The Benedict Option: A Strategy for Christians in a Post-Christian Nation, by Rod Dreher (Sentinel, 272 pp., $25)
Rod Dreher, a senior editor of The American Conservative, is one of America’s premier bloggers. An intelligent, gifted writer, he is honest and direct, somewhat prone to the dramatic but also transparent, self-critical, and self-searching. A man of deep Christian beliefs — he converted to Eastern Orthodoxy from Catholicism — he writes from his soul, in a way that builds relationships with his readers. His work is often characterized by earnestness and urgency. He is an evangelist in this sense: He believes that what he loves, others will love, and he will teach them how.
Dreher’s new book is a searing indictment of modernity, American culture, and Christendom. He believes that Christians have been pushed to the margins of American society and that the task ahead is to build up communities of faith that are resilient enough to flourish in an adversary culture, one he time and again refers to as our new Dark Age.