I recently received Indivisible: Restoring Faith, Family, and Freedom Before It’s Too Late for review.
INDIVISIBLE can be a turning point in the moral, cultural, and economic decline of the United States-if its readers make it so. The authors-a leading Evangelical and a prominent Catholic-fairly and thoroughly lay out the fundamental principles without which family, freedom, and prosperity will virtually disappear in this country. If men and women of good will, aware of the historic challenges we face, cannot unite behind these principles-indivisibly social, moral, and economic-and elect leaders who will implement them, future generations will only know of the greatness of this nation as the fading story of a lost treasure.” (Father Joseph Fessio, S.J., Founder and Editor, Ignatius Press )
The book is written jointly by James Robison, the founder and president of LIFE Outreach International, and Jay Richards, Ph.D a Senior Fellow of the Discovery Institute. This is a rather ambitious book in laying out a bunch of issues along with various responses from a Christian perspective. This is written for a general audience and they cover a lot of information in a very accessible way and there is much I like about it.
Much of it reminded me of Baptist theologian Timothy George reference to the “the ecumenism of the trenches,” which they quote. The growing cooperation, both ecumenical and inter-religion, started to coalesce with the Civil Rights movement and solidified in the pro-life movement. The solidarity was also quite evident with the reaction of many non-Catholic groups reacting to the free exercise of religion stamping of the HHS mandate. In the foreword of the book reference is made that some might thing the book to Catholic and some too Protestant. I found it more of a common-cause intersection for a general audience.
I also found that much that was said I was in agreement with and so for me it was not really anything groundbreaking. I had already come to many of the conclusions they made over my life, but I certainly would have liked to read a book of this type much earlier in my life. Some of the areas that I though were not adequately covered I found were better addressed later in the book. For example a chapter on government really did not address subsidiarity where I thought it would have fit right in, but in a later chapter this was described. I think I have become somewhat spoiled by a deeper Catholic understanding considering many of the topics covered, so a book of this type left me wanting at times.
This is also not a polemical book and it really tries to avoid the political divides as far as possible. I enjoyed the variety of quotes and examples they used and the book is up-to-date as far as current events go and they really try to lay the groundwork before addressing the solutions. It’s nice to see the natural law laid out fairly well along with relating scriptural verses. There are quite a lot of quotes from Catholics contained within.
There were some things I did not like such as a “good men can disagree” attitude in regards to torture, which they pretty much just passed by. One chapter that addresses pacifism spends a good amount of time on the error of this, but then gave short shrift to the opposite error of what they called the error “realism” and they a short discussion of just war theory. More could have been said here even for a general audience. The attack on the marriage in the family covers a couple of chapters and this of course is fundamental to the problems we are experiencing along with the attack on life. Reading this it also got me wondering about when and if Protestants will start to really pick up on how destructive the contraceptive mindset is and how it sets up the culture of death they also deplore. The authors did not bring up this subject.
As a book that does a good job in covering so many of the obstacles and problems we face along with some good solutions, I would have liked to see more about personal reform. The call to holiness where each and everyone of us must repent and reform ourselves so that we can also see more clearly and to help in the reform of the nation. There is certainly some undercurrent of this in the book and the call to prayer, I just thought it deserved coverage in it’s own chapter other than saying “We’re all sinners”.
Overall though I found much to like about this book in both the tone and the content.