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The Spreading Cancer of Cultural Marxism in The West

The Spreading Cancer of Cultural Marxism in The West

That Hideous Strength; How the West was lost
By Melvin Tinker
(Evangelical Press, 117 pages, 2018)

BOOK REVIEW

By Julian Mann
www.virtueonline.org
August 6, 2018

This highly readable book examines the spreading cancer of cultural Marxism in the Western world through the lens of two stories. One is CS Lewis's 1945 science fiction novel, That Hideous Strength, about a bunch of godless technocrats in the National Institute of Co-ordinated Experiments (N.I.C.E) whose goal is the 'scientific reconstruction of the human race in the direction of increased efficiency'. The other is the biblical account of the building of the Tower of Babel in Genesis 11.

Both stories are interwoven into Mr Tinker's study with consummate skill, particularly in the chapter 'What goes around comes around'. This chronicles the growing influence of cultural Marxism, as distinct from economic Marxism, in the democratic West in the last century as promoted especially by the Frankfurt School of the 1920s in which the German-American philosopher Herbert Marcuse (1898-1979) was a leading intellectual force.

One of the great strengths of this book is the choice of apt quotation. Mr Tinker gives one from Marcuse which demonstrates why cultural Marxism is proving such a threat to orthodox Christian freedom of expression in the West. The author emphasises the chilling 'cannots' in this quotation: 'Society cannot be indiscriminate where the pacification of existence, where freedom and happiness themselves are at stake: here, certain things cannot be said, certain ideas cannot be expressed, certain policies cannot be proposed, certain behaviour cannot be permitted without making tolerance an instrument of the continuation of servitude.'

The book concludes with a prophetic call to the Church of Jesus Christ to wake up to the threat of cultural Marxism and to respond to it by trusting in God's sovereignty: 'Returning to Lewis's story with which we began and the episode of Genesis 11 which the story illustrates -- it was not by devising some clever scheme to outmanoeuvre the plotters of N.I.C.E that final victory was accomplished, nor was it by God searching out a few righteous men like Noah that the builders of the Tower were thrown into confusion; it was ultimately by a special intervention of God. We can say that God has already intervened in the person of his Son, and that he continues, as he sees fit, to intervene by the work of his Spirit as the gospel is proclaimed and lived out in all its fullness. We pray that he will do so again so that it will not be to us, but to him that the glory is given.'

The essential reason for the excellence of this book is its unusual combination of profound learning distilled in such an accessible form with unashamed Reformed evangelical convictions. The author, who is a pastor of a local Anglican evangelical church in the north-east of England (St John's Newland, Hull), is by God's grace steeped in the God-centred biblical theology of the Reformation.

Because of this combination of qualities, this book deserves wide commendation in evangelical churches, particularly in youth groups, whose members are inevitably in the frontline of the struggle against the pervasive influence of cultural Marxism now towering over Western society.

Julian Mann is vicar of the Parish Church of the Ascension, Oughtibridge, South Yorkshire, UK - www.oughtibridgechurch.org.uk

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