Tag: communism

The Chambers Lesson: From the Negative to the Positive

I discovered Witness by Whittaker Chambers back in the 1980s as I was working diligently on my doctorate in history. From my first reading, the book took hold of my spirit. More than thirty years after that encounter, it has never released its hold. I’ve used it in classes since the late 1980s, and one of my greatest teaching joys is to offer a full-semester course called “The Witness of Whittaker Chambers.” I’m teaching the course once again this semester…. Read more »

An Encouragement to All Who Teach

As a professor for nearly thirty years, my aim has been to instill solid Biblical principles and sound historical teaching based on original sources and insightful secondary works, with the ultimate goal that students would be able to see for themselves how those principles and sources reveal truth. The trendy phrase is “to develop critical thinking.” Professors/teachers sometimes wonder how successful this endeavor has been, especially when teaching a class that few of the students seem to care about or… Read more »

Solzhenitsyn: “Men Have Forgotten God”

The Templeton Prize, established in 1972 by philanthropist Sir John Templeton, is awarded each year to a person “who has made an exceptional contribution to affirming life’s spiritual dimension, whether through insight, discovery, or practical works.” The monetary award for this prize is continually revised upward to ensure it exceeds the award given to Nobel winners. Why? It is “to underscore Templeton’s belief that benefits from discoveries that illuminate spiritual questions can be quantifiably more vast than those from other… Read more »

Solzhenitsyn: The Disaster of the West

I’ve never read any of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s novels. His Gulag Archipelago has been sitting on my bookshelf for a couple of decades at least. Yes, I’ve glanced at it a few times, but to my utter shame, I’ve not taken the time to digest it. My only excuse is the volume of other reading that has always been either more enticing or more needed at the time. I do plan to read it, fitting it in somewhere between Dante’s Divine… Read more »

A Witness, Not a Testimony

The most fascinating autobiography of the 20th century was Whittaker Chambers’s Witness. I’ve re-read it numerous times, particularly in tandem with the course I teach on him and his writings. Why did Chambers decide to call his book Witness? His testimony before HUAC was an accounting of what he knew about the underground—but that is all a testimony is. It tells what happened; it provides facts. Chambers saw what he was doing as something more, something deeper. A witness is… Read more »

Here’s What Concerns Me

It’s a very easy thing to loathe politics; it can be a very loathsome thing, exposing as it does the basest of human interactions: petty jealousies, outsized egos; personal insults; the precedence of expediency over principle. I do understand why people want to avoid it. All along the political spectrum there are people who operate at the lowest level of morality and who seem to delight in tearing down those with whom they disagree. Some of those people do so… Read more »

A Century of Totalitarianism & Terror

This year commemorates the 100th anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution. I use the word “commemorate,” not “celebrate.” There is nothing to celebrate in the establishment of the first Marxist communist state; that state, and all the progeny to which it has given birth, embodied the greatest scourge of the 20th century—and its pernicious beliefs and system continue to plague us today. Russia was ripe for revolution while enmeshed in WWI. I won’t go into all the historical background; suffice to… Read more »