BOOK REVIEW: That Hideous Strength (Melvin Tinker)

BOOK REVIEW: That Hideous Strength (Melvin Tinker)

by Michael J. Penfold

Most people have a fair idea of what “political correctness” is, but very few know the philosophical worldview that sits behind it (and drives it). In That Hideous Strength: How The West Was Lost (ISBN: 9781783972401, Evangelical Press) Melvin Tinker removes PC’s mask, exposing it for what it really is – neo-Marxism, sometimes called cultural Marxism or libertarian Marxism. (Note the eyes of Karl Marx on the front cover).

What has Karl Marx to do with having to say “humankind” instead of “mankind”, and compulsory attendance at annual diversity courses in government workplaces? While classical Marxism’s main concern has always been economic inequality, neo-Marxism seeks, in the name of tolerance and equality, to liberate the world from “inequality” in every area of life. It says that the traditional structures of our world – the family, the church, the government – prevent us from realising our true selves by imposing cultural norms on us that unfairly pigeonhole us. Our identity – including our sexual orientation and even our gender – should be determined by our own free individual choice – it should not be forced upon us as a pre-existing societal construct. Neo-Marxism aims therefore not merely for a classless society, but for classless minds and genderless bodies, a revolutionary goal it is accomplishing through the school system and the media, funded by governments and global organisations. PC neo-Marxism is now the prevailing view on the BBC, ITV, Sky and Channel 4; in Hollywood, our Universities, in Ofsted, and in the UK’s political parties (Conservatives, Labour, Lib Dems, Greens, SNP etc.). If you disagree with the ideology of neo-Marxism and its daughter “political correctness”, prepare to be ostracised. While in centuries past the Inquisition punished citizens for “religious heresy”, today cultural-Marxism stigmatises and humiliates citizens for any sign of “social heresy”. How ironic. Neo-Marxism’s message is tolerance; yet its trademark is intolerance (of all who disagree with its ideology).

Melvin Tinker, a Church of England minister, traces the history of this revolution from Marx, through the Frankfurt School, to the mass media PC propaganda of today. In doing so, he furnishes his readers with an explanation of how the Judeo-Christian worldview of the Western world has been replaced with totalitarian neo-Marxist secularism and political correctness inside 60 years. He explains how and why this leaves Bible believing Christians (and ‘traditional’ unbelievers) in a tight spot where they are afraid to say what they think in public for fear of being shamed into silence, losing their reputation or losing their jobs or their freedom. An Anglican insider, Melvin Tinkler also reveals the tragic fact that cultural Marxism has triumphed even in the General Synod of the Church of England, where the LGBT juggernaut is all victorious and its agenda dominates proceedings.

This book is essential reading for parents, students, elders and preachers. At 127 pages it can be easily read in a day. It will open your eyes to what is happening in the culture around you, why it is happening, and what you should be doing about it. Tinker’s main aim is to furnish Christians with an understanding of the times, to equip them to defend the faith, preach the gospel and preserve a Biblical worldview in families and local churches.


“We live in interesting times, times of rapid change where all that is solid seems truly to be melting into air. And, rather than be appalled by this, many in the West greet it as something great and good, even as the magnificent end of history. Melvin Tinker disagrees, and is right to do so. In this brief but pungent critique of our current cultural pathologies, he exposes how stories—the wrong stories— have come to grip our imaginations, how cultural politics has redrawn the map of perceived reality, and how only the story of Jesus Christ and his church can truly satisfy humanity’s deepest longings, intellectual and spiritual” – Carl R Trueman, Professor of Biblical and Religious Studies, Grove City College

“A very brave, fine book written with keen insight. It explains how an older worldview that once shaped the West and in which many Judeo-Christian ideas were embedded has been superseded by one in which those ideas have been uprooted. The brave new world which is dawning is one in which people liberate themselves, dominate the meaning of reality, and subject God—if he is still there—to their own ends. In this context, the church is in a decidedly countercultural position. It is here, though, that it really finds its voice. Here it is able to speak into our fragile and corrupting world and speak of the goodness, greatness and grace of God” – David F. Wells, Distinguished Research Professor, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary