Spine Check for Patriots


With Trump in power, it's a new day in American politics. The question for conservatives is far deeper than how we should vote. How should we live?  How should we treat people? How should we view America and its future?

Many of the answers are hiding in plain sight, up near the Continental Divide in my imaginary hometown of the heart, Backbone Colorado USA. That was the dateline for a hundred of my Denver Post columns over the years, timeless as America’s founding principles yet as timely as the headlines.

Here they all are in a book you’ll love, a spine check for patriots, a map for making America great again: Backbone Colorado USA: Dispatches from the Divide. 


John's Notes from the Divide

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John's Daily Scripture Search

I was raised on making time for Bible study every morning, mindful of Jesus' call to "Search the scriptures" (John 6:39). It has become as much a part of starting my day as breakfast, bathing, or breathing.  (I mainly use the King James Version.)

Donna and I rely on a periodical called the St. James Daily Devotional Guide.  With four readings each day, drawn from the historic lectionary of mere Christianity, it covers the entire Bible every two years. There are background notes by editor Patrick Reardon, along with suggested prayers.

So this daily blog isn't about my interpretations.  It just offers a self-examining question that has occurred to me from each of the four readings.  "Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith," says St. Paul (II Cor. 13:5).  That's the idea here. 

“First thing I read every morning,” says a blog subscriber in Montana. “It sets the tone for that day’s thoughts and behavior.”

Subscribe here for daily updates on the Bible blog 


Are America's best days still ahead? 

With your help, yes!  Pitch in with three timely books


ONE: How can each of us apply the timeless principles of our founding to current issues of self-government in a stormy 2017?  What does it mean to be a conservative in today's new political landscape?  What would a right turn for your state or my state look like?  

My book Backbone Colorado USA: Dispatches from the Divide is a hundred brief essays as timely as this morning's news, answering those questions.  Read it straight through, or nibble it like political popcorn.  Either way, I promise you'll enjoy and value this book.

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TWO: What are the ideas and ideals that make the United States of America an exceptional nation in world history and a beacon of hope in our times?  How can we rally a declining America that's tried to have freedom on the cheap, unbought with the hard coin of personal responsibility?  What does "greatness" mean in our individual lives, each person helping revive the nation's greatness?  

My book Responsibility Reborn: A Citizen's Guide to the Next American Century looks at all this through lessons learned the hard way during 40 years in politics. Its call for a citizens renewal movement transcending both parties, Element R, presciently sensed the forces that brought forth Trump. It belongs in your library!

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THREE: Imagine a citizen legislator in a heartland state whose conservative principles steadily guide him, yet face constant tests from the human dilemmas of self-government.  That's George Leland of the Covenant Party, serving in the Senate minority at the state capitol in Hamilton (pictured below).

My new experiment in short fiction, Meet Senator Leland: American on Duty, chronicles his struggle to do the right thing in "Susan Washington: A Love Story," then in "Mike Loomis: A Movie Story," and most recently in "Clay Rice: A Crime Story."  Entertaining? Sure, I hope so.  But the larger objective to get us all thinking deeper about what freedom is for. Get to know George. Click to order.


The Ancient Fallacy: Self-Salvation


Up here in Backbone Colorado USA, we believe that unless America is a nation under God, she's not a nation at all.  Deeper still, we believe that in God's sight the nations are but small dust, for what really matters in eternity is each person made in his image and saved by his Son.

Your host, slow learner John Andrews, gradually came to see this through my early years in an unbiblical church called Christian Science and at last through my midlife conversion and baptism to follow Jesus unreservedly.  Offered here are three short writings from that journey to the Cross.

I think you will find them of interest, whether you're familiar with Christian Science or not, because the ancient fallacy of self-salvation in all its guises -- religious, political, therapeutic, technological -- seems ever more prevalent today.  Since that blinding glimpse of the obvious to which I finally came, "There is a God and I'm not Him," cannot forever be resisted by any of us, sooner is better.

Jesus in Pursuit: The Hounding of a Haughty Heart is my spiritual autobiography, tracing the steps by which an intellectually smug view of the Bible gave way to a compelling personal encounter with the crucified and risen Savior.

With You Always: The Presence of Jesus in Mary Baker Eddy's Hymns draws out the lost Christology of the founder of Christian Science from seven of her best-known devotional poems.

Mrs. Eddy's Children: A Five-Generation Portrait fictionally examines the subtle falsehoods of belief and belonging by which an unbiblical religion can grip whole families for a century, contrary evidence notwithstanding.