I’m always up for an interesting conversation, and one is certainly being generated by the recent publication of The Benedict Option: A Strategy for Christians in a Post-Christian Nation (March 2017). I haven’t read it yet, but have noticed it appearing, over the last few months in various reviews, promotional material etc. It’s author is Rod Dreher and his is a book which James K. A. Smith notes ‘…is offered to a world that sometimes feels as fraught as the late Roman empire of Augustine's time. Indeed, invoking a new "barbarism," Dreher looks to Benedict: "Saint Benedict had taken the proper measure of Rome. He acted wisely by leaving society and starting a new community whose practices would preserve the faith through the trials ahead”…’
I haven’t yet read the book, and likely won’t, but who knows? That a title becomes as ‘popular’ as Dreher’s book seems to be at present, gets my attention, but doesn’t necessarily mean I’m going to read it. Most in my life its been the lest popular and more obscure commentators etc. that have been most helpful to me.
I’ve always found Jamie Smith a thoughtful and cogent communicator. I’ve read many of his books and listened to him for years (via podcasts etc), so I incline towards his review/commentary here. I also found this Hearts and Minds review balanced and helpful. I think it’s written by Byron Borger. See also, Michael Bird.
Have a read of the reviews and see what you feel. Is it a book you’ll read, or not?