For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? Lest haply [it happen], after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish (Luke 14:28-29).
In 1902, Lenin wrote a book with a question for its title: What Is to Be Done? Forty years earlier, that same title had been chosen by the radical Cherneshevsky for a novel that he began writing upon his imprisonment in the Peter and Paul Fortress. His book had become a favorite of Lenin’s revolutionary older brother, who later was lawfully executed by the Czarist authorities. It then became a favorite of Lenin’s. But Lenin did not write a novel; he wrote a revolutionary manifesto. This was to become the most important of his works. It was subtitled, Burning Questions of Our Movement. Things burned for Lenin. His newspaper was called The Spark (Iskra). As James Billington says, there was fire in the minds of men.
In 1976, Francis Schaeffer also wrote a book with a question for a title: How Should We Then Live? This is the burning question of our movement: Christianity. This burning is different from the radical’s burning: ours is fire initiated by the Spirit of God, man’s only alternative to the consuming fire of final judgment (Rev. 20:14-15).
Schaeffer did not answer his own question. The book does not even attempt to do so; it is merely a brief popular history of Western culture. It surveys the rise of authoritarianism, tells us that we must speak out against it, warns us that we may well be executed for doing so, and offers no alternative political program. He suggested no specific, concrete, Bible-based, comprehensive ethical system. Lenin, in contrast, did answer his question, but these answers are now exposed to all mankind as failures, legacies of the Communist God that has clearly failed. In 1989, this gigantic failure became universally acknowledged, even by Lenin’s heirs.
So, what is to be done by all those who call themselves Christians?
(For the rest of my article, click the link.)