The Point: Dunkirk: And If Not

Have you seen “Dunkirk?” For the Colson Center, I’m John Stonestreet with The Point.

Christopher Nolan’s epic film “Dunkirk” is about the heroic—many would say miraculous—evacuation in 1940 of the British army from France, escaping annihilation at the hands of the Germans.

It’s a story Chuck Colson told on BreakPoint years ago.

The besieged British forces sent a three-word message back to England: “And if not.”

And the British people recognized instantly what the message meant: “Even if we are not rescued from Hitler’s army, we will stand strong and unbowed.” “And if not” is from Daniel 3:18, where Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego defied Nebuchadnezzar, putting their trust in God.

The message galvanized the British. Thousands of boats set out across the Channel, God intervened with a bit of weather, and nearly 350,000 British and Allied soldiers were rescued.

What an incredible story! But how many of us today would catch that biblical reference? It makes me wonder: If we faced a Dunkirk moment, what would be our source of strength?


And if Not . . .: A Common Christian Culture
  • Chuck Colson | | August 19, 1996

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