Andrew Klavan has been my favorite writer of thrillers for several years now and has provided some of the best reading moments I’ve ever enjoyed. His books have been made into films starring Michael Douglas and Clint Eastwood. He also happens to be a conservative who writes sympathetically about Christianity.
For all of those reasons, I asked my publisher to send him The End of Secularism.
Anyone who works in the writing business will understand: I don’t have time to read books sent or lent to me unrequested. What with informational reading, professional reading and reading for my craft and spirit, even books I want to get to sometimes have to wait as long as a year.
Plus I don’t remember ever having met Hunter Baker of Houston Baptist University so I don’t know why he had his publisher send me his new book The End of Secularism. But I’m startled to report I glanced at it while laying it aside, then picked it up again, then read it through. 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,” ie. 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 wish I had time to write a full review of this book in a respectable venue (as opposed to this Blog of Ill Repute!). I just don’t. But if anyone from First Things or World Magazine or even the Weekly Standard or NRO is skulking through here and sees this, I think the book is well worth discovering.