Signals of Transcendence: Listening to the Promptings of Life
There must be something more to life.
The modern world is a place of great distraction, and it can be difficult to make sense of our human existence. But at some point in our lives, we may experience particular moments that prompt us to search for something deeper. Sociologist Peter Berger described these hints and clues as “signals of transcendence” that awaken us to unseen realities.
Os Guinness tells stories of people who experienced signals of transcendence and followed them to find new meaning and purpose in life. Notable figures such as Leo Tolstoy and C. S. Lewis as well as lesser-known individuals experienced a variety of promptings that signaled to them that life could not continue as they had thought. Through unsatisfied longings or disillusionments that yet yielded glimpses of beauty or joy, these moments drew people toward epiphanies of transformation. And the same can be true for us, should we have the courage to follow the signals wherever they may lead.
Listen for the signals. And discover what more awaits those with ears to hear.
The Great Quest: Invitation to an Examined Life and a Sure Path to Meaning
“The unexamined life is not worth living.” —Socrates
What is life all about? What are we here for? Is there any meaning or purpose to our existence? Thinkers throughout the centuries have pondered these questions. While the distractions of the modern world prevent many from grappling seriously with such matters, the truth is that humans cannot live without meaning any more than we can live without breathing or eating.
Os Guinness invites us to examine our lives and join the great quest for meaning and a life well lived. For those who are up to Socrates’ challenge, it is a search that is indispensable to making the most of life. Guinness charts the course of the thinking person’s journey toward faith and meaning, calling for a firm grasp of reason, an honest awareness of conscience, and a living sense of wonder. He affirms that there is a time for questions, and that following those questions can indeed lead us to answers, evidence, and commitment.
When life becomes a question, the search is on for an answer. Come find yourself on a sure path to meaning.
Carpe Diem Redeemed: Seizing the Day, Discerning the Times
You only live once―if then. Life is short, and it can be as easily wasted as lived to the full. In the midst of our harried modern world, how do we make the most of life and the time we have? In these fast and superficial times, Os Guinness calls us to consequential living. In strong contrast to both Eastern and secularist views of time, he reorients our very notion of history, not as cyclical nor as meaningless, but as linear and purposeful. In the Judeo-Christian tradition, time and history are meaningful, and human beings have agency to live with freedom and consequence in partnership with God. Thus we can seek to serve God’s purpose for our generation, read the times, and discern our call for this moment in history. Our time on earth has significance. Live rightly, discern the times, and redeem the day.
Unspeakable: Facing Up to Evil in an Age of Genocide and Terror
We are still surprised by evil. From Auschwitz to the events of September 11, we have been shocked into recognizing the startling capacity for evil within the human heart. We now know 9/11 revealed that our country was unprepared in terms of national security, but it also showed we were intellectually and morally unprepared to deal with such a barbaric act.
Our language to describe evil and our ethical will to resist it have grown uncertain and confused. Many who speak unabashedly of evil are dismissed as simplistic, old–fashioned, and out of tune with the realities of modern life. Yet we must have some kind of language to help us understand the pain and suffering at the heart of human experience.
Author and speaker Os 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. Since 9/11, much public discussion has centered on the destructiveness of extremist religion. Guinness provocatively argues that this is far from an accurate picture and too easy an explanation. In this expansive exploration of both the causes of modern evil and solutions for the future, he faces our tragic recent past and our disturbing present with courageous honesty. In order to live an “examined life,” Guinness writes, we must come to terms with our beliefs regarding evil and ultimately join the fight against it.
Addressing individuals as well as a traumatized culture, Unspeakable is an invitation to explore the challenge of contemporary evil, a call to confront our culture of fear, and a journey to find words to come to terms with the unspeakable so that it will no longer leave us mute.
Impossible People: Christian Courage and the Struggle for the Soul of Civilization
The church in the West is at a critical moment. While the gospel is exploding throughout the global south, Western civilization faces militant assaults from aggressive secularism and radical Islam. Will the church resist the seductive shaping power of advanced modernity? More than ever, Christians must resist the negative cultural forces of our day with fortitude and winsomeness. What is needed is followers of Christ who are willing to face reality without flinching and respond with a faithfulness that is unwavering. Os Guinness describes these Christians as “impossible people,” those who have “hearts that can melt with compassion, but with faces like flint and backbones of steel who are unmanipulable, unbribable, undeterrable and unclubbable, without ever losing the gentleness, the mercy, the grace and the compassion of our Lord.” Few accounts of the challenge of today are more realistic, and few calls to Christian courage are more timely, resolute―and hopeful. Guinness argues that we must engage secularism and atheism in new ways, confronting competing ideas with discernment and fresh articulation of the faith. Christians are called to be impossible people, full of courage and mercy in challenging times.
Fool’s Talk: Recovering the Art of Christian Persuasion
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 approaches to evangelism and apologetics. Most of these methods assume that people are open, interested and needy for spiritual insight when increasingly most people are not. Our urgent need, then, is the capacity to persuade—to make a convincing case for the gospel to people who are not interested in it.
In his magnum opus, Os Guinness offers a comprehensive presentation of the art and power of creative persuasion. Christians have often relied on proclaiming and preaching, protesting and picketing. But we are strikingly weak in persuasion—the ability to talk to people who are closed to what we are saying. Actual persuasion requires more than a one-size-fits-all approach. Guinness notes, “Jesus never spoke to two people the same way, and neither should we.”
Following the tradition of Erasmus, Pascal, G. K. Chesterton, C. S. Lewis, Malcolm Muggeridge and Peter Berger, Guinness demonstrates how apologetic persuasion requires both the rational and the imaginative. Persuasion is subversive, turning the tables on listeners’ assumptions to surprise them with signals of transcendence and the credibility of the gospel.
This book is the fruit of forty years of thinking, honed in countless talks and discussions at many of the leading universities and intellectual centers of the world. Discover afresh the persuasive power of Christian witness from one of the leading apologists and thinkers of our era.
Invitation to the Classics (Masterworks)
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.
Time for Truth: Living Free in a World of Lies, Hype, and Spin
In postmodern society, truth no longer exists in any objective or absolute sense. At best, truth is considered relative. At worst, it’s a matter of human convention. But, as Os Guinness points out in this book, truth is a vital requirement for freedom and a good life.
Time for Truth urges readers to seek the truth, speak the truth, and live the truth. Guinness shows that becoming free and truthful people is the deepest secret of integrity and the highest form of taking responsibility for ourselves and our lives. Now in paperback, this engaging book will interest Os Guinness fans, thoughtful readers, and those concerned with moral, political, and cultural issues.
The Last Christian on Earth: Uncover the Enemy’s Plot to Undermine the Church
In one of the world’s great ironies, the Christian faith contributed decisively to the rise of the modern world, but has been undermined decisively by the modern world it helped to create. The Christian faith has become its own gravedigger. In the 25 years since philosopher and social critic Os Guinness first published The Gravedigger Files, much has happened: the fall of the Soviet Union, the rise of the computer age, the reemergence of China and India, the rise of Islamic terrorism, and the worldwide revitalization and politicization of religion. The central mystery of Dr. Guinness’s spy novel inspired by his affection for John le Carré thrillers remains unsolved: Can Christians regain the full integrity of faith in Christ while fully and properly engaged in the advanced modern world? This new edition of The Last Christian on Earth, which includes previously unpublished top-secret memos, is Dr. Guinness’s parable about the future of the Christian church in the West. Written in the grand tradition of le Carré, Fleming, and Clancy, this thriller pays homage to the genre while transcending it–because the real-life ending has yet to be written!