Book Review

Edited by William Bentley Ball
Baker Book House: Grand Rapids
Ignatius Press: San Francisco
Paperback, 298 pages. 1992.

We are very far away in this country from achieving a consensus on national morality. Society is so fragmented along ethnic, racial, religious, gender and plain preferential lines, one can legitimately wonder how we find sufficient commonality to co-exist at all. The magnificent diversity once cherished as a source of national strength and vitality has suffered a devastating transformation through the years into an unyielding array of claims: for privilege, for rights and entitlements, for preference. It is, therefore, a humbling and heartening experience to read the articles which make up In Search of a National Morality.

The noted constitutional lawyer, William Bentley Ball, has compiled this group of thoughtful essays which address some of the most significant moral questions of the times. The book consists of 9 subject areas, including secularization, morality, human life, family, education and rights, and each is addressed in tum by a Catholic and an Evangelical.

Although Catholics and Evangelicals do not speak with one voice, there is a core of shared concern about the encroaching secularism in our culture which binds them. Each essay is powerful enough to stand on its own, but when read in counterpoint, the reverberations of the message calling on Americans to embrace anew their common Judeo-Christian heritage echo across the sometimes barren landscape of modern America.

In Search of Morality demonstrates that while Catholics and Evangelicals may differ on matters of doctrine and theological principle, wide areas of agreement do exist and form a strong basis for a collaborative effort against common adversaries.

Contributors to this book include: Carl Henry, Rep. Henry Hyde, James Hitchcock, William Bentley Ball, Carl Anderson, Paul Vitz, Harold Brown, Richard Land, William May, Robert Dugan, Jr., Norman Geisler, James Skillen, John Hittinger, Robert Destro, Randall Hekman, George Fuller, Russell Kirk, and John Lapp.

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