Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Energy Victory

One of the greatest books I’ve ever read (outside of the Bible) is Energy Victory by Robert Zubrin.

This book coalesced fifty years of education and thinking for me in a way that no other book has ever done, combining my Chemical Engineering studies with my theological degree and ministry experience in a way I never imagined. Secondly, this book has broad biblical implications for many parts of the Christian walk and life including Christian missions, stewardship, humanitarian justice, and poverty. Third, this book describes how our freedom is in jeopardy from people who want to destroy us.

The subtitle of the book is “Winning the War on Terror by Breaking Free of Oil.” Author Robert Zubrin holds a doctorate in Nuclear Engineering. What I appreciate about his writing style is that he blends theology, history, science, and sociology together to describe the bind that we find ourselves in as Americans, and then he proposes some very practical solutions to overcome our energy problem. And, the book is highly readable, even though you might be lost in a few parts. But, just keep reading because if you slog on through the science there are fascinating stories from history written in a style that keeps you on the edge of your seat.

In the early parts of the book Robert describes how the country of Saudi Arabia channels funds to the Islamic Wahabi sect as they sponsor radical Islamic groups around the world, along with funding thousands of schools (madrassas) where young boys are recruited as terrorists. “The precise number of Wahabbi madrassas set up globally by the Saudis is unknown, but on the basis of partial data, it is estimated to exceed twenty thousand. These schools graduate hundreds of thousands of hate-indoctrinated fanatics every year” (p. 47 in Energy Victory).

As a caveat you should know that in my study and experience there are many peaceful Muslim people around the globe who abhor the Wahhabi terrorists. I have eaten with and enjoyed visiting with many Muslims from various nations and Muslim sects during my time in college and a summer in New York City. There are also many contemporary real life stories of Muslims who are coming to faith in Jesus Christ. For example, it is reported by missionaries that we are currently seeing one of the greatest revivals ever in the history of Christianity among Iranians who are turning to the gospel as they come to realize the futility of the Muslim religion.

But, given that caveat, there is this large and influential Wahabbi sect of Muslims who are intent on destroying the Christian religion and our way of life. They are committed to taking away our sacred freedom far beyond what we can imagine. One radical Muslim, who calls Christians infidels, says that “it is the sacred duty of Muslims to wage armed jihad against infidels to take away their freedom, wives, children, land, and other possessions, which they are holding illegally in defiance of Allah’s will. The infidels are thus not merely legitimate prey, they are rebel outlaws, enemies of Allah who must be hunted down and either killed or enslaved and dispossessed” (p. 254 in Energy Victory).

Robert Zubrin’s answer for us and for the world at large is that we must find a way to break the stranglehold of the Saudi Arabians who use our own monies to finance radical Islamic terrorism. He argues that if be can stop our dependence on foreign oil by developing better sources of energy (including coal, bio-fuels, wind, solar, and nuclear) we can not only foster our own economic development, but also that of poor countries around the globe.

And, that’s why this topic has broad implications. It’s not just a battle of our armed forces versus the terrorists. It’s a battle of ideas, of biblical truths that go all the way back to Genesis where “God created man in his own image…” (Gen. 1:26). We were not created to be enslaved by Allah, but to be worshipers of the God of the Bible.

Read the book and let me know what you think.
You can also go to the WHO radio website and look under the archives of Jan Mickelson's shows to hear an audio recording on this topic. Inf fact, this is where I first heard of the book. Just type in the word "Zubrin" and you will find two or three interviews that Jan has done with Robert Zubrin.

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