Strong and Courageous: Following Jesus Amid the Rise of America's New Religion

SKU 719 Categories ,

“The authors explore the tension between obeying God rather than men while being subject to the governing authorities. They induce thinking about how the Christian should honor the governing officials that God has given us while we take seriously the task of pressing and educating them to see that they are finally responsible to God and his law. This book might not warm the heart, but it will press the mind to engage in some real heart work, attaining a life characterized by truth-informed courage.”

| Tom Nettles

$16.00

In stock

Description

Strong and Courageous Following Jesus Amid the Rise of America’s New Religion

by Tom Ascol and Jared Longshore
©2020 Founders Press
Printed in the United States of America
ISBN: 978-1-943539-24-6
Paperback

Additional information

Weight 1 lbs
Dimensions 8.5 × 5.5 × .5 in
Author

Jared Longshore, Tom Ascol

Contents

Preface: by Mark Coppenger | 1

Introduction: Secular America and the
Need for a Deeper Reformation | 5

Part 1: In the Defense

Reject False Hope: The Lie of the New Religion | 27

Defy Tyrants: The Leadership of the New Religion | 41

Resist Anarchy: The Spirit of the New Religion | 57

Part 2: On the Offense

Take Responsibility: The Antidote to Lawless Riots
and Racial Confusion | 71

Rule Well: The Way to Justice in Civil
Relationships | 87

Embrace the Freedom of Slavery: The Joy of Slavery
to Christ | 101

Face the Danger: The Courage to Go to a
Rebel World | 115

Part 3: Following Jesus in All Spheres

Raise Your Children: Educating the Next
Generation | 131

Go to Church: Assembling to Worship According
to God’s Word | 145

Teach Kings: Exhorting Civil Authorities to
Kiss the Son | 159

Conclusion: Be Strong and Courageous:
Following Jesus with Joy | 173

Appendix 1: God’s Word in Godless Times | 179

Appendix 2: Pagan America Dressed in Christianity | 185

Commendations

“Christian faithfulness in America requires more of us in the twentieth century than in any previous generation.  The advance of liberalism in every public and private sphere now claims many once reliably conservative denominations. These sweeping waves of leftist progressivism were considered revolutionary before, but are seldom detected by the poor standards of contemporary orthodoxy. Both strong and courageous, Tom Ascol and Jared Longshore call Christians to deeper commitment to God’s all-sufficient Word and greater confessional clarity for advancement and preservation of the Gospel.”

| Ryan Helfenbein
Vice President of Communications and Public Engagement at Liberty University and Executive Director of the Falkirk Center for Faith & Liberty

———-

“The church today faces a clash with culture that demands a robust theology that is rooted in a submission to the whole counsel of God’s Word. As aliens and exiles, whose true citizenship is in the Kingdom of God, Christians must understand how to live under God-ordained human authority without compromising our ultimate allegiance to our true King, the Lord Jesus Christ. Tom Ascol and Jared Longshore perform a great service to the church by carefully expounding the theology that is needed for such a time as this. This book needs to be in the hands of every pastor to help navigate his church during the difficult days that most certainly lie ahead.”

| Tom Buck
Senior Pastor at First Baptist Church of Lindale, TX

———-

“I am thankful that for years Tom Ascol and Jared Longshore have been sounding the alarm of the dangers of Social Justice. It is as if the strong winds of Social Justice that have been blowing out of Europe have gathered into a massive hurricane over the Atlantic Ocean. The outer bands of this horrific storm have long ago made landfall here in North America—having already inflicted much damage to the American church. Sadly, for many evangelical leaders, their alarm has fallen on deaf ears. Not willing to be perceived as offensive or divisive, many Christians have chosen to remain silent or, even worse, embrace Social Justice. The evangelical church is starting to be torn asunder. But the real damage of Social Justice is still pending. When the eye of the hurricane arrives (if it hasn’t already arrived in the year 2020), Social Justice will wreak utter havoc on those who remain unprepared. If the church does nothing, if the church doesn’t prepare and board up its windows and doors by equipping the saints to hold fast, I am not sure what will remain standing. With such a devastating tempest approaching, I want to stand alongside Tom and Jared and encourage everyone to read this book. My plea is for pastors and Christians to take head to this clear alarm and secure multiple copies of this book to share with everyone they know. Tom and Jared rightly describe Social Justice as “the new religion of secularism.” They explain that it has a false gospel, a false law, a false priesthood, a false spirit, and a false god (“worshiping creation rather than the Creator”). But, unlike Christianity, this new religion prohibits the liberty of conscience and the freedom of speech. It has no room for disagreement. And even more dangerous, this new religion seeks, through political activism, to wield the power of the sword so it can censor those who do not bow the knee to their unjust view of justice. How is the church to endure the furious winds of Social Justice? The remedy, according to Tom and Jared, is found in affirming the biblical distinction between law and gospel, educating our children, affirming our commitment to the local church, and reminding our civil authorities that Christ will justly judge them by His law. There is much work to be done in the days ahead of us. Thus, I hope you will join me in trying to get this book into as many hands as possible. This is an excellent book that is much needed.”

| Jeffrey D. Johnson
Pastor of Grace Bible Church and President of Grace Bible Theological Seminary, Conway, AR

———-

“In 2020, a very real virus was used as the rationale for restricting civil and religious liberties and justifying government intrusion into the whenwhere, and how of corporate worship services, revealing that Christians in the United States of America face the same problem as many pastors. Desiring to be liked, we grow lax in speaking words which would bring conviction concerning the sins in the room. A misguided attempt to maintain public witness has become a means whereby we affirm popular pagan ideologies. Unquestioned subservience to secular society is seen as a way to sustain our social capital. Whereas Christians of yesteryear did not fear death, preached the hard truths of Scripture regardless of the results, and either fled from or fought against tyranny, today, our attitudes and actions toward the aforementioned ideals are virtually indistinguishable from those of the world. The colonists of America look petty in light of what we have endured in 2020. The convictions for which Christians were once willing to die are seen as unnecessarily divisive today. What was once valued as virtuous is now considered selfish and evil. But the recognition of God-given rights by government authorities is not only good for you and me; it is good for the spread of the gospel, human flourishing, and the glory of God. If our government was made for a religious and moral people then we shirk our duties when we keep our Christian faith from the public square. Our countrymen are some of our nearest neighbors. We cannot in good conscience sit idly by and kowtow to a culture that is anti-Christ at its core simply because we lack the strength or courage to do otherwise. In this book, Tom Ascol and Jared Longshore address arguments and attitudes about the topics of science, health, economics, racism, and church and state relations through the lens of Scripture, pushing Christians to reclaim these principles of strength and courage which are so sorely lacking in our context today. God help us.”

| Rev. Christopher Lee Bolt, Ph.D.
Pastor at Elkton Baptist Church in Elkton, TN

———-

“In this book, Tom Ascol and Jared Longshore have faithfully sounded the trumpet of warning like faithful watchmen on the wall (Ezekiel 33). But they have done more than identify a crafty, encroaching enemy; they have also blown the silver trumpet blast that summons God’s people to war (Numbers 10:9). This book is full of practical wisdom that is firmly grounded in God’s Word, and the authors write with passion and with muscular clarity. They write like men — men who gladly embrace their God-given masculinity and the responsibility that goes along with it. We have had quite enough of “Be Nice and Inoffensive.” We are overflowing with “Be Tolerant and Sensitive.” It is high time that we were admonished to “Be Strong and Courageous.”’

| Jim Scott Orrick
Pastor of the Bullitt Lick Baptist Church, author of Mere Calvinism and Seven Thoughts that Every Christian Ought to Think Every Day: Laying a Foundation for a Life of Prayer

———-

“In this powerful and timely book, Tom Ascol and Jered Longshore offer Christian leaders a bracing, sober, and clear-eyed examination of many cultural challenges facing the church in America—a culture that is increasingly driven by forces of lawlessness, anarchy, and deconstruction.  Their clarion call is for the Church of Jesus Christ to rise up, overcome her complacency, and boldly fulfill her God-given mission to advance God’s Kingdom of light into the darkest corners of society.

What marks this book throughout is the deep passion for God and His Word. Ascol and Longshore uphold Jesus Christ is King over all, and His Word in Scripture is our highest authority—not just in the church, but over all creation. They provide several practical, biblical recommendations for Christ-followers to live faithfully in the midst of “a crooked and perverse generation, in which you shine as lights in the world” (Phil. 2:15).”

Highly recommended!

| Scott D. Allen
President of the Disciple Nations Alliance, and author of Why Social Justice is Not Biblical Justice: An Urgent Appeal to Fellow Christians in a Time of Social Crisis

———-

“I found By What Standard so useful in defining the jargon of the ‘woke’ movement that I purchased copies for all our students. Strong and Courageous takes the next step by equipping believers to react biblically to the ‘social gospel’ heresy.”

| Charley Holmes
President, BMA Theological Seminary, Jacksonville, TX

———-

“Through the centuries, the greatest challenges to the church have always come from within, and so it is with today’s American church. Threatened from without by an increasingly hostile culture and a government some have weaponized to advance a progressive agenda, the greatest threat to the church nonetheless comes from those within her ranks who would repurpose the gospel, not as means of radical personal transformation and salvation through the Person of Jesus Christ, but as a tool to serve earthly gods who cannot save and whose broken promises are a matter of historical record. In Strong and Courageous, Tom Ascol and Jared Longshore expose this fraud for what it is: a subtle, pernicious heresy whose seductive nature threatens to rent the church asunder. This is a handbook, a manual for the modern American evangelical. Read it and understand the difference between being “woke” and being awakened.”

| Larry Alex Taunton
Executive Director of the Fixed Point Foundation, freelance columnist, and author of The Faith of Christopher Hitchens: The Restless Soul of the World’s Most Notorious Atheist.

———-

“As it turns out, our age is not quite so secular as we thought. The purely pluralistic, live-and-let-live, totally tolerant society that promised to transcend religious conflict was always an illusion. The fool may be able to say in his heart that there is no Jehovah God, but he cannot, try as he might, quite extinguish the sensus divinitatis. Man’s religious affections must be directed somewhere.

In this brisk, invigorating, highly readable book, Ascol and Longshore call on Christians to get woke, so to speak, to the present situation. That is, they diagnose what really ails our culture—the ascendency of a new religion that is, indeed, God-less but not deity-less; secular but not religion-less. This new religion comes in many forms, but it is always and everywhere tyrannical. Its yoke is not easy, its burden heavy. Its god is the autonomous, ever-malleable self. Its sacrament is destructive, its liturgy gobbledygook, and its eschatology an unforgiving immanentization of the eschaton.

But the authors don’t stop with a Sun Tzu diagnosis. A much-needed call to arms, a call to recovery of doctrine and practice, is issued. Evangelicals have been resting on their laurels—the vestiges of a bygone era—for so long that they have not yet realized that they have real competition on the block. They haven’t noticed the insurgency that is captivating the hearts and minds of their sons and daughters. More dire still, they have forgotten how to put on the full armor of God and meet the enemy in the field head on. Ascol and Longshore are clear-eyed but confident in their assessment, hopeful in their plea, and determined in their charge. Do get this timely book.”

| Timon Cline
Writer at Modern Reformation and Conciliar Post, and contributor to By What Standard? God’s World…God’s Rules.

———-

“Clearing garbage from our hearts so we can see accurately—or should I say smell truthfully—to clear the garbage from our society is no mean undertaking. This book shows clearly that the living word of revelation containing the soul-saving power of gospel truth has an expansive energy and changes, not only believing hearts and church bodies, but is intended to be a leaven in society. The authors contend that neither pastors nor the sheep of their flocks can become privatistic or escapist in their pursuit of true piety. They also must be courageous and well informed about the idols within society that challenge the sole authority of the one true God who rules through the victory of Christ over sin, death, the devil, and hell.  The dominating idol of self, the unchallenged sense of personal will and prerogative as the chief and only good, expresses itself in many destructive forms: abortion (or the modern expression of Molechism), critical race theory, intersectionality, atheistic and secularistic commitments as the foundation of education, lawlessness of aggressive destruction claimed as a right, movements toward political tyranny, and actions that intrude without warrant on the religious liberties of the people. This book gives careful attention in each chapter to the gospel and the way its central truths challenge each of these paths to self-destruction. There is no diminishing the importance of reaching heaven at last, but how the gospel informs our steps along the way in this world receives creative and forceful attention. The authors explore the tension between obeying God rather than men while being subject to the governing authorities. They induce thinking about how the Christian should honor the governing officials that God has given us while we take seriously the task of pressing and educating them to see that they are finally responsible to God and his law. This book might not warm the heart, but it will press the mind to engage in some real heart work, attaining a life characterized by truth-informed courage.”

| Tom J. Nettles
Author, Church Historian, Retired Professor of Church History and Historical Theology at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, KY