March 2020 – Progressives have failed to deliver on their promises, leaving many of their constituents still trapped in “a culture defined by illiteracy, gang-sponsored genocide, free-flowing illegal drugs, single-parent households, and a general vacuum of morals.” So writes Julien Stanford in the introduction to his book Kingdom of God, or Pagan Empire?
A layman who works in the nuclear industry, Stanford handles words with a style for all readers. More than 300 footnotes reflect thorough research. And he delivers on what his subtitle promises to explain: “Why Christians are on the sidelines of a divided nation.”
The author gave AFAJ the following additional insights.
AFA Journal: What is your context for analyzing culture’s conflict between good and evil?
Julien Stanford: Few Americans today are unaware that a deep divide exists in the country. I show these two primary worldviews directly set against each other through history, giving birth to key players, ideas, movements, and definite consequences.
AFAJ: Who is your target audience?
JS: First, I hope to awaken my fellow Christians to the battle raging all around us for the soul of America. It is impossible to be followers of Christ if we retreat from the battle lines where He has commissioned us to take our stand.
Second, I am writing to skeptics who are sincerely seeking but have been confused by leftist arguments that twist the facts of history and misrepresent the message of Christianity, and who are equally confused by most Christians’ misunderstanding of what is happening, why, and what should be the proper Christ-like response.
AFAJ: You cast quite a negative light on the Enlightenment period. Why?
JS: I do not discount that certain positive contributions came from that period, especially its earliest stages. One of the key factors that makes this period so complex is that it was a time of transition.
The final stages of the Enlightenment era found those wishing to retain the positive Christian influence … agreeing to place the Judeo/Christian God in tight confinement. That compromise would go on to wreak unimaginable havoc.
AFAJ: How so? What is its impact today?
JS: Specifically, Enlightenment ideals and thinking gave us Marx, Darwin, Nietzsche, and Freud – men who in turn spawned the totalitarian regimes of Stalin, Hitler, Mao, and the vapid gurgle coming out of universities today. My book traces a substantive connection from the “Enlightenment” to the present vacuous, irrational, divisive, delusional, and destructive world of far left “progressivism.”
AFAJ: Some would defend Darwin as a credible scientist; how do you respond?
JS: It is not my intent to malign science or Mr. Darwin. I have given greater attention to the subject of Darwinism because, simply, it is as much the cornerstone of Satan’s promised “utopia” as Jesus Christ is the cornerstone of Christianity.
AFAJ: Do today’s two major political parties represent the opposing forces in the great conflict you address?
JS: Oh, if only that were so! It would make things so much simpler. Unfortunately, both are seriously infected with the Enlightenment virus. Yet I do make a distinction. Where the Democrat Party seems to have sold its soul completely to the pagan empire, the Republican Party still maintains an almost imperceptible hint of a Judeo/Christian conscience, but only because a small minority of genuine conservatives are dispersed within the party.
AFAJ: Is there hope for America’s future?
JS: Yes! My book comes from a very hopeful, optimistic perspective. I believe the startling emergence of Donald Trump (against utterly insurmountable odds) signals a window of opportunity that God, in His mercy, is extending to this nation right now. It remains to be seen whether we, the church, will embrace this opportunity or squander it.
▶ More on the author at kingdomorempire.com or deepriverbooks.com.
▶ Kingdom of God, or Pagan Empire? available at online booksellers.