How the West Really Lost God

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                                HOW THE WEST REALLY LOST GOD

Author MARY EBERSTADT

Publisher TEMPLETON PRESS

ISBN 1599474663

The title of this book continues with the words “a new theory of Secularisation.”   The author is passionate and clear about her “new” explanation as the root causes of the decline of Christianity in the West.  She marshall’s her facts from many sources, citing other sociologists and people from other disciplines, there are a host of notes at the end of the book.  She is a courageous social critic and not afraid to challenge the received wisdom of others.  She does confess that she is not a specialist, writing more as a lay person and her book is sure to be putting into words the thoughts of many who see the fruits of the decline of family and church in society today and the failure of the alternatives adopted by many.  She will also provoke some highly negative reactions as she basically writes of the church and family as a double helix linked together by various important factors and that this helix, if faced by those high places, is the key to what may be a change for good in the landscape of society.  She indicates the unwillingness of media and political bodies to face fair and square the findings of sociologists and the results of so many studies as to the erosion of family and church and its impact on Western Society.  Some of the data she gathers is staggering and yet the book is not without hope for change.  There are some sections that look at the French Revolution, Enlightenment thought, Freud and others and nothing is too ‘heavy’ for the average reader to grasp.  I read the book at more or less one sitting and that enhanced, for me, the sheer logic and integrity of her argumentation.  She draws on a little theology as well as literature, demography as well as history and all reinforces her persuasive reasoning.  That what she says will be listened to by the mainstream is unlikely but there will be many who can only agree with her and fear for the collapse that will come if the moral decline continues as it is.  She uses the word ‘moral’ and points out how in its place it is politically correct to use the word ‘values’.  Although not an overtly Christian book it will confirm the feelings of many in the churches but will not please those who have adopted a liberal stance.  Some of her comments about the reasons for the decline of the Main Line Denominations are very clear.  On the one hand pointing out that as they compromised in earlier days about divorce the inevitable outcome would be the decline into gender confusion.  On the other side, she points out that the Roman Catholic church has, in a measure, sought to adhere to a more Biblical position about family and is now being vilified and the Pope rejected by some because of that stance.  All in all a challenging read.  

Last modified: April 28, 2016

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