It's Time to Rediscover America's Backbone

 

As conservatives, how we should vote is far from the only question. How should we live?  How should we treat people? How should we view America and its future?

I’ve long believed that 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's been the dateline for a hundred of my Denver Post columns over the years, timeless as our nation's founding principles yet still as timely as the headlines.

They're now collected in a new book you are sure to enjoy and benefit from reading, a spine check for patriots: Backbone Colorado USA: Dispatches from the Divide. 

 

John's Notes from the Divide

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Getting Serious about our Sacred Duty as Citizens

 

How can each of us apply the timeless principles of America's founding to the issues of self-government in 2016?  What does it mean to be a Colorado conservative in today's new political landscape?  What would a right turn for Colorado look like?  

I wrote my latest book, Backbone Colorado USA: Dispatches from the Divide, a hundred brief essays as timely as this morning's news, to suggest some answers.  Read it straight through, or nibble it like political popcorn.  Either way, I promise you'll enjoy and value this book.

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?  What's the antidote for fears of a declining America that's tried to have freedom on the cheap, unbought with the hard coin of personal responsibility?  How can we come back?  

My earlier book, Responsibility Reborn: A Citizen's Guide to the Next American Century, looks at all this through the lens of lessons I've learned the hard way during 40 years in politics. Its call for a citizens renewal movement transcending both parties, Element R, has a prescient ring these days with the rise of Trump. It belongs in your library!

 

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. 

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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.