Is any alliance possible between an atheistic, materialistic, despotic, and violent system and one which affirms God, the spiritual freedom, and suffering love? Clearly, many Americans perceive the relationship between Marxism and Christianity in such terms. For many, the word “Marxism” operates as an emotive signal, unleashing ghastly images of slave labor camps, secret police and robot populations. Calm discussion of the theories and movements the word denotes becomes impossible. Evidence that any “Christian” group is seriously studying Marx becomes proof positive of its apostasy.
Still, labor camps, secret police and suppressed peoples do exist under Marxist regimes mouthing glorious slogans of humanization and justice. Upon hearing that Latin America’s popular “liberation theologies” often urge cooperation with Marxists, most Americans are understandably perplexed. Is “liberation theology” just one more infamous example of Christendom adopting a secular ideology and “baptizing” it with a few scattered texts? Or might there be a genuine path from biblical revelation to at least some Marxist tenets? If so, how might committed Christians apply Marxist insights? These are our major questions.