Handbook of Today's Religions


Marxism, and its descendant, modem communism, presents a strong challenge to Christianity. Marxism in its various expressions rules a greater number of people in today's world than any other single system. What Vincent P. Miceli observed in 1971 about Marxism is still true today, and now many more are victims of Marxist rule:

Indeed, today more than one billion persons are ruled by governments that openly profess and practice the doctrine of Marx. And millions of other persons are ruled by governments that fearfully sway to the winds of communist policies. In an age of unprecedented and proliferating crises, there is scarcely a turmoil anywhere in the world in which the catalyzing power of communism may not be discovered. Atheistic communism is a sword of division; it cuts asunder families, communities, nations, empires. It has, indeed, succeeded, directly or indirectly, by action or example, in keeping the world in a state of military conflict since its seizure of power in 1917 (Vincent P. Miceli, The Gods of Atheism, New Rochele, NY. Arlington House, 1971, pp. 92, 93).

Marxism is not just politics and economics. Marxism is also a world view, a way of looking at and explaining the world. As such, it encompasses philosophy and religion, while paradoxically and vigorously asserting its atheism and contempt for philosophy. The Encyclopaedia Britannica points out this quasi-religious nature of Marxism:

Marxism, which provides remarkable evidence of the power of dominant key ideas to inspire and direct man, is undoubtedly one of the greatest challenges to traditional religious belief ... the thinking of Marx had religious overtones, whether from his own Jewish background or from a Christian atmosphere, not least in Britain where he lived from 1849 to 1883.

Second, Marxism can be called a quasi-religion insofar as it calls from its followers a devotion and a commitment that in their empirical character greatly resemble commitment and devotion that characterize religious people. Marxism has undoubtedly fired the spirit of man and given to revolutions, whether in Russia or China, a powerful direction that has maintained stability and avoided anarchy. Furthermore, like a religion, it has provided themes of fulfillment and hope -a revolution interpreted as the initiation of a Communist world society that would be a final consummation. There are many logical similarities between the doctrine of the Marxist millennium. and the Christian doctrine of Christ's Second Coming (Encyclopaedia Britannica III, Macropaedia, "Philosophy of Religion," Chicago, IL: William Benton, Publisher, 1978, vol. 15, p. 598).

It is the job of philosophy and religion to answer the "why" questions about existence, to give explanations rather than only observing phenomena. While Marx often strongly stressed that his system was scientific, and not philosophical, he could not escape the realm of philosophy. Because the world view of Marxism attacks the world view of Christianity, we are here addressing that challenge.

In this chapter we will review Karl Marx, the man and his life; briefly discuss thinkers before him who had the most profound effect upon him; and examine those parts of his system which are at root philosophical and atheistic. We will face the atheistic challenge of Marxism in its major manifestations today. Also we will review briefly Marxism's political and economic impact and will see the cohesive Christian world view as presented in the Bible. We will not attempt to present a systematic discussion of Marx's entire system: it has taken others whole volumes to attempt such a task. We shall focus on the core of the system which categorically denies the Christian world view.

Christians cannot remain silent about or, worse, embrace Marxism:

Marxism and its offspring, Russian Communism, have always maintained world domination as one of their goals. Believing as they do in the inevitability of world revolution and believing that this revolution must be aided and abetted by violence, it is against the very nature of the system for Communists to "live and let live". It is this aspect of domination which poses a grave threat to the world, especially that part of the world that treasures its traditions and inheritance of democratic, constitutional government. The very existence of the church is sharply challenged....

For Christianity, the conflict becomes most basically a spiritual conflict. In Christianity, Christ becomes the motivating force of all action and is the center of the culture of believers. Marxism and its proponents - though usually referred to as atheistic -have set up their own guiding force which is history itself. This becomes their god, and the motivation for all activity around this is materialistic. Thus they deny God and Christ and spiritual power in history and culture (Thomas O. Kay, The Christian Answer to Communism, Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1961, pp. 11, 12).

Karl Marx

The name of Karl Marx is probably the best known name of any founder of a political or economic system. While he made little difference in the societies in which he lived, his system of thought has, in the last hundred years, exerted tremendous influence on the governments and economies of hundreds of countries. The two largest nations in the world, Russia and China, claim him as their ideological father. His ideas have flourished for years, showing a greater strength and stability than the man himself, who spent most of his life in poor health, precarious psychological balance and financial insecurity.

Karl Marx was born in Trier, an ancient German city in the Rhineland (sometimes claimed by France, and known as Treveri). His ancestors, Jewish on both his mother's and father's sides, were rabbis. His father, Heinrich, had converted to Protestantism in 1816 or 1817 in order to continue practicing law after the Prussian edict denying Jews to the bar. Karl was born in 1818 and baptized in 1824, but his mother, Henriette, did not convert until 1825, when Karl was 7. While the family did not appear religious at all -it was said that not a single volume on religion or theology was in Heinrich's modest library-Karl was raised in an atmosphere of religious toleration. There was some discrimination against Jews in the area, but general religious tolerance was the standard. Karl was sent to religious school primarily for academic rather than religious training. On the whole, the family was not committed to either evangelical Protestantism or evangelical Judaism. Vincent Miceli notes:

The family lived as very liberal Protestants, that is, without any profound religious beliefs. Thus, Karl grew up without an inhibiting consciousness of himself as being Jewish. In changing his creedal allegiance, or course, the father, newly baptized Heinrich, experienced the alienation of turning his back on his religious family and traditions. Thus, though politically emancipated and socially liberated from the ghetto, the experience of being uprooted and not completely at home in the Germany of the nineteenth century did affect the Marx family (Miceli, Atheism, pp. 94, 95).

Marx attended the gymnasium (high school) from 1830-1835 and then attended Bonn University (1835-1836). He worked on his doctorate at Berlin University (1836-1841). During this time he met and associated with the Young Hegelians (see below our discussion of Hegel's contributions to Marx's thinking) and suffered a nervous breakdown (1837). His doctoral dissertation was in philosophy and was titled The Difference between Democritean and Epicurean Philosophy of Nature. It was accepted by Jena University. His father died in 1838.

Marx's professed atheism and his radical views may have made it difficult for him to be hired as a professor at Prussian-dominated schools and his attention turned to political involvement. His life pattern of revolutionary involvement and intense political activism began to emerge. In 1842 he became the editor of the Reinische Zeitung, which was said to be a business periodical. However, this publication had strong radical political views. Marx's philosophy of dialectical materialism and class struggle was already being developed, and often appeared in the pages of the Reinische Zeitung.

The year 1843 was an important one for young Marx (25 years old). He met for the first time with Frederich Engels, who was to become his closest friend, benefactor, collaborator, and philosophical and political "soul-mate". He also married Jenny von Westphalen, a baroness to whom he was devoted (in spirit if not always in deed) for the rest of his life. During that same year he wrote two of his early works and they typify his thinking at the time: the "Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Law," and "On the Jewish Question."

(It is debated whether Marx was specifically anti-semitic or only anti--semitic in the sense that his economic theories had no room for Jewish free enterprise and his presupposed atheism had no room for Jewish religion. Space precludes our discussion of the different sides of this matter. Further discussion can be found in the books listed in the bibliography. Our showing his basic atheistic presuppositions later in this chapter indicate that he at least did reject Judaism.)

That same year also saw the demise of the Reinische Zeitung-it became a victim of Prussian censorship -and the expulsion of Marx and his bride from Germany. They moved to Paris in October of 1843. Carrying his political zeal with him, Marx published the Deutsche Französische Jahrbücher in Paris in 1844. This fiery publication earned him expulsion from France, and he moved to Brussels in January-February of 1845. Marx jumped enthusiastically into the communist activity of Brussels. In 1847 he wrote for the Deutsche-Brüssler-Zeitung and organized the German Communist League and German Worker's Association. At the request of the Brussels communists, Marx and Engels wrote their famous Communist Manifesto in 1848. It has become the creed and catechism of Marxist Communism.

Early in 1848 Marx and Jenny were expelled from Brussels, spent a short time in Paris, and returned to Germany as revolutionaries in April. Throwing his entire energies into the workers' fight against the repressive Prussian government, Marx began to publish the Neue Reinische Zeitung in June. Less than a year later he was again expelled from Prussia, spent a month in Paris, was expelled from there and moved himself and his family to London (August 24, 1849). For nearly 30 years Marx called London his home. It was there, where he had much more literary freedom than in any country before, that he wrote his monumental work Das Kapital which criticized, among other things, British capitalism.

Most of the time they were in London, his family was wretchedly poor. Three of his children died, their illnesses complicated by inadequate shelter, food, and medicine. Although he loved his wife and children devotedly, it was unequal to the passion he felt for his political writing and involvement. Stumpf records:

While his poverty was deeply humiliating, he was driven with such single mindedness to produce his massive books that he could not deviate from this objective to provide his family with more adequate facilities. In addition to his poverty, he was afflicted with a liver ailment and, as Job, was plagued with boils. In this environment his six-year-old son died and his beautiful wife's health failed (Samuel Enoch Stumpf, Socrates to Sartre: A History of Philosophy, New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1966, p. 425).

Marx and his wife made many trips to friends and relatives to beg and borrow enough money to pay their debts, feed their children, and finance Marx's political activities. He recognized the sad position in which he put his family, but seemed unable to turn from his profitless writing and organizing to work at any physical labor or occupation that could have provided better for his family. In later years he looked back with regret on the hardships he had made his family endure, commenting:

You know that I have sacrificed my whole fortune to the revolutionary struggle. I do not regret it. Quite the contrary If I had to start my life over again, I would do the same. But I would not marry (Saul K. Padover, Karl Marx: An Intimate Biography (abridged edition), New York: New American Library, 1978, 1980, p. 280).

In 1851 his illegitimate son, Frederick Demuth, was born to his wife's maid. His wife and children were not told that Frederick was Karl's son. Instead, benefactor, confidant and collaborator Engels was appointed the boy's "father." Not until after her parents' death did Karl's daughter, Eleanor ("Tussy"), learn the truth from Engels.
The years 1849-1853 were times of desperate financial straits for the family but a time when Marx rose to the top of the exiled German communist movement. A personal description of him by a Prussian spy recorded in 1853 reveals the two tensions, poverty and politics, in the Marx household.

In private life he is a highly disorderly, cynical person, a poor host; he leads a gypsy existence. Washing, grooming, and changing underwear are rarities with him; he gets drunk readily. Often he loafs all day long, but if he has work to do, he works day and night tirelessly. He does not have a fixed time for sleeping and staying up; very often he stays up all night, and at noon he lies down on the sofa fully dressed and sleeps until evening, unconcerned about the comings and goings around him...

Marx lives in one of the worst, and thus cheapest, quarters in London. He lives in two rooms, the one with a view on the street is the living room, the one in the back is the bedroom. In the whole lodging not a single piece of good furniture is to be found; everything is broken, ragged and tattered; everything is covered with finger-thick dust; everywhere the greatest disorder. In the middle of the living room there is a big old table covered with oilcloth. On it lie manuscripts, books, newspapers, the children’s toys, the scraps of his wife's sewing, tea cups with broken rims, dirty spoons, knives, forks, candlesticks, inkwell, drinking glasses, Dutch clay pipes, tobacco ashes -in a word, everything piled up helter-skelter on the same table... (ibid, pp. 155-157).

As destitute as the family was, Karl and Jenny did not neglect the education of their daughters (no legitimate son lived to adulthood), paying for their education in the classics, language, music, art, business, and social graces. While they lived like Marx's beloved proletariat, their daughters were groomed to join the hated bourgeois.

While exiled from Germany, Marx resumed publication of the Neue Reinische Zeitung. He wrote it in London and it was printed and distributed in Germany.
From 1852 to 1862 Marx was also a foreign correspondent for the New York Daily Tribune. He wrote his "Critique of Political Economy" in 1859. This work served as the prologue to his later Das Kapital. In 1860 he studied the writings of Charles Darwin and wrote of Natural Selection, "it is the book that contains the natural-history basis of our philosophy" (ibid., p. 366). He sent a copy of the first volume of Das Kapital to Darwin and later requested Darwin's permission to dedicate volume two to him. (Darwin turned him down.)

Work on Das Kapital began in earnest in 1861. In 1864, in very poor health, Marx temporarily suspended work on it and devoted his failing energy to the founding of the communist International Working Men's Association. The first draft of Das Kapital was finished in 1865 and the book was finally published in Germany on September 14, 1867. His finances became somewhat stabilized and he began to join the ranks of the very class his new book condemned. During his stay in Germany for the release of Das Kapital, his hostess remarked to him, "I cannot think of you in a leveling society, as you have altogether aristocratic tastes and habits." Marx replied, "I cannot either. That time will come, but we will be gone by then". (ibid., pp. 201, 202).

On December 2, 1881, his beloved wife Jenny died, probably from stomach cancer, and the already ill Marx never fully recovered from losing her. In declining health, he received the news of the death of his daughter, also named Jenny, in 1883. He went into a deep depression; his health finally failed him, and he died of an abscessed lung on March 14, 1883.

Karl Marx's personal life was an intricate pattern of conflicts, interweaving his passion for his political system with his love for his family and his middle-class upbringing. It makes a fascinating backdrop against which to picture his philosophy, his world view and his system of thought. His personal life shows that he was not a monster incarnate as some detractors would make him. Nor was he the perfect Christ-figure as others see him. He was a complicated and often contradictory man whose all-consuming interest was the philosophical system we will now consider in brief.


Marx never claimed to possess a "philosophy". It is true that he never developed a complete system of philosophical thought covering all of the main branches of philosophy. However, as a thinking man vitally concerned with explaining man's existence and with finding the causes for events in history, Marx was a philosopher. His disdain for traditional philosophy was related to his zeal for political and social revolution. To Marx, a person doesn’t have time to be an armchair philosopher: he should be out in the streets, living his philosophy.

Philosophy, he said, was a symptom of social malaise and would disappear when revolution put society on a healthier foundation. The young Marx thought that this would happen because revolution would "realize" philosophy, would give solid reality to the ideal phantoms of reason, justice, and liberty that philosophers in sick societies consoled themselves with. The older Marx thought that revolution would destroy philosophy, would simply make it unnecessary by bringing men back to the study of "the real world". Study of that world is to philosophy "what sexual love is to onanism". In either case Marx never varied in the opinion that the reign of philosophy over men's minds was drawing to a close. Thus, he naturally would not have contributed to its survival by writing a "Marxist Philosophy" (Paul Edwards, ed., The Encyclopedia of Philosophy, New York: Macmillan Publishing Company, Inc., 1967, vol.5&6, p. 173).

Regardless of Marx's dislike of traditional philosophy, he philosophized and he received great inspiration from two prominent philosophers who began writing before him.

Georg Wilhelm Hegel

Hegel (d. 1831) developed a system to explain change which is called dialectics. Change and progression are accomplished through a process of thesis, antithesis, and synthesis.
Hegel himself rarely used the terms thesis, antithesis, and synthesis (see Frederick Copleston, A History of Philosophy, Garden City, NY Doubleday and Company, Inc., 1963, vol. 7, Part 1, p. 215). However, traditional interpretations of Hegel recognize this preoccupation with triads in Hegel's philosophy and note his debt to his predecessor, Fichte, with whom the three terms were commonplace.

There are those who protest such a generalization of Hegel's dialectic, seeing the interpretations of Marx and others as misinterpretations of Hegel (see Gustav E. Mueller, "The Hegel Legend of 'Thesis-Antithesis Synthesis,"' in the Journal of the History of Ideas, vol. XIX, no. 3, June 1958, pp. 411-441; and Winfried Corduan, "Transcendentalism: Hegel," in Biblical Errancy, Norman Geisler, ed., Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing Company, 1981, pp. 81-104). However, most general authorities recognize the traditional designation of Hegel's dialectic. H. B. Acton, in the Enclyclopedia of Philosophy, (Paul Edwards, ed., New York: Macmillan Publishing Company, Inc. 1967, vol. 3, p. 436) remarks, "It should first be noted that Hegel set out his systematic writings in dialectical triads comprising a thesis, antithesis, and synthesis." Colin Brown notes that the traditional interpretation of Hegel's dialectic must be dealt with:

It is customary to describe Hegel's view of the outworking of Spirit as a Dialec-tic (which is simply another word for process or dynamic pattern) of Thesis, Antithesis and Synthesis. But it has been pointed out that although Hegel makes occasional use of these latter terms, they are in fact more characteristic of Fichte. However, the basic idea is there, and the notion of Dialectic is para-mount. Hegel saw the Dialectic of the Spirit in everything (Colin Brown, Philosophy and the Christian Faith, Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1968, p. 121).

It is to this traditional interpretation of Hegel's dialectic, the same understanding modified by Marx, that we will address ourselves. Regardless of the "true" interpretation of Hegel's dialectic, a Christian who would critique Marx must understand Marx's interpretation of Hegel, which is compatible with the traditional interpretation.
The three dialectical principles of thesis, antithesis, and synthesis mark all of existence, all of life, all of thinking. It is not only the process through which we go to gain knowledge, it is the process through which all of existence passes. It is illustrated by Hegel's "basic triad" of Being, No-Being, and Becoming.

The most all-embracing concept of our Minds would seem to be that of being. It is the least common denominator to which all things may be reduced. But pure unspecified being without a particular content of some sort is equivalent to nothing at all. It is indistinguishable from not-being. To assert, then, as a thesis that the Absolute is unqualified being is also to assert the antithesis of our statement, and to say that the Absolute is non-existent.

Can we then find some further concept that will overcome this contradiction and prove to be a synthesis of the ideas of being and not-being? Hegel finds such a concept in that of becoming. When a thing changes, it is what is it was not a moment before, and it will be in another instant what it is not now. But, if it is to remain the same object throughout its changes, what it is must be somehow identical with what it was not, and with what it will be. In a process then, the seemingly mutual exclusion of being and non-being by each other is overcome in a higher synthesis (B. A. G. Fuller, A History of Philosophy, New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1955, vol. 2, p. 313).

Marx accepted Hegel's process of dialectics, seeing Reality as a process that can be understood by the mind and that proceeds by the dialectic of thesis, antithesis, and synthesis.

... the general view, which Marx took over from Hegel, that all development, whether of thought or things, is brought about through a conflict of opposing elements or tendencies. This doctrine, as we have already seen, is two-sided. It is a description of the way in which things come into being, develop and behave, and it is a description of the way in which we come to learn the truth about them. For Hegel the two processes, the development of things and the discovery of truth, were aspects of the same reality; but whereas he gave logical priority to the second, Marx, holding, as we shall see, that thought is in some sense a reflection of things, emphasized the priority of the first (C. E. M. Joad, Guide to Philosophy, London: Victor Gollancz Ltd., 1955, p. 466).

To his triad of thesis, antithesis, and synthesis Hegel added the goal of absolute Spirit. Every process was leading to the ultimate existence, fully self-conscious Thought. The material was secondary to the spiritual.

In Hegel the driving force of the dialectical process was engendered by the developing ideas themselves (ibid., p. 467).

However, Marx flatly rejected Hegel's Spirit-goal, adopting instead a thorough-going materialism.

Hegel believed that by this process one eventually reached the highest synthesis possible, Absolute Spirit, which includes all possible experience. His system might be called idealistic or spiritualistic pantheism. However, Karl Marx, using the same method, concluded that the ultimate synthesis was matter, not Spirit, so that his system is called dialectical materialism (Warren Young, A Christian Approach to Philosophy, Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1954, p. 33).

Karl Marx received the keys to his communist kingdom from his German masters Hegel and Feuerbach. Hegel gave him the keys of the unhappy conscience and the dialectical method of analyzing history. History, according to Hegel, is the contradictory unfolding of Reason itself from less to more rational forms, to the utmost rational form of existence-fully self-conscious Thought -God Himself.... But Marx, his most famous follower, interpreted this action to be revolutionary action, the sole way of development for matter and man. Thus the Hegelian philosophical impulse to give a scientific analysis of history became the Marxian revolutionary action to create history (Miceli, Atheism, p. 96).

Marx, then was an absolute materialist (seeing ultimate reality only in matter) and believed that all process occurred through a dialectical system.

He rejected flatly the latter's view that these characteristics of the world-process indicated that it was the teleological unfolding of a design or Idea in the experience of an Absolute Mind or Spirit. The behavior of the world-process, he maintained, did not suggest guidance by a moral plan or purpose. Above all, its material and physical aspects could not be reduced to conscious content and regarded as mental in their essential character. On the contrary, they could only be explained on the supposition that matter in motion, extended in space and time, and existing in and by itself, independent of any mental awareness of or reflection upon it, underlay the phenomenal world (Fuller, Philosophy, p. 371).

This concept is very important to remember because it forms the basis for his view of history and the future. Because only the material is fundamental, and everything (even mind) proceeds from the material, and progress can only occur through dialectic change, Marx easily concludes that class reform (dealing with the material) is man's basic priority and that such reform can occur only through revolution (dialectics). How sharply this differs from Christian teaching, where the intangible is most important, where God can and does intervene for our good, and where social reform is accomplished through the transformation of individual souls from darkness into light!

Ludwig Feuerbach

Feuerbach (d. 1872) was one of the shapers of Marx's ideas about religion. His Essence of Christianity (1841) reduced Christianity to man’s fulfillment of his desires. There is no objective religion, no objective God, no objective Jesus Christ. All religious belief is subjective, projected from man's inner needs and desires. it is because of man’s miserable existence that he feels the need to invent God.

In other words, predicate and object of theology is man’s imagination, and the religious objects, such as eternal life, God's goodness, and the like are projections of his own desires. If man had no desires, despite his fantasy, he would have no religion and no gods .... Religion, in short, is the true characteristic of man. It shows the feeling of man’s imperfections and the desire to overcome them. But religion does not indicate that man would have cognitions of anything or anyone beyond himself (Hans Schwarz, The Search for God, Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg Publishing House, 1975, pp. 24, 25).

Ludwig Feuerbach, with the publication of his The Essence of Christianity, supplied Marx with the key of a humanist, materialistic humanism. By revealing God to be the "fictitious" creation of man’s sick conscience, Feuerbach denied the reality of God, of any transcendent, of spirit. He argued that God did not create man but that man created God out of his warped imagination. Hence only matter, nature and man exist. And man is to regain his own glory by knowing and controlling matter, of which he himself is the highest product (Miceli, Atheism, pp. 96, 97).

Marx went further than Feuerbach. In his typical demarcation between "philosophers" who merely observed and "revolutionaries" who acted, Marx called for revolution to bring man to the place where he no longer needed religion. He was not content to wait for man to grow out of a need for God. He was ready to join the fight himself. Marx, then, was not passive when it came to religion. The active destruction of religion and promotion of atheism was part of his plan to fulfill man through his dialectical materialism (matter is the ultimate reality and change occurs through a dialectic process).

Marx faulted him (Feuerbach) for overlooking the fact:

that the chief thing still remained to be done. The religious projection and contradiction of the actual human situation demands a removal of the factors that make this projection necessary. According to Marx, Feuerbach was still too "pious". He had not recognized that the "religious sentiment" is not a truly anthropological phenomenon which makes man truly human. It is a social product and belongs to a particular form of society.

. . Thus the abolition of religion as the illusory happiness is required in order to gain real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions. "The criticism of religion is therefore in embryo the criticism of the vale of woe, the halo of which is religion". Religion is the opiate of the people and is a tool of the capitalists to comfort the suppressed working class with the prospect of a better beyond. Yet Marx demands that the working class should establish its happiness here on earth instead of projecting it into an imaginary beyond .... Marx is not satisfied with philosophers like Feuerbach, who have only interpreted the world in various ways. The task is to change the world (Schwarz, Search, pp. 25, 26).

Marx modified Feuerbach’s idea as he modified Hegel's idea. He fit both into his basic materialistic world view. With the establishment of his dialectical materialism (with its roots, as we see, in Hegel and Feuerbach) he was ready to propose radical and revolutionary change into the society around him. To the downtrodden, the workers, his "proletariat;' he offered dialectical materialism as a beacon of hope. To the oppressive ruling classes, the "bourgeois," dialectical materialism was to be the means of their execution.

Against Religion

Since dialectical materialism is the basis for the whole Marxist system, it is no wonder, and in fact, follows necessarily, that Marxism is thoroughly atheistic. There is no room for God in Marx's system.
Marx eagerly anticipated the day when men everywhere would recognize the face in their mirror of religion as their own.

That is, if a man is a reality seeker and should he discover that religion is but a projection of his own imagination, he will turn to the human reality instead of worshiping the mirror that reflects it (Norman Geisler, Philosophy of Religion, Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1974, p. 70).

William S. Sahakian has accurately summarized Marx's attitude toward religion:

Marxists reject religious doctrines about spiritual values, the soul, immortality, and God, asserting that religion is an illusion, and that the illusory happiness based on it must be condemned. "Religion is the sign of the oppressed creature, the heart of the heartless world, just as it is the spirit of a spiritless situation. It is the opium of the people". God does not create man; rather, an creates invalid religion with its mythical God. Religion functions as a police force, as a bourgeois technique to dissuade the masses from revolting by promising them a better, happier existence after death than their exploiters allow them to enjoy during their lifetime on earth (William S. Sahakian, History of Philosophy, New York: Harper and Row, Publishers, 1968, p. 251).

Marx saw two compelling reasons to abolish religion and promote atheism: first, his materialism denied the existence of the supernatural; and second, the very structure of organized religion had, through the ages, condoned and supported the bourgeois suppression of the proletariat.

As he saw it, Christianity had to be extirpated root and branch, not only because dialectical materialism denied the existence of anything but matter in motion and its products, and was therefore opposed to all supernaturalistic systems, religious and philosophical, but also because Christianity, and for that matter all religions, had not only tolerated but sanctioned the existing social and economic organization of society, which was about to be overthrown (Fuller, Philosophy, p. 377).

We must make this clear: abolishment of religion is an integral part of Marx's dialectical materialism.

There are some who try to synthesize Marxism and Christianity. "Liberation Theology" proponents in various areas of South America are examples. Usually such quasi-Marxists are motivated by strong social concerns. They see inequity and suffering in the world and they want to do something about it. Too often, the Marxists are the only ones who appear to be working to relieve such suffering.

Former British communist Douglas Hyde was studying to become a missionary when he was drawn to communism in just such a way after World War I in England. He joined his first Communist sponsored Party after reading a book by a Quaker who embraced communism and extolled its virtues in The Challenge of Bolshevism. Young Hyde recounted his reaction to the book:

It did for my generation of communists what the Dean of Canterbury by his books and lectures does today. It lulled my doubts about the Marxists' militant atheism. It provided a bridge by means of which the man with some religious belief could cross with a clear conscience into the camp of unbelief.
The author's case was that the communists had found the Christian answer to an utterly un-Christian, bourgeois system of society. "Let the atheists of Russia speak the language of blasphemy: is it more than the echo of the blasphemy which has so long been embodied in the social order we uphold?"

In communism this sincere Quaker found honesty of purpose, intellectual integrity, a higher morality and a system which would prepare the way for a Christianity purified and reborn. And, of course, the communists used the book for all they were worth.

It was exactly what I needed at the time. It resolved a crisis for me, clarified my position and accelerated my progress towards communism. It was the link between my Christian past and my atheist future. I was able now to read with an "open mind" Engels' Anti-Duhring, the A. B. C. of Communism, the works of Lenin and others which formerly I would have rejected because of their atheism (Douglas Hyde, I Believed, London: William Heinemann Ltd., 195 1, pp. 22, 23).

However, as Hyde discovered, one cannot remain true to othodox Marxism and orthodox Christianity at the same time. Hyde quickly abandoned all faith in God and was as militantly atheistic as any other communist for more than two decades, until his disillusionment with communism drove him to Christ. Again, one cannot be an orthodox Marxist and an orthodox Christian. Even the liberal theologian Hans Ming recognizes this when he says:

But at this point we can hear the dogmatic response: Marxism is necessarily atheistic. Is this true?

It is true of orthodox Marxism. For Marx and the classical Marxist authors, Engels, Lenin and Stalin -in their personal life, in their culture, in their system and in their practice -atheism was and remained of central importance and essentially connected with their theory of society and history. In their view, religion and science are two mutually exclusive methods of grasping reality (Hans Ming, Does God Exist? NY. Random House, 1978, 1980, p. 257).

For orthodox Marxism to embrace orthodox Christianity is to emasculate Marxism of its foundation: dialectical materialism. For orthodox Marxism to embrace orthodox Christianity is to emasculate Christianity of its ultimate source and sustenance in the deity, person, and work of Jesus Christ. Marx saw it this way:

To achieve the real happiness of the people, it is necessary to abolish the il-lusory religious one. This involves the elimination of conditions that require such illusions. The first step in this direction must be an attack on religion. "Criticism of religion is the prelude of all criticism". (Padover, Karl Marx, p. 80).

The Soviet Communist leader Nikolai Lenin showed that he had learned well from his teacher, Marx, when his contempt for religion and religious people prompted unmentionable atrocities against thousands of innocent people, who were guilty only of believing in God. Lenin wrote:

Every religious idea, every idea of god, every flirtation with the idea of god is unutterable vileness ... Any person who engages in building a god, or who even tolerates the idea of god-building, disparages himself in the worst possible fashion (Nikolai Lenin, Selected Works, London: Lawrence and Wishart, Ltd., 1939, vol. XL, pp. 675, 676).

Some have taken various elements from Marxism and formed what they term Christian Marxism, Christian socialism, or Christian communism.

A revised Marxism could be non-atheistic if it distinguished between dispensable and indispensable elements. The critique of religion is then no longer the precondition of all criticism. It would then no longer be -as with the classical atheistic writers -a central element in Marxism but marginal and open to modification. Such an understanding of Marxism -denounced in Moscow as "revisionist" - is found in fact today even among individual Communist parties, among individual less-orthodox party theorists, and not least in Europe and South America among those forces that are aiming at a practical alliance between Christians and Marxists. The Communist Party of Italy, like other Eurocommunist parties, rejects not only the idea of a Catholic state but also Soviet state atheism-at least for the sake of winning votes... (Küng, Does God Exist? p. 257).

Remember, though, that this is not orthodox Marxism. The Christian "socialist" must reject those elements of Marxism that oppose the Christian world view.

... whatever his attitude to these questions, a person will in any case be taken seriously as a Christian only if Christ and not Marx is for him the ultimate, decisive authority in such questions as class struggle, use of force, terror, peace, justice, love (ibid, p. 259).

So that there can be no confusion on this point, we reiterate that atheism is an integral part of orthodox Marxism.

It becomes evident, then, that precisely because and, in as much as it is a humanism, communism is necessarily an atheism. Atheism is not an accidental accretion to communist humanism. It is intrinsic and essential to both its creed and conduct. Atheism is as inseparable from a vital communism as the soul is inseparable from a living man. Atheism is the reverse side of communist humanism (Miceli, Atheism, p. 102).

In fact, Douglas Hyde expressed in his biography his belief that communist organizations that appear to be compatible with Christianity are not honest. He states that in the British Party, open atheism and hatred for the clergy was practiced before 1931, but that then there was a shift in public policy. He stated:

It was all very thorough but very phony, for we went back on none of the fundamentals; we simply put some into cold storage and found new methods of dishing up the rest.
That is still the tactic today, and in the intervening years the technique has been developed to a point where the communists' public propaganda never at any time bears any relation whatsoever to their real aims as expounded in their text-books and as taught in the privacy of their members' study classes.
Communism has, in fact, become a gigantic hoax, a deliberate and total deception of the public (Hyde, I Believed, p. 57).

Whether or not the British Communist Party is as portrayed by Hyde, the fact remains that he perceived it that way. For almost 15 years he was a leading British communist and news editor for the communist Daily Worker.
Hyde did not finish his life as a communist. On the contrary, his dynamic conversion from communism to Christianity is related in his moving I Believed. He tells of his growing disillusionment with communism and the reawakening of his conscience, which took place over a period of years. One of the turning points came when he realized:

It was not sufficient now to tell myself that the end justified the means. Once a Marxist begins to differentiate between right and wrong, just and unjust, good and bad, to think in terms of spiritual values, the worst has happened so far as his Marxism is concerned (ibid., p. 243).

He chronicles how he and his wife searched and how they accepted Christianity intellectually before they were reborn spiritually.

We had come to accept the intellectual case for God, to see that without it not only Catholicism but the universe itself made nonsense. We had discovered with some surprise that the great thinkers and philosophers of the Church had made out a better case for God's existence than Marx and Engels had done for His non-existence.
Yet we realized that that was not enough. Belief meant being able to feel the existence of the spiritual, to know God and not just to know about Him. Christians even said they loved Him, they talked to Him and listened to Him. That was still outside our experience and, in moments of depression, we feared that it would remain so (ibid., p. 248).

Hyde and his wife made personal commitments to Jesus Christ and found the faith they had yearned for. His story ends:

I lost my communism because I had been shown something better. I did not find it easy to get to know my new God. And the love of God did not even then come automatically. just as one has first to get to know a man or woman, and love comes later on the basis of common interest shared and intimacies exchanged, so, slowly, I came to know that love. But one thing is certain: my God has not failed (ibid., p. 303).

We are not trying to say that all communists are dishonest, immoral, and bereft of any positive characteristics or attributes. Most people are drawn to communism first because they see it as a way to help the suffering in the world, or, if they are suffering, to help themselves. Hyde, with inside knowledge, summed up the typical convert to communism:

Most, beyond doubt, had come to communism because of the good that was in them. They had come with idealism, with anger at bad social conditions; fundamentally they had, in most cases, come because no one had ever shown them anything better. What had happened to them afterwards, as they were turned into the new Marxist men, the steel-hardened cadres which the Party makes and moulds, was another matter. I wished I could stay and make them see what I now saw, could share with them the truths which I had found....

Life is so much more complex, and so are men's motives, I would say that the majority who come to communism do so because, in the first instance, they are looking for a cause which will fill the void left by unbelief, or, as in my own case, an insecurely held belief which is failing to satisfy them intellectually and spiritually (ibid., pp. 274, 290).

The Loss of the Individual

A complete acceptance of Marx's dialectical materialism and theories of class struggle leads one inexorably to the denial of individual human worth. History and its march toward perfection is the Marxist god. In the struggle for the classless society, those who stand in the way must be eliminated. Absolute materialism leads to a form of practical totalitarianism. As Thomas 0. Kay points out:

If there is no God or other absolute beyond the existence of matter, then there is no source of eternal, abiding, absolute truth upon which an objective system of law and order can be based. All becomes relative to time and place. The expedient becomes the good and true. Matter itself is not able to provide this absolute because of its ever-changing character.

Since there is no soul and since all goodness and truth are relative to time and place, it follows that there can be no abiding value attributed to man as an individual. He has no worth within himself. This makes man a tool of his environment. Furthermore it brings him under the subjection of the group. At a given moment the good of the group becomes all-embracing. The individual thus may be sacrificed for the good of the group.

It is at this point that one readily observes the relationship between materialism and totalitarianism. Totalitarianism is based upon the assumption that the individual is of little or no importance and his will can be made subservient to that of another individual, a group, or the state (Kay, Christian Answer, p.92).

Such a totalitarianism denies the worth and freedom of the individual and cuts at the heart of the gospel message. The individual is so important to God that He sent his only begotten Son to die for our sins, that we may be reconciled to fellowship with God, on an individual basis. Marx sought to elevate man. His system only served to degrade the individual. Marx saw evil someplace out in the material world, someplace other than in the heart of free-will, moral, and personal agents. By attacking the evil he saw in society with class struggle, he hoped to eradicate evil from mankind. He and his philosophical descendents did not succeed. Sin is not man divorced from his social potential; it is man in willful alienation from himself and God.

Sin is his self-alienation, not the projection from himself of an illusory God, as Feuerbach taught Marx. The attempt to become God in himself, by himself, is the self-alienation, a personal, subjective, self-inflicted alienation.... Sin corrupts, disrupts man who then corrupts and disrupts human conditions and relationships....

Marx makes the fundamental mistake of equating the alienation of private property, his source for all alienations, with original sin; sin is an economic evil for him; it calls for an economic saviour. The Catholic Church teaches that sin is a spiritual evil, an insult by man against God; it calls for a divine saviour, since a limited creature cannot atone for an infinite offense against an infinite Being. Yet it also calls for a human saviour, if humanity is to atone for its own offense against both God and man. Communist humanism holds that the redemption of man is achieved by the sufferings of the sacrificial lamb and economic saviour, the proletariat, whose crucifixion and resurrection in rebellion emancipates all men into the socialist heaven .... The truth of the matter is, as the Church teaches, that man is reconciled to God, his fellow man and himself by One who is at once fully Man and fully God .... The sufferings of proletarians are the sufferings of mere creatures; the sufferings of Christ "knock down the wall of separation" that sin erected (Miceli, Atheism, pp. 125, 126).

As the reader can see, there is a sharp distinction between the goal and plan of Marxism and the goal and plan of Christianity. Christianity also works toward a transformed society. This working is in two major areas. Christianity recognizes that sin, within man, is action perpetrated by personal agents. It is not some nasty by-product of social birth-pangs. Christianity seeks to change those personal agents through the life-transforming power of the Lord Jesus Christ. Then, once that personal and individual transformation has taken place, that redeemed individual shows his faith through his actions by working toward social, economic, political, and religious parity among his fellow men.

The sharp contrast between the Communist approach and the Christian approach to the problems of society is found in comparing the life of Karl Marx with that of Lord Shaftesbury, British statesman of the nineteenth century While Marx criticized society and fomented revolutions, Shaftesbury-an evangelical Christian -worked for the bettermen of conditions often at great personal sacrifice (Kay, Christian Answer, p. 19).

True freedom for mankind is possible only when the individual is considered valuable and when the root causes of injustice are removed. Such change is not brought about by violent revolution at the expense of others nor is it based on a philosophy which sees man valuable only as a member of a classless society.

Communist humanism does not liberate man; it delivers man into his own hands to do with himself what he will; this is slavery. For, once man rejects God, he has no place to go but back into himself and there lies the agony of isolation. Thus, the revolt against God is the prelude to all serfdom. For the essence of man's freedom is that he be able to transcend himself, the material things of earth and choose to live in companionship with God. Indeed, it was in order that man might enjoy freedom that God, Absolute Liberty Himself, made man in His own image and likeness. He made him a little less than the angels. But communist humanism, in delivering man into his own hands, really renders man captive to the material world below man. Communist humanism, by ripping man down from God, the source of all freedom, makes man less than man (Miceli, Atheism, p. 139).

"It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery" (Galatians 5:1 NASB).


Marxist Economics and Politics

Our aim in this chapter was to treat the religious and anti-religious aspects of Marxism. It was not our aim to deal extensively with Marx's complicated philosophical and political system as a whole. Below we have produced a short summary of the major principles of Marxism with a short critique.
Our brief description of Marxist theory will present six economic/ political themes that are integral to the Marxist system and which together represent its basic thrust. These six themes include 1) dialectical materialism; 2) the four epochs of human history; 3) economic "determinism;" 4) the class struggle; 5) revolution (with a subsequent temporary proletariat dictatorship); and 6) the final "Utopia," the classless society

1. Dialectical Materialism

We previously discussed dialectical materialism, citing it as the foundation of Marxist thought. Dialectical materialism is, in fact, the basis of all Marxist philosophy. To Marx, dialectical materialism was the ultimate Reality. As we discussed before, Marx developed his dialectical materialism from Hegel (dialectics) and Feuerbach (materialism).
Dialectical materialism says that reality is grounded in materialism and that all progress in reality (history) occurs through a process of opposing matters clashing together and then forming a new synthesis which is progressively better than either of its forebears.
When we say that Marx was a materialist, we are not saying that he denies the relative existence of anything metaphysical, such as the mind. However, he believed that anything metaphysical, like the mind, arose from the material world and depended on the material world for its existence. He would say that matter produced mind, rather than saying that mind produced matter (or, as Christians would say, the Ultimate God, being Spirit, produced matter, the creation, from nothing).

... dialectical materialism, that is, matter arguing with itself causes historical progress. These two polysyllables are a formidable verbal whip in the hands of the Marxist, but they are simply a shorthand for one explanation of history among many (Lester DeKoster, Communism and Christian Faith, Grand Rapids, ML William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1956, p. 29).

2. The Four Epochs of Human History

Marx simplistically divided all of human history into four epochs: the primitive, the ancient, the feudal, and the bourgeois (middle-class) or modern. He felt that all previous cultures and societies could be categorized into one of the four epochs. Capitalism, the economic "god" of Marx's London residence, was the motivating force in the bourgeois epoch. Below we will mention the fifth epoch, the "classless society" which in Marx's day was a future dream.

3. Economic "Determinism"

Marxism taught that, generally speaking, economic forces controlled all of human social life. This is popularly called Marx's theory of "economic determinism". However, this term is sometimes misleading because it tends to give the impression that man has no free will and that no change can possibly come from any but an economic source. Kay summarizes:

Marx concludes then that these economic forces determine by virtue of the dialectic the course of all human history (Kay, Christianity, p. 16).

However, such a statement can be misleading. Marx's economic determinism was not a rigid predestination or fate. It was precisely because he believed economics could be influenced by forceful human intervention that he advocated revolution to achieve quick change.

Dialectical materialists criticise doctrines often designated as economic determinism on the ground that they are too narrow and assert only a one-way causal influence (from economic base to other institutions), whereas causal influence, they hold, proceeds both ways. They (often) refer to their own theory as historical materialism or the materialist conception of history (Dagobert D. Runes, ed., Dictionary of Philosophy, Totowa, NJ: Littlefield, Adams and Company, 1977, p. 87).

In fact, his economic "determinism" was practiced during each of the four epochs of history mentioned above, with the economics of the age directing all other social functions. It was the deliberate intervention of men through revolution that brought about the end of one epoch and the beginning of the next. Marx believed that the flow of history along his fivefold pattern was inexorable. Society was bound through its economics to pass through the four epochs and eventually arrive at the fifth, the classless society and eventual freedom. The revolutionaries of each epoch were to hurry the process along. Marx saw it as the job of the communist proletariat to instigate the revolution which would terminate the epoch of the bourgeois and usher in the ultimate classless society.
Economic determinism involves Marx's whole detailed analysis of economics. Under this heading we find him discussing "the labor theory of value;' i.e., a product's value is determined only by the amount of labor required to produce it.

... only labor-manual and mental-creates value; and, what is more specifically Marx's contribution to the theory, only socially necessary labor creates real value. The fact that under capitalism the employment of labor is spent upon luxuries long before all necessities have been met, means for Marx that capitalism is not the best form for the selective use of a nation's labor force (DeKoster, Communism, p. 16).

The Marxist "demon" of "surplus value" also comes under this heading. "Surplus value" represents the insurmountable obstacle separating the employer and employee from peace.

Profit, which is the motive force of capitalism, arises only out of surplus value, that is out of paying the workman for less value than his labor creates (ibid., P. 20).

When Marx talks of economic determinism, he lays out his whole view of human history. He discusses "modes of production;' "property relations," "fair wages," etc. (For more than this quick overview of economic determinism, please see the books in the bibliography, especially August Thalheimer's Introduction to Dialectical Materialism: The Marxist World-View, NY Covici, Friede, Publishers, 1936).

4. Class Struggle

Accepting Marx's dialectical materialism leads one to accept his view of history, which reveals his economic determinism. The acceptance of the presupposition of economic determinism draws one to the conclusion that the only way to achieve change in one's society is through class struggle. History, to Marx, is a record of continual struggle (dialectics) between different classes. He sets this forth in the Communist Manifesto. After its preamble, the Communist Manifesto opens with the words, "The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles" (Harold J. Laski, ed., The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, NY. New American Library, 1967, p. 129).

To Marx, this class struggle has always been in existence and is present at all times in every society. However, it will not be present in the classless society Marx advocates. When dialectical conditions are just right, and the downtrodden class can take no more, the struggle will explode into revolution, paving the way for the next epoch. The final class struggle will be between the proletariat (working class) and the bourgeois (commercial class).

... the current class struggle in capitalist society would be the last and was by far the greatest of all. The proletariat (working class) was the antithesis of the bourgeois (commercial or middle-class) capitalist and would eventually bring about the downfall of capitalist society and the establishment of a new society on the basis of the new modes of production (Kay, Christian Answer, p. 17).

5. Revolution

As mentioned earlier, Marx saw the bridge between two epochs of history as revolution, triggered by class struggle. Such revolution is necessary and vital to the evolution of society toward the eventual, economically determined, communist state of the classless society.

Although Marx held that the inevitable outcome of history was the emergence of the communist society, he felt that because of the great problems in this last stage there was a role which man could play in aiding the course of history (ibid., p. 17).

The Communist Manifesto was Marx's blueprint for the leadership of the coming revolution. In it he and Engels laid down their plans for overthrowing capitalism and ushering in history's final epoch, the classless society. As with the other themes of Marxism, note that the concept of revolution is a necessary consequence of Marx's dialectical materialism. Revolution must occur.

Marx recognized that after this final revolution not everyone (namely, the bourgeois) would welcome the classless society. In addition, the entire capitalistic system, with its modes of production, would have to be dismantled and retooled to fit the classless society. During this "short" interim, it would be necessary to have a proletariat dictatorship. This was seen as a temporary and necessary hardship that all proletariats would welcome because of the vital work the dictatorship would do to develop the final classless society.

6. The Classless Society

The final and fifth epoch of human social history would be the classless society, the Marxist "Utopia;' its "heaven." In this ideal, no-class society, hard-won by thousands of years of class struggle, revolution, and temporary dictatorship, there would be no class struggles. With no class struggles, there would be no end to the paradise.

The communist society would be the classless society. (Remember that what we call "communist countries" today have not yet reached this classless state. They are still in the "temporary" proletariat dictatorship.) The communist society would have abolished private ownership, the "stifling" family unit, the delusion of religion, and all other "capitalistic" institutions. There will be no need for government or law. The natural law of dialectical materialism will have reached its goal in producing the perfect society.

What would become of history itself, which was propelled by the energies released by class struggle? Strictly speaking, it would cease. Time would pass, of course, but the only economic changes to be reflected in society would be those leading to ever greater production, ever more leisure for all, and so history in the present tense would, with the dialectic, be transformed into universal tranquility and peace. The economic law would be, in the words of Marx: "From each according to his ability, and to each according to his need". The millennium would be ushered in, on earth and in time. Evil, which is the fruit of class struggle, would be done away. The development of science would bring man ever closer to the control of natural catastrophe. Art and culture could flourish. A temporal heaven would have been brought to earth (DeKoster, Communism, p. 34).

This is the final of the six major themes of Marxism.

General Critique

Rather than picking Marxism's themes apart piece by piece, we will offer here a general critique of the system. We urge the reader to obtain a comprehensive critique of Marxism by referring to the books in the bibliography, especially to William 0. Kay's The Christian Answer to Communism and Lester DeKoster's Communism and Christian Faith. From a Christian perspective, the most ominous flaw in Marxism is its broad anti-supernaturalistic foundation. One cannot accept thoroughgoing and classical dialectical materialism and orthodox Christianity at the same time. Marx's economic theory is simplistic and thus inadequate, unable to correctly diagnose contemporary economic ills or correctly prognosticate concerning the future of economics. He overemphasizes the role of economic factors in the course of history. His description of history and how it advances is also inadequate. The historical divisions are artificial and no longer supportable in any real sense when one views contemporary understandings of history. Orthodox Marxism ignores the fact that some change does take place without struggle, and that often, when change takes place as a result of struggle, it does not result in an entire economy being completely gutted and replaced. Orthodox Marxism has no guideline for limiting the duration of the "temporary" proletariat dictatorship after the final revolution. Are there perhaps Russians who feel that a "temporary" dictatorship which spans their whole lifetimes is no better than a "permanent" dictatorship? Orthodox Marxism also presupposes that man is basically good. Marxism sees evil as a product of a sick society. Cure the society (or shoot it and replace it with a new one) and evil disappears. Human history and God's Word, the Bible, say differently.

Finally, Marxism ignores the greatest human freedom there is: personal freedom. Economic freedom is not the most important freedom of all. God has given mankind personal freedom, the freedom to choose his own destiny. This personal freedom has been recognized and enhanced in those societies that are politically and religiously democratic.

(Marx) also held that it was society that determined the consciousness of man rather than man of society. But what is society without the individual? Marx has given us a rationale that is non-existent in actuality (Kay, Christian Answer, P. 19).

We shall conclude this brief look at Marxist theory with two quotes which appear as fitting criticisms of a powerful system that is, nevertheless, inadequate to meet men’s needs. The first quote is from a modem communist who classifies himself as an "unorthodox" Marxist. Here is his analysis of classical Marxism:

The orthodox theory does little to explain the complex dynamics of human behavior and personality. Historical materialism, the orthodox theory of history and social change, focuses our attention on too few needs, makes a fetish of production, and overlooks too many aspects of capitalist everyday life. It seeks fundamental contradictions where none are to be found. It misses the complex dynamics of how societies maintain their stability, and of how revolution occurs as well.
The orthodox Marxism which is still quite prevalent and at the root of almost all socialist organizational activity, insufficiently recognizes the multiplicity of groups and issues central to social change. Economic aspects continually exclude concerns of a more social and cultural nature; ownership relations exclude more complex sex, race, and authority relations. In short, orthodox Marxism is vulgar. It clings to so-called fundamentals and in doing so misses the broader picture. The modern orthodox Marxist sees reality through a set of insufficient concepts. Reality's fullness is obscured. Facts are made to conform with the theory rather than the reverse. The person as subject/object of history is lost to view (Michael Albert and Robin Halmel, UnOrthodax Marxism, Boston, MA: South End Press, 1978, p. 6).

Our final quote is from the astute ex-communist leader and editor, Douglas Hyde:

It has been taken for granted by those attracted to communism that the man who can see and denounce the evils of a social system is thereby qualified also to lay down the lines of a better one and, in due course, to administer it. Experience shows that there is little to warrant this assumption. For one evil thing to attack another is normal enough. It does not make either the attacker or that which is attacked less evil because one is attacked by the other.

The communist may be able to put his finger on what is bad in our society but only the Christian is fitted to expound the good (Hyde, I Believed, p. 300).

Marxism Extended Bibliography

Albert, Michael and Robin Halmel, UnOrthodox Marxism. Boston: South End Press, 1978.
Andrews, William G., ed., European Political Institutions. Princeton, NJ: D. Van Nostrand Company, Inc., 1962, 1966.
Avey, Albert E., Handbook in the History of Philosophy. NY: Harper and Row, Publishers, 1954, 1961.
Angeles, Peter A., Dictionary of Philosophy. NY. Harper and Row, Publishers, 1981.
Bottomore, T. B., trans., Karl Marx: Selected Writings in Sociology and Social Philosophy. NY. McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1956.
____________,trans., Karl Marx. Early Writings. NY. McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1963.
Brown, Colin, Philosophy and the Christian Faith. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1968.
Carlebach, Julius, Karl Marx and the Radical Critique of Judaism. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1978.
Corduan, Winfried, "Transcendentalism: Hegel," in Biblical Errancy, Norman Geisler, ed., Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing Company, 1981, pp. 81-104.
Dean, Thomas, Post-Theistic Thinking. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1975.
DeKoster, Lester, Communism and Christian Faith. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1956.
Dupre, Louis, The Philosophical Foundations of Marxism. NY- Harcourt, Brace and World, Inc., 1966.
Edwards, Paul, ed., The Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 8 Vols. NY: Macmillan Publishing Company, Inc., 1967.
Encyclopaedia Britannica III, Macropaedia, "Philosophy of Religion" Chicago, IL: William Benton, Publisher, 1978, vol. 15.
Flew, Antony, A Dictionary of Philosophy. NY. St. Martin's Press, 1982.
Fuller, B. A. G., A History of Philosophy. NY: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1955.
Geisler, Norman, Philosophy of Religion. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1974.
Hyde, Douglas, I Believed. London: William Heinemann, Ltd., 1951.
Joad, C. E. M., Guide to Philosophy. London: Victor Gollancz, Ltd., 1955.
Kamenka, Eugene, The Ethical Foundations of Marxism. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1962, 1972.
Kay, Thomas O., The Christian Answer to Communism. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1961.
Koren, Henry J., Marx and the Authentic Man. Pittsburgh, PA: Duquesne University Press, 1967.
Ming, Hans, Does God Exist? NY: Random House, 1980.
Laski, Harold J., The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. NY. New American Library, 1967.
Lee, Francis Nigel, Communist Eschatology. Nutley, NJ: The Craig Press, 1974.
Lenin, Nikolai, Selected Works. London: Lawrence and Wisehart Ltd., 1939, Vol. XL.
McFadden, Charles J., The Philosophy of Communism. New York: Benziger Bros., 1963.
McLellan, David, Marxism after Marx. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1979.
Marsden, George and Frank Roberts, A Christian View of History? Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1975.
Miceli, Vincent P., The Gods of Atheism. New Rochelle, NY. Arlington House, 1971.
Montgomery, John Warwick, The Shape of the Past. Minneapolis: Bethany Fellowship, Inc., 1975.
___________, Where is History Going? Minneapolis: Bethany Fellowship, Inc., 1969.
Mueller, Gustav E., "The Hegel Legend of 'Thesis-Antithesis-Synthesis', in the Journal of the History of Ideas, June 1958, pp. 411-441.
Niebuhr, Reinhold, Marx and Engels on Religion. NY- Schocken Books, 1964.
North, Gary, Marx's Religion of Revolution. Nutley, NJ: The Craig Press, 1968.
Padover, Saul K., Karl Marx. An Intimate Biography. NY. New American Library 1978, 1980 (abridged ed.).
Parsons, Howard L., Humanism and Marx's Thought. Springfield, IL: Charles C. Thomas Publisher, 1971.
Payne, Robert, The Unknown Karl Marx. NY: New York University Press, 1971.
Runes, Dagobert D., Dictionary of Philosophy. Totowa, NJ: Littlefield, Adams and Company, 1977.
Philosophy for Everyman. Totowa, NJ: Littlefield, Adams and Company, 1974.
Sahakian, William S., History of Philosophy. NY. Harper and Row, Publishers, 1968.
___________, and Mabel Lewis Sahakian, Ideas of the Great Philosophers. NY Harper and Row, Publishers, 1966.
Schwarz, Hans, The Search for God. Minneapolis: Augsburg Publishing House, 1975.
Stumpf, Samuel Enoch, Socrates to Sartre: A History of Philosophy. NY McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1966.
_______________,Philosophy. History and Problems, 2nd edition (new title). NY McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1966.
Taylor, A. J. P., Karl Marx/Friedrich Engels: The Communist Manifesto. NY Penguin Books, 1967.
Thalheimer, August, Introduction to Dialectical Materialism: The Marxist World-View. NY. Covici, Friede, Publishers, 1936.
Titus, Harold H., Living Issues in Philosophy. NY. American Book Company, 1964.
Trueblood, D. Elton, Philosophy of Religion. Grand Rapids, ML Baker Book House, 1957.
Tucker, Robert C., Philosophy and Myth in Karl Marx. Cambridge: University Press, 1972.
Young, Warren C., A Christian Approach to Philosophy. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1954.

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