Os Guinness, noted speaker, author and social commentator, maintains that in the aftermath of the contentious Kavanaugh Supreme Court confirmation hearings, the polarization in the US seems greater than any time since the Civil War. Scott and Sean interview Os about his new book, Last Call for Liberty: How America's Genius for Freedom Has Become it's Greatest Threat. Join us for this stimulating conversation with one of the best at connecting Christian faith and culture.

More About Our Guest

Os Guinness

Os Guinness is an author, social critic, and great-great-great grandson of Arthur Guinness, the Dublin brewer. Os has written or edited more than 30 books that offer valuable insight into the cultural, political, and social contexts in which we all live. He completed his undergraduate degree at the University of London and his D.Phil. in the social sciences from Oriel College, Oxford.

Episode Transcript

Scott Rae: Welcome to the podcast, Think Biblically: Conversations on Faith and Culture. I'm your host, Scott Rae, Dean of the Faculty and professor of Christian ethics here at Talbot School of Theology, Biola University.

Sean McDowell: I'm your co-host, Sean McDowell, professor of apologetics at Talbot School of Theology, Biola University.

Scott Rae: We're here with our special guest today, Professor Os Guinness. I think the best way I know of to put it, is he as well known an author, speaker, and social critic as I'm aware of, and so we are delighted to have you with us. Thank you for taking time out amidst your heavy travel schedule and many speaking obligations. So we are very-

Os Guinness: Always pleasure, Scott and Sean. Thank you.

Sean McDowell: Thank you.

Scott Rae: Well, we're very appreciative. We'd like to do something a little bit different. Rather than jumping into questions about content, and we want to feature your new book, Last Call for Liberty, but we'll get to that in just a moment. We recognize that you've been at this for some time. It's not to say that you're old. It's not to say that you're anywhere close to retiring. As far as I can tell, you're going as strong as you ever have and keeping as aggressive a schedule as you ever have.

Scott Rae: But we wanted to help our listeners understand some of what has made your ministry as successful as it's been over the years. So if we could start, some of our listeners might not be super familiar with you or with your writing. So tell our listeners a little bit of your own personal story, a bit about your upbringing, how you came to faith, and how you came to be in the position that you're in today with the ministry that you have.

Os Guinness: That covers a lot of issues.

Scott Rae: I'd say in a minute, 30 seconds.

Os Guinness: Well, I'm the great, great, great grandson of Arthur Guinness, the brewer, who came to faith in Jesus through John Wesley, and my side of the family has kept the faith ever since. So my grandfather was one of the first western doctors in China, treated the last emperor. Both my parents were born in China, and I was born in China and lived there my first 10 years. Rather dramatic years with the war with Japan, incredible famine in which five million died in three months, including my brothers, and as well as the climax of Mao Zedong's revolution.

Os Guinness: I went back after all that to England. So I went to an English school, and then to London University. Just before I went up to university, I came to faith myself. Now, my parents were medical missionaries, but they were under house arrest in China. So in my crucial teenage years, I didn't have any immediate influence. Obviously they loved me and prayed for me, but I didn't have their immediate influence in my life.

Os Guinness: And I came to faith partly through a friend at school and partly through reading CS Lewis. But I would have to say that when I went to London University, early 60s, drug, sex, rock and roll, the counterculture, swinging London, all that stuff, the Christians I knew, and we had incredible teaching, like John Stuart, Martin Lloyd Jones. They gave us rich, deep blocks of theology, but nothing related to culture. They were two universes.

Os Guinness: So the person who made a difference for me was Francis Schaeffer, and I never forget the first time I saw him connecting all the dots. You can think Christianly about anything and everything under the Lordship of Jesus, and that was in a practical way, more revolutionary for me and my life than coming to faith. Obviously, salvation's more important. But that made a huge difference and set me on the path to try and understand this crazy, fascinating modern world we live in.

Scott Rae: So it sounds like you got from him, not only the fact that you can speak faith into all areas of life, but that you should.

Os Guinness: Oh, absolutely.

Scott Rae: That's part of our obligation of faithfully following Christ.

Os Guinness: Put very simply, because a lot of people are still suspicious about, quote, "culture." The desire to witness, that's the positive reason. You can't talk to anyone without knowing the setting in which they live. The negative reason, I think, is the danger of wilderness. Unless we know the culture, it will shape us unawares, and that's what the Bible calls wilderness.

Scott Rae: So you would say at the top of the list of people who shaped your ability to think well and think Christianly about all of culture, Francis Scaeffer would be at the top of the list?

Os Guinness: Not necessarily top, high. I mean the person who shaped me far more would be Peter Berger. Now he is a Christian, but that's not for what he was known for.

Scott Rae: The American sociologist. In what way was he influential in your life and thinking?

Os Guinness: When I realized you had to understand contemporary culture, I had had a lot of what's called the history of ideas. And I realized that a huge amount of our contemporary world is not shaped by ideas, but by technologies, institutions, things like that. And for that you need sociology. And when I read Berger the first time, all the lights went on. And he became a good friend. I did my doctorate later on him. And I owe him a huge amount. Intellectually, academically, I owe far more to Peter Berger than Francis Schaeffer, but Schaeffer got me going.

Scott Rae: Now one of the things I've appreciated, Os, about your ministry over the years, and I've been reading your stuff since the early L'Abri days and The Dust of Death and some of the very early publications, is this remarkable ability to read culture. As we would say in theological terms, to exogee culture as well as the biblical text. Both...

Os Guinness: I don't use long words. I don't like them.

Scott Rae: I understand. Both in the US, that was for our biblical scholars, folks. And in other countries. So can you unpack a little bit more how you developed that skill? Because I just don't see too many people on the scene who are as committed to Jesus, and who have the skill at reading and interpreting culture like you do.

Os Guinness: Well, I'm not a scholar. When I left Oxford after my D.Phil., I decided not to be a scholar. In other words I saw, you got a lot of good scholarship. You use more Christian scholarship, and then there are millions of good Christians who will do what they understand. The gap is missing in the middle. So I committed my life to thinking, but try and bridge the gap between serious thinking and ordinary Christians, and so that's the middle level in which I've worked. But there obviously, as I said earlier, two main disciplines, the history of ideas, how ideas wash down in the rain from thinkers to their thoughts. The impact in the streets, say Nietzsche and post modernism today.

Os Guinness: But the other thing, the technical term is the sociology of knowledge. In other words, exploring how someone's life setting, the context in which they live shapes their thinking without anything being involved at all.

Os Guinness: You take a notion like modern fast life. 24/7 pressure. Where does that come from? It doesn't come from any philosopher. It comes from clocks, watches. And you can think of how that, or say consumerism has undermined much of the American church. The various things like this, that all comes under the sociology of knowledge, or cultural analysis.

Os Guinness: Now my concern has never been just to understand it for its own sake, but how does it affect discipleship? How does it affect communications and apologetics?

Sean McDowell: Let me make this as practical as I can. I have a father that studies culture, in many ways like you do, and one thing he's always doing is collecting every research study and article he possibly can, carves out time and just goes through it methodically. Do you approach it in that fashion or how do you decide what to study? What to read? What to think about? What does a typical day look like to you?

Os Guinness: Well, as I said, I'm not a scholar so I don't sit there doing research, but for me, a very key part of thinking is more intuitive. It's creative. The clouds part for two seconds and you see something. And you follow that up. So all my books started as, what I called back in Longblood by dear. The clouds part, you write down a word or two words in the middle of the night. And then what I'll do is give a 10 minute talk, and after dinner, talk to someone. If it has resonance, I'll develop it into a half hour talk. And I've got about 20 or 30 half hour ones at any time, and the one that's closest to the boil, think like a kitchen, I'll turn it into a book.

Os Guinness: But for me, that creative insight, the intuitive moment, that matters to me far more than reading a massive amount. So reading comes for me later.

Sean McDowell: So you're, kind of in the back of your mind, always is just looking for a fresh insight, looking for a story, looking for something that you can take and expand and see if there's resonance. That's kind of a filter that's in the back of your mind. Is that fair?

Os Guinness: Well I'm not looking for them. They're all over the place. They sort of breaking in on me.

Sean McDowell: Okay.

Os Guinness: And there's too many in our world today.

Scott Rae: Even though you admit that you're not a scholar, although I think you've done pretty good serious work in the past, I find you to be particularly well read. What would you say are the handful of books that really shaped your thinking. You referenced Peter Berger and some of his work in the past, but what would be some others?

Os Guinness: Well, actually, I'm not scholar. Scholars have to stay in their field, and if you stray into another one, someone will wrap your knuckles and say, "Well, you're an enthesis. What are you doing talking about this?" But I'm not. I'm just a thinker. So I can stray into any field I like. Because actually this is, in the global era, a great day for generalists. You gotta try and put all of these things together.

Os Guinness: For me, it's many of the classics of the past. I love St. Augustine. He lived in an interim moment like we do. 800 years of Rome, collapsed. And both the Pagans who were attacking Christians, and Christians were demoralized. And he gave a vision that was the bridge that went on into the dark ages, and we need to do the same today because after 500 years of western dominance, the west is collapsing, and so on.

Os Guinness: So I love, going down the centuries, I love Blaise Pascal. And people like that and GK Chesterton, of course CS Lewis. So I have a huge amount of thinkers in the past. But then i read very widely on the other side. I try and read Nietzsche every year. And I've read all the new atheists. Currently just finished John Gray's The Seven Types of Atheism came out this year. So I try to read as much as I can on the other side, so it's not just Christian critiques of, but really seeing what some of these guys really think.

Sean McDowell: So if you were starting fresh today, just say coming out of seminary grad school, would you approach ministry the same way? What are the big questions or topics that would gather your attention over the next, say, decades, or focus of your ministry if you were starting now?

Os Guinness: Well, I'm always leary of book lists because they just don't fit everyone. Or rather, if they do, they're such obvious classics that they don't take you that far. I believe in the classics, but I like to listen to a student. What are his gifts or her gifts? What are they calling? What is their future? And then try and craft something tailor made for them in the field they're in. It would differ widely depending on whatever field they choose.

Sean McDowell: So you mentioned a few people that have influenced you deeply. How about just three or four books in particular. I know you mentioned St. Augustine. You mentioned the book about the seven atheists. Maybe a biblical book in particular that you resonate with. Like, for me, I love the Gospel of John. Is there any particular that you find yourself going back to that just speak to you and the way you think?

Os Guinness: Well, in the last 10 years, I've been exploring freedom, and my new book is on that. But there's no question that the most interesting book on freedom is Exodus. And many, particularly evangelicals, don't realize the debt we owe to Exodus.

Os Guinness: So the Catholics ignored Exodus because in 380, when Theodosius declared Rome Christian, they copied Roman political structures, so the pope was like the Caesar. So they never went to the Bible for their institutional structures, and sadly, they were based on power, which, when it was corrupted, became horrendous like the Inquisition.

Os Guinness: But evangelicals don't realize the Reformation went back to Exodus. Calvin, Zwingli, Knox, Cromwell. In Europe it failed. It's called the Lost Cause in England. But what was the lost cause in England, jumped the ocean and became the winning cause in New England. And many evangelicals don't realize that covenant is what's behind constitution, and the Americans don't realize that.

Os Guinness: And so I'm a great believer in really exploring these things. Exodus is rich in lessons for our crazy crisis now.

Scott Rae: Let me ask you a couple questions about your new book. Just recently released called Last Call for Liberty: How America's Genius for Liberty Has Become it's Greatest Threat. What's the big idea that you're trying to get across there?

Os Guinness: Well, what's the crisis? People say it's a new stage of left against right. Or coastlanders against the heartlanders. Or the nationalists against the globalists. I argue the deepest division is actually a clash between two revolutions. You've got ideas of freedom, and of the American republic that go back to 1776, the American Revolution, which was decisively, although not consistently, biblical through the Reformation. And then you've got ideas about American freedom that go back to 1789 and the Enlightenment and it's heir. So if you look at, say the impact of Nietzsche, Makuza, Fuco, all these people, post modernism, political correctness, multiculturalism, the sexual revolution, social constructionism, or say Colin Kaepernick and the kneeing crisis, or the tactics of the Democrats in the Kavanaugh hearings, you can see that all goes back to the French style, not to the American. And America stands at a crossroads. It's a Rubicon moment.

Os Guinness: You either restore the founding vision, where you go a different way, and it'll spell the end of the American republic. So that's the idea, but the book is a checklist of 10 questions about freedom that every citizen should ask as to where you come out. What is freedom? Where did it come from? And various other questions. And citizens better see. You remember Alexander Hamilton said, "We gotta know whether by reflection and choice we can build a free society." Well, America needs a national conversation today, to see whether there's still enough reflection and choice or total incivility and violence, to really see what type of freedom you want and which way America goes. Because America is at the Rubicon moment

Scott Rae: So are you suggesting that some of what we've seen in the culture, say in the last two, five years or so, reflects more of a 1789 view of freedom than 1776?

Os Guinness: Oh put it mildly, absolutely. Everything I said, those movements, over their genesis to 1789. But you take say the Kavanaugh hearings, the rejection of presumption of innocence, the disruption of the process, or the sheer expression of raw naked power, whatever it takes. All of those are postmodern coming from Nietzsche and 1789, not from the framers.

Scott Rae: Yeah and all of the things that animated the French revolution, not the American.

Os Guinness: And you even heard voices in Washington last Saturday saying, "We need another revolution," and by that they mean a left wing revolution, not the American. The American revolution was, of the four big ones, the American, the French, the Russian, Chinese, the only one that was largely conservative, and profoundly biblical. Whereas the others were radical, anti biblical, and of course, as we know, they all had reigns of terror, and ended with killing fields of one sort or another.

Scott Rae: Not to mention utopian visions that spawned those things.

Os Guinness: Oh that's right. Well there's a good difference. In other words, you have two sources, the Bible, the Enlightenment. You begin, say, the anthropologies. The American revolution, incredibly realistic. Separation of powers, etc, because of sin. French revolution, Rousseau, man is born free. Every word's in chains. So Wilhelm Reich, the sexual revolution. Remove a few sexual repressions and we'll all be happy and fulfilled. Just utopian nonsense, and incredibly dangerous.

Scott Rae: Ironic that those also had totalitarian, pretty strong totalitarian leanings even from their roots.

Os Guinness: Well, every time you have a gap between reality and the ideal, which of course is huge with utopians, only one way to bridge the gap, force, violence.

Sean McDowell: You mentioned earlier that there's kind of these moments where the clouds part, or I forget the exact phrase that you use, and it gives you an idea for the book. What was the idea for this book where it first hit you, "I've got to write this," and how did it develop?

Os Guinness: Well, I wrote another book a few years ago, call The Free People's Suicide. Unsustainable freedom. But in the debate that followed that, I realized Americans never ask what actually is freedom. Something as simple and basic as that. And you remember Lincoln, in the 1850s he said, "Everyone's talking freedom. But the north means on thing. The south means another." You can see today, you take the classic difference that Lord Acton made, is freedom the permission to do what you like or the power to do what you ought? Those are fundamentally different. Second is our laws, you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.

Os Guinness: Well, in the French revolutions one, there's no truth, no principles, just power.

Sean McDowell: What is it about truth that brings freedom. I often quote, you had a lecture for the Veritas forum in that book that Dallas Willard put together A Place for Truth, and you kind of quote GK Chesterton, where you make the point that you can't free a tiger from its stripes or free a camel from its hump. And make the point that truth is being what we're designed to be, being ourselves. Could you flesh that out a little bit?

Os Guinness: Well, a simple version of that, I was at Oxford with Isaiah Berlin, the great Jewish philosopher. And he argued that freedom has two parts, negative and positive, and it needed both. So negative freedom is freedom from. If someone's under colonial power, they're not free. If they're under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or porn, they're not free. And there you have the irony that America calls itself the land of the free, but you've got more addictions and recovery groups than any nation in the world. People are not free. But you've got to start with negative freedom from.

Os Guinness: But that's only half of it. That's the preliminary. You have to have positive freedom. Freedom for, freedom to be. And to achieve that you've got to know the truth of who you are, as you said, from Chesterton. A camel is one thing, tigers another, a human being. Are we animals? Are we machines? Or are we made in the image of God? You need to know the truth, and of course, beyond that, you need to have truth, character, and a way of life to really achieve freedom. You will know the truth and the truth will set you free.

Sean McDowell: So in your mind, do you kind of rank books in terms of being more important and if so where would you rank this one, or do you not approach book projects in that way?

Os Guinness: Good question. There's a way in which every latest book is your favorite book, in that way. But I know which of mine are better or worse. I do know that.

Scott Rae: We won't ask you to do all that.

Os Guinness: No. The Call is by far my best seller. Because it goes to the heart of what our Lord calls us to be and do, so I'm grateful for that. But of all my books, you mentioned The Dust of Death. I've written a whole series on public affairs. This is by far the most important. But partly because it is addressing the very problem America's suffering right now. If you don't go down to the depth of the problem, I mean I've heard all sorts of answers. I mean, David Brookes and others talking this weekend, I thought, "They're not getting anywhere near the deepest part of the problem."

Os Guinness: In other words, put it differently. There is no Lincoln. This is the difference between 1850, no Lincoln today to address the better angels. Because what he did is address slavery in the light of the better angels because he believed in the declaration. Martin Luther King did. He saw the declaration as a promissory note. Stokely Carmichael or Colin Kaepernick don't. Or Al Sharpton. They just attack the evils and oppose modern power away.

Scott Rae: I have friends who are millennials and gen Z.

Os Guinness: [inaudible 00:22:46]

Scott Rae: But they're in that generation. With having several discussion with my youngest son just about the political scene, and how our political discourse is going, and I find that both he and a lot of his friends are very discouraged, and almost cynical about the state of our political discourse today. What advice would you have for those who say are in their 20s, who are just starting out in terms of responsible citizenship, about the state of our political discourse today?

Os Guinness: Well, I'd begin by saying that the cynicism, which is rife, is part of postmodernism. If truth is dead, nothing is quite what it appears to be. We should be suspicious. We probably will be cynical. So cynicism is a direct child of the Fuco, Nietzsche type of postmodernism. And I think it's abominable for Christians. Now we should be constructive and hopeful however dark the time. But we've got to educate young Americans and certainly young followers of Jesus to know the part they can play.

Os Guinness: The scandal of the American Church, this is the only country in the western world, where Christians are a huge majority, and uninfluential. So we've got to give Christians hope, confidence in the gospel, and know how to move out and make a difference. It can be turned around.

Os Guinness: I often, now, you know Ryan Holt Neuber has a wonderful line, "The end is not the end." In other words, there's two types of ends in the Bible. End as conclusion, finish. And then end as goal, purpose, tell alls. And so however many endings there are in the world, I mentioned the collapse of Rome. God always has an end in the sense of a purpose. That's what we're working for, so we should never be cynical or demoralized, but rather serve God's purposes in our crazy day, and leave the outcome to Him.

Scott Rae: That's very helpful, I think to see cynicism within its postmodern roots, which I think most of my son's and his friends, they equate cynicism with being a realist. And it's, from what you're describing, it's actually something quite different than that.

Os Guinness: No I think realism, Christianly goes along with hope.

Sean McDowell: I'm curious. What does the book writing process look like for you?

Os Guinness: Well, you remember I'm not a scholar. For me, as I said, back of an envelope, an idea comes in the shower, sitting in sermons, my mind nodding off of a poor sermon. Get an idea, write down two or three words, and then I'll try it out.

Os Guinness: You're asked to speak at a dinner for 10 minutes at the end, and I'll try that out. If it goes well, as I said, half hour talk. And then the one that is closest to the boil, and is closest to whatever's happening in the world today, that's the one I'll write.

Os Guinness: And for me, the first draft is the worst. Hard slog. As many people say, writing is the closest a man comes to having a baby. Hard work with a wonderfully pleasurable outcome.

Scott Rae: I try to sell that to my wife. [crosstalk 00:26:04] that did not go over well.

Os Guinness: I didn't say the equivalent. The closest.

Scott Rae: I worked for nine months on a book, but I checked in trying to sell her that as the equivalent, and it was not well received.

Sean McDowell: Do you outline like, "Here's the 10 chapters," and then kind of fill it in in a systematic way?

Os Guinness: Yeah I do. I'm not a great writer. To me, it's a message that burns a way out for better or worse.

Sean McDowell: So it's a passion and a clarity at the heart of it.

Os Guinness: And you know, I used to live in Switzerland when I was at L'Abri. You watch mountaineering. English and American climbers would climb hard and stop for 15 minutes. Climb hard again, stop for 15 minutes. Whereas the Swiss were more like metronomes. They just steady, steady, steady, sitting, never stopping until they got to the top. That's the same for me with writing. In other words, the days when you write on inspiration, which occasionally you do have, and the days when you write on sheer perspiration, at the end of the day, they're indistinguishable, almost indistinguishable.

Sean McDowell: That's a great way to think about it. Let me ask you one more question, and then I'll turn it back to Scott. I'm a parent of three kids, high schooler, almost junior higher and elementary, or Kindergartner actually. What parenting advice or thoughts do you have for parents today? Something you've learned just along the way that stands out to you like, "This is one nugget?"

Os Guinness: Sean, I never speak on that publicly. What I say when people ask me the question you've asked is love them like mad, pray for them like mad, and fasten your seatbelt. I don't go much beyond that. That's not my area.

Scott Rae: Get ready for a white knuckle ride.

Sean McDowell: Got it.

Scott Rae: Let me ask you one or two questions on the state of religious freedom in the United States. You've written quite a lot on this over the years. Where do you see the debates and the court action on religious freedom in the United States headed in the next few years?

Os Guinness: We're at a very serious moment, because really right down to the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, REFRA, in 1993, there was a broad consensus, and in 20 years since then, there's more change than in the previous 300. And I put it down to, I call the three dark R's. You've got the reducers, who've reduced religious freedom to freedom of worship, and it's not that. Far, far bigger. Every dictator grants freedom of worship. Whatever you believe between your two ears, so long as your mouth is firmly shut and you stay at home. Then you've got the removers, and that's what Dawkins calls himself. People who saw 9/11, the ugly violence, and they want to get religion out. So for many American elites, religious freedom is freedom from religion.

Os Guinness: But the really deadly one, the third one, the re branders. So in the framers, civil and religious liberty was the motive for the revolution and freedom. Now, though, it's a code word for bigotry and discrimination. So they've taken a human right and turned it upside down. That is absolutely deadly, and they're cutting off the very branch in which they're sitting. Now we need a powerful argument.

Os Guinness: Now we, as Christians though, I don't mean us three particularly, or even Biola. I mean we as Christians in America have made a big mistake just being concerned about us. As a Jewish journalist said to me, "Evangelicals talk about justice, but we know what they mean. Just us."

Os Guinness: If we defended the common good, the public good for everyone, then our own good would be safe too. We've got to think first principle too, and think globally the significance of this, but not just Christian persecution. We must not go the route of victim playing.

Scott Rae: And I'm sure you're aware of the case that was handled in Canada not that long ago, Trinity Western University, where their law school was denied accreditation and essentially forced to shut down because they would not adhere to the laws in British Columbia for non discrimination against LGBT folks. What do you think is the potential for cases like that to sort of migrate south into the United States?

Os Guinness: Well, you've got the same movements working here. You think of Barronelle Stutzman, the florist, or Jack Philips the cake maker, or the brother who is the Atlanta fire chief, or the girls who started a business and so on. So it's right here. I think we've got to argue things.

Scott Rae: Even though Jack Philips actually won his case.

Os Guinness: On a narrow ground, and immediately they came back to him the next day. I mean, just pernicious. But we've got to argue it on first principle, and we've got to show that they're undermining human rights.

Os Guinness: In other words, if you undercut religious freedom, what they're undercutting is the right to conscientious objection. That's incredibly important. That's the end of freedom. But we've got to answer it in powerful ways that are persuasive, not just defending us.

Scott Rae: I like the way you put it in your book, the global public square, where you call it soul freedom. Which I think is a better term than even freedom of conscience.

Os Guinness: A lot of places don't believe in souls, but I'm just trying to think about the resonance of Roger William, that's his term. And you know to coerce someone's conscience, he called it, "Soul rape," which is very powerful.

Scott Rae: One other question, and then we'll wrap up here. What do you think will be the impact, Brett Kavanaugh was just confirmed and sworn in. What do you think will be the impact of him being on the court for religious freedom cases in the United States in the future.

Os Guinness: Well, he is a constitutionalist in a strong way, so there's no question he will be a wonderful voice for that, and I would welcome it. The real question is, though, what is the legacy of the hearings. In other words, we've seen, as Chuck Schumer said, "He'd do whatever it takes to stop him." And they have done it with false fabrications, with protests that were like Marlboro, and so on. I hope the country will step back and say, "Where do these things come from? What's behind it?"

Os Guinness: I would argue ideas that come to the French revolution, not the American. Incredibly dangerous, but can America learn in time? I get in trouble in Washington by arguing that the Never Trumpers, and we have some distinguished Christian, evangelical Never Trumpers. They make a bad mistake because they're obsessed with Trump. Trump is the consequence, not the cause of the crisis. And what he provides, is at least a four year breathing space for people to stand back and say, "Well, where are we, and what's gone wrong?" And not to be obsessed with Trump. You can argue for and against him on a hundred things. That's not my concern. But to see he is not the cause of the crisis, he's the consequence.

Scott Rae: That I think is very helpful.

Os Guinness: I call him God's wrecking ball. Stopping America in its tracks. Giving them breathing space to rethink.

Scott Rae: I think that yeah, that's a very helpful distinction to make. So that, I think, helps put that in a helpful perspective. Os, we're so very grateful for your latest book, Last Call for Liberty: How the American Genius for Liberty has Become it's Greatest Threat, we really encourage our listeners to pick that up, and like all of your books, incredibly insightful stuff. Lots of really good food for thought. We're very grateful for you being with us today. I wish you didn't have another engagement and we could extend this for another hour or so. I don't think we'd have any trouble doing that. But we're very grateful for the time, for you being on the podcast with us.

Os Guinness: Thank you Scott. Thank you Sean.

Scott Rae: This has been an episode of the podcast, Think Biblically: Conversations on Faith and Culture. If you enjoyed today's podcast and our guest, Dr. Os Guinness, and want to hear more about him or get a listing of other podcasts, go to Biola.edu/thinkbiblically. That's Biola.edu/thinkbiblically.

Scott Rae: If you enjoyed the podcast today, give us a rating on your podcast app. Share it with a friend. Thanks so much for listening and remember think biblically about everything.

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