The Men who Destroyed the Christian West
I'm back after taking a short break from posting, partly because I've been working hard on a novel I hope to finish soon. I'll give more information about it on this blog shortly. But for now, I will give you all my review of one of the most interesting books on Christian History I have read yet, Apostate: The Men who Destroyed the Christian West.
It is interesting because of (1) the author, (2) the topic, (3) the style, and (4) the message.
Kevin Swanson, speaker, radio host, pastor, and writer, he is the most persuasive, dynamic, and most requested homeschooling advocate I know. Host of the online talk show, Generations, he is an outspoken proponent of the Family-Integrated Churches (FIC), defender of Theonomy (in the person of R.J. Rushdoony), and recently, an opponent of patriarchy. Now he writes in the role of a Christian historian.
The men who destroyed the Christian West, who are they? Swanson's answer is a list of quite a number of authors, theologians, and philosophers. Aquinas, Descartes, Locke, Darwin, Bentham, Dewey, Shakespeare, Hawthorne, Twain, Hemingway, and Lennon are but a few of the men Swanson exposes.
He shows how all these men, in their traitorous departure of the God of their fathers, have lead to the state of America it is today, and all the rampart evils the world contains. It is curious to read what this well-beloved men, really said and did.
Despite the solemn and sober topic, I admit I enjoyed Swanson's literacy style. Crisp, clear, and straightforward, there are no rabbit trails in this book. You can very well read it in one sitting. (However, I will point out that Swanson quotes Wikipedia frequently. That is taboo for any writer who wishes to be taken seriously.
Now here is where the rubber hits the road. Permeated throughout the whole work, and set forth at the end, Swanson presents a postmillennial-based Reconstructionism. If you may be wondering what is that. Encyclopædia Britannica succinctly defines it as "fundamentalists in the United States," who advocate "the creation of a state and society based on strict conformity to biblical law." I will critique it extensively later under the Cons heading.
- Well-researched and clear
- A concern to expose the causes of the sins of today's society.
- A candid exploration of the classical literacy giants.
- Swanson's biblical and Reformed views (except his Reconstructionism and other beliefs).
- A hard view against compromise.
ConsThis will be somewhat lengthier:
- Wrong view of History. Swanson shockingly declares the 'Christian West' of 800-1200 to be the ideal world in history. Shocking, because the Early Medieval was perhaps one of the worsts periods in 'civilization'. One, the corruption and tyranny of leaders was destroying society until the Reformation. Two, the evil Romish church which dominated that period was far from biblical. Why did the Puritans call the Pope the Antichrist? Thirdly, the rejection of the Bible which brought wicked ignorance in all classes. The Reformation was a blessing from God.
- Wrong view of Society. The reason for the 'more rampant' sin of today is not surprising, but is to be expected. 1 Peter that "seducers will wax worse and worse'. I take the Bible to be infallible truth, not Swanson.
- Wrong Culprit. Was it is that corrupts men? Not outside forces, but the inside. Today's worst enemy is sin, the wicked flesh of the natural man. Thank God for grace.
- Wrong Diagnosis. Swanson wishes a revival in the 'Christian West' (what about the Christian East. Christ is not restricted to one side of the globe.). He evens prays for a 'Christian nation', like he claims America once was. We need Christ, not a Christian nation. And to change society, we need to homeschool, and instituting the Law of God? I should say not. Only the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and him crucified, can change men's hearts. Swanson never once says that, to his great shame. I would recommend my pastor's sermon on Ephesians 1:1-3, related to this topic, which can be heard here: castlerockbaptist.com/sermons
Soli Deo Gloria,
The Book Adventurer
P.S. I am deeply indebted to R. S. Jameson to pointing out some of the deficiencies in Swanson's book.
Read his review here: www.amazon.com/reviews
Buy the book on Amazon: