God’s Little Platoons

Kingdoms in Conflict, by Charles Colson with Ellen Santilli Vaughn (Zondervan and William Morrow, 400 pp.; $15.95, hardcover). Reviewed by Beth Spring, a CT contributing editor and author of The Infertile Couple (D. C. Cook, 1987).

For an adult education class on contemporary issues last year, I searched extensively for a single volume that would address our increasingly urgent need to “think Christianly.” Beyond the fine works of several British authors, including John Stott and Harry Blamires, there was nothing on the market with a broadly gauged, critical, and objective view. Now there is.

Charles Colson’s latest book combines the tale-telling style of his earlier book, Loving God, with incisive commentary about contemporary issues in light of timeless biblical truth. With assistance from writer Ellen Santilli Vaughn and editor Judith Markham, he charts a straight path through the thicket of confusion that envelops Christians in politics today.

In a chillingly realistic 40-page prologue, Colson muses about how a born-again U.S. President, elected in 1996, copes with an international crisis in the Middle East. The President and his top advisers prayerfully neglect the threat of Jewish extremists to blow up Islam’s holy Dome of the Rock, rationalizing, “You can’t help but wonder if these could be events we’ve all waited for.” Meanwhile, the “Christian Broadcasting Company” urges its viewers to express “unqualified support for Israel.”

Tainting the President’s view of international events are grim political realities in an America where militant Christian believers have wrested control of one political party. Widespread disgust ...

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