CNLP 255: Os Guinness on The Decline of America, The Current Crisis, and How Christians Can Move Forward in a Post-Christian Culture

Philosopher and writer Os Guinness thinks America is in its greatest crisis since the Civil War, and perhaps since the American Revolution. At the heart of the crisis is how people understand liberty and freedom. As the culture walks further and further away from Christian faith, far more is at stake than most people realize.

Os talks about what’s really at stake in this moment, and how to become part of the solution, not part of a deepening cultural problem.

Welcome to Episode 255 of the podcastListen and access the show notes below or search for the Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts and listen for free.

Guest Links

Os Guinness | Last Call for Liberty

Episode Links

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3 Insights from Os

1. The political problem we see in America is worse than we think, and it far out-dates the election of Trump

The 2016 election of Donald Trump into the United States Presidency was a surprise and shock to the world. Many people thought it would lead to chaos and tragedy. Os Guinness argues that the major political problems that we see in America are actually worse than we think they are. The issue is much deeper than just a partisan issue.

The major divide within America is between ideologies that are designed with biblical roots that find their origin within the American Revolution, and ideologies that are based out of the French, Russian, and Chinese Revolutions that were not biblically based. Os’ major concern is that without biblically designed checks and balances, tyranny is near.

2. We are seeing the end of Western civilization. So what’s next?

When we look at the world today, the end of western civilization is in sight. The question we have to ask ourselves is “what is going to rebuild civilization”? A similar time in history is when Augustine was the leader of Rome during its demise. He saw the end of a great civilization and the birth of a new one. Now it is our turn.

As the church, “the end is not the end”. The church will survive through this massive cultural change. We need to do our best to stay faithful throughout the challenges that are to come. Our vision, conviction, and proclamation of truth must live on. Our basic biblical truths must be unpacked, explored, and lived out.

3. As political Christians, we need to think more deeply and post more carefully

A lot of modern preaching is trivial. People want more intellectual depth than we think. Much of modern American preaching has been watered down and made simple. There is a desperate need for a deeper conversation. Many of the modern political issues have a theological answer.

As we live our lives out on social media, we often limit our focus to whatever political issues happen to scroll through our news feeds. The better step for us as Christians with online influence would be to think about the much deeper root causes of the issues and comment on those, rather than spreading more surface level partisanship in our feeds.

Quotes from Episode 255

We are not only increasingly post-truth, we are post-rights. -Os Guinness Click To Tweet

The grounds of human dignity and the grounds of personal liberty are in the Bible and nowhere else. -Os Guinness Click To Tweet

All power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. -Lord Acton Click To Tweet

When you remove God from the equation, you set us up to be tyrants. @cnieuwhof Click To Tweet

Read or Download the Transcript for Episode 255

Looking for a key quote? More of a reader?

Read or download a free PDF transcript of this episode here.

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Next Episode: Carly Fiorina

Carly Fiorina has an unlikely journey as a leader. Carly talks how her approach to leadership and problem solving while a secretary at a real estate firm and then low level employee at AT&T eventually prepared her to become CEO of HP and prepared her to run for President of the United States. Carly talks about the reality associated with being the first woman CEO of a Fortune 100 company, the only female candidate for the Republican nomination as well as the only female Vice-Presidential candidate. She also shares how she learned how to be resilient in the face of intense criticism, without becoming jaded or bitter.

Subscribe for free now and you won’t miss Episode 256.

CNLP 255: Os Guinness on The Decline of America, The Current Crisis, and How Christians Can Move Forward in a Post-Christian Culture


  1. My Boy Apk on July 8, 2020 at 12:12 pm

    I think in this age and era … everyone should be his own revolution. No more race fights but people should start living their individual lives . I thank Ayn Rand for giving us objectivism.

  2. Michael on April 8, 2019 at 11:27 pm

    The lesson from European history on the rebuilding of civilization is that we didn’t have the First Amendment. Christianity and Judaism were the on;y lawful religions. We established Christianity as the State religion, there was only one Church, and any dissent from it was punishable.

  3. Jon Lewis on April 3, 2019 at 5:56 pm

    Want to express my appreciation for these podcasts of yours and also your blog. I am so impressed by the thoughtfulness in which you conduct these interviews and especially the obvious personal humility that comes across in doing so. It is so clear and evident you are not doing all this for personal reputation but for a sincere desire to see leaders of all stripes, colors, and ages built up.

    My own journey (as former mission pilot in Africa, former CEO of Partners International, and now trainer/mentor for African leaders across that continent) has given me an appreciation for the importance of having a wide perspective on various leadership styles and approaches. Particularly with young African leaders, I find such a hunger and thirst for mentoring and desire to learn. That is why I’m excited about gleaning new insight from your podcasts to interpret and translate into practical help and advice for my leader friends across the African continent.

    One strong suggestion I have is for you to consider a future podcast interview with Dr. Scott Rodin–author of the The Steward Leader and now president of The Stewards Journey (Spokane, WA.) I have found the application of Steward Theology that he has articulated so well in his many books and leadership training courses to have such powerful impact in Africa and the US alike, not to mention where he travels in China, Australia, etc. I feel it is one of those leadership jewels and “hidden secrets” that needs much more exposure and application–which your podcast could certainly do. You can check him out at

    Thanks and God bless!

  4. Tim Ellington on April 2, 2019 at 4:47 pm

    What a disappointing interview. His disdain for Democrats is so evident. He simply wants to Make America Great Again but is too wise to say that explicitly. It’s the same ‘the sky is falling’ call to save Western Civilization. I find it far too simplistic to say that the American Revolution was ‘biblical’ and the French Revolution was anti-Christian. The goal is to seek the Kingdom of God and no political revolution fully embodies that. Also, I have plenty of critiques of the sexual revolution, but I’ve never seen sex education for 3 and 4 year olds. He implies, not so subtly, that anyone who is seeking to develop greater acceptance and love for LGBTQ persons sees all parents as the ‘enemy.’ Give me a break. That kind of dualistic, alarmist thinking is really unhelpful.

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