Wednesday, September 25, 2013

A review of Apostate by Kevin Swanson

Apostate by Kevin Swanson:

Publisher's description:

"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 indubitable 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."

I don't think anyone can deny that Western civilization is crumbling all around us.   If you're like me you have probably seen this happening all around you, and sat there scratching your head trying to figure out what's going on.  If that's you, then you need to read this book.

Kevin begins the book laying out the source of this decline, the clash of worldviews.  His contention?  "A few men armed with powerful ideas changed the world."

He then uses the rest of the book introducing us to the apostates who were instrumental in changing our world for the worst.  Using the term "Nephilim" (a biblical term for the ungodly men who lived before the flood) to describe the men who brought down the West, Kevin Swanson lays out how this happened by breaking down the work of these apostates into three parts. 

In part one we meet the philosophers, thinkers, and intellectuals who's ideas laid the groundwork for the destruction to come.  One name that may be a surprise is Thomas Aquinas, and though Swanson doesn't place him in the same category as the apostates in this book, he does lay out the consequences of Aquinas influence and lays the blame for the foundations of this apostasy squarely at the feet of Aquinas.  Swanson believes that Aquinas was the link between the old Christian world and the secularized, humanist western world, a belief some may find controversial but Swanson lays out his case clearly in my opinion.  Part one is important because it is here that we meet the men who's philosophies and ideas were the foundation for the apostates who came after them.

In part two we meet the literary nephilim, men who built upon the philosophies of the men who came before them, popularizing them and ingraining them even deeper into western culture and thought. Men who hated God and wrote books that were saturated with humanism and anti-God worldviews.  Here Swanson shows the progress of the decline as these ideas grew in acceptance and influence.

Finally, in part three we meet the final group, the cultural nephilim, the artists, musicians, and celebrities who took this apostasy mainstream by introducing it into popular culture.  These are the men and women who were like a weapon of mass destruction, unleashing the apostasy upon the culture at large, bringing it mainstream by mass producing the poisonous ideas of the men we met in part's one and two.

Swanson lays out clearly the clash of world views, and shows the rotten fruit born by these men, and does it in a way that is very clear and concise.  For me this book was extremely helpful to understand what is happening in our day, because I had never really had much exposure to most of the men we meet in part one, like Descartes, Nietzsche, and Sartre.  Interestingly, as I read about them, I now could see how much their poisonous ideas had saturated literature and modern culture, it was mind blowing to see this all tied together. Their ideas were everywhere, even in my own thinking, and I didn't even know them.  I now could clearly understand what has happened and it goes much further back than I thought.

I have to say that this book is a must read for every Christian.  I've only scratched the surface in my review, but this book is very well written!  It is timely, clear, and easy to follow.  It's a great book on it's own and a great springboard if you want to go learn more as Kevin has plenty of footnotes in each chapter.  This book helps make sense of what has happened in the past and of what's is going on today.

There are lessons to be learned here, about compromise and apathy, and warnings to know our enemies and wage war against them by the truth of God's Word.  But there are also reassurances that we need not fear them or their ideas for none of them can stand against the unchanging truths of God's Word.  Also, reading this book reinforced to me how essential it is to have a biblical worldview and how important it is that I pass that worldview on to my children, so they will not be deceived by the champions of this evil age.  We do not need to abandon our children helplessly to this apostasy, we can raise them to stand firmly and confidently against it.

This is a book that couldn't have come at a better time, a book that issues an alarm to rise up and wage war against our enemy.  It's a call to repent of our apathy and compromise, a call to purify ourselves from the pollution of our culture, and an affirmation of hope in Jesus Christ through the hope of the gospel, as our minds and hearts are renewed by the Holy Spirit.

Christian, you need to read this book.  Highly recommended, five stars!!!

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my unbiased review.

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