Book review: ‘Building Jerusalem & other Letters from a Darkened Room’

16 June 2021

Tim Dieppe reviews Richard Roper’s new book, Building Jerusalem & other Letters from a Darkened Room, by Richard Roper, Milton Publishing, 2021.

This short, 72-page book contains nine concise essays providing a helpful Christian critique of contemporary British culture. These essays were first published on the author’s blog: Letters from a Darkened Room. The book provides a convenient format for them to be read.

Richard Roper outlines the decline in morality across the UK as we have abandoned our Christian heritage. He shows how secularism has failed to deliver a tolerant or moral society. One chapter is a helpful short critique of Critical Theory – which he describes as “the ruling dogma of our age.” He also criticises the modern obsession with equality and explains that there is a tension between Liberty and Equality. “When Equality is prioritised, there is no way to achieve it other than at the cost of Liberty, personal freedoms are diminished in pursuit of a collective outcome.”

There is also a chapter on social justice, which shows how social justice differs from Biblical justice. Another chapter “Tainted Love”, discusses the difference between sexual love and Biblical sacrificial love. There are some chapters on the importance of family, and a concluding chapter on the ten commandments as “spiritual wisdom for physical, earthy, human life lived in community; heavenly wisdom for earthly use.”

If you are looking for a short and digestible Christian perspective on what is happening in our culture, this book is worth reading. We need more Christians to understand these topics.

Roper concludes one of his chapters with a fitting quotation from Noah Webster, which captures the essence of the book:

The Christian religion, in its purity, is the basis, or rather the source of all genuine freedom in government…and I am persuaded that no civil government of a republican form can exist and be durable in which the principles of that religion have not a controlling influence.”

Christ, and his wisdom, is the only viable foundation for a society that is just and compassionate.

Buy the book on Amazon

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