This is a fantastic book. I’m sure it helps that it was written by a collegiate friend and peer of mine, Peter Heck. Peter writes this book with a healthy amount of “fire in his belly”, I believe and addresses some important issues that the church has literally sidestepped and allowed to take roots in America. The book is addressed to us, the “78” – Peter quotes a recent Pew Study polling Americans and publishing that around 78% of us hold what are labeled as “Christian traditions”.
Peter’s three main calls-to-action:
Reforming the Church – The American church has lost its way, and must stop exchanging true, Biblical Christianity for emotionally-driven entertainment.
Revolutionizing the Government – The best government is self-government, but apart from the moral restraint taught by Christianity, freedom flounders.
Renewing the Culture – Restore the sanctity of life, defend the Biblical model of family, and train our children in truth and we rescue a dying society.
Some of my highlights and underlines from the book:
“When you teach young people from their first day in public high school biology class that human life is nothing but a cosmic accident with no ultimate value, destiny, or purpose . . . when you teach young people that their existence is nothing but the worthless conglomeration of molecules that came together purely by chance billions of years ago . . . when you teach young people that murdering an infant is a choice . . . when you teach young people that killing off the unwanted elderly is humane . . . when you teach young people that suicide is acceptable if it’s assisted by a physician . . . when you teach young people that eliminating the sick and the terminal is ethical and justifiable . . . when you teach them such things, you have successfully ingrained into the minds of an entire generation that life itself is worthless.” [page 17]
“To put it bluntly, the church is failing America.” [page 21]
“If concern over offending the masses supersedes the church’s mission to correct and rebuke misguided beliefs and thoughts, has the church not neutered itself to the point of being a mere social club?” [page 27]
“But as a minister of the Gospel message, if the atheist feels comfortable and the Muslim feels at peace with your sermon, there’s something dreadfully wrong with your commitment to the primary mission of urgently seeking and saving the lost.” [page 29]
“…the church in America has grown proficient at making congregants, not disciples.” [page 31]
“If we seek to preserve the blessings of liberty to our posterity, we must acknowledge that our government today is coming to eerily resemble not the kind our Founders created . . . but the kind they pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor to war against.” [page 102]
“At the behest of those whose motivation is not respect for all beliefs, but rather bitter hostility to one, the presence of a moral authority is being removed not just from buildings and books, but from the conscience of our people.” [page 118]
“The removal of God from the public square. . . the removal of a moral authority from our society is not liberating us. It is shackling us. It’s not delivering us. It’s destroying us. It’s not freeing our children. It’s forging their chains.” [page 119]
“My preacher and my president have separate jobs to fulfill, but both act under the authority of, and are both answerable to God for the way in which they fulfill them.” [page 134]
“If our civilization is to survive, we – the 78 – must end the killing (abortion). We must, as previous generations, find the strength and courage necessary to illuminate the gab between our culture’s obsession with convenience and self-gratification and the eternal truths espoused in our Declaration of Independence.” [page 147]
“Remember again that 78% of Americans claim the Christian tradition. If 78% of the population was following the Biblical precept to dwell only on what was true, noble, right, pure, lovely and admirable, would HOllywood find the profit margins they need to keep peddling smut? Would magazine companies find it lucrative to put less than half-dressed women on their covers? That they do is an indictment on those of us who have been instructed to, “not conform to the pattern of this world,” but transform our minds and hearts to the Biblical command of self-control.” [pages 176-177]
“No one is compelled into any sexual conduct. Even those who choose to abide by God’s design for sex within the confines of a married, monogamous, man/woman relationship, how, when and if they engage in sexual behavior, it is a choice.” [page 189]
“A person’s natural state is that of male or female. From there, people choose what kind of sexual behavior, if any, to participate in. They choose whether to conform to biblical standards, societal standards, or no standards at all. But since what they do sexually is always chosen behavior, it has nothing to do with their identity. Who a person is, is different than what a person does.” [page 190]
“But for whatever the reason – fear, intimidation, passivity, complacency, apathy or ignorance – silence is quickly becoming the defining quality of Christianity in America.” [pages 250-251]
78: How Christians Can Save America is currently available on Amazon.
Here is a video-preview of Peter’s LIVE presentation of “78” to an audience:
Incidentally he does have a 4-part DVD available of the presentation – I’ve ordered it and am looking forward to watching it!