Nobody wants to be negative but Stearns knew he had to be honest. Understanding the situation today requires taking the time to view the world and what is happening in it.
Stearns examines the three value systems prominent in the world today: radicalized Islam; an aggressive humanism; and the Judeo-Christian faith. He evaluates the three worldviews and how they deal with culture and the basic questions of mankind (existence, purpose, etc.).
Stearns' “hypothesis is that these three prevailing worldviews are all, in different yet equally serious ways, seeking the hearts, souls, minds and bodies of mankind. The end game is to emerge as the dominant player, allowing them to influence and even redefine the future of human existence.” (62) He argues that coexistence is a myth, giving several reasons why. “...[I]t becomes more obvious that multiculturalism is no longer an option for those who wish to continue to live in freedom.” (183)
He has written this book “...so that we can plainly see that the Judeo-Christian worldview is the best possible means of providing a platform of liberty for the human race,” (165) But the Judeo-Christian worldview is being attacked. Christians are in a battle, he writes. “It is a spiritual battle we are called to win.” (29) Stearns foresees the Islamization of the U. S. (as it is happening in Europe) unless Americans are willing to pay the price. “Stay awake and remain active to ensure that the torch of liberty is not extinguished...” (182)
Christians are faced with a decision, he writes. The choice the American church makes will determine whether America as we know it survives or not.
For someone isolated from current events, Stearns' book is a good look at the major belief systems of our day. For those thoughtfully paying attention to the world today, this book will be a fine review but does not really offer any new information.
Stearns definitely writes from a Christian viewpoint, seeing the Christian faith and culture as the only viable one for mankind. I wholeheartedly agree.
Unfortunately, in his enthusiasm for Christianity, I think Stearns makes some statements which can be criticized by those from other faiths. For example, “...God values men and women equally, people of all races equally and the young and old equally.” (137)
He opens himself to criticism when Old Testament laws are considered. Leviticus 12:1-5 says when a male is born, the mother is unclean a week, and when a daughter is born, the mother is unclean for two weeks. The purifying time is doubled too.
Another telling passage is Leviticus 27:1-8. The passage is about “a special vow to the Lord involving the valuation of persons...: The valuation is as follows:
male, aged 20 to 60, 50 shekels of silver
female, 30 shekels
male, aged 5 to 20, 20 shekels
female, 10 shekels
male, aged 1 month to 5 years, 5 shekels
female, 3 shekels
male, over 60 years old, 15 shekels
female, 10 shekels
And then there is Numbers 27 where the daughters of Zelophehad had to plead their case to inherit some of their father's possessions as only sons inherited under the law and Zelophehad had no sons.
He also opens himself to criticism with this statement: “When the Law was given, it was only the lawbreakers who were appointed for destruction.” (137)
But we must remember Exodus 20:5 which says that God is a jealous God, “visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate me...”
When a Christian writes a book about other belief systems, it is crucial that the author be accurate regarding the facts of his own faith. While much of Stearns' book is worth reading, it is a shame he makes a couple of statements that might cause his work to be discredited.
Chosen (a division of Baker Publishing Group), 222 pages.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.