Van Til Tool

Using the Van Til Perspective as the tool to discover what life means and how it ought to be lived.

Thursday, September 09, 2010


An  Update  On  The  Culture  War


A review of:


 Karen Gushta The War On Children (Coral Ridge Ministries, 2009)
                       $15.00   222 pp   ISBN-10: 1929626592   ISBN-13: 978-1929626595


 Reviewer:  Forrest W. Schultz


     The book under review here is a well-written, thoughtful, and well-researched discussion of America's "culture war", especially as it pertains to the deleterious influence of contemporary education and entertainment upon our children.  It is useful either as an introduction to this subject for those who are unfamiliar with it or as an update for those like myself who have known about it for a long time but who have not been keeping au courant with recent developments.


     Gushta's book includes inputs from many scholars -- both those who have been frequently cited on this subject for many years (George Barna, C. S. Lewis, Henry Van Til, Cornelius Van Til, R. J. Rushdoony, Gary DeMar, D. James Kennedy, Allan Bloom) as well as new voices (Bruce Shortt, Ben Shapiro, Diana West, Robert Knight, Peter Gibbon, Colleen Carroll Campbell, David Horowitz, Sam Kastenschmidt).  Those wishing for further study of these writers will find ample footnoting providing the sources, which are mostly printed works plus some electronic ones.


     Gushta encourages Christians to fight in this culture war both negatively (e.g. attempting to repeal bad laws and court decisions) and positively (through establishing godly families, churches, and schools).  There is a lot of discussion of the negative battles, including many victories as well as losses, but little discussion of the results of the positive side of the battle:  about the only thing noted here is Gary DeMar's remark that most Christians are still not in favor of Christian schools and Gushta's own comment that America's largest denomination (a veiled reference to the Southern Baptist Convention) has never supported Christian schools.  This indicates the huge battle ahead of us, to put it as mildly and kindly as possible!


     As noted, although Gushta notes the existence of the spiritual warfare needed against the ungodly ideas and practices within the christian community, the emphasis of her book is upon the warfare against the Humanistic ideas and practices in the public square, especially as these harm our children.  These two warfares, of course, are closely related because there have been many people who have gravitated toward Humanism in reaction against the decadence in the churches.  And, as Peter Gay pointed out in The Enlightenment, the decadent Renaissance Church originated Humanism and the decadent 18th & 19th century churches compromised with it.  Because of this close interconnection between these two warfares -- the external and the internal -- it is clear that the key to winning the external warfare is for the internal warfare to be won by the revival of the church, for which reason Gushta not only notes the need for the Christian community to build godly families, churches, and schools, but she also begins her book by noting prayers for revival in church history.


     Dr. Karen L. Gushta is the Research Co-ordinator at Coral Ridge Ministries of the Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church which Dr. D. James Kennedy pastored for many years until his recent decease.  She is also the grand-niece of Dr. Cornelius Van Til, from whose Essays in Christian Education she quotes in the dramatic finale of her book.  Although Gushta has edited many other books, The War on Children is the first book of which she is the author.