Communist Eschatology: A Christian Philosophical Analysis of the Post-Capitalistic Views of Marx, Engels and Lenin – Part 1











In a very moving passage, St. Paul declares, "For we are saved by hope" (Rom. 8:24). As John Murray has pointed out, this can be better rendered, "For in hope were we saved." It meant, Murray makes clear, that, "In hope" refers to the fact that the salvation bestowed in the past, the salvation now in possession, is characterized by hope. Hope is an ingredient inseparable from the salvation possessed; in that sense it is salvation conditioned by and oriented to hope. This is simply to say that salvation can never be divorced from the outlook and outreach which hope implies. The salvation now in possession is incomplete, and this is reflected in the consciousness of the believer in the expectancy of hope directed to the adoption, the redemption of the body.*

Life as an assured and certain hope gave to Christian culture a dynamic power as long as that dimension of hope remained. As defective eschatologies removed that hope from history and restricted it to eternity, Christian culture retreated to the cloister and to the walls of the church. Its imperial and conquering power had been undercut, and the kingship of Christ, and of the believer in Christ, was severely limited.

The dramatic rise of Marxism coincided with the retreat of Christianity. Marxism offered a saving hope, although a false one, and it parodied the Biblical faith in the sovereign, predestinating power of God with its ideas of materialistic determinism. It has offered victory to a world where too often ostensible Christians have offered instead retreat.

Now, with the growing internal crisis in the world of Marxism, its inner decay and loss of hope, it is especially important to analyze the significance of Marxist eschatology in terms of a Biblical eschatology, and to indicate that the Marxist hope has been indeed a fantastic illusion.

In an already published Chalcedon Study, Gary North, in Marx's Religion of Revolution: The Doctrine of Creative Destruction (Nutley, N.J.: The Craig Press, 1968), has given an unequalled analysis of the economic fallacies of Marxism and their roots in a cosmology of chaos. Now, in this work, Francis Nigel Lee gives us the most thorough and illuminating study yet made of the communist eschatology, its roots, implications, and consequences, as well as its far-reaching ramifications in every area of life.

More is involved, however, than barren analysis. Dr. Lee gives us a framework for action as well as for understanding, with a full awareness that ideas have consequences. This is a work, therefore, of major importance, and it has implications far beyond its subject. It is a study written for those who plan to command the future under God by one who regards it as his duty and calling under God to do so.


President, Chalcedon, Inc.

*John Murray: The Epistle to the Romans (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1959). vol. 1, p. 308 f.


The present author has no use for communism. To the contrary, he grew up in South Africa, a resident of Natal, a proponent of free enterprise, and an ardent Calvinist.

Why then, it may be enquired, should he even be interested in the theories of communism? Of what existential significance can the writings of Marx and Engels and Lenin possibly be to one with the author's background?

Perhaps it is not sufficiently realized that the influence of the writings of Marx and Engels and Lenin not only affects the life of everyone currently alive on this planet (inasmuch as even Lenin's 1913 The Three Sources and Three Component Paris of Marxism [p. 3-8] triumphantly claimed that Communist Parties or "independent organizations of the proletariat are multiplying all over the world, from America to Japan and from Sweden to South Africa"), but that their writings themselves actually refer not only to free enterprise but also to South Africa, Natal, and Calvinism by name.

Karl Marx's sister married the notarial candidate Juta and emigrated to South Africa (Blumenberg, p. 11). Engels, in his 1895 Supplement to Marx's Capital III (pp.908, 910), regarded the free enterprise "stock exchange" as "confirmation of the Calvinist doctrine … [of] predestination,” and then went on to state that “colonization … is purely a subsidiary of the stock exchange,” in whose interests “Africa [was] … leased directly to companies (… South Africa…),… and Natal [was] seized by Rhodes for the stock exchange.” And Lenin, in his 1916 Imperialism-the Highest Stage of Capitalism (pp.77, 102), against the background of the anti-colonial “protest … movement in Natal (South Africa),” did not hesitate to point to “Cecil Rhodes, millionaire, a king of finance, [as] the man who was mainly responsible for the Anglo-Boer War."

Calvinism, South Africa, Natal, stock exchange! Unlike Friedrich Engels, the wealthy factory owner, the present writer has never even been near a stock exchange throughout his life. However, unlike Marx and Engels and Lenin, the present writer has been very much inside Calvinism, South Africa, and Natal in his life, and happens to be versed with all three. And the writer's realization of all three communist authorities' gross ignorance regarding the true states of affairs in these matters, cannot but make him very critical about the accuracy of their views in other matters too.

Yet the writer would not pre-judge the issue. In the first and especially in the second section of this dissertation, the communists' own argumentation will be presented almost without comment and at great length. Only in the third section of our dissertation will the communists' views be subjected to criticism.

Accordingly, the Christian layman may find it profitable to read this dissertation in the following order: first, the epilogue and the short summary (both at the end of this work); second, the conclusion (ch. 34); third, the introduction (ch. 1); fourth, the critical section (ch. 20-33); fifth, the chronological table (at the end of the work); sixth, the historical section (ch. 2-6); seventh, the doctrinal section (ch. 7-19); and lastly. the entire dissertation in the indexed order of its chapters.

Needless to say, the present dissertation does not claim to he an exhaustive treatise on all the aspects of communism, but merely a study of communist eschatology-an introductory survey of the communist doctrine concerning expected future events. Those interested in other aspects of communism are to be referred elsewhere-to Bochenski and Niemeyer's excellent Handbook on Communism, for a general survey of the subject; to Burns's Handbook of Marxism, for a compendium of the most important communist documents; to Possony's A Century of Conflict, for communist revolutionary technique and for the military aspects of the problem; to Wetter's Dialectical Materialism, for a survey of Soviet dialectical materialistic (diamatic) philosophy; and to the present writer's own M.A. (Philosophy) dissertation Communism Versus Creation, for the analysis and refutation of Marxist-Leninist genesiology; etc. A reasonable grasp of communism, however, may readily be gained by simply reading the summaries at the end of each chapter of this present work in the order given in the index (q.v.)

On completion of this present work, my second doctoral dissertation, I would like to extend my most sincere thanks: to the Triune God, from Whom and through Whom and to Whom are all things, and Whose victory over all anti-Christian movements such as communism is absolutely secure; to my dear wife Nellie, for lovingly playing this lengthy and cosmologically proportioned score on the keyboard of her typewriter; and to my doctoral promoter the Reverend Professor Doctor P. de B. Kock and my two co-examiners Professor Doctors F. J. H. Wessels and P. J. Heiberg for their profound patience in ploughing through the extensive manuscript; and to my esteemed typesetter, Earl L. Powell of Falls Church, Virginia, for his great patience with me in last-minute amendments and additions in my endeavor to make this book as up-to-date as possible to the glory of God-"his Lord said unto him, 'Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make the ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy Lord' " (Matt. 25:21).

While writing this work, it has become increasingly clear to me that communism has a dynamic plan for developing this present world here and now, and that only a more dynamic plan for developing this present world here and now will triumphantly defeat communism in THIS PRESENT WORLD HERE AND NOW (before A.D. 2000-cf. Epilogue, pp.837-850).

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