Operation Gravedigger (Guinness)

As many of our readers know, I (Shane) always enjoy reading Os Guinness.  One of his books that stands out for me is The Last Christian on Earth (the original 1983 title was The Gravedigger File).  This book is something like C.S. Lewis’ The Screwtape Letters – only better in my opinion because it deals with more modern cultural issues and does so with more detail than The Screwtape Letters.  Furthermore, Guinness is more theologically sound than Lewis.  Comparisons aside, here is how the demonic enemy of the church explains the strategy of “Operation Gravedigger” to his apprentice in Guinness’ book:
“The Christian faith has contributed to the rise of the modern world, but the Christian faith has been undermined by the modern world it helped to create.  The Christian faith thus becomes its own gravedigger.

The strategy turns on this monumental irony, and the victory we are so close to realizing depends on two elementary insights.  First, the Christian faith is now captive to the modern world it helped to create.  Second, our interests are best served, not by working against the Church, but by working with it.  The more the Church becomes one with the modern world, the more it becomes compromised, and the deeper the grave it digs for itself.

Having joined the Operation when it was well underway, my own contribution has all been in the execution, not in the planning.  So my use of the word ‘we’ in these memos is the broad organizational sense.  But as you will come to recognize, the very restlessness of the way the strategy is being carried out betrays its mastermind.  Only one mind is capable of such audacity of vision and sheer force of will.  ‘The devil is in the details,’ people say casually.  If only they knew.”
Shane Lems
Hammond, WI


4 thoughts on “Operation Gravedigger (Guinness)”

  1. As you may remember, l loved the book after reading it in a college class taught by Dr. Vander Stelt. Just last week I ordered The Call by Guinness. I am a few days in and wish all my grandkids would read it! (It hurts me when I can’t itailize 😕)


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