Saturday, November 08, 2008

Review of The Second Mayflower


I have just finished reading Kevin Swanson’s new book, The Second Mayflower. This is a book that every Christians should read. It will probably anger some, encourage others and inspire even more but it needs to be read. In light of all that has transpired in the last year this book was truly prophetic.

As a nation, from the perspective of believers, things may appear bleak but this is not new for believers. The first travelers on the Mayflower faced persecution and tyranny and sought freedom to worship as God desired them to worship. As the name of the book reflects it is now time to prepare for a Second Mayflower. This will not happen overnight and may take generations but people need to begin preparing for the journey now, not later.

The book basically starts by letting us see the future that is before us. Then the book looks at the first Mayflower and what drove the people that started this nation to desire to leave the place they were in. This is important as while history may not repeat itself exactly it is important to look at so we learn lessons and see how others have responded to the situations they are placed in. Not to mention that the Puritans are one of those groups from history that are well know for their reliance on scripture for their decisions and actions. Next, the book looks at the state of our country because all to often those in a country such as ours need to have their eyes opened because we get so comfortable that we do not even realize the tyranny we are under. Mr. Swanson then moves on to describe the birth of the Second Mayflower and then deals with the preparations its participants need to make. Lastly, the book looks at the vision and course those that seek to change the world will need to take.

The following are some short insights from each chapter in the book:

Chapter 1: The Future of a Civilization
Civilization has moved from faith to humanism and while there was a small “stream of God-centered theology” in the 16th century the general move has been towards humanism and I think any honest assessment of America today would say that that is where we are now. Swanson asks the following question of churches today: “Do we have the commitment of the Puritans and Pilgrims in our churches today?” On first blush I would have to say no and the large number of professing believers who voted for the president elect would say as much.

Chapter 2: The First Mayflower
This chapter looks at the foundations of this nation 400 years ago that came with those on the first Mayflower. What we need to ask ourselves and future generations is can we reclaim the biblical ideals that drove them. They had a desire to be a city on a hill can we too seek to be that city. Also pointed out is how the Puritans and Pilgrims had a healthy acceptance of God’s law as the standard for human ethics so that they were well grounded and not reliant on the humanistic relativism we are reliant on as a nation today. Also shown in the Interlude between chapters was the move towards antinomianism, a replacement of revealed law by natural law, a misuse of the God’s law that helped drive people from it and lastly a move from faith and works as coexisting.

Chapter 3: The Rising Tyranny
In this the longest chapter Kevin Swanson sets out to show that we do live in a nation of tyranny. I would have never seen this myself until Kevin opened my eyes to the state of things. At issue is that the tyranny we presently experience is not of the uncomfortable nature that many experience but it is never the less tyranny. This chapter begins with two quotes that say much and need to be heeded:

“Those who will not be governed by God will be ruled by tyrants” – William Penn
“Either you will be ruled by God, or by God you will be ruled” – Benjamin Franklin

One of the points made in this chapter is that tyranny is inevitable with an immoral people and as a nation we are just that. This chapter is full of eye opening examples that if you are like me may have not realized existed or simply may have not equated with the tyranny they represent.

Chapter 4: Casting a Vision for the Second Mayflower
To move forward with a Second Mayflower there needs to be an adequate vision to sustain the move in the midst of the trials and persecution that it will undergo. The book reveals that the vision needs to, among other things, aim for a reverence for the lawgiver, sound the cry for reformation, recognize God as the standard for all good but most importantly the vision needs to see the real need as a changed heart.

Chapter 5: The Birth of the Second Mayflower
In this chapter the subject is how this Second Mayflower was birthed. This birth is a result of some seeking to return to God’s word as the source of all that we understand. Kevin even puts Henry Morris’ Genesis Flood as instrumental as it sought to interpret the world around us by God’s word. This was instrumental as it began to create a move back to a distinctly Christian worldview. So the birth of the Mayflower has started but has much distance to go and it will have to start with families and the church. It will take work and that is the point of chapter 6.

Chapter 6: Making Preparations for the Voyage
This chapter helps us to see that this movement will not just happen but needs to start not at the level of the church but at home. Kevin says, “In a biblical framework, the family and the church are the key social units. The humanist, on the other hand, see both as irrelevant and works for their minimization or total elimination.” This should be eye opening in light of the socialist/humanistic nature this country has taken as their mantra. Also part of this preparation is the training of our children that it is not the masses that change things but a few that stand uncompromisingly for what is right. We need to not only prepare ourselves but also our children and the generations to follow.

Chapter 7: Charting the Course
In this chapter Swanson sets out the course before us. This course may include all or some of the following: Verbal Resistance, Civil Disobedience, Flight or even Civil Conflict. The course will depend on the reactions by the world around those on the Second Mayflower. These options are described biblically and not just as ideas so that our course is not by man’s invention but by God’s guidance.

Chapter 8: The New World
In setting course some may ask where the Second Mayflower would go and it would seem that the options are few as the US is still one of the most free in the world today, this may change. The point, I think, is not where we are to go if that is necessary but that we are prepared, or have prepared generations to come, to go or stay as God leads. That no matter where one is the principles of the Second Mayflower would be evident.

Chapter 9: Setting Sail
It is not so much about a destination but as related in the book an ideology. In this last chapter Kevin gives five elements of the “city on a hill” we should desire to be:
1) The reunification of the family and the decentralization of business.
2) The reempowerment of the family in discipleship (education), care for elderly parents, and inheritance
3) The reviving of church relationships, god-centered worship, and a healthy diaconate
4) The decentralization of civil government
5) The application of God’s law to family, civil government, economics, education and culture.

As I said before this is a book that every Christian should read and I pray you will do so.

5 comments:

Jessica Martiele said...

I'm going out tomorrow to buy this. Thanks for the recommendation!!!

Scott Head said...

Thanks for the post, I just bought it and look forward to reading it.

Tony said...

It would be good to hear both or your impressions of the book

Scott Head said...

I just got it yesterday, looks great. I'll be reading it next, just got into Machen's "Christianity and Liberalism" and am enjoying it, but it is relatively short. Next up, "The Second Mayflower:. Thanks again for the review.

Tony said...

After reading the Second Mayflower I have just started "Of Plymouth Plantation" by William Bradford. So far it is very good.