Book Review: The Death Of Christian Thought

The Death Of Christian Thought:  The Deception Of Humanism And How To Protect Yourself, by Michael D. Lemay

[Note:  This book was provided free of charge by Aneko Press.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.]

Sometimes a book’s title gives a bigger clue to the mindset of an author than originally seems to be the case, and depending on the expectations a reader has about this book, their thoughts and opinions about it are likely to be somewhat distinct.  The author’s title, as well as the material in nearly 300 pages of material, makes it very clear that this author has more than a small problem with the contemporary worldview of secular humanism (it should be noted that he does not deal at all with classical humanism or Christian humanism, except in passing).  Additionally, the author’s title gives an unintentional clue that the author’s approach will be cerebral in nature and that this book tackles the problems of the head and not the heart.  This hint, if one takes it from the title, is amply demonstrated by the book’s contents.  For starters, this book was written from the point of view of an American particularly displeased with both of the viable choices in the 2016 US Election and also someone who sees in America’s moral decline a cause for widespread mourning in sackcloth and ashes.  This is not an original perspective [1], but it is certainly a sincere one and eloquently expressed.

This book is focused on the need for believers, seen in opposition to an increasingly corrupt populace, to have a rigorous intellectual rigor in their faith.  Over and over again, the author points to the need for a biblical worldview and right thinking processes.  Starting with a discussion of the enemy within concerning the internecine struggles with socially liberal social gospel believers who are particularly prolific authors, the author gives as the starting point a need to know the gospel of salvation rather than its false alternatives in either works-based or ragamuffin theology.  After this the author spends a couple of chapters talking about the pursuit of happiness in this life and our eternal roadmap to happiness that requires a focus on and understanding of God’s truths as expressed in scripture.  The author then spends a couple of chapters discussing how secular humanism corrupts our thought processes and how these processes of understanding causality and using both our conscious and unconscious brain can be improved.  The last few chapters focus on the need for believers to be a part of a Christian fellowship, to guard our thought processes, to focus on eternity, and to live as Christians in a dying world clearly heading towards God’s judgment.

While reading this book I was struck by a nagging feeling that something was missing in its approach.  The book seemed to have all the right answers from an intellectual point of view, but in a way that alienated this reader instead of leading to warm enjoyment and appreciation.  In many ways, the book struck me as being all head and no heart.  Although the author, quite correctly, speaks out against a great deal of contemporary sin and the wicked thought processes and mindset of many people, the perspective is of someone who expects for God to rapture him and like-minded believers so that the rest of unrepentant humanity can face God’s judgment, rather than from the point of view of an Old Testament prophet like Ezekiel, Daniel, or Jeremiah who shared in the suffering and judgment that fell upon their sinful people.  The author knows the words for humility, but does not act in a humble manner, continually referring to himself and his supposed insight in the first person to a distressing degree [2].  Likewise, the author has an intellectual understanding of the struggles faced by many believers, as in the following example taken not at random, but lacks the heart of compassion for such believers:  “People who are verbally, physically, or sexually abused by their fathers often develop a wrong definition of father in their unconscious brain.  This can severely impede their ability to trust God when He is called our heavenly Father.  They aren’t even aware of this because this wrong definition is in the unconscious brain.  The virus affects them without consciously realizing it (197).”  Someone with a heart for those suffering from abuse would not view this tragic state of affairs in such a cold and cerebral fashion.

How is one to deal with this book, then?  To the extent that one is looking for the right head knowledge about the current state of our society, this book is an excellent resource.  If one wants to know the mistaken and misguided thought processes and the ways that facts are perverted and twisted into mistruths in our contemporary world, this book offers considerable insight into those matters.  If one has an expectation of understanding and shares the author’s somewhat detached perspective about the nature of God’s suffering, and if one wants to comfort oneself in one’s accurate knowledge and close relationship with God and the promise of protection from the times of tribulation and judgment that are inevitable unless there is widespread societal repentance, this is a book that will likely bring one a great deal of material with which to fulminate against the darkness of our present evil age.  However, those readers expecting the author to weep like Jeremiah at the suffering for a people whom he loves, even if they rebel against God, or like Jesus Christ when he movingly told the people of Jerusalem that he wanted to gather them under his wings like a mother hen but they were not willing will not find such a compassionate and loving heart in the words of this author.  Those wishing for prophetic judgment and biblical instruction from someone with such a heart will have to look elsewhere.

[1] See, for example:

[2] See, for example, the following lines, which resemble nothing so much as the prayer of the Pharisee with himself in the Gospels:

“I am blessed to belong to a church fellowship that is serious about knowing, understanding, and applying the Bible to our lives.  We study the what, why, and how of the Scriptures.  My typical week within the fellowship includes two hours early Sunday morning where a group of men study the Word related to a particular topic such as grace, sin, humility, and prayer.  These intense studies each last three or four months.  Right after our Sunday morning study, we attend group fellowship, where the service usually lasts at least two hours.  Our time includes a sermon, corporate worship, and prayer, communion, and more study of the Scriptures, led by one of our elders.  We then conclude with a time of food and fellowship where we build a culture of family with one another (174).”

Or take this example:

“Too many Christians act with a self-righteous attitude towards less mature believers, expecting them to acquire instantly the wisdom and discernment it took us years to grasp.  This often happens when certain teachers and preachers are discussed.  When I was a new Christian, after forty-five years of disobedience to God, I was hungry to learn all I could about Him.  I attended every Christian conference I could to hear from whoever was willing to share the Word of God.  I wanted to trust everything they taught, figuring they knew what they were talking about, because thousands of Christians attended their conferences.

Now, after seventeen years of seasoning, I realize some of these teachers were either wrong or flat out deceivers, but I lacked the wisdom and discernment to understand that at the time.  But I was blessed to be in fellowships with solid, seasoned believers who were smarter and wiser than I was.  They helped me to determine truth from deception by studying and understanding the Word of God.  When I talk with young believers now who are caught up following a teacher who preaches incorrect doctrine, I am patient with them.  I do not come out and blast them for following deceived teachers, because I once did the same thing.  Instead, I listen and ask questions and use their answers to point us to the Word of God for wisdom and clarity (230).”

About nathanalbright

I'm a person with diverse interests who loves to read. If you want to know something about me, just ask.
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4 Responses to Book Review: The Death Of Christian Thought

  1. Pingback: Book Review: Return To The Margins | Edge Induced Cohesion

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