Although the title means virtually nothing to American readers not being familiar with English legal terminology, it is still the perfect title. (It means, God on Trial)
If you like C.S. Lewis, or if you have never read him and have an interest in serious philosophical thinking regarding life and meaning and religious and legal issues this book has something for you. An anthology of never printed, or obscure, articles, speeches, letters, and essays ranging from about 5 minutes to perhaps half an hour each, these pieces are a great introduction to critical thought regarding God, criminal justice, existence, miracles, social issues, etc. It is amazing how little has changed in 50+ years since the last of these were presented... but then mankind is always mankind.
If you were thinking about his book Miracles, but had trouble getting through it, two chapters in this give you the simplest summary of much of that book.
I have listened to this book a number of times and will continue to listen to parts of it on occasion as it is timeless and unparalleled in its clarity of thought and expression. I especially like Lewis' assertion that if you cannot explain a theological concept without using theological terms then you probably don't understand the concept. He is a master at presenting complex concepts in simple terms understandable by the masses, hence his being asked to speak to labor organizations and commoners meetings where he was as well received as at the Oxford Society which he led.
I found the book very interesting--and sobering--until the author turned to the financial where he might have expertise on dates but doesn't seem to understand various investments. Repeatedly he refers to a precipitous drop in the stock market as erasing debt. Stock prices and debt have no correlation whatever. Stock is not debt; it is equity or ownership. If anything, the crash of the market increased debt as it washed away many investors net worth and the collateral for many loans.
Besides the writing being a bit juvenile and the reading mechanical, completely ignoring transitions and gear changes, I was disappointed with Johnstone's treatment of a subject that intrigues me. As I personally believe that TEOTWAWKI (The End Of The World As We Know It) is something for which we should be prepared, and realizing most in our society wouldn't begin to be capable of survival under such circumstances, I do believe chaos and violence could engulf us very quickly. And I do believe that cells would survive and emerge, that leaders would emerge, and that most of today's politicians would be absolutely worthless in such an eventuality.
However, Johnstone's arrogance and conclusions about who and how people would survive do not necessarily follow and his attitudes toward fixing things are actually pretty poorly conceived. While I am in total agreement with him that those who do not produce should not eat and that we have created the monster which is destroying us as a nation (and as a world) some of his heroes are almost comical in their stupidity.
One point he made, though not developed, was that we are approaching a breaking point in America (and as goes America, so goes much of the world) and that had his fictional world-ending-war not occurred there was an imminent revolution approaching that would have torn our nation apart. That is present reality as an increasing number in America are realizing they must make a decision soon whether they will live as free men or become serfs functioning only as oxen to drive the progressive political machine. (of both major parties)
Johnstone actually comes off like an ignorant southern redneck to me and I am as conservative as they come, a strict Constitutionalist favoring a Republic as intended, and a survivalist.
This book is not intended for those who want easy, light hearted, non-demanding reading or listening. It requires you to engage fully and intelligently, to pause, contemplate and study. But in the end it is one of the finest analysis of the differences between the worldview which embraces nature as the totality of existence, naturalism, and one which perceives and grasps a worldview with a force beyond nature, labeled by Lewis as super-naturalism.
His arguments are compelling as they stem from an intellectual depth of critical reasoning at which most of us can only marvel.
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