Book Review : No, We Can’t; Radical Islam, Militant Secularism, and the Myth of Coexistence

Tolerance. Acceptance. Coexistence. Compromise. Words like these, and many just like them, are being heard more and more around our world these days. Robert Stearns, in his latest book “No, We Can’t; Radical Islam, Militant Secularism, and the Myth of Coexistence” does an excellent job of demonstrating that tolerance, acceptance, and coexistence are all one-way streets. Stearns builds his argument around the premise that that everyone possesses a worldview, and this worldview is lens from which a person views and reacts to life. According to Stearns, not all lenses are the same. Several of these lenses are dangerous and misleading. In fact, the very definition of tolerance is being re-written today. Stearns writes, “they [tolerance police] have changed the definition of tolerance from agreeing to disagree to meaning that no one is allowed to disagree with them.”

Stearns has an easy free-flowing feel to his book. He begins by giving an accurate and no-holds-barred assessment  of the world situation. Stearns writes to give the reader an up-to-date road map and a better understanding of our current world situation. He follows this up by introducing the reader to the “Three Houses” which he describes as “the primary ideological power structures responsible for fueling global affairs.” They are Radical Islam, Militant Secularism, and Judeo-Christianity. Stearns spends an entire chapter on what he calls the myth of coexistence. He writes that there are three reasons why coexistence is not possible. The next three chapters are spent carefully and methodically explaining these three “houses”, dedicating an entire chapter to each. He also writes that there is a spiritual element to each that is vital to their understanding. The remaining chapters are dedicated to the manner in which the battle for prominence is being fought and the church’s role in this pursuit for global influence.

“No, We Can’t” is not an easy read. There is a great deal of explanation given to the ideology of these three cultural kingdoms. I particularly like the way in which Stearns was able to clearly lay out the battle of ideas that rages around us. One particular quote shows the power of these three houses. Stearns writes, “These worldviews (or “houses”) are rapidly becoming the new scaffolding upon which the sociopolitical world is built.” Prophetic. Gripping. Frightening. A great work.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Bethany House Publishers as part of their Blogger Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Worth Repeating

“There never was another Who caused all creation to be ransacked in pursuit of words appropriate to convey to human hearts and minds His glorious pre-eminence. There never was another Who was a human child and also a divine Son; Who was wounded by Satan and Who, at the same time crushed Satan; Who was appointed the Savior of men, yet was crucified by men; Who was Judge of men; yet was led as a felon from one tribunal to another.

There never was another Who died and was buried and yet lived; Who saved others and Himself could not save; Who had no sin in Him, yet all sin on Him; Who was the King of Glory, yet wore no crown but a crown of thorns; Who, in the glory He had with God before the world was, had the angelic hails of heaven and yet, on earth, gave Himself to the murderous nails of men!

There never was another Who was the Prince of life, yet died on Calvary; Who was as old as His heavenly Father and ages older than His earthly mother. There never was another Who was the victim of a Roman cross and victor at a Jewish grave.

There never was another Who poured all seas, all lakes, all rivers out of the crystal chalices of eternity, yet on a cross said with a mouth hot like a parched desert that cries for rain, ‘I thirst’”.

R. G. Lee, speaking of Jesus Christ

Worth Repeating

” Christianity tells people to repent and promises them forgiveness. It therefore has nothing (as far as I know) to say to people who do know that they have anything to repent of and who do not feel that they need forgiveness. It is after you have realized that there is a real Moral Law, and a Power behind that law, and that you have broken that law and put yourself wrong with that Power – it is after all this, and not a moment sooner, that Christianity begins to talk.”

C.S. Lewis