Marvin Olasky

David Horowitz is a 66-year-old polemicist of the first rank. Once a scion of the left, he's now its scourge. His numerous books have take-no-prisoner titles like, "The Politics of Bad Faith" and "Left Illusions." Having sat with him in several discussions, I can't imagine him surrendering to anyone or anything.

 Except death.

 Encounter Books has just published David's new effort, "The End of Time," which shows the side of him that emerged four years ago when he discovered he had prostate cancer. Radical surgery has given him a "reprieve" that should allow him to battle for many more years, but "The End of Time" includes poignant reflections on a relentless enemy of both liberals and conservatives.

 Almost 55, I'll soon be only one short of David in both digits of our ages, and close enough that his words resonate with me: "Think of death as a horizon that travels with us, until one day we reach it, and it becomes us. We vanish in an eye-blink, leaving behind only a little vacancy, like the wake of a ship. ..."

 I hesitate to comment on personal thoughts, but I've seen over the years that David makes his thoughts public with the goal of provoking comment. So here goes: With all the similarities in our family backgrounds and political movement, there is a difference between us: David thinks the ship is lost at sea. Through God's kindness, I don't.

 As poetic evidence of lostness, he quotes the teaching in Psalms "that all flesh is grass and that each of us is like a flower in the field that flourishes and dies: 'The wind passes over it, and it is gone, and its place knows it no more.'"

 Yet, David doesn't quote the next verse of Psalm 103: "But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him. ..." That makes all the difference. Love drives out lostness.

 Upon his medical delivery, David writes: "I could not easily dismiss this idea of a grace unseen. ... I had been felled by a cancer and was still around to talk about it. But ... the biblical point was that the Creator gave us free will to determine our fates. Why would He intervene to change mine?"

Marvin Olasky

Marvin Olasky is editor-in-chief of the national news magazine World. For additional commentary by Marvin Olasky, visit
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