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Against All Enemies

Dr. Jim Denison is a cultural apologist who helps people respond biblically and redemptively to the vital issues of our day. He is also the co-founder and Chief Vision Officer of the Denison Forum, a Dallas-based nonprofit that comments on current issues through a biblical lens.

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Against All Enemies by Tom Clancy and Peter Telep (Credit: Wikipedia)

I’ve been a Tom Clancy fan since he introduced us to Jack Ryan nearly 30 years ago. We’ve watched as Ryan saved the world from nuclear war, single-handedly defeated Irish terrorists, took down a Colombian drug cartel, and eventually became President. Now we have a new Clancy hero—a Navy SEAL turned CIA operative named Max Moore. Guilt-plagued over the death of his best friend during an earlier operation, Moore compensates by risking his life on seemingly every one of the novel’s 768 pages. The plot is fast-paced and brings the usual Clancy techno-warfare to bear on the latest headlines.

The frightening part of the plot is its realism—Islamic terrorists use Mexican cartel drug-smuggling tunnels to bring surface-to-air missiles into our country, which they fire on commercial jets as they take off from indefensible airport runways. This strategy is frighteningly plausible. And it highlights the fact that “homeland security” can never be guaranteed, no matter how hard we try.

Moore occasionally cites the SEAL credo, “The only easy day was yesterday.” He would appreciate Gen. Douglas MacArthur’s claim, “There is no security on this planet; there is only opportunity.” Shakespeare went even further: “Security is the chief enemy of mortals.” And Helen Keller believed that “life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.”

It’s hard to name a single biblical character used greatly by God who experienced a life of earthly security. We think of Moses, facing down Pharaoh and crossing the Red Sea; Joshua, stepping into the flooded Jordan River; David fighting Goliath with only a slingshot; Daniel in the lions’ den; Peter preaching to the Sanhedrin; Paul shipwrecked on Malta and imprisoned in Caesarea and Rome; John exiled on Patmos. Each chose significance over security.

Let’s join them.