books-type

The American Hour: A Time of Reckoning and the Once and Future Role of Faith

The American Hour is a searching assessment of the strength of the American republic at the end of what has been called the “American Century.” In an incisive analysis, Os Guinness examines the ways in which the current crisis of cultural authority strikes at the heart of American identity. As he shows, this crisis has occurred because America’s beliefs, traditions, and ideals – civic as well as religious – are losing their power to shape the private and public lives of countless Americans. He first charts this growing crisis in America’s moral and cultural order, tracing its roots early in this century to the first open phase of conflict, which began to build in the fifties and climaxed in the cultural revolution of the sixties. He goes on to examine the subsequent conservative counter-revolution, focusing throughout on the impact of this crisis on three areas vital to the health of the republic – on American identity, as in the currently contested notion of what it means to be an American; American public philosophy, including the now controversial relationship of religion and public life; and American republican character, including our distinctive emphasis on the importance of the “habits of the heart.”

Guinness also examines the historical role of religion in American society and its integral function in American public life. He explores how religion came to lose its power as a vital shaping force of America’s moral and cultural order, and he considers the consequences of this loss. He then establishes four scenarios that range from the continued decline of religion in public life to a resurgence of faith, showing how each possible outcome could affect American society in the upcoming century. Examining closely the recent controversies over religion and politics, Guinness concludes by setting forth a vision of how we can move beyond these struggles and provide America’s diverse faiths with a revitalized and constructive role in public life.

More Resources
Carpe Diem Redeemed: Seizing the Day, Discerning the Times

Carpe Diem Redeemed: Seizing the Day, Discerning the Times

IVP Books
You only live once―if then. Life is short, and it can be as easily wasted as lived to the full. In the midst of our harried modern world, how do we make the most of life and the time we have? In these fast and superficialRead More
Buy Now
As an artist, I'm perpetually seeking inspiration to fuel my desire to make a difference in the world. Few thinkersRead More
Max McLean, actor and theater director

You only live once―if then. Life is short, and it can be as easily wasted as lived to the full. In the midst of our harried modern world, how do we make the most of life and the time we have? In these fast and superficial times, Os Guinness calls us to consequential living. In strong contrast to both Eastern and secularist views of time, he reorients our very notion of history, not as cyclical nor as meaningless, but as linear and purposeful. In the Judeo-Christian tradition, time and history are meaningful, and human beings have agency to live with freedom and consequence in partnership with God. Thus we can seek to serve God’s purpose for our generation, read the times, and discern our call for this moment in history. Our time on earth has significance. Live rightly, discern the times, and redeem the day.

Buy Now
As an artist, I'm perpetually seeking inspiration to fuel my desire to make a difference in the world. Few thinkers fire me up in that regard more than Os Guinness. Carpe Diem Redeemed is no exception.
Max McLean, actor and theater director
Prophetic Untimeliness: A Challenge to the Idol of Relevance

Prophetic Untimeliness: A Challenge to the Idol of Relevance

Baker Books
The buzz among evangelicals today is about relevance and reinvention, about new ways of "doing church" through revising, innovating, borrowing, mixing, and experimenting. Yet, says Os Guinness, in our uncritical pursuit of relevance, Christians have actually become irrelevant. By our determined efforts to redefine ourselvesRead More
Buy Now

The buzz among evangelicals today is about relevance and reinvention, about new ways of “doing church” through revising, innovating, borrowing, mixing, and experimenting. Yet, says Os Guinness, in our uncritical pursuit of relevance, Christians have actually become irrelevant. By our determined efforts to redefine ourselves in ways that are more in line with the modern world than are faithful to Christ, we have lost not only our identity but our authority and significance. Prophetic Untimeliness addresses this issue by giving practical, constructive solutions for living with integrity in the midst of modern pressures. Guinness explores what it means to be both faithful and relevant, and how to be truly relevant without being trivial or trendy. Readers will be challenged to develop “resistance thinking,” an approach inspired by C. S. Lewis that balances the uncomfortable truths of the gospel with the pursuit of relevance. Only by being true to Christ and living with integrity and wisdom will we meet the needs of a world that is hungry for some really good news.

Buy Now
The Great Quest: Invitation to an Examined Life and a Sure Path to Meaning

The Great Quest: Invitation to an Examined Life and a Sure Path to Meaning

IVP
“The unexamined life is not worth living.” —Socrates What is life all about? What are we here for? Is there any meaning or purpose to our existence? Thinkers throughout the centuries have pondered these questions. While the distractions of the modern world prevent many fromRead More
Buy Now
This slim volume is a masterpiece. Guinness brings a breathtaking range of thought—to aim at the key question of life:Read More
Shelby Coffey, Former Editor, LA Times

“The unexamined life is not worth living.” —Socrates

What is life all about? What are we here for? Is there any meaning or purpose to our existence? Thinkers throughout the centuries have pondered these questions. While the distractions of the modern world prevent many from grappling seriously with such matters, the truth is that humans cannot live without meaning any more than we can live without breathing or eating.

Os Guinness invites us to examine our lives and join the great quest for meaning and a life well lived. For those who are up to Socrates’ challenge, it is a search that is indispensable to making the most of life. Guinness charts the course of the thinking person’s journey toward faith and meaning, calling for a firm grasp of reason, an honest awareness of conscience, and a living sense of wonder. He affirms that there is a time for questions, and that following those questions can indeed lead us to answers, evidence, and commitment.

When life becomes a question, the search is on for an answer. Come find yourself on a sure path to meaning.

Buy Now
This slim volume is a masterpiece. Guinness brings a breathtaking range of thought—to aim at the key question of life: What is the meaning of life, and how do we, individually, determine it? This is a summa and a gift to questing souls of all persuasions.
Shelby Coffey, Former Editor, LA Times