Kind words from “Liberal Fascism” author

In response to my post yesterday on our two books about the connections between fascism and today’s left, Jonah Goldberg, the author of “Liberal Fascism,” posted this comment:

Dear Professor Veith – Well, I can tell you didn’t write *this* book. There are important differences between Liberal Fascism and Modern Fascism. That said, it would have been very, very, hard for me to write my book without yours.
I found your book to be extremely helpful in helping me to understand many of the themes I deal with in my book. I have touted it to friends many times. And when I post my bibliographical essay next week, you’ll see it mentioned prominently.
Anyway, I’d be delighted to know what you make of my book. All the best,

Jonah Goldberg, Author, Liberal Fascism.

Wasn’t that nice of him? I apologize if I violated the commandment against covetousness in the tone of my post, envying him the certain success of his book. Actually, the vocation of a scholar is to lay the foundation for further writing, so I find deep satisfaction in what he says and I hope it blows the top off the bestseller charts and confounds all the leftists.

I have always been a fan of Jonah Goldberg, being a regular reader of his columns on National Review Online. He is a master of penetrating insight combined with lacerating wit. So this book should be really good.

Again, buy it by clicking this link. I did, and when I get it sometime after its release on January 8, we’ll discuss it.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • fw

    Dr Vieth:

    Forgive ME for the sin of covetousness upon seeing all of the faith you put into action in your many writings. I would pray that we would all have occasion to be guilty of your “sin”!

    Check out my post in response to your post #10 on the thread of why people leave the church.

    You should know that things come full circle. I think it is safe to say that neither my pastor nor myself would have been as equipped for our 14 year journey together had it not been for your many writings. I almost met you in person. You came to visit as a guest and my pastor tried his best to get me over that weekend. I think he knew we would have hit it off. but I was very sick at the time…

    Here is my point:

    You should know that your books have ALOT more influence than you will ever know. ok?

  • fw

    Dr Vieth:

    Forgive ME for the sin of covetousness upon seeing all of the faith you put into action in your many writings. I would pray that we would all have occasion to be guilty of your “sin”!

    Check out my post in response to your post #10 on the thread of why people leave the church.

    You should know that things come full circle. I think it is safe to say that neither my pastor nor myself would have been as equipped for our 14 year journey together had it not been for your many writings. I almost met you in person. You came to visit as a guest and my pastor tried his best to get me over that weekend. I think he knew we would have hit it off. but I was very sick at the time…

    Here is my point:

    You should know that your books have ALOT more influence than you will ever know. ok?

  • http://www.geneveith.com Veith

    Wow, Frank, thanks for that. I remember the occasion of which you speak and I wish we could have gotten together. My mind boggles at the thought that my writings played a role in this, including with your pastor whom I have up on a big pedestal. (I now know who he is.)

    Writing as I do is a mysterious thing. I put out things into the void and find out years later that some of them have had some enormous impact on a person’s actual life! It’s oddly scary and, though one might expect the opposite, genuinely humbling. I guess it’s a dramatic example of vocation: God working through ordinary human tasks.

  • http://www.geneveith.com Veith

    Wow, Frank, thanks for that. I remember the occasion of which you speak and I wish we could have gotten together. My mind boggles at the thought that my writings played a role in this, including with your pastor whom I have up on a big pedestal. (I now know who he is.)

    Writing as I do is a mysterious thing. I put out things into the void and find out years later that some of them have had some enormous impact on a person’s actual life! It’s oddly scary and, though one might expect the opposite, genuinely humbling. I guess it’s a dramatic example of vocation: God working through ordinary human tasks.

  • http://www.geneveith.com Veith

    Double wow, Frank, after reading what you said about your role in the Lutheran Service Book’s rite of confession & absolution. I was on the Translation Committee of the group preparing the LSB, and I remember how I appreciated the language of that rite and how it was handled.

    I think all Christians are far more influential and have a far bigger impact than they realize, with all of the ripples in the pond hidden in this life, but later we shall know even as we are known, and we will see how casual witnesses, kind actions, and our ordinary work bore fruit in ways that will amaze us.

  • http://www.geneveith.com Veith

    Double wow, Frank, after reading what you said about your role in the Lutheran Service Book’s rite of confession & absolution. I was on the Translation Committee of the group preparing the LSB, and I remember how I appreciated the language of that rite and how it was handled.

    I think all Christians are far more influential and have a far bigger impact than they realize, with all of the ripples in the pond hidden in this life, but later we shall know even as we are known, and we will see how casual witnesses, kind actions, and our ordinary work bore fruit in ways that will amaze us.

  • fw

    #3 Vieth

    Yes. This all can ONLY happen through the work of the Holy Spirit. It is a miracle.

    In confession and absolution one can appreciate the need for the structure and objectivity of the Holy Liturgy. We are speaking to the utter chaos and hate and distrust of structure that is the Old Adam whom we desire the death of.

    Praise worship somehow does not cut it here. ….”From depths of woe I cry to thee….” does.

    Luther said in his later years that there are 7 marks of the church. The first 6 are sacramental and he includes ordination and churches… the 7th is christian suffering. What Holy Absolution is about. Try to explain this to even a non-Lutheran christian. I am not sure how I would do that.

    Even liturgically we can miss this however, the longer more ceremonial rite in the LW falls somewhat short, because that lengthy rite doesn´t make SELF evident by it´s weighting and phrasing that THE point of it all is the Absolution.

    So the order of Holy Absolution in the LSB is not a preparation for the Blessed Sacrament, nor something set apart. It is a continuum of Baptism, Supper, General Absolution. It is the same gift that makes us hunger and thirst for all it´s other forms. It is something to memorize and so incorporate as the solid and sure rhythm of one’s vocation.

    It is something that echos back at us every time we join our yet feeble voice to the Angels, archangel and all the company of heaven in the Holy Liturgy, and as we identify those we need to serve, as father Kenneth Korby points out, by their sin.

    We become fully equipped and liberated to do this identifying, with that hand on our head and the words of a faithful pastor saying by Christ´s authority: “I forgive you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. AMEN!”

    Dr Vieth, your writing are strange in that they are all about that suffering that st paul in chapter 8 says we participate with Christ in. This is the sometimes unspoken orientation that gives all of your writings animus. The shadow of the cross is exactly what makes your writings subversively different from those of rick warren et al.

    I have a favor to ask of you Dr Vieth: pray for me that I might be more useful as you are in the work that lies before all of us. Pray that our Lord would see fit to remove the chaos that remains in my life, not for my own sake (I have Jesus for that), but because there is alot to do. Or if He should chose to leave me to suffer from my chaos, that He would daily allow me graciously to stay out of His way at least.

  • fw

    #3 Vieth

    Yes. This all can ONLY happen through the work of the Holy Spirit. It is a miracle.

    In confession and absolution one can appreciate the need for the structure and objectivity of the Holy Liturgy. We are speaking to the utter chaos and hate and distrust of structure that is the Old Adam whom we desire the death of.

    Praise worship somehow does not cut it here. ….”From depths of woe I cry to thee….” does.

    Luther said in his later years that there are 7 marks of the church. The first 6 are sacramental and he includes ordination and churches… the 7th is christian suffering. What Holy Absolution is about. Try to explain this to even a non-Lutheran christian. I am not sure how I would do that.

    Even liturgically we can miss this however, the longer more ceremonial rite in the LW falls somewhat short, because that lengthy rite doesn´t make SELF evident by it´s weighting and phrasing that THE point of it all is the Absolution.

    So the order of Holy Absolution in the LSB is not a preparation for the Blessed Sacrament, nor something set apart. It is a continuum of Baptism, Supper, General Absolution. It is the same gift that makes us hunger and thirst for all it´s other forms. It is something to memorize and so incorporate as the solid and sure rhythm of one’s vocation.

    It is something that echos back at us every time we join our yet feeble voice to the Angels, archangel and all the company of heaven in the Holy Liturgy, and as we identify those we need to serve, as father Kenneth Korby points out, by their sin.

    We become fully equipped and liberated to do this identifying, with that hand on our head and the words of a faithful pastor saying by Christ´s authority: “I forgive you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. AMEN!”

    Dr Vieth, your writing are strange in that they are all about that suffering that st paul in chapter 8 says we participate with Christ in. This is the sometimes unspoken orientation that gives all of your writings animus. The shadow of the cross is exactly what makes your writings subversively different from those of rick warren et al.

    I have a favor to ask of you Dr Vieth: pray for me that I might be more useful as you are in the work that lies before all of us. Pray that our Lord would see fit to remove the chaos that remains in my life, not for my own sake (I have Jesus for that), but because there is alot to do. Or if He should chose to leave me to suffer from my chaos, that He would daily allow me graciously to stay out of His way at least.

  • Bror Erickson

    All I can say is it is about time someone picked up on your book and brought this into the light. We can all thank Jonah for that!
    Though it will be controversial when the tables are finaly turned right side up. It astonishes me how many people think the Nazi’s were conservative, Christian, and even Lutheran! Even after you see that the solidly Lutheran countries (except Sweden, and Finland, which had it’s own fight against the soviets, and needed German help when the rest of the world abandoned them) all resisted the Nazi’s and not just for nationalistic reasons. Then there were those most prominent voices in theological circles that spoke out against the Nazi’s, all influenced by Luther: Bonhoefer, Kai Munk, Sasse, the list does go on. Yet you visit the holocaust museum and Hitler is given credit for being the “true” Lutheran?

  • Bror Erickson

    All I can say is it is about time someone picked up on your book and brought this into the light. We can all thank Jonah for that!
    Though it will be controversial when the tables are finaly turned right side up. It astonishes me how many people think the Nazi’s were conservative, Christian, and even Lutheran! Even after you see that the solidly Lutheran countries (except Sweden, and Finland, which had it’s own fight against the soviets, and needed German help when the rest of the world abandoned them) all resisted the Nazi’s and not just for nationalistic reasons. Then there were those most prominent voices in theological circles that spoke out against the Nazi’s, all influenced by Luther: Bonhoefer, Kai Munk, Sasse, the list does go on. Yet you visit the holocaust museum and Hitler is given credit for being the “true” Lutheran?

  • fw

    #5 bror:

    dang bror does the holocaust museum REALLY do this???!!! sounds like a letter writing campaign is in order….

  • fw

    #5 bror:

    dang bror does the holocaust museum REALLY do this???!!! sounds like a letter writing campaign is in order….

  • Bror Erickson

    Fw.
    The one in D.C has Luther in quotes on the way in. In a sad way they unite themselves with their true enemies in interpreting Luther in this way.

  • Bror Erickson

    Fw.
    The one in D.C has Luther in quotes on the way in. In a sad way they unite themselves with their true enemies in interpreting Luther in this way.

  • http://www.geneveith.com Veith

    Yes, Frank, I will. Fellow Cranachers, let us all join in praying for Frank Sonnek.

    Frank, you have a unique story to tell (well, it probably isn’t unique, since I’m sure God has dealt similarly with others, but the particular story as you tell it is unique), and you can express the essence of Lutheran piety in an insightful and eloquent way. Also, you speak with the authority of “tentatio.”

    You really do need to have a blog, something quite easy to set up. (Let me know if you need help doing that.) Writing a book, just telling about your life and your faith as it came, would be very much worth doing. Meanwhile a blog would give you a place to store the kind of comments you make here, and it could give you instant access to an audience that needs to hear what you have to say–gay people who need the gospel explained to them, staunch Lutherans who do not always have a clue, Christians and non-Christians alike.

  • http://www.geneveith.com Veith

    Yes, Frank, I will. Fellow Cranachers, let us all join in praying for Frank Sonnek.

    Frank, you have a unique story to tell (well, it probably isn’t unique, since I’m sure God has dealt similarly with others, but the particular story as you tell it is unique), and you can express the essence of Lutheran piety in an insightful and eloquent way. Also, you speak with the authority of “tentatio.”

    You really do need to have a blog, something quite easy to set up. (Let me know if you need help doing that.) Writing a book, just telling about your life and your faith as it came, would be very much worth doing. Meanwhile a blog would give you a place to store the kind of comments you make here, and it could give you instant access to an audience that needs to hear what you have to say–gay people who need the gospel explained to them, staunch Lutherans who do not always have a clue, Christians and non-Christians alike.

  • Bror Erickson

    Yes Frank, Get a BLOG!
    I think that is the new cyberage slogan replacing: Get a Job!

  • Bror Erickson

    Yes Frank, Get a BLOG!
    I think that is the new cyberage slogan replacing: Get a Job!

  • http://www.geneveith.com Veith

    Here’s an easy way to get started with a blog:

    https://www.blogger.com/start

  • http://www.geneveith.com Veith

    Here’s an easy way to get started with a blog:

    https://www.blogger.com/start

  • fw

    #10 Dr Veith

    My problem is not so much the mechanics of starting a blog. I know about web hosting and all in that I am a MCSE (Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer) , CCNA …etc… WordPress looks good to me.

    My problems are the following:

    1) I do not have a call. I am not Doctor as you are. I am unqualified in many ways, perhaps my homosexuality, and my lack of theological training and temperment. I would do NOTHING to detract from Christ Crucified. The goal must be to proclaim Light and not to produce heat. Heat is about that other one we oppose…

    I fear, especially on issues like Homosexuality that I will promote error. I feel the need to be firmly under the structure and governance of those publicly set apart for this work. I have asked my former pastor and others to refer me to someone in one of our seminaries or somewhere who could guide me behind a scenes , and as you know, this is sorta dicey for political reasons. I assume this is why I have yet to be steered here.

    2) Secondly, I notice that topical blogs seem to work the best. Your theme is vocation. this is masterful. Pastor McCain has classic lutheran confessional orthodoxy NAILED in spades. Andrew Sullivan has a political Blog. I flirted with the theme of homosexuality or even more properly, sexuality in general. There is alot of human suffering their that I could join my own and Christ´s suffering to. But this I am convinced would be wrong precisely because I exist in Jesus Christ and my sexuality, like my other human attributes should never be allowed to trump that in myself or others. This is precisely my beef with the family values crowd, Dr Dobson, Joel Osteen, et al. The focus must alway be Jesus regardless of how righteous some cause might appear to be.

    You have my direct email I think. I would be most grateful for whatever guidance you could give me and I would look to follow it carefully.

  • fw

    #10 Dr Veith

    My problem is not so much the mechanics of starting a blog. I know about web hosting and all in that I am a MCSE (Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer) , CCNA …etc… WordPress looks good to me.

    My problems are the following:

    1) I do not have a call. I am not Doctor as you are. I am unqualified in many ways, perhaps my homosexuality, and my lack of theological training and temperment. I would do NOTHING to detract from Christ Crucified. The goal must be to proclaim Light and not to produce heat. Heat is about that other one we oppose…

    I fear, especially on issues like Homosexuality that I will promote error. I feel the need to be firmly under the structure and governance of those publicly set apart for this work. I have asked my former pastor and others to refer me to someone in one of our seminaries or somewhere who could guide me behind a scenes , and as you know, this is sorta dicey for political reasons. I assume this is why I have yet to be steered here.

    2) Secondly, I notice that topical blogs seem to work the best. Your theme is vocation. this is masterful. Pastor McCain has classic lutheran confessional orthodoxy NAILED in spades. Andrew Sullivan has a political Blog. I flirted with the theme of homosexuality or even more properly, sexuality in general. There is alot of human suffering their that I could join my own and Christ´s suffering to. But this I am convinced would be wrong precisely because I exist in Jesus Christ and my sexuality, like my other human attributes should never be allowed to trump that in myself or others. This is precisely my beef with the family values crowd, Dr Dobson, Joel Osteen, et al. The focus must alway be Jesus regardless of how righteous some cause might appear to be.

    You have my direct email I think. I would be most grateful for whatever guidance you could give me and I would look to follow it carefully.

  • http://www.geneveith.com Veith

    Well, Frank, you could focus on “Jesus in everything.” Or your life. You are certainly an authority on that, bringing out your thoughts, struggles, spiritual reflections, etc. Having a blog does not require a call, I don’t think, other than one’s call as in vocation. Just write comments as you do here. (I myself am just an English professor, not a doctor of theology.)

  • http://www.geneveith.com Veith

    Well, Frank, you could focus on “Jesus in everything.” Or your life. You are certainly an authority on that, bringing out your thoughts, struggles, spiritual reflections, etc. Having a blog does not require a call, I don’t think, other than one’s call as in vocation. Just write comments as you do here. (I myself am just an English professor, not a doctor of theology.)

  • fw

    #12 Dr Veith

    No. You are wrong. You are a doctor of theology. you perhaps lack the piece of paper that says so.

    I am curious why one of our schools has not decided to give you an honorary degree yet.

    You are doing something really hard. you are applying confessional Lutheranism in foreign contexts of modernism, post modernist, art, literature. You are managing to rightly devide law and gospel as you do that.

    This is not something Lutherans normally know how to do. You make it look so easy.

    I deal in similar contexts on a daily basis. I hope you don´t mind me telling you that I plagerize you shamelessly on a frequent basis. And so I know how hard this all is….

    By the way my former pastor seems to have you on a pedestal as well… you have helped him through some rough times it seems.

  • fw

    #12 Dr Veith

    No. You are wrong. You are a doctor of theology. you perhaps lack the piece of paper that says so.

    I am curious why one of our schools has not decided to give you an honorary degree yet.

    You are doing something really hard. you are applying confessional Lutheranism in foreign contexts of modernism, post modernist, art, literature. You are managing to rightly devide law and gospel as you do that.

    This is not something Lutherans normally know how to do. You make it look so easy.

    I deal in similar contexts on a daily basis. I hope you don´t mind me telling you that I plagerize you shamelessly on a frequent basis. And so I know how hard this all is….

    By the way my former pastor seems to have you on a pedestal as well… you have helped him through some rough times it seems.

  • http://www.geneveith.com Veith

    Well, Concordia Theological Seminary in Ft. Wayne DID give me an honorary doctorate, and I do have a call with them for the Cranach Institute, so I guess you have a point.

    And plagiarize away!

  • http://www.geneveith.com Veith

    Well, Concordia Theological Seminary in Ft. Wayne DID give me an honorary doctorate, and I do have a call with them for the Cranach Institute, so I guess you have a point.

    And plagiarize away!

  • fw

    #15 Dr Vieth

    Just goes to show that SOME honorary doctorates are well earned…

  • fw

    #15 Dr Vieth

    Just goes to show that SOME honorary doctorates are well earned…

  • http://www.cockahoop.com/ tODD

    I’m pretty certain that anyone who can comment on a blog can also write a blog. In fact, I’d bet there are some blogs for which the bulk of the posts are merely replies to other blogs’ posts. Just saying.

  • http://www.cockahoop.com/ tODD

    I’m pretty certain that anyone who can comment on a blog can also write a blog. In fact, I’d bet there are some blogs for which the bulk of the posts are merely replies to other blogs’ posts. Just saying.

  • Nancy Jarrell

    Is this by any chance Frank Sonnek my dear old friend from Northwestern Lutheran Academy?

    Nancy

  • Nancy Jarrell

    Is this by any chance Frank Sonnek my dear old friend from Northwestern Lutheran Academy?

    Nancy

  • fw

    #17 Nancy Jarrell

    Why yes Nancy. This IS your dear old friend frank sonnek. my direct email is fwsonnek@gmail.com. I live in brasil now. I would love to reconnect with you!

  • fw

    #17 Nancy Jarrell

    Why yes Nancy. This IS your dear old friend frank sonnek. my direct email is fwsonnek@gmail.com. I live in brasil now. I would love to reconnect with you!


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