Monarchy and Beards

We read in That Hideous Strength that the first time Jane Studdock looks at Ransom her world is unmade.  Why?  Because up until that moment Jane believes in a world of total egalitarianism.  Now she realizes, once again, in the depths of her soul, that hierarchy holds a deeper truth than the legal fiction of equality.  Lewis writes,

She had (or so she had believed)  disliked bearded faces except for old men with white hair.  But that was because she had long since forgotten the imagined Arthur of her childhood…for the first time in many years the bright solar blend of king and lover and magician which hangs about that name (Lewis is here referring to King Solomon) stole back upon her mind.  For the first time in all those years she had tasted the word Kingitself with all linked associations of battle, marriage, priesthood, mercy, and power.  At that moment, as her eyes first rested upon his [Ransom’s] face, Jane forgot who she was, and where…her world was unmade; she knew that.  Anything might happen now.

“With these words Lewis introduces us to the importance of monarchy.  It is vital because it reminds us that we do not live in an egalitarian world but rather a world in which hierarchy exists at all levels (144).

Will Vaus, Mere Theology

Something else the ring did not expect

A while back I did a post on Putin as something the New World Order did not expect to happen, effectively thwarting their plans of making Russia simply another cash-cow for the globalists.  I’ve always wondered if I can apply that to religion, particularly Christian theology.  I’m responding to the paradigm shift of the author of Giza Death Star.   It’s not too hard to figure out of whom I speak, but I don’t feel right “calling him out” online for a number of reasons:  it  just ain’t friendly, for one; he is a noted scholar–if you have a D.Phil from Oxford you deserve respect; and, I still stand in awe of his ability to synthesize numerous strands of very difficult information.

He is the author of God, History, and Dialectic, arguably the most influential book and project I have ever experienced.  His recent project, beginning with Giza Death Star and continuing through Grid of the Gods attempts to trace the aftermath of a great cosmic war.  In short, he compares different origin accounts from different cultures and religions across the world, noting a number of “early apocalyptic” scenarios, which all sound the same.

As it stands that is fine and good.  While I don’t accept Jim Marrs’ argument that we are the engineering by-product of ancient aliens as documented in Sumerian epics (although I do accept many of his conclusions), I must confess that the similarities across a wide geography and time-frame make a very strong case.  I don’t know what to make of this case.   I see no reason to suddenly think “The Genesis account,” and by extension Christian theology, is somehow false.  Is the Genesis account dependent on earlier creation narratives?  Probably, but does dependency = falsification?  Hardly.  But more on that later.   At the same time, I don’t necessarily feel compelled to accept the Sumerian reading on face value.  That will illustrate another problem.

Let’s see what we can make of his argument against Christian (textual) morality:

  1. Yahweh told Abraham to sacrifice his son (cf. the arguments originally brought forth by Friedrich Delitzsch).  I’ll admit.   Most of the justifications of this are weak, but I think there are responses.  Ultimately, my response to this will be tied up with my response to the reading of texts.
  2. The Caananite Genocide;  how does one justify the fact that Yahweh told the Israelites to kill everyone in Caanan? This leads to the conclusion that Yahweh is a bad guy.
  3. There are stupid Christians today.    I agree with him on this.    Not sure what it proves.

Sed contra,

~1.  I am tempted to let him have this point for several reasons.  I’m not entirely sure of what I think on this passage. I know that theologians and philosophers have wrestled with it for centuries long before Delitzsch.  Maybe they’ve given poor responses; many have (I think Kierkegaard is overrated as a philosopher). With regard to my own spirituality, I don’t feel threatened about one passage that I cannot understand.   Imploding worldviews is a lot like destroying spiderwebs.   You have to take out the heart of the web, which I don’t see this text as representative of.

~2.  One has to ask several questions here:  Were the Caananites nice people?   What did Molech worship entail?  Does that justify armed invasion?   Maybe, maybe not.  Another line of thought–and while this is speculation, I would hasten to add that much of his project, by his own admission, is speculation–is tracing the origin of the Anakim.   If the Anakim, and Caananites in general, were descendants of fallen angels, that would make them a form of demonic offspring.

I have some more to add, but it also involves the reading of texts.  One other thing to add:  C. S. Lewis had a fairly liberal German view of the Old Testament, even noting how mean God sounded at times, yet Lewis didn’t seem bothered by the overall affect to his own Christian worldview.

~3.  In listening to these radio interviews I get the impression he is lumping all Christians into the mold and representation of backwoods fundamentalists.   or baptists.   He would deny that, and charity demands I interpret him accordingly.   Still, he is not making those distinctions when he criticizes “the religious people.”   This, too, involves the reading of texts.  Further, he notes that his reading poses challenges to the traditional three monotheistic religions, but he spends all of his time focusing these challenges to Christians.

I sometimes wonder how hard-core ancient faith radio really is (yes, the programs are awesome), but surely these people aren’t mindlessly reading only their bibles.

As it stands, he originally said he wants Christians to think good and hard about these issues.  Great.  I am actually excited about it.  I agree with hip readings about ancient wars and space programs, but when I hear him call my Father a “murderer,” it’s hard for me to continue charitably (cf., the latest episode on Social Engineering).

Reading Texts

Is one warranted in reading ALL texts in a strict, literal fashion? For whatever their (often violent) disagreements, few major adherents of the three monotheisms read the texts in a 1:1 correspondence.  Now, if he wants his reading to function simply as a reductio against the wackiness of Fundamentalist hermeneutics, while still exploring the possibilities of a cosmic war hypothesis, then I think that is worthwhile.

Another thought: is this the way the Christian church has historically read the Bible?    He might object that is special pleading and not taking the text at its face-value. (But he’s also noted that it is difficult to explain the difference between allegory and typology; cf “Introduction,” Disputation with Pyrrhus).   Maybe.   While there is probably more to be said on hermeneutics, traditioned communities have the right to read their texts–which they formed and passed down–the way they want to read them.

Let’s Pretend We are Liberal

Here is where it gets interesting.   In GHD the author gives probably the most incredible refutation of liberal higher criticism ever accomplished.   He exposes the gnostic presuppositions of the Documentary Hypothesis.   But even if one wanted to go the liberal route, one could say, “Yeah, it seems from that account Yahweh did some unsavory things, but one has to consider the contrasting Priestly, Jahwist, Deuteronomist, and Elohist strands throughout the Old Testament.”

Granted, that is a high price to pay, and one will lose inerrancy in the process, but if he thinks he has offered a painful moral dilemma  to traditional readings, then these JEDP readings blunt that charge (although at a high price).

What if we cannot accept the German liberals’ reading of the Old Testament?  Is there still a truth behind their claim, and if so, can that truth respond to the above criticisms?   I think—maybe.   Walter Brueggemann has done a fantastic job in showing that the Old Testament is full of hard edges.  He has suggested ways to read the Old Testament and take its claims seriously, while at the same time .  While avoiding many of Lindbeck’s conclusions,  Brueggemann notes that the Old Testament is a communal book, shaped within–and sometimes a response to–the community’s life and practice.

Sacrificial Ontology

One word about the sacrifices:  he makes an interesting argument, beginning in Babylon’s Banksters, that this view of “god” which demands sacrifices presupposes a system where the worshipper is already “in debt.”   (This scores huge points against many models of Western theology).  Therefore, sacrifical religions are debt-based religions.  Therefore, big problems for Judaism and Christianity.  Okay:

  1. One can see in the Old Testament that the Temple is not the ideal for worshipping God.   God didn’t seem too thrilled about the idea before Solomon, and afterwards the Temple came for condemnation and not praise in the Prophets.   Christ’s own words foretelling his identification with, and subsequent marginalization of the Temple add to this counter-reading.
  2. Is he making a distinction between Wesern-based soteriology and an Eastern-based soteriology.  I know he is cognizant of such a distinction, yet he does not mention it.
  3. “For you do not desire sacrifice, else I would give it.  You are not pleased with burnt offerings.  The sacrifices of God are a broken and a contrite spirit.  These, O God, you will not despise.”   To which he might reply, “The Old Testament is changing the rules as it is going along.”   But I point above to the hard edges of the Old Testament.

My goal here was not to powerfully refute his arguments, but actually to take him/them seriously:   while the alternative research community will never amount to much–and he is the most sane and serious scholar, with a few exceptions like Hoagland–he has raised some questions.  Fun questions.

Did C. S. Lewis contradict himself on Monarchy?

Lewis’s beautiful (and unassailable) remarks on Monarchy are liturgical in nature and point to the fact that proper veneration is essential to man’s nature (Sutton 1985).

Monarchy can easily be debunked; but watch the faces, mark well the accents of the debunkers. These are men whose tap-root in Eden has been cut; whom no rumor of the polyphony, the dance can reach — men to whom pebbles laid in a row are more beautiful than an arch. Yet even if they desire mere equality they cannot reach it. Where men are forbidden to honor a king they honor millionaires, athletes, or film-stars instead; even famous prostitutes or gangsters. For spiritual nature, like bodily nature, will be served; deny it food and it will gobble poison. (1)

Beautiful, wise words and in need of no commentary.   Democrats–and under that label I include  theonomists, Ron Paul fans, the American Media Elite, Baptists–immediately point to another Lewis quote,

I am a democrat because I believe in the Fall of man…mankind is so fallen that no one man can be trusted with unchecked power.

Here is the difficulty with the latter quote:  Lewis affirmed both in the same essay (“Equality,” February 11, 1944).   Assuming he isn’t just stupid enough to contradict himself within a few paragraphs, we must assume that Lewis did not think monarchy and at least some form of democratic government to be mutually exclusive.

The better apologists of monarchy realize that forms of social democracy are not incompatible with monarchy.   One of the difficulties moderns have with monarchy is they read later absolutist doctrines back into earlier monarchical systems.  As a result, they think that all monarchs are necessarily as evil as Edward I of Bravheart (which itself was a stereotype, however superior the movie is).

But as Fr. Raphael has noted, even the more absolutist Tsarist system was never supremely absolutist.  Absolute rule was an impossibility, for there were many mediating institutions between the peasant and the monarch:  the church, guild, and village.  As Johnson noted elsewhere (2004) it was Western liberalism that sought to remove the institutions that protected the common man from the raw power of the State:

Liberalism did one thing (and it was not elevating the “dignity of the individual”); it destroyed the intermediate institutions, the varied local foci of authority that preserved communal freedom in the complex of informal groups who emanated their own specific brand of authority in their own particular sphere of competence. Freedom is never abstract, it is always freedom to do something specific or to be free of some specific irritant. The oligarchy, Russian or otherwise, therefore, demands standardization and conformity because the strictness of contract law and exchange cannot admit of groups of traditional yet still informal and ad hoc groupings (however enshrined by tradition) that characterize traditional societies

In fact, our conclusion is this: any healthy monarchical system must also be radically  socially democratic on the levels where democracy truly helps the people:  village and guild.

NOTES

(1) This quotation is from Lewis’s essay, not Sutton’s.  The reference to Sutton concerned his essay on the liturgical nature of man.

Works Cited:

Johnson, Matthew.  The Third Rome:  Orthodoxy, Tsarism, and Holy Russia.  New York:  The Foundation for Economic Liberty, 2004.

Lewis, C. S.  “Equality” Present Concerns.  New York:  Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 1987.

Sutton, Ray.   “The Saturday Night Church and the Liturgical Nature of Man” Christianity and Civilization  (4) 1985.

Confessions of a Liturgical Inerrantist

EDIT:  I hold to inerrancy.  I have seen where denying it kills denominations and churches.  That said, a hyper-focus on inerrancy, instead of the person to whom it witnesses, also kills denominations.

In college I would have defended inerrancy to the death.  Literally.  I am not being dramatic. In college I was physically assaulted by charismatics and theological liberals for my take on Scripture. If you did not accept the doctrine of inerrancy, you were a liberal.   If you took the easy route and accepted only the infallibility of Scripture, then you were afraid of the hard reality of God’s revelation, and you were probably a liberal anyway.

To be fair to us Evangelicals in college, given our situation we really did not have a choice.   The liberalism in the Baptist world was rank and raw.  At Southern Seminary in the late 1970s (yes that was before my time), so the documentation goes, prayers were began with, “Our Mother, who art in heaven…”*  A hard, if wrong-headed, defense of inerrancy is certainly understandable.

Unfortunately, inerrancy is a dead-end.   The only way it can be salvaged is to immediately water-down its claims.  The prima facie problems with inerrancy are the discrepancies between different gospel accounts and different historical reconstructions in Kings/Chronicles.   I know many apologists have “harmonized” these accounts, but there are some problems with “harmonizations”:

  • harmonizations, especially in the gospels, take away the rough edges from the text and ultimately make the two (or three) texts say the same thing.   There are two problems with this:  the text you have “harmonized” originally wasn’t saying what you wanted it to say.   You’ve changed the text (so much for the inerrancy of Scripture).  Secondly, the “difference” in the text might be pointing to a theological or narratival truth.  Harmonizing that eliminates that truth.
  • Many harmonizations are quite strained.
  • In order to be successful at this, you have to read a whole lot, have an agile mind for smoothing over these problems, and have the necessary rhetorical skills for interpreting these problems.   Few people have this, which means few people can really defend inerrancy.
I’m familiar with the traditional (well, it’s not too traditional since inerrancy is a late arrival) defense that the original mss are inerrant, and not the translations itself.   Fine.   That doesn’t make the problem go away.  You have no inerrant texts with you and at the end of the day you are in the same practical boat as the one who denies inerrancy.
But does this make one a liberal?  Does the truth lie with Wellhausen?  Not for me, anyway.  Theological Liberalism is the most unexciting mentality imaginable.  Liberalism begins with the premise that our universe is a very closed, very Newtonian universe.   Liberals presuppose from the outset, with no evidence for their future claims, that miracles just can’t happen, that God just can’t speak, that ultimately the Author of the story cannot enter the story.  When asked how they know this, they can only reply, “Just because…”
My (metaphorical) war against liberalism is still on.
In this case my position is analogous to C. S. Lewis.  Lewis had a very exciting ontology in which animals talked, new horizons opened up, God became man, knights and shining castles, etc.   Yet Lewis denied the inerrancy of Scripture, and while I was previously critical of his reasons for doing so–and admittedly they aren’t the best–I think I understand that Lewis did not want to be straight-jacketed into a system that can be dismantled very easily.   I also think Lewis did not want to die on a hill which would have been unrecognizable to most of church history.
One of the problems with “affirming” inerrancy, as N. T. Wright pointed out to Gaffin, was that it necessarily commits one to certain ecclesiastical, cultural, and even political agendas.   Granted, this is mainly so in America, but that’s the culture in which I live (and frankly, I think that is the only culture today in which this is an issue).

*Given the doctrine of absolute simplicity, which Tillich says is the abyss of everything specific, one should not be surprised.

The harder-edged, uncomfortable C. S. Lewis

He’s most noted for Mere Christianity, the explication of the faith that all Christian traditions would espouse.    Most assume, therefore, that C. S. is a watered-down, lowest-common-denominator theologian.  A closer look, however, reveals something else, something more disturbing.  While Lewis wanted to see Christian traditions united, he also believed that one should seek Truth at all costs and settle for nothing less.  Apply this to the “denominational search,” and you will see that Lewis is arguing for the Truth of one particular Christian confession over another.  (Yes, while Lewis held to Anglicanism, an interesting case can be made that today he would have chose Orthodoxy.  The modern Anglican church has abandoned the historic faith; Lewis rejected predestinarianism, thus ruling out Reformed confessions;  Lewis was uncomfortable with Catholicism; and finally, much of his theology is already compatible with Orthodoxy).    In other words, Lewis would be banned at many CS Lewis message boards (I got kicked off one for saying things that a Jewess on the board did not like).

Agrarian Economics

Lewis rejected both state socialism and free market capitalism.  It is important to place Lewis in his Chestertonian context.   Therefore, I maintain that Lewis held to a form of distributist economics.  In That Hideous Strength one of the New World Order-type bad guys remarks that one of their colleagues had gone off the deep end and was committed to distributism.  In Mere Christianity (pages 81-82) Lewis rejects interest-based capitalism (which essentially destroys all modern economics, statist or free-market).  In The Great Divorce Lewis notes that the truest form of love rejects the division between meum and teum; individual rights, when carried to its logical conclusion, is simply hell.  (By the way, this is simply Augustine.  Take it up with him).

But does this make Lewis an agrarian?  Not really, but it does make him a distributist, and when applied to a rural context, it supports agrarianism.  I realize that distributism and agrarianism are not synonymous, but they are close enough.

Fighting the New World Order

In That Hideous Strength Dr Ransom admits that they might have to fight off the bad guys with pistol fire, if necessary.  Just reflect on that statement for a while.   How often does that talk get quoted in Lifeway bulletins?

Monarchy

“We read in That Hideous Strength that the first time Jane Studdock looks at Ransom her world is unmade.  Why?  Because up until that moment Jane believes in a world of total egalitarianism.  Now she realizes, once again, in the depths of her soul, that hierarchy holds a deeper truth than the legal fiction of equality.  Lewis writes,

She had (or so she had believed)  disliked bearded faces except for old men with white hair.  But that was because she had long since forgotten the imagined Arthur of her childhood…for the first time in many years the bright solar blend of king and lover and magician which hangs about that name (Lewis is here referring to King Solomon) stole back upon her mind.  For the first time in all those years she had tasted the word King itself with all linked associations of battle, marriage, priesthood, mercy, and power.  At that moment, as her eyes first rested upon his [Ransom’s] face, Jane forgot who she was, and where…her world was unmade; she knew that.  Anything might happen now.

“With these words Lewis introduces us to the importance of monarchy.  It is vital because it reminds us that we do not live in an egalitarian world but rather a world in which hierarchy exists at all levels (144).

Will Vaus, Mere Theology.

Lewis writes that his Narnia stories implicitly make people royalists for a while.  I mean, how often do you read of a charming fairy tale whose hero is a democratically-elected leader living in the hustle and frustration of an urban apartment?  No, despite people’s (usually inadequately thought through) commitment to democracy, these people still feel a powerful monarchist pull on their soul when they read Lewis, Tolkien, and fairy tales in general.

Conclusion

CS Lewis in no way should be considered a soft, evangelical theologian, but a hard-edged thinker whose thought lends towards distributism, Orthodoxy, and monarchy.

Review of C. S. Lewis *Mere Theology*

As far as compendiums of CS Lewis’s thought go, this is easily among the best.  Vaus has extensive theological training and it shows.  This work is different from the rest of the (often needless) summaries of Lewis’s thought, usually reduced to a few chapters on Narnia.  In many ways it is like a systematic theology of CS Lewis.  Granted, we really do not need another book on CS Lewis (and surely we do not need another book review!!!); rather, we need men to write in the spirit of CS Lewis.  That said, there are still elements of Lewis’s thought that have not received their due reward (e.g., his violent and armed resistance to the New World Order in *That Hideous Strength!*).

Vaus loosely summarizes Lewis’s worldview around the tenets of the Nicene Creed.  And taking our cue from the Nicene Creed, we will start with Lewis’s *mere Christianity.*  Contra to the soft modernists at the CS Lewis message boards, Lewis’s *mere Christianity* was not a watered-down, shave-off-the-rough-edges Christianity.  Lewis said regarding the Church–you do not stop searching until you find the truest expression of Christianity.  That means, ultimately, you will have to say that other expressions are–to a degree–wrong.

Vaus, an Evangelical, has a rather startling chapter on prayer.  Most of it isn’t any different from other evangelical manuals on prayer.  Strangely, Vaus has a section on prayers to/for the dead–and for some bizarre reason refutes all of the Protestant objections to the practice!  Lewis had no problem with prayers to/for the dead, and is following the historic practice of the church in this regard.

Sex and Male/Female Relations
*The Space Trilogy* is one of Lewis’s least-read works.  THAT HIDEOUS STRENGTH shows Jane Studdock having to undo her feminism and surrender to the reality that hierarchy is real, and in that hierarchy–particularly her husband–she will have to learn to surrender to her husband’s masculinity and relish in that reality.  This may be Vaus’s best chapter.

Following that fact, Lewis introduces us to monarchy as a real category.  (I’ve been attacked so often for being a monarchist it’s not funny.  I wouldn’t mind the criticisms of monarchy if they didn’t suck so badly.  There are good criticisms of monarchy out there; they’re just rarely offered.).   Accepting monarchy isn’t the big issue.  Vaus/Lewis suspects that our reticence to monarchy stems from a secret urge to egalitarianism.   But if hierarchy is a legitimate social and moral category, then why can’t monarchy be just as legitimate a political category?  In any case, Vaus quotes a beautiful and stirring passage from *That Hideous Strength* telling when Jane Studdock first looks upon the face of Dr Ransom–a man who is a true warrior-priest–and her world is unmade.  Reading between the lines, Lewis is telling us she looked upon the face of true, holy monarchy for the first time.  She saw in Ransom the ancient wisdom and holy strength of the kings of old.  You simply do not find this in democratically-elected officials.

The more theological chapters–dealing with the Trinity and Scripture–are okay, I guess.  After several years and several thousand double-columned pages reading the Church Fathers on the Trinity and Christ, I’m not too interested in what Vaus has to say on it.  No offense. And that’s because Lewis and Vaus commit theological howlers at times (e.g., saying Christ has one will; formally, that’s the heresy of monotheletism; page 81).There are some gems, though–where Vaus compares Lewis’s “Cosmic Dance” to Gregory of Naziansus.  That’s cool by me.

Conclusion:
The book is not without it’s problems.  But I don’t want to dwell on the problems.  Vaus does talk about Lewis’s view on Scripture, including his denial of inerrancy.    I was familiar with Lewis’s position before, but I think Vaus could have spent more time on the problems both with inerrancy and some of the traps its deniers fall into.

Review of Fr Seraphim Rose: His Life and Works

This biography read like a “page-turner novel.”  Most novels aren’t this exciting.  It is a combination of St Augustine’s *Confessions* along with a touch of Louis L’Amour.  But most importantly, it is the story of a man’s passionate and desperate search for Christ.  It is the excitement of a philosopher who spends his life for “truth” only to find Truth as a Person.  Fr Seraphim’s life can be summarized along several major segments:  The Search for Truth, The Religion of AntiChrist, Acquiring the Mind of the Fathers, and the Resurrection of Holy Russia.

Truth as a Person
Fr Seraphim, not unlike St Augustine, was philosophically-minded and spent much of his youth vainly looking for “truth.”  He rejected the vapid form of Protestantism held by his nice, neat American suburb community, but soon drifted in and out of nihilism.  After many bouts of anger and depression and binge-alcoholic drinking, he was to discover that Truth is “traditioned” and communities that had continuity with ancient traditions were more valid than more modern expressions of truth (64).

After his conversion to Russian Orthodoxy, Rose began to analyze the modern world.  He followed Nietszche’s trajectory of nihilism as the negation of truth (140ff).  Nihilism in the modern age was to prepare man for the reign of Antichrist and the arrival of the New World Order.   Rose outlined four stages of nihilism:  liberalism, realism, vitalism, and Nihilism

The religion of Antichrist
For Rose, Antichrist was an “ape of Christ.”  He represented the forces of Satan opposing Christ.  He will appear “good” to the world and solve the problems of the world (88).  His religion will be a “demonic pentecost.”  The more fringe elements of society will become more mainstream (cf CS Lewis, That Hideous Strength, 281).  There will be a frightening unity behind the disparate world religions.  He noticed a common theme behind various religious phenomena:   Charismatic Christianity centered on pagan forms of initiation; the ecumenical movement seeks to outdo each other in abandoning all forms of Christianity for the sake of “unity.”  And then UFOs:  There is actually something behind the UFO encounters.  They are clearly something of the paraphysical and occult realm.  The aliens seem to be a strange mingling of physic and psychic matter–just like demons.    The matter in them is of such subtlety it cannot be perceived except by saints.  The message of the UFOs is to prepare for the reign of Antichrist.  St Ignatius Brianchanninov said that the miracles of Antichrist will be in the aerial realm, where Satan has chief dominion.

Acquiring the Mind of the Fathers
The Mind of the Fathers is the Living understanding of Holy Tradition (416ff).  They are the links between ancient texts and today’s reality.  The fathers are the most capable preservers of the Truth because of the sanctity of their lives.  Rose learned that he had to “acquire their mind–”  he had to learn, think, and feel the way they did.  He had to conform his consciousness to that of the Fathers.   Acquiring the mind of the fathers is to acquire the mind of the church, which is the mind of Christ, who is the head of the Church.   How do we acquire their minds (465)?  1.  Constancy:  Rose worked out a spiritual regimen based on wisdom from the Holy Fathers.  Regular reading of the fathersl 2.  Pain of Heart.

The Resurrection of Holy Russia
Fr Seraphim noted that Holy Russia would be resurrected from the ashes of Communism before the end of the world (653).  The return of a Tsarist and pious leader is the half-hour silence in heaven spoken of in the Apocalypse, immediately before the reign of Antichrist.  Rose saw Russia as a “blood-covered martyric land.”  The Tsar-martyr Nicholas II was the restrainer of Antichrist (2 Thess. 2).  The patricidal murder of the Tsar is a sign we are living in pre-Antichrist times (192).  This idea can be connected with the horror of the 20th century, the rise of globalist institutions, global credit, and secular ideologies.

Of particular interest here are the prophecies of St Seraphim of Sarov, who gave four prophecies pertaining to the resurrection of Holy Russia (he spoke in the 19th century), three of which have already happened.

Fr Seraphim’s message to us:
It is later than you think.  We live in an age where secular leaders openly call for world governance based on the bloody ideologies of the 20th century.  While many ages think they are in the last generation, and Fr Seraphim would not want us wasting time predicting “times,” the New Testament does call for us to be awake and alert.  When the leaders of countries call for a one-world government and one-world market, and when we take note of the “demonic pentecost” (spoken above), we can’t pretend we are “just living in normal times.”  Rose had a particularly painful chapter called, “Today in Russia; tomorrow in America.”  He meant that the Communist GULAG would soon come to America.  With Obama’s cabinet and FEMA, can anyone seriously doubt this?

In any case, Hieromonk Damascene did a wonderful job in writing this book.