Friday, July 16, 2010

Fascism and the spirit of this age

In the May/June 2010 issue of his Critical Issue Commentary, Pastor Bob DeWaay has written an interesting piece summarizing Gene Veith's book on Fascism and noting the uncanny resemblance postmodernity has to it As society goes downhill, it is feared that fascism will make its comeback under another name - something we can already see in the militant homosexual movement.

This article will reveal similarities between the philosophies prevalent in Germany that characterized fascism and those of postmodern thinkers today. I am not suggesting that because these similarities exist postmoderns would be in favor of a new Hitler. I am suggesting that ideas have consequences and that history ought to teach us how serious they can be. The key issue is the rejection of a transcendent God who has revealed moral law. The result of such a rejection will most certainly be some form of lawlessness.

Recently, radio host and friend Chris Rosebrough called me and insisted that I read Modern Fascism by Gene Veith. Chris suggested the book because it draws a parallel between the ideas popular in Germany between World Wars I and II and the ideas popular in America today. These ideas now are called “postmodern,” a term introduced by Martin Heidegger, a popular German philosopher who became a committed fascist. Veith’s Modern Fascism unpacks the philosophical ideas that led to fascism.

This review of Veith’s book will show that the postmodern/emergent ideas that are popular today are identical to those in vogue in post WWI Germany. [Note: I also use the term paraphrase in the title, because I quote extensively from Veith’s book and explain his ideas.] I do not claim that those who promote postmodern theology are guilty of promoting fascism, but I do claim that ideas have consequences. As we examine the ideas that led to fascism, we shall see why those ideas led to horrific consequences. Once we see the parallels between those times and today we can hope that today’s ideas will not lead to such consequences. But we have no guarantees that they won’t.


Feeling a sense of alienation, man in his wickedness and depravity imagined that we are alienated from "Mother Nature", thus setting the stage for greater wickedness. The real problem however is sin - alienation from God

I agree with Veith: “The problem is not alienation from nature, but alienation from God through the rebellion of sin” (Veith: 51). The longing for a return to nature has never been stronger in American society than I see today. The term “natural” is deemed synonymous with “good” and “unnatural” with “bad.” This ignores the problems that nature is fallen, that nature is impersonal, and that nature, therefore, is not a goddess who wishes to care for us. The deification of nature common today places many contemporary Americans in a philosophical league with the Nazis. They are blinded to that fact. Our problem is not alienation from nature, but from God.

The firewall we have against postmodernism (which is a fancy name for paganism) is an inerrant, authoritative Bible. Our sin problem finds its remedy through the gospel that is revealed in the Bible. We find morals and restraint from our sinful tendencies through the law of God revealed by God through the Biblical writers. Western civilization used to be based on such ideas. That is why Hitler hated the Jews and the West. Jesus is the Jewish Messiah. He came in fulfillment of prophecies found in the Old Testament in such places as Psalm 22 and Isaiah 53. If the Christian church confesses Christ and the authority of Scripture, she shall put herself in opposition to Modern Fascism as Veith describes it. We will thus be seen as the enemies of society.

May God strengthen His Church and may we be found faithful in this time of increasing darkness.

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