Marvin Olasky On Glenn Beck

Mar 25th, 2011 | By | Category: Christian Life, Culture & Wordview

Marvin Olasky was at one point a radical leftist history professor and an advocate of the communist worldview.  But he trusted Christ a number of years ago and is now the editor of World magazine.  Olasky recently appeared on Glenn Beck?s TV program.  Beck is one of the media stars on the late afternoon Fox TV lineup.  I believe the substance of that interview needs to be summarized.  In effect, I will quote verbatim from Olasky?s account of his time with Glenn Beck.  Beck introduced Olasky as ?a former Communist.  Now he believes man can rule himself.?  Olasky comments:  ?Not exactly, on the last part:  I said, ?We are people created to worship in some way.  If we don?t worship God, we?ll worship the human gods created by people . . .??

Beck then wrote on the blackboard, ?Can man rule himself??  He then answered the question:  ?Yes, if enlightened, educated, empowered, and entrepreneurial.?  Olasky responded:  ?But the Bible says our first sin, back in the Garden, was attempting to rule ourselves.?  Beck then permitted Olasky to use one of his famous blackboards on which he drew and explained the checks and balances that this nation?s Founders set up because they were wary about man?s ability to rule himself.  Hence, originally the US was a mix of monarchy (the president), aristocracy (the Senate), and democracy (the House of Representatives), with further checks from the Supreme Court, state legislatures and a free press.

The audience was then permitted to ask questions.  One young woman asked for help in dealing with her ?sense of powerlessness and sadness.?  Olasky responded that, despite the many schemes proposed by humans, ?Nothing works apart from Jesus Christ.?  Beck responded, ?That?s not the way I would have answered it . . . But it is a good answer.?  He then offered his prescription for a disordered society:  ?We just have to put it all in order.  We have to enlighten ourselves, educate ourselves, empower ourselves, and then be creators.  That is the solution.?  Powerfully, Olasky concludes his summary of appearing on Beck?s program:  ?Clear enough.

Two different views:  One with God at the center, one with man at the center.  Beck emphasized his position:  ?Jefferson said fix reason firmly in her seat, and question the very existence of God.  I have applied that to not just God but everything. . . Empower yourself.??  Olasky concludes that when he went to the Glenn Beck website a few days later and viewed the program, he noted that his comment, ?Nothing works apart from Jesus Christ,? and Beck?s curt response, were not there.  Interestingly, they had been cut!  That says more about Glenn Beck?s agenda than the volumes of liberal critiques of his program and of his worldview.  Beck?s question, ?Can man rule himself?,? can only be answered no, unless you come from Beck?s quasi-humanist viewpoint, which sees empowered, educated and enlightened man as the solution to the human dilemma.  He is not!  Only Jesus Christ is the answer, for apart from Jesus, man will only make the human condition worse.  Marvin Olasky articulated that well (even though it was cut); Glenn Beck did not.

See Marvin Olasky in World (26 March 2011), p. 96.

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6 Comments to “Marvin Olasky On Glenn Beck”

  1. Well said. I am very grateful for Beck’s wake-up call to America while at the same time saddened by his humanistic conservative view rather than a genuine Christian (biblical) view. Thanks for your insightful articles!

    • Nancy Craig says:

      Yes you are right. And what’s even sadder is the millions that follow him. I wrote him an e-mail once and asked that if he believed in the Bible then he should believe in its entirety. Specifically, what Jesus said about Him being the way, the truth, and the life and that no man comes to the Father but by Him. Well, I guess the way to counter this is to keep speaking the truth. What does the Bible say” “My Word will not return to me void”.

  2. While I can appreciate the distiniction between man centered and God centered solutions, I think this oversimplifies and perhaps over-villifies the interview.

    Glen was attempting to empower people to use their influence, that is his focal point. Marvin was attempting to emphasize the helplessness of man apart from God, that is his focal point.

    To take the same dilemma and put it into different context, let’s consider employment. One person emphasizes that God will provide and that we should trust in Him completely. Another says we should not sit and watch the clouds and wait on God, we should work. They appear to be in tension but they are not actually in conflict.

    Solomon summarized it this way:

    16 Do not be overrighteous,
    neither be overwise?
    why destroy yourself?
    17 Do not be overwicked,
    and do not be a fool?
    why die before your time?
    18 It is good to grasp the one
    and not let go of the other.
    Whoever fears God will avoid all extremes.[a]

    I suggest we not make Beck a villian for emphasizing one side of an important argument.

    While God is sovereign, that does not release us from our civic duty to guard the guardians.

    • tmomma says:

      I would encourage you to read up on Beck’s newest book, get a good look at his Mormon, New age, Gnostic blend of a worldview, the fact that he states that God is “IN” All of us ( humanity) and you will see the deception as clear as could be- for yourself. Beck is not restating a different aspect of what could be the one side of a coin, but is infact, for those who are willing to listen, learn, study and capture Glenn’s own words, see that he is saying what is truest to his Mormon roots- that Man may become God. Now, if you are comfortable with that- great. But just don’t call it biblical Chrisitanity and okay with Creator God of the bible, please. The 7: Wonders that will change your life is a book you can Google.Such a beautiful deception. Also, has some great info as in radio and articles regarding these matters. TTFN,

  3. Arnie says:

    Beck’s principles are similar to those of the French Revolution, which resulted in a bloody disaster! Olasky’s are more like those of the American Revolution, which resulted in virtuous liberty that lasted for decades!