Books


Fool’s Talk

IVP Books

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2016 Christianity Today Book of the Year in Apologetics/Evangelism One of Desiring God’s Top 15 Books of 2015 Hearts & Minds Bookstore’s Best Books of 2015, Social Criticism and Cultural Engagement In our post-Christian context, public life has become markedly more secular and private life infinitely more diverse. Yet many Christians still rely on cookie-cutter […]

Reviews

In a battle of ideas, unlike a battle between nations, the goal is not to vanquish the opponents but to win them. Making that challenge even more difficult is that oftentimes, what we win them with is what we win them to. The art and science of dialoguing and debate must bring together the message and the method in concert. No one does this better than my colleague Os Guinness. For years I have benefited from his incisive thinking and carefully studied presentations. Here, he wisely observes that 'Our urgent need today is to reunite evangelism and apologetics, and make sure that our best arguments are directed toward winning people and not just winning arguments.' I am thrilled to see his unique thinking on these crucial subjects, co-extensive with a lifetime of doing apologetics. It is a must-read for anyone interested in engaging the skeptic or seeker. Few thinkers today rise to the level that Os does, even as he plumbs the depth of vital issues in defense of the historic Christian faith.

Ravi Zacharias

When No One Sees: The Importance of Character in an Age of Image

Navpress Publishing Group

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Presenting the truth of the Bible in the context of modern society, other faiths, and 3,000 years of history, Guinness offers a compelling analysis of current culture along with profiles of historic individuals of model character. When No One Sees illustrates how character is built and tested, presenting practical help for bringing about change in […]

Reviews

As one who's been hiring and firing in the public and private sector for almost 40 years, I can tell you this book is a gift we ought to give every staffer. It's basically a highly readable workbook, a tool for understanding the true nature of human character and how to develop it. The reader will be greatly impacted if the material is treated as a personal devotional guide, reading it slowly, meditatively, contemplatively. Guinness touches the very essence of the subject. Who we are "when no one sees" is who we truly are.

Ray "Pastor Ray" Mccollum

Unspeakable: Facing Up to the Challenge of Evil

HarperOne

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In this expansive exploration of both the causes of modern evil and solutions for the future, Guinness confronts our inability to understand evil – let alone respond to it effectively – by providing both a lexicon and a strategy for finding a way forward.

Reviews

Guinness feels the world has lost touch with evil, and thereby forsaken the ability to define and deal with it. He takes issue with critics of President Bush for pronouncing the 9/11 attacks as evil, and he disparages those who mistake suffering for evil. He eloquently draws the distinction between evil and suffering, then exhorts us to recognize that evil lies within our hearts and to avoid perpetrating it, or turning a blind eye to its perpetration by others. Guinness cites numerous authorities to support his points--for instance, memorably quoting Alexander Solzhenitsyn's Nobel address, "Let the lie come into the world and even dominate the world--'but not through me.'" Pointing out many recent events that reprise shameful evils from the past, Guinness notes not only world leaders who denounce the Holocaust yet ignore atrocities in Bosnia and Rwanda but also all those who turn away from such horrors. Coping with evil will take more than a truce in the blame game between secularism and religion, he says; only true collaboration will work.

Donna Chavez, Booklist

The Case for Civility: And Why Our Future Depends on It

Harper One

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In a world torn apart by religious extremism on the one side and a strident secularism on the other, no question is more urgent than how we live with our deepest differences—especially our religious and ideological differences. The Case for Civility is a convincing and timely proposal for restoring civility in America.

Reviews

Popular evangelical writer Guinness (The Call) worries that the culture wars are destroying the United States. If Americans don't find a way of living with our deepest differences, the republic will decline. He forcefully defends religious liberty, noting that it was crucial for the founding generation and should be just as crucial today. To that end, he calls Christians to rethink their enthusiasm for government-sponsored faith-based initiatives, and to remember that evangelicals were the victims of earlier church-state establishments. The religious right—whose discourse of victimization, says Guinness, is silly and anti-Christian—comes under fire. Nor is Guinness a fan of the nascent religious left—he prefers a depoliticized faith. For all Guinness's rhetorical vim, his proposals ultimately feel anodyne: his boilerplate conclusion is that in order to restore civility we need leadership and a remarkable articulation of vision. Furthermore, although Guinness notes that he is a European, the book is oddly marked by the old rhetoric of American cultural imperialism. Echoing JFK, Guinness wants his essay to be taken as one model for fostering civility around the world and helping make the world safe for diversity.

Publishers Weekly

The Global Public Square: Religious Freedom and the Making of a World Safe for Diversity

InterVarsity Press

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How do we live with our deepest differences? In a world torn by religious conflict, the threats to human dignity are terrifyingly real. Some societies face harsh government repression and brutal sectarian violence, while others are divided by bitter conflicts over religion’s place in public life. Is there any hope for living together peacefully? Os […]

Reviews

"One of the foremost religious-liberty thinkers of our time, Os Guinness sets a soaring goal for this book: establishing a vision of religious freedom ('soul freedom') that accommodates competing truth claims about who man is and why he exists, guarantees freedom and justice, and builds stability amidst a fragile world order. Guinness succeeds magnificently. This book should be required reading for the secularist and the theocrat alike. Its Global Charter of Conscience is a blueprint for all the peoples of the world—both in the West and beyond—struggling to achieve for themselves just and lasting regimes of ordered liberty."

Thomas F. Farr, director, The Religious Freedom Project, Georgetown University's Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs

Renaissance: The Power of the Gospel However Dark the Times

InterVarsity Press

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We live in dark times. Christians wonder: Are the best days of the Christian faith behind us? Has modernity made Christian thought irrelevant and impotent? Is society beyond all hope of redemption and renewal? In Renaissance, Os Guinness declares no. Throughout history, the Christian faith has transformed entire cultures and civilizations, building cathedrals and universities, proclaiming God’s goodness, beauty […]

Reviews

"For decades Os Guinness has been one of the most nuanced, realistic, yet hopeful voices calling Christians to engagement with culture. This latest volume from him should not be missed by anyone. Os summarizes some of the most helpful recent discussions, updates many of his own lifelong challenges to the church and provides many fresh insights. Highly recommended."

—Tim Keller, Redeemer Presbyterian Church, New York City

A Free People’s Suicide

InterVarsity Press

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Nothing is more daring in the American experiment than the founders’ belief that the American republic could remain free forever. But how was this to be done, and are Americans doing it today? It is not enough for freedom to be won. It must also be sustained. Cultural observer Os Guinness argues that the American […]

Reviews

"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

The Case for Civility: And Why America’s Future Depends on It

HarperOne

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Have America’s founding principles become culture war casualties? While the world watches, we’re failing to live up to our own ideals. Calling both left and right to renounce ugly political polarization, Guinness makes an impassioned plea for a civil public square—one that neither privileges a particular faith nor excludes religion in the name of “tolerance.”

Reviews

The Call

Thomas Nelson

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The Call continues to stand as a classic, reflective work on life’s purpose. Best-selling author Os Guinness goes beyond our surface understanding of God’s call and addresses the fact that God has a specific calling for our individual lives. Why am I here? What is God’s call in my life? How do I fit God’s call […]

Reviews

This book is for anyone who hungers for a clear sense of purpose and meaning in life and who is courageous enough to pursue his or her calling, no matter what the cost.

Peggy Wehmeyer

The Great Experiment: Faith and Freedom in America

Navpress Publishing Group

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The Great Experiment: Faith and Freedom in America helps Americans and all who love America seek to better understand the genius of the American experiment and the framers’ understanding of how it may be sustained.

Reviews

The book does a great job of comparing and contrasting the American Revolution to the beginnings of other great nations - the winning, ordering and sustaining of liberty which our Founding Fathers took such great care to avoid so many of the mistakes of history. Excellent excerpts are included from a variety of authors to support Guinness' argument that religion is absolutely imperative to the well being of our nation.

Dan Panetti

Doing Well and Doing Good: Money, Giving, and Caring in a Free Society

Navpress Publishing Group

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Sometimes controversial, often challenging, always illuminating, the issues of money, giving, and caring are vital themes that stand at the crossroads of many issues in contemporary society. They are topics that no responsible citizen or leader in a free society can afford to ignore.

Reviews

The latest installment in NavPress's Trinity Forum Study Series, this impressively wide-ranging examination of charity and philanthropy is actually a collection of excerpts edited by Guinness. Beginning with selections from ancient Greeks and ending with several from 20th-century intellectuals and entrepreneurs, Guinness leads readers through his study of the nature and history of wealth and giving. In his introduction, Guinness makes no secret of the series' evangelical Christian perspective, but claims to "open its programs to all who share its aims." While Guinness generally does an admirable job of writing for a diverse audience, his overly sympathetic view of Judeo-Christian theories of giving and overly critical perspective on other traditions occasionally offend; his assertion that Jewish and Christian giving never expects anything in return, while virtually all other traditions do, flies in the face of biblical and historical examples too numerous to count. Despite his efforts to include a few liberal voices (most notably Robert Reich), Guinness's preference for conservative thinkers such as Marvin Olasky and S. Humphreys Gurteen is unmistakable. Moreover, his negative, dismissive assessment of welfare programs in the United States seems unwarranted; in assuming that his readers agree with him that these programs have failed, he will no doubt alienate more than a few. Fortunately, study questions at the end of each section, along with a leader's guide at the end of the book (written by series editor Karen Lee-Thorp), invite readers to form their own opinions.

Publishers Weekly

The American Hour

Free Press

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Guinness examines how perilously close we have come to losing the shared beliefs, traditions and ideals that have helped shape America and sets forth a compelling view of a new role for religion.

Reviews

Former executive director of the Williamsburg Charter Foundation, a project that celebrates the right to religious liberty embodied in the U.S. Constitution, Guinness ( The Gravedigger File ) tries to cover a wide range of material as he examines "transformations and corruptions in America's . . . moral and cultural order" and suggests, not very convincingly, that the American people might be redeemed by faith. America lacks an identity, he argues as he surveys the cultural changes of the last 40 years. Rejecting both the fundamentalist desire to establish religion officially in public life and the secular humanist wish to exclude it altogether, he suggests compromising on "a civil public square in which citizens of all faiths, or none, are free to enter and engage one another in the continuing democratic discourse." While Guinness offers some useful insights, they are obscured by his sloppy prose style: bloated with quotes and shallow analysis (such as the wholesale condemnation of "non-liberal ideologies" in U.S. universities), the book reads like an intellectual Megatrends .

Publishers Weekly

Fool’s Talk

IVP Books

Order

2016 Christianity Today Book of the Year in Apologetics/Evangelism One of Desiring God’s Top 15 Books of 2015 Hearts & Minds Bookstore’s Best Books of 2015, Social Criticism and Cultural Engagement In our post-Christian context, public life has become markedly more secular and private life infinitely more diverse. Yet many Christians still rely on cookie-cutter […]

Reviews

In a battle of ideas, unlike a battle between nations, the goal is not to vanquish the opponents but to win them. Making that challenge even more difficult is that oftentimes, what we win them with is what we win them to. The art and science of dialoguing and debate must bring together the message and the method in concert. No one does this better than my colleague Os Guinness. For years I have benefited from his incisive thinking and carefully studied presentations. Here, he wisely observes that 'Our urgent need today is to reunite evangelism and apologetics, and make sure that our best arguments are directed toward winning people and not just winning arguments.' I am thrilled to see his unique thinking on these crucial subjects, co-extensive with a lifetime of doing apologetics. It is a must-read for anyone interested in engaging the skeptic or seeker. Few thinkers today rise to the level that Os does, even as he plumbs the depth of vital issues in defense of the historic Christian faith.

Ravi Zacharias

Invitation to the Classics (Masterworks)

Baker Books

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Invitation to the Classics (Masterworks) Baker Books Guinness and Louise Cowan gather over 50 brief essays by a number of respected Christian literary scholars that extend invitations to readers to experience anew or for the first time the wonder and the beauty of selected classics.

Reviews

One of the many purposes of Invitation to the Classics is to warm the heart to the masterworks of Western civilization. In doing so, editors Louise Cowan and Os Guinness hope to "reawaken ... people to the vibrant heritage of these classics that are rich in themselves and in their 2000-year relationship to the Christian faith." From Homer to Chaucer, Dickens to C.S. Lewis, each author receives a chapter that includes a biographical sketch followed by a thorough summary of the classic(s) he or she penned. The "Issues to Explore" sections at the end of each chapter pose penetrating questions for interrogation of the text as well as recommendations for further study depending on whether your scope is technical, theological, analytical, critical, or biographical. Once you read Invitation to the Classics, you may agree with C.S. Lewis that we must "keep the clean sea breeze of the centuries blowing through our minds, and this can be done only by reading old books."

Jill Heatherly, Amazon.com

Time for Truth: Living Free in a World of Lies, Hype and Spin

Baker Books

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In a book rich with telling examples, Os Guinness reveals that truth no longer exists in any objective or absolute sense. Time for Truth provides compelling evidence that becoming free and truthful people is the deepest secret of integrity and the highest form of taking responsibility for ourselves and our lives.

Reviews

Like Philip Yancey, another prolific and popular evangelical Christian writer, Guinness writes well, with plenty of appropriate citations of literary sources beyond the Bible. Intentionally producing a short book on a topic that could occupy volumes, he dissects the modern and postmodern presumptions about truth that have eventuated in such problematic outcomes of justice as the acquittals of O. J. Simpson and President Clinton. The modern presumption is that truth is historically, culturally, and even personally contingent, and the postmodern presumption is that truth is a function of power. He is not as successful in selling the Jewish and Christian view that truth is permanent and absolute. Seemingly assuming that he is addressing the already convinced and forensically adept, he explains but doesn't exemplify how to argue against either modern or postmodern relativism. For such modeling, religiously unconvinced readers piqued by Guinness' effort should turn to Peter Kreeft's excellent and entertaining Refutation of Moral Relativism.

Ray Olson, Booklist

Last Christian on Earth: Uncover the Enemy’s Plot to Undermine the Church

Baker Books

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Originally published in 1983 as The Gravedigger Files, Guinness’s parable about the future of the Christian church has been updated to reflect geographical, theological, political, and technological changes. But its central “spy novel” mystery remains the same. Can Christians regain the integrity of their faith while properly engaging the modern world? Includes newly discovered “top secret” memos!

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Unspeakable: Facing Up to Evil in an Age of Genocide and Terror

HARPERONE

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It’s difficult to fathom willful hurt, extreme cruelty, and the carnage of war, but unless we do, our worldview is sorely inadequate. Guinness demonstrates how politicians and theologians can courageously talk about and face evil in order to overcome it. From one of evangelicalism’s finest public intellectuals.

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