My Final Word: Holding Tight to the Issues that Matter MostCharles W. Colson, Eric Metaxas, Anne MorseZondervan / 2017 / Trade Paperback$13.49 Retail:3.5 Stars Out Of 5 2 Reviews
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Dan4 Stars Out Of 5Pretty good read.March 11, 2019DanQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 3I enjoyed this book, especially for the price. It had some articles that I was able to use in some lessons I taught.
Phil3 Stars Out Of 5My Final WordJanuary 9, 2016PhilQuality: 3Value: 3Meets Expectations: 3My Final Word is an excellent insight into the remarkable life of Charles Colson. Colson had risen to the top, but cut corners on the way (Involvement in Watergate), recognized his mistakes and accepted incarceration as he turned to Christianity. His subsequent life is a model of reconciliation as witnessed by his founding of Prison Fellowship, and his involvement with Angel Tree and Evangelicals and Catholics Together (ECT). My Final Word conveys Colson's sincerity and enthusiasm for Christianity.
While I found I could agree with Colson's worldview for the most part, I did have some exceptions. He has his facts confused on Page 60 where he describes the German hyperinflation that ended in 1923 as the direct cause of the rise of Hitler on the 1930s. Another economic crisis in Germany contributed to Hitler's rise to power in the 1930s, so Colson's general point remains valid that economic collapses can lead to cultural changes. He probably should have been more critical of Thomas Friedman's comment that "Islam does not have a concept of forgiveness and reconciliation" (see Page 156). This can be easily checked by looking at the index to the Qur'an. I found 27 references to 'forgiveness' and even after reducing that number by 17 general mentions of Allah's forgiveness, that left 10 that were about forgiveness of a Muslim's fellow man, including a couple that allow non-Believers to be forgiven. The Qur'an is filled with conflicting advice, and it has no central authoritative voice for interpretation, so Friedman's comment is arguable. Personally I have found a qualitative difference between the Christian concept of forgiveness/reconciliation that emerges from the gospels and the abstract advice of the Qur'an on this subject.
In my opinion the greatest limitation in Colson's thinking was his failure to understand the distinction between a republic and a democracy that was understood by this nation's founding generation. That confusion spills over into an acceptance of George W. Bush's policy of transplanting democracy into the Islamic Middle East. One need not know anything about Islamic culture to understand why the policy was doomed to failure (creates an external enemy for Muslims). A little knowledge of Islamic culture ought to further caution American presidents.
Even considering these flaws, the book is an excellent read and I would suggest it to others.
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