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What must I do to be saved? The Radical Marxist Foundation of Tim Keller’s Social Gospel Timothy F. Download the PDF version of this review. If you do not have Adobe Acrobat installed on your system please click here on Adobe Acrobat Reader to download. Download the E-Book version of this review.
Download the Kindle version of this review. It bothered Marx that the value of a worker’s labor in a capitalist society was expressed in monetary terms established by a free market exchange—what he called the commoditization of labor—and it apparently bothers Pope Francis, too. He wants people to be paid according to their needs, not according to the market value of their labor. Only a few days after Pope Francis issued his Apostolic Exhortation, U. This is the core belief of Marxist philosophy, and as Obama himself acknowledges in his memoirs, he is naturally drawn toward Marxism, and intentionally chose Marxist professors while he attended Occidental College. Late in the 1930s outlined his essential agreement with Marxist thought. Marxism furnished an analysis of the economic structure of society that was essentially correct.
It correctly perceived the conflict between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie as inevitable. He agreed that private ownership of the means of production was the basic cause of periodic economic crises. Ford Motor Company was in fact a public corporation and should no longer be privately owned. This conviction is the same as that behind President Obama’s restructuring of America’s health care industry.
Whether through the campaign of Mayor de Blasio in New York, the writings of Pope Francis in Rome, or the philosophical meanderings of President Obama, Christians throughout the world are being exposed to the economic theories of high-profile Marxists. Socialism, which according to Marx merely serves as a transition in an economic shift away from capitalism toward Marxism, may justifiably be called the institutionalization of man’s natural proclivity for covetousness. Capitalism, on the other hand, requires something more than the raw desire to obtain another man’s property. It requires that a man value his neighbor’s goods. There is nothing so efficient in establishing the objective value of another man’s goods as the price mechanism of the free market. Cursed be he that removeth his neighbour’s landmark.
Before God, it is reprehensible to appropriate thy neighbor’s goods. Because it is un-Biblical, socialism must always be repackaged and remarketed to Christians in a manner that cloaks its lawlessness behind the curtain of the ostensible kindness and compassion of its advocates. It may come as a surprise to his conservative evangelical readers that Tim Keller’s recent book, Every Good Endeavor: Connecting Your Work to God’s Work, is simply a recapitulation of Marx’s theory of alienation, and that Keller’s solution to the problem of alienation is indistinguishable from Marx’s. It will surprise his readers to know that Keller’s theory of wages is derived from Marxism. The great shift from an industrial economy to a knowledge and service economy has improved the immediate working conditions of many but has locked countless others into low-paying service sector jobs that experience the same alienating disconnectedness from the fruits or products of their work. Keller has simply restated the basis of Marx’s economic theory: because the capitalist owns the labor process, the product of the workers’ labor is in a very real sense alien to the worker.
I work in order to live, in order to obtain for myself the means of life. Keller explains from the beginning that the purpose of his book is to overcome alienation by doing exactly what Marxists suggest. He is not nearly so candid, but this is exactly what he proposes to do. Bellah’s challenge, italicized above, is simply a recapitulation of the Marxist solution to it. If Bellah is right, one of the hopes for our unraveling society is the recovery of the idea that all human work is not merely a job but a calling. And so, taking our cue from Bellah’s challenge, in this book we will do what we can to help illuminate the transformative and revolutionary connection between Christian faith and the workplace.
Bellah is calling us to implement Christopher Jencks’ recommendation from his book, Inequality. Jencks recommends that we equalize distribution of income through government intervention and break the capitalist link between effort and reward. The reader should by now have gathered that our primary concern is with equalizing the distribution of income. What offends both Jencks and Bellah is the capitalist idea of linking wages to productivity, and risk to reward. Keller passes it on to the church for consumption by first sanitizing it of its Marxist context. This is no passing or accidental reference to Bellah’s work by Keller. It is rather the core of Keller’s thesis.
I was a member of the Communist Party as a Harvard undergraduate from 1947 to 1949. During that period I was mainly involved in the John Reed Club, a recognized student organization concerned with the study of Marxism. Marx’s solution to the problem of alienation. Marx’s solution to alienation was to change completely how people think about wages.