Book of the Month/September 2021

Sharing Options

These are tumultuous times to be alive, and one of the things we most desire in such times is orientation. Now for Christians, our ultimate orientation is always to be Christ, but that doesn’t take anything away from our desire to be oriented to the facts as they are on the ground.

Say you were in downtown Portland with your family (for some good reason) when you got word that a riot had broken out, and was headed your way. That’s all you know. You don’t know whether they are coming from the east or west, north or south. You want to get back to your car, which seems reasonable. The fact that Christ is your ultimate orientation, and that you are praying fervently in His name, does not take away from your desire to be oriented on the ground. What is actually going on down here? Which would be the best route to the car?

This is a book that will help you understand the tempestuous nature of almost all our current events. Martin Gurri is a former CIA analyst who turns his considerable skills in this department to the global question of just what the heck is going on? The first edition of this book came out before Trump’s successful bid for the White House, and before Brexit. In the latest edition he includes an afterword that shows how all of that dovetails nicely with what he wrote earlier. And it does. It all makes sense.

His basic thesis is that the digital revolution has annihilated the public’s trust in established institutions, and that it had this effect necessarily. Authority is linked to the control of information, and no one is in control of information anymore. There is a vacuum of leadership, and the difficulty is that nothing has arisen to fill the vacuum.

The temptation for American Christians is to think that our country is falling apart. Actually, no. It is the world that is falling apart. This is a global crisis of authority, and the smart phone in your pocket has a great deal to do with it.

Get and read this book. It will help you get back to your car.