Christian Reconstruction influencing evangelicals

This is Wikipedia’s take on Christian Reconstruction:

The movement declined in the 1990s and was declared dead in a 2008 Church History journal article, although Christian reconstructionist organizations such as the Chalcedon Foundation and American Vision are active today.

But can’t the biased (or uninformed) editors of Wikipedia do better than that? At least (the somewhat less biased and more informed) Julie Ingersoll can do better. This is her take on the 2012 documentary Monumental: In Search of America’s National Treasure:

Based on prerelease film clips and interviews, many people, myself included, pointed out the ties between the people [host Kirk] Cameron was relying on as experts (especially David Barton and Herb Titus) and Christian Reconstruction. I went to see it at the theater, and I was stunned at how thoroughly the film was shaped by the worldview articulated by [Christian Reconstructionist R.J.] Rushdoony. I never expected to see “my folks” (as ethnographers often call the people we study) on the big screen in an overflow movie theater presenting R. J. Rushdoony’s worldview to evangelicals, homeschoolers, and Tea Partiers, who never heard his name nor knew that he was the source for much of what was presented in Cameron’s film…

The point is not that Kirk Cameron is secretly working toward the reestablishment of biblical law. But this illustrates nicely the gradual and subtle influence of Rushdoony’s work in the broader culture, in places where his name is completely unknown. Cameron affiliates with Christian Reconstructionists, supports their organizations, and promotes their theological framework. And he does so in a rather unidentifiable way among mainstream evangelicals and Tea Partiers.

Quote sources

  1. Wikipedia (2018). Christian reconstructionism. Available https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_reconstructionism. Last accessed 24th Sep 2018.
  2. Ingersoll, J.J. (2015). Building God’s Kingdom: Inside the World of Christian Reconstruction. Oxford University Press, New York, pp. 208, 209, 2012

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Revealing the anthropocentric assumptions of ‘freethinkers’

According to Jim Ashby, a self-described “freethinker”:

Natural disasters are proof of nature’s power, not God’s (assuming he exists at all). They are also proof that nature is amoral (neither moral or immoral)…

If you accept that God gave us free will, then the wrongs we do are our own fault. But the indiscriminate pain and suffering caused by disease, earthquakes, floods and other natural disasters are not our own fault. If God is omnipotent then we suffer without moral cause when victimized by ‘acts of God’.

Sure, free will. I get it. But why would God create a world with disease-carrying mosquitos, hurricanes and earthquakes if he is both omnipotent and omnibenevolent? It is NOT good to cause injustice.

So, to answer your question, yes, natural disasters are proof that God (if he exists) is not benevolent.

That’s self-serving conclusion, and not really convincing. I find this quote from R.J. Rushdoony more convincing—and expository of Ashby:

Men are ready to believe that history and the universe are purposeless and mindless, and that disasters, deaths, earthquakes, and plagues are unrelated to any mind or will. The idea that a mind could be behind these events they find offensive. Why? The reason commonly cited through the centuries is that it is offensive to believe that a supreme mind and power, God, could permit such catastrophes or show such heartless wrath. Better a mindless disaster than a mindful one. This position, of course, insists that antipathetic events are inescapably wrong for God to indulge in, a major assumption and a thoroughly anthropocentric one.

Quote sources

  1. Ashby, J. (2015). Are natural disasters proof that if there is an omnipotent God, he is not benevolent? Quora. Available https://www.quora.com/Are-natural-disasters-proof-that-if-there-is-an-omnipotent-God-he-is-not-benevolent/answer/Jim-Ashby. Last accessed 28th Jun 2018.
  2. Rushdoony, R.J. (1969). The Biblical Philosophy of History [ebook]. Ross House Books, Vallecito, Location 1054 of 2407

All under God, in every way possible

The world, moreover, cannot be surrendered to Satan. It is God’s world and must be brought under God’s law, politically, economically, and in every other way possible.

The Enlightenment, by its savage and long-standing attack on Biblical faith, has brought about the long retreat of Christianity from a full-orbed faith to a kind of last-ditch battle centering around the doctrines of salvation and of the infallible Scripture.

The time has come for a full-scale offensive, and it has indeed begun, to bring every area of thought into captivity to Christ, to establish the whole counsel of God and every implication of His infallible Word.

Quote source

Rusdoony, R.J. (1969). The Biblical Philosophy of History [ebook]. Ross House Books, Vallecito, Location 260-64

The Bible: for everyone, everything, everywhere

It is not only the church and the school which must be Christian. Every area of life and thought must obey God and His word. It’s a very serious mistake to think of the Bible as a church book. The Bible is more than a church book. It is a book for the totality of life, and as a result, this book is for every man in every area of life, and for every institution. It’s a Bible for church and state, for school and laboratory…

It’s a book for every area of life, and this book is seriously maligned and damaged if it’s treated as a book for the church only. It is to dishonor this book to limit its scope. It’s a book for the courtroom. It’s a book for the state. Every area of life is under God. It must hear His word and must obey Him. This does not mean the union of church and state. It means religion is basic to the state as it is to the church.

Quote source

Rushdoony, R.J. (n.d.). Postmillennialism and Education. Pocket College. Available http://www.pocketcollege.com/beta/index.php?title=Postmillennialism_and_Education_-_RR148K20. Last accessed 13th Aug 2017.

Quarantine is for the evil, not the godly

There is quarantine, the separation of disease, and there is the necessity of moral quarantine of sinful men from society. We do not flee from disease and sin, but rather separate and segregate sin and contagious disease from a community. This tells us what the biblical doctrine of holiness is about.

Too often in the modern versions of the doctrine of holiness, it is the people who are trying to be holy, who quarantine themselves off from everybody else. They segregate themselves and leave the whole of the world to evil. But the Bible says it is disease and contagious men and sinful criminal men who are to be quarantined, who are to be segregated and separated—not the godly.

The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, the world and they that dwell therein; therefore we are not the ones to be quarantined…

Our Lord prays, not that we should be taken out of the world, but that God should keep us from the Evil One.

Quote source

Rushdoony, R.J. (n.d.). The Ritual of Cleansing [sermon]. Pocket College. Available http://www.pocketcollege.com/beta/index.php?title=The_Ritual_of_Cleansing_-_RR172N25. Last accessed 27th Jul 2017.

God’s Word precedes the state’s word

The [Apostles’] Creed has vast implications concerning history because of its declaration that God is the creator of all things. This declaration immediately makes God the source of all ethics, of all morality and of all law…

Either God is the true source of all morality and law, or the state is. If God is the true source, then the Word of God must be harkened to by church, state, school, and every sphere of life as the one authoritative source of morality and law. As institutions and orders declare law, they must do it ministerially, as administrators under God. The Word of God therefore speaks to every sphere, including church and state…

Quote source

Rushdoony, R.J. (1978). The Foundations of Social Order: Studies in the Creeds and Councils of the Early Church. Thoburn Press, Fairfax, p. 5

God and the Bible are binding on all domains

First of all the Bible itself must be taught. If the Bible is what it says it is then knowledge of it is essential to life. The Bible undergirds the civilization we live in; it is the main spring of every facet of our culture….If the Bible is not central to education, to everyday life, [19th century atheist Max] Stirner’s logic [that consistent atheism requires one to disbelieve in the validity of any law] prevails.

The Bible, for us thus must be a part of the curriculum and we dare not teach it as [just] a devotional book or an inspiring book – it is an inspired book, it is not [just] inspiring.

What it tells us about our sin – it’s painful. What it tells us of the things we have left undone, we can think of better reading. When it gives us a catalog of sins that describe human nature, it can be very depressing reading. But it is God’s command word. It is his command word as us as individuals, as families, as churches, as schools. Also as workmen, as citizens.

The Bible is as binding upon the state as it is the church. God does not say the church is mine but the school and civil government and science and art and the vocations are secular, outside my province. Not so. All things are to be governed by the Lord, by his sovereign word. We must teach the Bible therefore as God’s command word.

Quote source

Rushdoony, R.J. (n.d.) The Bible in the Curriculum: A Separate Subject or Foundation for Each Subject http://file. Available http://www.pocketcollege.com/wiki/index.php?title=The_Bible_in_the_Curriculum:_A_Separate_Subject_or_Foundation_for_Each_Subject_-_RR158A2. Last accessed 14th May 2017