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God or man? Whittaker Chambers’ ‘Witness’ at 65

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“A former Communist who found spiritual solace in his adopted Quakerism,” says Bruce Edward Walker in this week’s Acton Commentary, “Chambers reduced the dilemma facing modern humanity to a simple dichotomy: God or Man?”

Consider: An avowed socialist candidate came close to clinching the presidential nomination in what was once considered the world’s greatest proponent of liberty; the same country is hobbled by an ever-encroaching, state-enforced regulatory apparatus; municipal bankruptcies and state budget crises proliferate, wrought in part by massively underfunded government-employee pension programs; and wealth and income redistribution have become commonplace mantras of such movements as Occupy Wall Street. The past decade was also marred by foreign adventurism, interminable warfare, and economic meltdowns threatening entire countries from Venezuela to Greece.

While surprising to most of us, such developments were anticipated by Whittaker Chambers, a man who predicted 65 years ago, in his frightening and magisterial Witness, that the world would submit itself continuously and increasingly to inhibiting freedoms by state diktats.

The full text of the essay can be found here. Subscribe to the free, weekly Acton Commentary and other publications here.

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Joe Carter Joe Carter is a Senior Editor at the Acton Institute. Joe also serves as an editor at the The Gospel Coalition, a communications specialist for the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, and as an adjunct professor of journalism at Patrick Henry College. He is the editor of the NIV Lifehacks Bible and co-author of How to Argue like Jesus: Learning Persuasion from History's Greatest Communicator (Crossway).

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