Timothy S. Goeglein is a Focus on the Family Vice President. He is also an author and frequent contributor to The Daily Citizen. Together with Craig Osten, an accomplished author in his own right, the pair have authored a new book, American Restoration: How Faith, Family and Personal Sacrifice Can Heal Our Nation. The book takes a sober look at the cultural and political illness dividing our nation at the moment, yet provides a hopeful and optimistic roadmap for a return to the values and principles that made this country great.
The Daily Citizen caught up with Goeglein recently to ask him about the new book.
DC: Tim, we’re excited to introduce our readers to the new book you recently co-authored with Craig Osten. So how would you describe its overall theme?
TG: This book is about engagement – engagement with our families, our neighbors, and our communities – to restore America from the grassroots. We cannot run and hide if we are to preserve our freedom for our children and grandchildren. And through winsome and thoughtful engagement, we can open hearts and minds to the arguments put forth in our book and start to restore America one person, one neighborhood, one community at a time. It is our hope that we have provided a roadmap to help bring about that type of restoration.
DC: What prompted you and Craig to write it?
TG: America is at a crossroads. Neighbor is pitted against neighbor. The growth of social media has inflamed the worst instincts in people. As Jesus, and later Lincoln quoting Jesus, said, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” If America is to continue to be a beacon of freedom, we must find ways to build to, rather than burn bridges with, those who disagree with us. That means winsome engagement based on mutual trust and respect, seeing everyone as God sees them, made in His image, and getting back to work in our homes, communities, and other areas of influence to restore the values our nation has lost over the past several decades. That is what prompted us to write the book.
DC: How did each of your backgrounds uniquely contribute to this work?
TG: While the two of us have been working in the conservative, pro‐family world for decades, we come from divergent backgrounds. While we have had comparable professional experiences, our personal experiences are quite different.
I came from a conservative Indiana family with a traditional Midwestern background and understanding of the world. Craig was raised in the most liberal area of the country, the San Francisco Bay Area, and witnessed firsthand the deconstruction of Judeo‐Christian values as a child, and later as a young adult. Thus, he got a sad preview of “coming attractions” so to speak.
These divergent backgrounds allow us to speak into not only what America was, but how it has become what it is today, and provided the perspective on how we can return to our Judeo‐Christian values.
DC: Who is the target audience? Are you speaking to Christians only? Is there a special receptivity that Christians should have towards the themes and premise of this book?
TG: While our book is written from a Christian perspective, it is for anyone who deeply cares about the state of our nation and is looking for common sense, practical steps they can take as citizens to restore America’s foundational institutions and return to a civil society. Those who are concerned about our current lack of civility, the state of the family, our educational system, and so forth, should be receptive to this book’s message.
DC: Why is this book so optimistic? You obviously don’t buy into the notion that our country is too far gone to recover from the cultural and political battles we’ve been witnessing in recent years.
TG: We hear this question a lot. There are some voices that say we have gone too far, and we just need to retreat into a cave and just watch America collapse from within. We can then re‐emerge and build America back from the rubble that is left.
There are other voices that say we should give up the fight and just go along with the prevailing culture and just “love” one another without speaking truth into people’s lives.
We disagree with both. We believe America can return to a Judeo‐Christian society. It will not happen overnight. It took those who sought to deconstruct our Judeo‐Christian society several generations to achieve their aims by engaging in grassroots efforts to change communities, then states, and finally our nation.
It will take the same kind of dedicated effort to return America to a Judeo‐Christian society. But that is why we are optimistic, because we believe we, as a nation, still have it within us to bring about the needed change to restore America.
American Restoration is published by Regnery Books and is available on Amazon.