The Benedict Option is a book that had been the center of much debate over the past year since it was released in 2017. Of course, conservative Christians seemed to mistake the premise of the book (probably from the odious reviews it had been given) as being a strategy for withdrawing from society all together and then hiding away. Maybe even not voting. That is the exact opposite of what this book is about. The Benedict Option is a story about how Christians can transform the culture by rebuilding their own culture first and then expanding their borders outward into all areas of society. The reason for Christians to rebuild their own culture is because of the deterioration that has hit hard on numerous traditional Christian confessions. Politician Lance Kinzer has been very active in his Presbyterian Church of teaching classes on Augustinian theology.
That said, the book is more about an a-political politics that focuses on reform within the Christian church that is necessary and then how to preserve Christian social culture before it dies within American culture. Christian churches need to develop liturgy, they need to be more disciplinary about immorality–through this, they are structured toward following God. Dreher doesn’t specify which way as the “correct” way. He is writing for Christians of all traditions. Dreher’s reaction comes with the ever-growing presence of hostility toward traditional Christian teaching both moral and theological. Christians, because of the ever-growing hostility toward the traditional Christian belief, cannot simply stick around in the mainstream society without their beliefs being lost and their culture being lost. But the goal is not to stop there. The goal is to increase the boundaries of Christianity.
Education has become aligned with the sexual revolution and so it becomes important for Christians to come out of education. Technology has depersonalized many tasks and has destroyed humanity. It has been helpful in some instances, obviously, we wouldn’t have The Benedict Option without it, but technological dependence needs to be cut back. Books must be favored over television, cut the cord on the computer, play outside, not video games, etc.
The Benedict Option is about establishing a culture of Christianity for the age to come that will last and grow and eventually rebuild the current culture all together. It is not about staying out of politics. Far from it! It’s about going into politics from the most theological angle possible–The Kingdom of God!