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Posted June 9, 2009

Book: The Light of Eden: A Christian Worldview
Author: Harold C. Raley
John M. Hardy Publishing. Houson and Alpine. 2008. Pp.194

An Excerpt from the Jacket:

In the tradition of C.S. Lewis and G.K. Chesterton, this extraordinary book is both a spiritual adventure and an intellectual feast. Packed with illuminating insights and written in beautiful language, The Light of Eden introduces its readers to a vast treasury of creative ideas, innovative concepts, and possibilities contained in Christianity.

An Excerpt from the book:

St. Augustine believed at one point in his life that as the failing Roman government slid into chaos the Church might have to assume political responsibility for Hippo and the surrounding province. It may come to that point for us again under conditions of political fragmentation unthinkable at the moment. For the world ó Christian and pagan, democratic and dictatorial ó is becoming ungovernable. The time may come when the Church will be the only remaining organized body capable of assuming responsibility for the fate of people. If it happened tomorrow, would the Church be ready? Or would our disunited churches vanish also in the general social and governmental collapse?

Pray that such a time never comes. Nevertheless, another general Christian imperative remains intact: we must not only pray for the Kingdom to come and that Godís will be done on earth as it is in Heaven but live and prepare as though it could come tomorrow. And when it does come, shall Christ find a community of squabbling dunces and lazy laborers? If so, we shall probably be rewarded accordingly, as the parable of the talents illustrates so starkly.

Persecuted early Christians often retired from the world, sequestering themselves in caves and dwelling in deserts. In his book In The Heart of the Desert John Chryssavgis provides a fascinating summary of the tradition of the Desert Fathers and Mothers that enriched the early Christian centuries. It is a mystery why the drier the land the richer spiritual life tends to be, indeed, why nearly all religions were born in deserts. Yet as fruitful as it was, the tradition of these Christians represented only one facet or possibility of Christianity. As it was, they left a lingering doubt in Christianity whether it was better to flee the world or minister to it. In any case, there remains a multitude of perspectives yet to be developed for the common and supernatural good of mankind. After two thousand years Christianity contains dimensions of truth that are virtually unexplored. Unknown plentitudes of knowledge and spiritual treasures, and immeasurable benefits for humanity, only await those with sufficient vision, generosity of spirit, and stoutness of mind to delve into its limitless reserves of truth and power.

Table of Contents:

I. Biblical perspectives

II. Truth and its relatives

III. Varieties of anthropology

IV. New thoughts on old themes

V. The sacred and the secular

VI. History and human destiny

VII. A Christian worldview