Os Guinness is an author and social critic. Great-great-great grandson of Arthur Guinness, the Dublin brewer, he was born in China in World War Two where his parents were medical missionaries. A witness to the climax of the Chinese revolution in 1949, he was expelled with many other foreigners in 1951 and returned to Europe where he was educated in England. He completed his undergraduate degree at the University of London and his D.Phil in the social sciences from Oriel College, Oxford. Os is the author of several books, including Impossible People. Os lives with his wife in the Washington, D.C. area.
What is the struggle for the soul of civilization you speak of in your new book, Impossible People?
How can western Christians move from simply being inspired by our brothers and sisters facing persecution in other parts of the world to living courageously like they do?
How do we operate in the power of the Holy Spirit on a daily basis?
“Now is not the time for cowards or fence-sitters.”
“Can anyone doubt that we’re living in the most extraordinary times?…America is going through its gravest crisis since the Civil War.”
“You can see that many, many evangelicals are no longer under the authority of Scripture in any strong way.”
“You’ve got to build into preaching an awareness of the challenge of the world.”
“There’s no question that the first stage of any good mission is identification…you’ve got to become one with the people you’re talking to. Now the trouble with the seeker-sensitive movement…[is] it comes close to people and then joins them.”
“The early church was born in a very pluralistic climate, but it retained its exclusiveness to the lordship of Jesus and counted the cost…Our trouble is, we got used to—we grew complacent—through being the Christian consensus.”
“Modernity is causing more damage…to the church than all the persecutors in history put together.”
“John Calvin was the theologian of the Holy Spirit, but many of his followers are the frozen chosen.”
“Many western Christians are operationally atheists.”
“We’re very close to the time of Elijah. Elijah…was against Ahab the king and Jezebel the queen and the 850 false prophets…but the majority of the people were sitting on the fence. And you can see today in America you’ve got some strong extremes and then a whole number of people just sitting on the fence to see which way the wind’s going to blow…But this is a time when all of who love Christ need to stand up and be faithful…and pastors are the key.”
“As Christians, we should always be realistic—but with hope.”