From the Tower of Babel to Parliament Hill:
How to Be a Christian in Canada Today

by Brian C. Stiller,
ISBN: 0006386016

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by M D

Brian Stiller is playing with fire. The Canada of today, according to Stiller, is a "Tower of Babel", fragmented not only by language but by geography, religious disputes, liberalism, and so on. This fragmentation has permitted the triumph of one view, secularism, and this, in turn, has obscured the fact that Christianity played a "foundational role" in the formation of Canada. While Christianity eventually lost its foothold because of several factors, Stiller suggests that the gradual entrenchment of the liberal doctrine of individual rights, embodied in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, is of these the most important: liberalism, with its emphasis on individual autonomy, undermines the Christian community.

One might assume that a Christian would have no way of responding to this situation, since Christianity is essentially apolitical ("Render unto Caesar what is Caesar's..."). Not so, says Stiller, putting another log on the fire. Christianity is in fact quite political, since the coming of the Kingdom of God via Christ means that everything belongs to God, including political life. Christians can therefore attempt to influence policy in Canada.

But how far should they go? Should they attempt to make Canada Christian again? It is at this point that Stiller stops fanning the flames. Christians should care about their country, but not to the point of forgetting the real meaning of Christianity: the next life. They should therefore influence policy cautiously, and attempt to get along in a pluralistic society, not imposing themselves upon others; the Charter of Rights and Freedoms is in place, and there is no going back.

One might wonder how convincing this conclusion would be to at least some believers. Having learned from Stiller that liberalism and Christianity are utterly opposed, that liberalism is itself no more than a "world-view" or "ideology", and that the New Testament in fact condones political activity, would one who believes it is his sacred mission to convert others allow something as flimsy as the Charter to stand in his way? If liberalism is an, or even the, enemy, shouldn't it be overcome?

While one might dispute Stiller on a number of points (Precisely why is liberalism merely an "ideology"? If everything is God's, why does Christ draw a distinction at all between what is God's and what is Caesar's?, and so on), this is an important book, valuable because it makes so clear the antipathy between liberalism and Christianity. For this same reason, like all valuable books, it is also a dangerous book.



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