Os Guinness

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Os Guinness
Guinness in 2011
Guinness in 2011
Born (1941-09-30) September 30, 1941 (age 82)
Hsiang Cheng, China
OccupationAuthor and social critic
EducationDoctor of Philosophy
Alma materOriel College, Oxford University of London

Ian Oswald Guinness (born September 30, 1941) is an English author, theologian and social critic now based in Fairfax County, Virginia; he has lived in the United States since 1984.

Early life and education[edit]

Born on 30 September 1941 in Hsiang Cheng, China, to medical missionaries working there,[1] Guinness is of Irish descent and the great-great-great grandson of Arthur Guinness, the Dublin brewer.[2] He returned to England in 1951 for secondary school and eventual college.[3]

Guinness received a Bachelor of Divinity degree (honours) from the University of London in 1966 and a Doctor of Philosophy degree from Oriel College, Oxford, in 1981, where he studied under Peter L. Berger.[4] According to his website, Os has written or edited more than 30 books that offer insight into current cultural, political, and social contexts.[citation needed]


Os Guinness, (left) with apologist Bill Edgar, at Cambridge Inter-Collegiate Christian Union event, St. Andrew the Great, Cambridge, England.

In the late 1960s, Guinness was a leader at the L'Abri community in Switzerland and, after Oxford, a freelance reporter for the BBC.[when?][5]

From 1986 to 1989, Guinness served as Executive Director of the Williamsburg Charter Foundation[when?] and was the leading drafter of the Williamsburg Charter, a bicentennial clarification and reaffirmation of the religious liberty clauses of the first amendment.[third-party source needed] He also co-authored the public school curriculum "Living With Our Deepest Differences".[6]

In 1991, along with Alonzo McDonald, he founded the Trinity Forum and served as Senior Fellow until 2004.[7][8][9] Since then he has been a Senior Fellow with the EastWest Institute in New York, and is currently a Senior Fellow with the Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics.[10]

He was the primary drafter of The Global Charter of Conscience, published at the European Union Parliament in Brussels in June 2014.

Personal life[edit]

Guinness currently lives in McLean, Virginia, with his wife Jenny. They have one son.[4]

An Anglican, he attended the Episcopal Church, but left, finding it too theologically liberal, in 2006.[11] He currently attends The Falls Church, in the Anglican Church in North America. He was one of the speakers at the Anglican Church in North America Assembly in June 2014.[12]

Guinness is named after Scottish Baptist evangelist and teacher Oswald Chambers.[13]


Guinness has written or edited more than 30 books.[14] The following are a subset of the books written and edited between 1973 and present, in chronological order.

Authored books[edit]

  • —— (1973), The Dust of Death: A Critique of the Establishment and the Counter Culture and the Proposal for a Third Way, Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
  • —— (1976), In Two Minds: The Dilemma of Doubt & How to Resolve It, Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
  • —— (1983), The Gravedigger File, Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press
  • —— (1992), The American Hour: A Time of Reckoning and the Once and Future Role of Faith, New York: Macmillan/Free Press.
  • —— (1993), Dining With the Devil: The Megachurch Movement Flirts With Modernity, Ada, MI: Baker.
  • —— (1994), The Dust of Death: The Sixties Counterculture and How It Changed America Forever, Wheaton, IL: Crossway.
  • —— (1994), Fit Bodies Fat Minds: Why Evangelicals Don't Think and What to Do About It, Ada, MI: Baker.
  • —— (1996), God in the Dark: The Assurance of Faith Beyond a Shadow of Doubt, Wheaton, IL: Crossway.
  • —— (1998), The Call: Finding and Fulfilling the Central Purpose of Your Life, Nashville, TN: HarperCollins/Thomas Nelson.
  • —— (1999), Character Counts: Leadership Qualities in Washington, Wilberforce, Lincoln, and Solzhenitsyn, Ada, MI: Baker.
  • —— (2000), Time for Truth: Living Free in a World of Lies, Hype and Spin, Ada, MI: Baker.
  • —— (2000), Steering Through Chaos: Vice and Virtue in an Age of Moral Confusion, Carol Stream, IL: Navpress.
  • —— (2001), The Great Experiment: Faith and Freedom in America, Carol Stream, IL: Navpress.
  • —— (2003), Long Journey Home: A Guide to Your Search for the Meaning of Life, Colorado Springs, CO: PRH/WaterBrook & Multnomah.
  • —— (2003), Prophetic Untimeliness: A Challenge to the Idol of Relevance, Ada, MI: Baker.
  • —— (2005), Unspeakable: Facing Up to the Challenge of Evil, San Francisco, CA: HarperCollins/HarperOne, retrieved 21 December 2016.
  • —— (2008), The Case for Civility: And Why Our Future Depends on It, San Francisco, CA: HarperCollins/HarperOne.
  • —— (2010), The Last Christian on Earth: Uncover the Enemy's Plot to Undermine the Church, Ada, MI: Baker/Regal.
  • —— (2012), A Free People's Suicide: Sustainable Freedom and the American Future, Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, archived from the original on 22 December 2016, retrieved 18 December 2013.
  • —— (2013), The Global Public Square: Religious Freedom and the Making of a World Safe for Diversity, Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, archived from the original on 10 February 2017, retrieved 18 December 2013.
  • —— (2014), Renaissance: The Power of the Gospel However Dark the Times, Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, archived from the original on 22 December 2016, retrieved 14 August 2014.
  • —— (2015), Fool's Talk: Recovering the Art of Christian Persuasion, Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
  • —— (2016), Impossible People, Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
  • —— (2018), Last Call for Liberty: How America's Genius for Freedom Has Become Its Greatest Threat, Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
  • —— (2019), Carpe Diem Redeemed: Seizing the Day, Discerning the Times, Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
  • —— (2021), The Magna Carta of Humanity: Sinai's Revolutionary Faith and the Future of Freedom, Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

Edited works[edit]

  • ——, ed. (1990), Articles of Faith, Articles of Peace, Washington, DC: The Brookings Institution.
  • ——, ed. (1992), No God but God, Chicago: Moody Press.
  • ——, ed. (1998), Invitation to the Classics, Ada, MI: Baker.
  • ——, ed. (1999), Unriddling our Times, Ada, MI: Baker.
  • ——, ed. (2000), When No One Sees: Character in an Age of Image, Carol Stream, IL: NavPress
  • ——, ed. (2001), Doing Well and Doing Good, Carol Stream, IL: NavPress.
  • ——, ed. (2001), Entrepreneurs of Life, Carol Stream, IL: NavPress.
  • ——, ed. (2001), The Journey, Carol Stream, IL: NavPress.


  1. ^ RZIM Staff [Guinness, Os] (21 December 2016). "Os Guinness". RZIM.org. Norcross, GA: Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (RZIM). Archived from the original (organisational autobio) on 3 April 2018. Retrieved 21 December 2016.
  2. ^ "Hold These Truths with Dan Crenshaw - You Say You Want a Revolution? | Os Guinness".
  3. ^ Tong, Steve (12 August 2018). "Being salty in a secular world: An interview with Os Guinness - Australian Church Record". Retrieved 14 November 2023.
  4. ^ a b Guinness, Os (February 1981). "Towards a reappraisal of Christian apologetics : Peter L. Berger's sociology of knowledge as the sociological prolegomenon to Christian apologetics" (University of Oxford DPhil thesis). solo.bodleian.ox.ac.uk. Retrieved 21 June 2017.[dead link]
  5. ^ Edgar, William (2006), "Francis Schaeffer and the Public Square", in Budziszewski, J (ed.), Evangelicals in the Public Square, Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, p. 166.
  6. ^ "Living With Our Deepest Differences" (PDF). Retrieved 26 September 2018.
  7. ^ Loconte, Joe (14 September 2000). "The Case for Converting Kings". Christianity Today. Retrieved 21 December 2016. [Quote, teaser:] Os Guinness on how to prevent the American experiment from flopping.
  8. ^ The article at The Trinity Forum states, unsourced, that he founded the organization with American businessman and philanthropist Alonzo L. McDonald, but also states he founded it with business and other leaders, so information on the matter of the founding is discrepant and so imprecise.
  9. ^ TTF Staff [Guinness, Os] (21 December 2016). "Os Guinness" (organisational autobio). TTF.org. Retrieved 21 December 2016.
  10. ^ OCCA Staff (21 December 2016). "What is the OCCA?". TheOCCA.org. Oxford, ENG: Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics (OCCA). Retrieved 21 December 2016.
  11. ^ Why We Left the Episcopal Church, By the Rev. John Yates and Os Guinness, 8 January 2007, The Washington Post
  12. ^ Assembly 2014, ACNA Official Website
  13. ^ “Pharaoh vs. God - Who Will You Choose? Biblical Series: Exodus Episode 1”, Jordan B Peterson, YouTube
  14. ^ "Os Guinness". Archived from the original on 22 December 2016. Retrieved 21 December 2016.

External links[edit]