For who so findeth me findeth life, and shall obtain favor of the Lord. But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love death.
R.J. Rushdoony recognized something most Christians do not: that non-Christian man and his culture are at war with God. His son, Mark Rushdoony, states in the forward to his father’s work To Be As God: A Study of Modern Thought Since the Marquis de Sade:
Man is in rebellion against God and to this day, is attempting to cash-in Satan’s bogus promise to Eve in the Garden of Eden: “Ye shall be as gods knowing [i.e. determining for yourselves] good and evil” (Gen.3:5).
Kevin Swanson, in his new book Apostate: The Men who Destroyed the Christian West, takes on a similar approach as did Rushdoony in his book, To Be as God, in exposing the men whose philosophies collectively shook its fist at God and determined to unravel the rich Christian worldview permeating Western Civilization.
Swanson, in his preface to Apostate writes:
Many years ago, the West had a rich Christian heritage. That is why many parents named their sons John. Between AD 400 and AD 1400, the Christian Gospel penetrated the entire Western world. But after the 15th century another religion or faith commitment called “Humanism” worked its way into the consciousness of the West. It was highly organized , complete with sacraments, institutions, buildings, ethical systems, social theories, and cultural emanations.
Swanson goes on to explain that “within one hundred years, the powerful ideas of the philosophers began to shape the minds of the most brilliant writers, educators, musicians, and artists.” In the generations to follow “these ideas formed the course content for the liberal arts universities,” and then finally, “after another hundred years or so, these ideas filtered into the mass culture.” It was a three step process, Swanson explains, that culminated in the loss of the West.
Swanson reminds us of the useful test prescribed by Jesus Christ: “By their fruits ye shall know them.” To greater understand and critique the works of these Nephilim, as Swanson
refers to them, we must study their lives. This is where Apostate (and similarly Rushdoony’s To Be as Gods) comes in.
The meat of Apostate is divided into three sections: The Nephilim, The Literary Nephilim, and the Cultural Nephilim. The first section takes up the bulk of the book as Swanson examines the men most responsible for the breakdown of Western Civilization: Thomas Aquinas, Rene Descartes, John Locke, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Jeremy Bentham, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Karl Marx, Friedrich Nietzche, John Dewey, and Jean-Paul Sartre.
In the first chapter entitled Apostasy, Swanson makes clear that he believes the Christian faith will never disappear from the earth and that every kingdom will be crushed by the kingdom of Jesus Christ. However, he believes there to be a pervasive winnowing occurring in this century. He wants his readers to know that although ultimately God is sovereign and “Man proposes but God disposes,” apostasy is in full force in America. He stresses the importance of every person in Europe and North America realizing that this is a time of apostasy and that in order to re-establish a Christian civilization in the years to come, it would be “advantageous to trace the roots, and discern the methods and doctrines of the leaders of the present apostasy.”
“In God’s providence, a powerful force from the pit of hell was unleashed upon the modern world. If wickedness is defined as a rejection of God’s truth and God’s law, then it was wickedness that captured the Western world between 1780 and the present day.”
I cannot say enough good things about Kevin Swanson’s Apostate. As a high school and college student I was subject to the worldview of humanism without even realizing it. This holds true especially when studying what we refer to as the “literary greats.” Although I sensed something amiss, I could never put my finger on it, namely because I had never done a systematic study of the men behind the philosophies. The concept of humanism was never even on my radar. I see even today the ignorance that is pervasive in Christian circles. There is such a need for books like Apostate. It’s essential to not only thoroughly know the word of God but also to have the ability to recognize the fruits of humanism wherever it may lie.
We might know a little about the destructive influence of men like Marx and Darwin, but do we also consider Aquinas, Locke, Emerson, Shakespeare, Hawthorne, and Twain? How much of culture is decidedly anti-Christian without even our realization? How much of our worldview is actually based on secular humanism? Swanson answers these questions and more.
Apostate is informative and thought-provoking and at the same time provides a mirror into our own worldview. We may not like what we see but it is necessary to prune away the destructive elements of our belief system and purge for good its influence.
From the web site Apostate the Book
An Expose of the Men Responsible for the Decline and Fall of Western Civilization
Whatever happened to Western civilization? Somehow, Christians have lost ground in every cultural area of leadership and influence in Europe and America since 1700. This is an indisputable fact. The remaining Christians search for an explanation. They want to know how it happened.
This is the story of the decline and fall of Western civilization. It is the story of uncommonly powerful men, unfathomably evil men. . . apostates.
Reader beware! This book faces head-on the spiritual forces that leveled a full-out attack on the Christian faith in the Western world. On the one hand, it is a story of demonic possession, insanity, suicide, mass-murder, adultery, homosexuality, cultural and social revolutions, and unbridled, maniacal apostasy. It is the story of apostasy on a massive scale. But it is also a story of hope and victory for the last men standing in the ashes of Western civilization. It will be a testimony to the inevitable triumph of Jesus Christ over the great men of renown who picked the wrong fight in the history of the West.
People Who Need to Read This Book:
People who prefer A.D. to C.E. on their calendar.
People who wonder how anybody in their right mind could approve of Nero’s legacy of same-sex marriage, let alone 70% of the millennial generation.
People who want their grandchildren to be Christians.
People who are bothered by the fact that the most liberal part of society is the universities, and the most liberal part of the universities is the liberal arts department, and the most liberal part of the liberal arts department is made up of the literature and religious studies professors.
People who are tired of losing almost every political battle for family, faith, and freedom over 100 years.
People who willing to join the battle in the war of ideas.
People who would like to know why 95% of the Western world followed the programs and ideas of Charles Darwin, Karl Marx, Friedrich Nietzsche, Jean-Paul Sartre, and John Dewey.
People who wonder why Lady Gaga is so popular.
People who consider a world where divorce rates, illegitimacy rates, shack-up rates, homosexuality rates, etc. are orders of magnitude higher than they were in the early 19th century, and conclude that this may be the end of a civilization.
People Who Do Not Need to Read This Book:
Kevin Swanson lives on the far western frontier of the Christian West. He is the product of a multi-generational heritage of faithful Christians that date back many centuries in America and Europe. He and his wife Brenda are raising another generation of five Christians during the decline and fall of Western civilization. For the last five years, he has led a discipleship center in his home for young men who will be laying down foundations for Christian faith and culture in the next era.
Kevin Swanson is also a pastor of an historical Christian church in Castle Rock, Colorado. He hosts a daily radio program heard in 100 countries around the world called Generations, downloadable everyday at www.generationswithvision.com.
He is author of many books including, Second Mayflower, Upgrade: 10 Secrets to the Best Education for Your Child, and The Christian Classics Curriculum.