Themes and Thoughts
Food From Thought

13 That Hideous Strength. How the West Was Lost.

Melvin Tinker, That Hideous Strength: How the West Was Lost. The Cancer of Cultural Marxism in the Church, the World, and the Gospel of Change, Welwyn Garden City (England), EP Books, 2018.

ISBN 978-1-78397-240-1


There are various books at the moment, produced by orthodox Christianity, which warn of the destruction of Western/Judeo-Christian civilisation, the marginalisation and cultural destruction of Christianity, explain where this opposition has come from, and suggest where we are going, and what we, as orthodox Christians, might do about it; some of these books are reviewed on this page (see below). Tinker’s approach is to use the valuable insights of C. S. Lewis’s novel That Hideous Strength (1945) as a source of definition of the various strands of anti-Christian/materialist thinking that have been used, in recent times, to destroy and replace true Christianity. These ideas are seen the story of the Tower of Babel (Genesis 11), which are the foundation of those fictionalised in Lewis’s work (recounted by Tinker in Ch. 1). The story, Tinker says, is truly about humans seeking to induce God to come down to the world of men (not for men to ascend to God/heaven), and thus force God to make himself available on their, human, terms; the domestication of God towards purely-human values (Ch. 2). This, Tinker is effectively saying, is what has actually been happening in the conversion of our former-civilisation from Christian to Cultural Marxist values and ideas. Ch. 3 shows what these Cultural Marxist ideas are, and where exactly they have come from. The second part of this – details of the Frankfurt School, the work of Marcuse and others, the ‘long march through the institutions’, etc. – are fairly well known and examined (that is, outside the mainstream media, of course), but it is useful to have them all set out in one concise, accessible place; later chapters come back to these things and, as we might expect, Lewis’s ideas are referenced throughout. Especially valuable, in my view, is the account of how the culture was entirely taken over by homosexualism, and in such a short time (two decades). I had long thought that changes in the culture do not happen by some accidental, inevitable process(es), but by a single-minded well-resourced campaign determined to change them, whether the majority of the people like it or not – but here (Ch. 4) Tinker usefully tells us exactly how the seemingly-unstoppable gay power movement steamrollered all before it. Ch. 5 details how the campaign has taken over the churches, that is, the mainline denominations (processes not quite complete in the Church of England and the Roman Catholic Church, I fancy, but it would  be a foolhardy person who insisted that it will not happen – particularly under the present leadership – soon). Useful, particularly, is the analysis of this culture-compliant ‘Christianity’ as a repeat of ancient heresies – and thus the reminder that these things have plagued the Church before (pp. 78-82); earlier, we read of the application of classic neo-Stalinist techniques such as the ideological re-structuring of language and meaning (p. 48).

The list of documents used is valuable – I must look out some of these myself – but I think it would have helped if the text could have had some references to the exact pages used (say, using a type of ‘Harvard’ system), but I know, from experience, that including this makes writing and production more complicated and costly.

Other books (referred to above) include Patrick Sookhdeo’s The Death of Western Christianity ( 10), Rod Dreher’s The Benedict Option ( 9),  and Michael Nazir-Ali’s Triple Jeopardy for the West ( 6); there is also Julian Mann’s Christians in the Community of the Dome (EP Books, 2017).

October 2018



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