With Christmas coming up, we wanted to spend some time on books we think are worthy of giving to your friends and even, perhaps, your enemies. My choice for that would be The End of Secularism, written by Hunter Baker, JD, PhD, longtime contributor to the American Spectator, The City and what feels like dozens of blogs. Published by Crossway Books, The End of Secularism is an important book, one that I highly recommend — and it’s been the subject of some fascinating podcasts on faith, politics and the public square.
So in today’s special edition of The New Ledger podcast, I ask Dr. Baker questions like: “During a passage on Marxism and science, you give a nod to Whittaker Chambers’ acknowledgment that by shifting from the side of communism to the side of its opponents, he was joining the losing side. This year marked the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, and it seems clear history proved Chambers wrong, at least in the form of communism he opposed. Do you think that communism’s force lives on in the less violent but still all-encompassing secularism of today — on issues like climate change and economic socialism? And second, do you think that those who strive against secularism today are on the losing side of history?”
The End of Secularism comes highly recommended by bestselling author Andrew Klavan, who says: “This is a very well written, concise and learned primer on the secularization of the public square. It gives a fair recital of the arguments in favor of it, and a strong but sensible and moderate outline of the arguments against. It has a firm grasp of history and neither falls for the usual ‘This is a Christian country!’ rhetoric that makes its way onto television nor accepts the ‘separation of church and state,’ pieties that were rendered obsolete by the state’s aggressive intrustion into what Dr. Baker calls ‘the life-world,’ i.e. our values and private lives. It’s a book you’ll be glad you read the next time you get in an argument about religion’s role in politics.” I hope you’ll consider it as a gift this Christmas.
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