In July 2019, Senior Fellow Tim Goeglein published American Restoration: How Faith, Family, and Personal Sacrifice Can Heal Our Nation. The book offers hope and a roadmap for those despairing over the social strife and loss of values in America, by suggesting that Christians engage with culture at the local level and renew our churches, communities, and families by the light of faith.
In the book, Goeglein and co-author Craig Osten write that America “seems to be crumbling from within,” but the dissolution of the 250-year-old American experiment is not inevitable. The key is not for Christians to choose the “Benedict option” and remove themselves from culture, but rather to renew the culture from within. The solution will not come from the government, they write, but from dedicated and faith-filled Christians committed to national and spiritual renewal. Goeglein and Osten highlight fifteen critical components of American culture that should be the target for local engagement and restoration, including America’s Founding Principles, Medical Ethics, a Culture of Life, Marriage & Family, the Concept of the Gentleman, Virtue, Education, Civility, and Community.
In his address to the Heritage Foundation, Goeglein said he hears conservatives and liberals alike concerned about where the United States is headed. Analysts and researchers describe cultural disintegration and chaos, but “do not set out a remedy for restoration, regeneration, and renewal.” That’s what American Restoration is all about. Goeglein says, “All of us, on both sides of the proverbial cultural divide, have to display a noble willingness to sacrifice for the larger vision and for the sake of the greater good of the United States of America.”
He continues, “It’s not a political book. It’s a culture book. American Restoration begins where the great Edmund Burke begins, ‘in the little platoons.’ The local solutions [are] in our families, communities, marriages, parenting, churches, synagogues, neighborhoods, civil society. It’s from the bottom up, not from the top down.”
Goeglein says that chapter five, on “Restoring Marriage, Family, and Social Capital,” is the “spine of this book.” “I want to be very clear in this regard: These are the immutable institutions. Marriage, Family, Parenting is the first pillar of our civilization. There is nothing, now or ever, that can or ever will replace family.” In the book, he encourages older, married couples to come alongside younger couples in need of support. He mentions the thousands of children in the foster program waiting to find a loving home. He argues there must be “a renewed . . . commitment to hard work, a sense of personal responsibility for one’s actions, and respect not just of authority, but for our fellow human beings.” The chapter concludes, “Change can happen one life at a time.”
Aside from being a senior fellow at The King’s College, Timothy Goeglein is the Vice President for External and Government Relations at Focus on the Family. He served as special assistant to President George W. Bush, and was the deputy director of the White House Office of Public Liaison from 2001-2008.
American Restoration: How Faith, Family, and Personal Sacrifice Can Heal Our Nation is available for purchase on Amazon.