our lives to make God the center of them.
We know that forced integration disrupts the peace of a community in such a way that distracts from God. Rob Dreher states that the culture war began with the sexual revolution but the reality was that that it began with the destruction of a unique white identity in America.
It is no coincidence that the sexual revolution, the end of freedom of association (1964 civil rights act), and the Hart-Celler immigration act (which switched the demographics of who we allowed to immigrate to the US drastically) all occurred within a few years of each other and in the same historical moment.
Advocacy for affirmative action policies in Benedict option schools or intentional communities would still be putting race at the center of these institutions and therefore making an idol out of multiracialism, the God of modernity. Those policies would also likely disrupt the peace of the community.
I cannot endorse the parts of this book that would shame me for preserving my ancestral legacy, as that preservation is not an act of hate against those outside that legacy.
Nevertheless the general concept that the faithful need communities of our own to strengthen our relationship with God and to preserve our traditions is a good one.“