It is common in the modern West to portray Marxism as a progressive force, while Christianity is the backward enemy of humanity. Yet in its wildest dreams, the Spanish Inquisition could not have come anywhere near rivalling the murderous exploits of a solitary Marxist state. Furthermore, as David Bentley Hart put it: ‘A world from which the gospel had been banished would surely be one in which millions more of our fellows would go unfed, unnursed, unsheltered and uneducated.’ 

            Sharon James deals selectively with issues such as freedom, justice, life, the dignity of women, philanthropy, healthcare, education, the value of work and the triumph of Christ in history. There are some stirring quotes to be found, such as John Wesley’s pronouncement on slavery in 1774: ‘Notwithstanding 10,000 laws, right is right and wrong is wrong still!’ There are also disturbing facts to be contemplated by any budding Cultural Marxist. In North West America, Native American (Indian) tribes operated a slave system whereby up to a third of the population was made up of slaves. 

            One lesson for the modern period is that liberal overreach is totalitarian. In 2018 a tribunal in the United Kingdom found that Dr David Mackereth was guilty of the crime of believing in Genesis 1:27 and so rejecting transgenderism. This was seen to be incompatible with human dignity. Compare this example of debased coercion with the Christian practice of compassionate serving. For example, Pastor Theodor Fleidner (1800-1864) set up Kaiserswerth in northern Germany to train Lutheran deaconesses. By 1894 there were 8,000 deaconesses in Germany in hospitals, schools, orphanages, and parishes.

            This is an informative corrective to prevailing views on the relation between Christianity and the world. Perhaps there is an over-reliance on some monks, Quakers and Anabaptists – and a liberal like Martin Luther King Jr – but this story needs to be heard. We can be glad that Sharon James has done it.

                                                                                                – Peter Barnes