4 Stars Out Of 5
Calling the church to alertness
January 4, 2014
A quarter of a century after the release of "The Gravedigger File," Os Guinness has revised and republished that work under a new title: "The Last Christian on Earth." Even if one has read the previous book, this one is worth investigating For one thing it has been reworked to be more "tech savvy," given the rise of electronic communication over the past twenty-five years. In addition, the author has included in an appendix a discussion of "An Evangelical Manifesto," first unveiled in May 2008. What the present work does is affirm the predicted drift of the church since "Gravedigger" was released. It is clear that the Western church is on a slippery slope and in need of reawakening to its mission of engaging the contemporary world with the timeless message of the Gospel. To do so, two extreme positions need to be avoided...namely ecclesiastical isolationism and cultural assimilation (my terms, not the author's). Guinness is an astute discerner of the times. The word-pictures he paints are vivid and clear. "The Last Christian on Earth" is written in the tradition of C.S. Lewis' "Screwtape Letters" and Randy Alcorn's "Lord Foulgrin's Letters," where a demon supervisor corresponds with and instructs an underling. While Lewis did this with great success, I personally find those who attempt to emulate his style to fall a bit short. A good read, but given the increased pace of world events, it will likely need another revision within a couple of years.