Best-selling conservative author Rod Dreher has created debate over the direction of American Christianity and its relation to mainstream society with his recently released book, The Benedict Option: A Strategy for Christians in a Post-Christian Nation.
The book's main argument is that Christians of various denominations must create a counterculture and leave a mainstream American culture that is increasingly hostile to biblical Christianity.
The title and strategy take their name from St. Benedict of Nursia, a 6th century monk who fled the city of Rome to established his own Christian community.
"Today, a new, post–Christian barbarism reigns. Many believers are blind to it, and their churches are too weak to resist. Politics offers little help in this spiritual crisis," reads the Amazon description.
"What is needed is the Benedict Option, a strategy that draws on the authority of Scripture and the wisdom of the ancient church. The goal: to embrace exile from mainstream culture and construct a resilient counterculture."
The Benedict Option and its manifesto has garnered support and criticism from multiple sources. What follows are five reactions to Dreher's argument.