Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Seeing Through Smoke

Here is a new book very relevant to recent events: Seeing Through Smoke: Living the Truth in an Age of Deception (2020), by Dr Jon Garvey. This book (pdf) can be downloaded free.

Dr Garvey is a retired M.D., living in Devon, UK, and an elder in the local Baptist church. His blog The Hump of the Camel is worth reading. He writes well, and has a very inciteful commentary on current cultural movements and events. [I must caution, however, that I believe him to be off the mark regarding origins, where he tries to fit the biblical Adam into evolutionary history].

His book is an interesting analysis of current times, particularly in the UK. Garvey contends that we live in an age of deception, where governments, business, and media use methods of deceptive propaganda similar to those used by Hitler and Stalin. His aim:
"I try to show not only what deceptions are prevalent now, but how they deceive through the techniques of propaganda, psychological intimidation and so on. And my solutions, such as they are, are specifically intended to get Christians thinking about their unique role as the Church of Christ, “the pillar and foundation of truth” to the world. Unfortunately, up until now it seems the churches have been more part of the problem than the solution by their wholesale capitulation to the evils (disguised as good, in Satan’s age-old way) of the age."
The main theme of this book can be summarized:
• Scripture warns of a program of supernatural deception, culminating in a climactic delusion surrounding the antichrist of the end times.
 • There has probably never been a period of more widespread deception, and the ability to generate and promulgate it everywhere, than today. 
• Therefore Christians need to be alert to the possibility that the two are related, and consider carefully how to maintain the truth of Christ’s kingdom in the face of both attack and seduction.

Dr Garvey has a useful discussion about cultural Marxism, and its "long march" through the institutions, where it now controls most universities and media. He shows its relation to the LGBT movement, environmentalism, Black Lives Matter, etc., and how it is utterly opposed to Christianity, and Christian views on marriage, family, etc. Cultural Marxism fits in well with post-modernity, for it is not concerned with truth, but with power to impose its ideology. To that end, society suppresses scientific facts (e.g., regarding global warming, "gay" genes, racial statistics, etc.) that don't fit its agenda.

The final section of the book suggests what kind of strategies churches, and individual believers may take to maintain their witness to the Truth of Christ in the face of Satan’s deceptions. He warns,
"We must be aware that it is the purpose, conscious or unconscious, of modern media to divert our attention from deep truth and make us passive consumers of both material goods and packaged information. It is against that whole mindset that today’s Christians need to learn to rebel."
In response, Christians must become immersed in God's truth, by studying his word and living out a biblical worldview, and thus promoting the gospel.

In sum, I strongly recommend this book to Christians, who should be discerning, in an age of propaganda, and ready to defend the Truth.

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