Dr. R.R. Reno, editor of First Things, joins me today to continue the discussion we started 2 weeks ago of his timely new book, Resurrecting the Idea of a Christian Society. I’ve been making a general nuisance of myself to friends and family about this book, insisting that they buy it, read it, and discuss it with me. So I invited back the one man who is obliged to discuss it with me – morally and perhaps due a contractual obligation with his publisher. He was, as ever, gracious with his time.
He begins today by reminding us that the idea of separating religion from the state is a Christian one, explained at length in Augustine’s City of God and stemming in part from Christ’s declaration to Pilate in Matthew 18:36, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.” It’s an important point and one that helps frame the thesis of the book.
“This book is essentially an argument that post-Protestant WASP culture is failing, that it promises freedom, but delivers tyranny. It may work well for the top end of society, but it’s hell on the weak and vulnerable. It makes a fuss about diversity but can’t deliver solidarity. It’s false view of freedom undermines the authority of the two institutions that can limit government: marriage and the church. Its this-worldy focus distracts us from the higher things that give us a firm place to stand and from the higher love that makes us free.”
With that as an appetizer, you can hear the whole discussion with Dr. Reno below.
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