Monday, August 29, 2011

Rushdoonsbury Gets Some Attention

The last week has been either completely embarrassing or very exciting for Theonomists of their various stripes. When has the mainstream media ever even uttered the name R.J. Rushdoony in the past, after all? On the other hand, do Theonomists even want the MSM to talk about their views? You have, however, some very measured and careful thoughts from Ross Douthat, who doesn't appear to see a terrifying threat on the horizon. On the other hand, you have people like Michelle Goldberg who think that Theonomy is some sort of secret cult-like conspiracy that is endemic to the right.

My interest is not in contributing to the political discussion since we here at Bring the Books do not identify ourselves with Theonomy in any sense. The fact is that our Two Kingdoms approach is no political threat to whatever nation we as Christians live in because the assumption is that we are to be in this world, wherever we find ourselves, to plant vineyards, to build houses, and to pray for the King, wherever we find outselves. Theonomists (R1Kers, you might call them) do not teach the terrifying things that Goldberg thinks they do, but their views are indeed a real threat to democracy-loving social libertarians - I don't think that can be denied. The defense that I keep seeing from Theonomists is that this transformation will happen via legitimate democratic political mechanisms and will come about because of mass conversions and not by a seizure of force. However, even if that is exactly what happens, not everyone who lives under this newly envisioned theocracy is going to be happy about it. They would live under it, but not willingly.

The threat that is felt nationwide at the mention of something as creepy-sounding as Dominionism or Theonomy is certainly an over-reaction. However, I would suggest that there is a seed of truth, and it causes one to pause and reflect - do our political ideals as Christians line up with Jesus when he said that His kingdom was a spiritual kingdom that is emphatically NOT "of this world," or are we building a kingdom of this world that even the staunchest secularists can see we are jockeying for control of?

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