Os Guinness’ The Devil’s Gauntlet

The Devil’s Gauntlet is one of InterVarsity Press’s “Viewpoint Pamphlets.” The works in the series are intended to offer “Christian insights on crucial issues” and include topics ranging from gay marriage to Mormonism. The Devil’s Gauntlet deals with “The Church and the Challenge of Society.”

Few modern Christian writers can say more in less space than Os Guinness. He has been reviewed on this site before and he will undoubtedly be reviewed a few more times in the future. Dr. Guinness is arguably the most authoritative voice on the issue of the Church in society today. His insights never cease to be penetrating, illucidating, and convicting.

In this little work, Dr. Guinness argues that the Church in America is dangerously close to becoming irrelevant. He notes a rampant sense of anti-intellectualism in the church, the continuous influence of the world in the church, and a loss of real discipleship as a few of the many ills leading to this demise. Over all of this, Dr. Guinness calls the church back to the glory of God.

As an American Evangelical, reading Dr. Guinness can be a fairly painful experience. Not only because we recognize the truthfulness of what he is saying, but also because we realize how we all have allowed the forces of a secular culture to infiltrate our lives. Living distinctly Christian lives in a distinctly secular society is becoming extremely difficult, but it is, as Dr. Guinness notes, the only way for reformation, renewal, and revival.

The brevity of The Devil’s Gauntlet makes it an ideal introduction both to Dr. Guinness and to the concepts he espouses. This little pamphlet is unfortunately out of print, yet we would encourage you to search used book stores and used books websites (such as www.abebooks.com) in an attempt to secure a copy for yourself or a friend.

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