The Benedict Option: A Strategy for Christians in a Post-Christian Nation

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TITLE: The Benedict Option: A Strategy for Christians in a Post-Christian Nation

AUTHOR: Rod Dreher

AUDIENCE: Christians who wrestle with the consequences of living in a anti-Christian culture and want hope for the future of their Christian community.

Rod Dreher sets a course for all Christians living in an anti-Christian culture. Drawing from the path of the Monastics, such as St. Benedict, he builds a case for a strategic withdrawal from our culture and to cultivate rich Christian communities. His analysis of the current state of Christianity in the West is a sobering view of what many Christians instinctively already feel; that the Christian faith is a fading minority that has little to know cultural influence.

When we feel this reality, we often are left wondering if there is anything to be done. While Dreher’s view may seem pessimistic – essentially leaving the culture to continue its path with no emphasis on redeeming it – Rod’s focus is on strengthening the Church first. He cares deeply about insulating the body of Christ against an anti-Christian culture for the sake of flourishing Christian communities that can one day redeem a lost culture.

If you read through our article “Is our Era really post-Christian, you will notice that it draws from this book (indeed our entire ministry does). Whether you are convinced of the conclusion that the culture is thoroughly anti-Christian or not, any Christian can benefit from the data gathered in this book and the recommendations for how to resist it. It the best way possible, he outlines practical steps that the modern Christian can take to cultivate the faith in their communities. A small warning: his recommendations are somewhat radical. They can be as simple as “embrace your local Christian community” or as demanding as “leave the public school system”. Although he is quick to say these recommendations are not meant as mandates that every should or can follow, but rather, considerations given the conditions present in most areas of the countries.

This book has a little for everyone: the theologian, the historian, the philosopher, the parent. But its significance in our era cannot be understated. We must think about how the Church operates in a new era of opposition to our faith. This book gets those thoughts started on the right path.

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Chris Saenz
Chris Saenz is the founder of Post-Christian Era. He has a Master's Degree in Biblical Studies and more than a decade of church work in teaching, worship, and discipleship across many church settings and denominations. He and his wife and three children live in the Los Angeles area (Covina, CA).