"Discussion of Some False Teachings of Reconstructionists or Theonomists"
by Missionary James H. Dearmore, B.S., Th.B., Th.D.
Brief Popular Lecture on False Teachings and Practices
of Modern "Theonomists", "Reconstructionists", "Dominionists",
"Sons of God Manifest," "Kingdom Now" promoters, "Calcedonians", "Basileians", and various other
Short Refutation of a Few of Many Dangerous and False
Teachings of Theonomists and Reconstructionists.
This paper was prepared for, and portions of it delivered at the
Annual Missions Conference of Tabernacle Baptist Church, Lubbock, Texas
March 13-15, 1995. © 1995 James H. Dearmore
Go To Short Bibliographical Guide To Study of Errors of Theonomic Reconstructionism
QUOTATION FROM "Dominion Theology- Blessing or Curse" by
H. Wayne House and Thomas Ice, published by Multnomah Press, 1988, Portland, Oregon, 458 pages. (If you don't have this book, buy it if you can, for a good all around look at the subject.)
"The year is 40,255 A.D. The Place is the reconstructed American Republic.
A sample of cases from a local public record might include the following.
"Case 1 --- Frank has an oak tree near the corner of his 120
acre flat, unfenced lot. A 12 year old boy, Nick, has fallen from the tree
and died of a head injury. When the local magistrates investigate to determine
if restitution is to be owed the family of the boy, they find that another
young climber had also fallen from the tree five years earlier, with only
a minor injury.
"Yet another incident had occurred seven years before involving Frank's
son, who suffered a slightly separated shoulder. Frank had been warned
by a local elected civil elder, Bob, after the second accident, to take
measures to prevent any further injury. So Frank grudgingly put up a warning
sign, which had long since become weathered and unreadable.
"Frank is convicted of criminal negligence by a local court and an
appeals court. George, Nick's father, hears a remorseful public plea by
Frank for acceptance of restitution for the crime, based upon Exodus 21:30.
But the young lad was his father's only son, and his oppressive grief cannot
be overcome. On a prescribed date, Frank is led into a municipal plaza
and beaten to death with hundreds of rocks hurled from a crowd of men.
George, Bob, and another witness to the fall are there to throw the first
"Case 2 --- Marge, age 33 and a passive non-Christian, voluntarily
sold herself three years ago to become the slave of Elton and his family,
as restitution for totaling their only vehicle. Her job is to garden and
help Elton's semi-invalid wife with the cooking. In four years she will
be released from slavery at the sabbath year.
"One day, she mistakenly instructs a hired landscaper to cut the lower
branches from Elton's favorite pepper tree.
"Elton, an embittered man known for a volatile and violent temper,
flies into a rage when he learns of this. He picks up a three-foot-long
branch from the pile of freshly cut limbs and strikes Marge several times
on the head, shoulders, back and legs, causing deep welts and bruises and
a badly swollen left eyelid.
"A local civil elder called by a neighbor checks on the situation
and prepares release papers for Marge based upon Exodus 21:26. But two
days after the beating, Marge's eye is better and she is well able to resume
her routine. Elton is judged to have been penalized enough by losing Marge's
work for two days. Marge remains his property and no action is taken against
him." (end of quotation from "Dominion Theology").
The date is taken using David Chilton's prophetic time scale, from his
book "Paradise Restored," and the complete plausibility of the
scenario of these two cases is based upon the combined interpretations
by Gary North ('In Defense of Stoning,' from "The Sinai Strategy"
and R. J. Rushdoony's "Institutes of Biblical Law, vol. 2").
Both case 1 and case 2 are in full harmony with what Rushdoony and North
teach about Deuteronomy 22:8; Exodus 21:28-32; Deuteronomy 17:7 and 21:21.
Of course, these laws were basically liability laws requiring railings
on rooftop porches and penalties regarding habitually dangerous oxen. Then
North's argument for the perpetual use of stoning as the divinely mandated
form of execution is applied.
1. What is Christian Reconstructionism and what do we (and they)
mean by the term "Theonomy"? "Theonomy" derives from
two words meaning "God" and "Law." The Reconstructionists
believe that the Law of God, or Biblical Law, as codified in the Old Testament
should be instituted as the law of the United States and every nation on
earth before the return of Christ.
If Reconstructionists succeed, and are consistent with their own teachings,
blasphemy would be a criminal offense, homosexuality a capital crime, and
slavery (in some form) would be re-instituted. While nearly all Theonomists
defend this position about the law, the two most significant ones are Rushdoony's
"Institutes of Biblical Law" and Bahnsen's "Theonomy in
Christian Ethics". These books provide the foundation for many others
on social policy, by men within the movement, by such authors as North,
Chilton, Sutton, DeMar, and others.
The idea of a "God ruled political set-up" has been around for
many years, coming the nearest to actual practice on earth probably during
the time of the rule of Moses, or the time of the rule of the Old Testament
Prophets, or even during the early days of the reign of King David.
But there has never been any time in history known to me when a true
and full "Theocracy" or theocratic government has ruled successfully
over large numbers of people for a long period of time.
There was a time, of course,
when the Dutch "Puritans" if we may call them that, had control
of Holland with Abraham Kuyper as their great leader for about 10 or 12
years, but they were never very successful as political rulers.
Some say this was the aim and desire of the Puritans, both in England
and in the United States, and it may have been one of their great desires.
As you may remember, in fact, the "Puritans" did gain political
control in England for a short period of time under the political leadership
of Oliver Cromwell and others, but I doubt that any one who has really
studied this period of European history would say that it was highly successful.
Of course, there is no doubt in my mind that some good things did come
out of that period, as well as some excesses.
I love to read the Puritan divines, and I'm
sure many others also get good from reading them. They were especially
good on subjects such as worship, personal and national holiness and sanctification,
and on several other Biblical themes and doctrines. However, when most
of them approached subjects such as baptism, the Lord's Supper, Eschatology,
and the "means of grace" they nearly always went wildly out of
line with Scripture, of course.
The picture of the Puritans in America was somewhat similar, except that
they never did gain direct national political control, though they did
have great influence in some areas of politics during their early time
period in the USA.
In my opinion, some of the greatest preachers and writers who have
ever lived since the New Testament Days were Puritans, both English and
American, but one has to read them carefully and filter out a great deal
to come up with the pure gold from their sermons and writings.
WIDE AVAILABLILITY OF THEIR WRITINGS
IF YOU LOOK IN SOME OF THE MODERN BOOK STORES, it
appears that they have gone, as a country boy in Texas used to say for
emphasis, "hog wild crazy" over the unscriptural rubbish being
poured out in such quantities by Theonomists -Dominionists - Reconstructionists.
Those to whom we refer are known by many names, for example they are sometimes
called Dominionists, Reconstructionists, Theonomists, "Kingdom Now,"
SOGM (Sons of God Manifest), Calcedonians, Basileians. And there are several
other names one could use for them. While there are various "flavors"
or "varieties" of their doctrines among these named groups and
others like them, they all, in a very general sense, seem more or less
closely related on their teachings and tactics.
Gary North and his cohorts at Tyler, Texas, seem to be the MOST radical
of all the groups, however, I would consider them all to be extreme radicals,
most of them willing to go to almost any extent to attempt to "prove
their points" or to advance their cause.
The well known mail order discount booksellers "Great Christian Books"
of Elkton, Maryland, while they sell many worthwhile books at good discount
prices, are also heavy promoters and sellers of Reconstructionist-Theonomic
books, tapes, etc.
Prominent publishers of the Reconstructionist-Theonomist materials include
Institute for Christian Economics, Presbyterian and Reformed, Wolgemuth
and Hyatt, Dominion, Ross House, Geneva, Kingdom, Thoburn, Still Waters
Revival, and several others, as well as an occasional volume published
by one of the larger commercial or general publishing houses.
In spite of the fact that MANY Dominionists-Reconstructionists-Theonomists are very extreme Calvinists, yet at the same time they write and speak as if they believe that they must help God get things under control down here on earth, so that the kingdom (their version of it, which I would
NOT want to live in) can be set up in order that the King Himself can reign properly (through them, of course!).
There are many prolific writers among them. Some of the outstanding
examples, so far as quantity of materials they publish, would include such
men as Gary North, Greg Bahnsen, R. J. Rushdoony, Gary DeMar, Kenneth Gentry,
David Chilton, Ray Sutton, Steve Schlissel, George Grant, James Jordan,
Peter Leithart, Robert Thoburn, Herbert Schlossberg, the Paulk Brothers
of Atlanta, Georgia, etc., and several others. Then there are various others,
who while not openly radical dominionists themselves, often write good
reviews of theonomic reconstructionist books and generally help the Theonomists
along their way. Some of their materials are recommended by such men as
Jerry Bridges, John F. MacArthur, and Ernest Reisinger, as well as other
well known names.
(Mr. David Chilton, one of the more prominent Theonomic writers,
suffered a massive heart attack with major heart destruction and extensive
brain damage a while back. Although I disagree strongly with much of what
he has written or said, he and his family have my sympathy about his physical
condition. According to reports, he remains in poor condition at this time,
though he did finally come out of the coma he was in for a long time).
These theonomists, reconstructionists, dominionists, or whatever
they may choose to use as a name for their false doctrines, since they
have no substantial applicable body of scripture references to support
their "peculiar" interpretations, seem to use several other methods
to try and make up for lack of Biblical support for their ideas. We shall
mention some of their rather "nasty and unethical" methods later.
Make no mistake, the Theonomists or Reconstructionists consider Pre-millennialists and Pre-millennialism to be their greatest enemies, and they are working all the time to destroy or weaken the standing and strength of those of
us who do believe and teach the clearly Biblical teachings of the Premillennial
and Pretribulational return of our glorious Redeemer. The Reconstructionist - Dominionist - Theonomist leaders often refer sarcastically to us as "pessi-millennialists," claiming we are defeatist pessimists in our teaching and beliefs.
Some of their prime efforts at promoting Theonomy and destroying or weakening their opponents are based on variations of the following things:
1. They attempt to portray all their strong
supporters as brilliant scholars. (If you mean by "scholar"
one who has a good academic educational background, then many of them are
"scholars". But if you mean by that word a "Bible Scholar,"
then clearly the "Theonomic Scholars" are not scholars at all!
Some of their attempts to "bend" Scripture to fit their views
are ridiculous to the point of being pathetic).
2. Negatively, they generally attempt to portray
all their opponents as ignorant or dishonest, preferably both. When
someone writes a book, booklet or even an article exposing the weaknesses
or even the downright "unscripturalness" of many of the theonomists
own statements in their articles, books, tapes, etc., the Theonomists often
come quite "unstuck" in their outrage. They sometimes become
so angry at anyone "daring" to dispute one of their pet ideas,
that they act like a spoiled child who's just been told to turn off the
TV and go to bed -- They have a regular tantrum, a childish fit! Often
they do not even make a reasonable attempt to answer the objections of
their opponents, but instead they try to make fun of or ridicule him or
his book or article, with biting sarcasm, childish remarks about his scholarship
or mental ability, etc.
3. Positively, they usually try to display
themselves as being of very high moral standards and superior conduct,
ideals, and ethics. BUT one of their leading men is married to the
daughter of one of their other leading men, and yet, according to published
reports, son-in-law and father-in-law are not even on speaking terms, though
both are avid Theonomists or Reconstructionists!
4. Negatively, many Theonomists constantly
lie (often using the old "straw man" technique -- That is, they
pretend that we who do not agree with their weird interpretations of scripture
believe things that we do not and never have believed, then show how silly
that belief is, but we never did believe it in the first place) about those
who disagree with them, and often attempt to insinuate that opponents
are "antinomians" or unethical in some form or the other. Like
the Pharisees, while pretending to be "oh so (self) righteous"
themselves, they cast aspersions on the ethics, morality, scholarship,
and mental ability of their serious opponents.
5. They, like many who try to prove that which
is unprovable by the Scriptures alone, often try to support their
position by gross distortion of minor parts or short quotes from various
other men, preferably those no longer around to defend themselves and deny
the applications being made of their works.
Theonomists seem to prefer works, (for this purpose of quotation
to support their ideas), written many years ago before anyone was even
close to being a modern theonomist, or agreeing with what modern theonomists
Reconstructionist-Theonomists love to claim the Puritans were basically
in agreement with them on their reconstructionist-theonomic ideas, but
they cannot show a single example in history where any group of people
were in large-scale agreement with their ideas and their practices, and
their written proposals for the future.
Some of these fellows will even take History and make one such as
Irenaeus into a Post-millennialist or an A-millennialist, which is an outright
falsehood. Chilton did this very thing with his treatment of Irenaeus in
his "Days of Vengeance."
I don't want to get into this very much as I may encroach on some
of the other speakers here, (at Conference in 1995) but it is clear to
any who read early Church history that most if not all of the earliest
church fathers were pre-millennial in their beliefs and in their writings,
including Irenaeus, most of his predecessors, and many of his successors
also, until near the time of Augustine, when a-millennialism began to be
promoted by some, while others remained clearly and strongly pre-millennial.
There was nothing even remotely comparable
to modern day reconstructionism until very recent times. One of the prominent
leaders of the Reconstructionists, Gary North, wrote in 1978 that the movement
did not exist 20 years ago. Theonomics (or Christian Reconstructionism)
has been built up as a movement primarily by Rousas Rushdoony, Greg Bahnsen,
and Gary North during the last 30 some odd years.
Of course, their efforts to claim some group from history as their
forerunners sometimes "backfires" on them. The few cases in history
which could possibly, by stretching the imagination considerably, be pointed
to as genuine attempts to "set up a theonomic political-religious
system in control of a certain region or group of people in the world,"
have clearly been of short duration, and not very successful. And even
these few examples they can go back to in history were NOT, REPEAT NOT,
genuine full scale applications in practice of the modern day theonomic-reconstructionists
teachings in any case known to me.
If all those individuals or political groupings (from many years
ago) they claim openly or by insinuation to be supporters of their position
were truly so, then it is genuinely astonishing that the moral situation
in the world has continued all these hundreds of years to get worse and
worse rather than for their false version of the "millennium"
(which is really no "millennium" at all) to have arrived.
6. Toward anyone who attempts to oppose them,
their attitude is one of nasty sarcasm, and savage attack, attack, attack!
If one attempts to talk to them, or pin them down on any single
point, one of their favorite defenses is to pretend that we just "didn't
understand what they wrote" or that they "didn't really say what
we say they said" even though we can show it in their own materials,
in their own books, and in quotations from others which they give with
undiluted approval in their own writings.
7. The general attitude of many theonomists
to those who disagree with them seems to be one of harassment, obstruction,
and a total unwillingness to engage in public dialogue or dispute unless
they are allowed to monopolize or dominate the discussion. They very often
show a strong determination to refuse a "fair hearing" to anyone
who does not agree with them.
8. In South Africa, I was at a Bible Conference
in Pretoria, at an independent Baptist Church pastored by a dear friend,
and saw one of the local leaders and promoters of the Theonomic-Reconstructionist
viewpoint in action. Since I am not interested in any "personal"
attacks on him or by him, I will refer to this character simply as "Mr.
"K" (a Theonomic Reconstructionist), and he is a real person.
This "local leader" of the theonomists-reconstructionists
in the Pretoria region of South Africa visited the conference and tried
to harass the principal speaker, Dr. Samuel Waldron, from the United
States. From what I have seen personally in South Africa, and read (extensively),
this attitude of harassment, suppression, and sarcasm, seems to be a prime
example of the general attitude of many leaders and followers of the Theonomic-Reconstructionist
When he could not prove anything by Scripture, and yet felt a need
to "strengthen his position by Scripture quotes," the local Theonomist
leader in Pretoria always used two systems:
A. He apparently "made up" his own
private "translation" of some so-called Bible verses;
B. He constantly listed (without any attempt
at verbatim quotes) Bible verse references, saying that these references
say "thus and so" but when you read the verses he refers to,
you find they DO NOT SAY "thus and so." Of course, this is a
typical tactic of all cults and promoters of heresies which cannot be well
supported by truly Biblical quotations.
SOME short excerpts or portions of the things these men write are
quite acceptable, of course, but I would hesitate to promote or use ANY
of their materials (except for refuting their false teachings), because
so much of it is "poisoned" with their unscriptural ideas of
"Theonomy-Reconstructionism-Dominionism, etc." Almost everything
they write is brought around in one way or another to "prop up"
their peculiar extra Biblical ideas of the "Kingdom." I have
over 50 volumes of modern writings by Theonomist-Reconstructionist writers
as well as several older writers which they try to claim, often falsely,
as supporting their teachings. The Theonomists generally
take Genesis 1:26, apply it to men today, and make it into a UNIVERSAL
AND UNLIMITED "DOMINION COVENANT."
Some of their writings on subjects such as the abomination of Homosexuality,
Abortion on Demand, Child Abuse, and various other current problems are
well done, and even useful, if one is careful to remember and watch out
for the "theonomic" poison ALWAYS worked in with the good materials.
THEY HAVEN'T A CLUE!
To my way of thinking, they haven't a clue as to what the "Kingdom"
really is, nor do they have a clue as to what "The Church" is.
Theonomists (and for that matter Post-Millennialists in general) have a
terrible time with the Kingdom(s), the Church, the Family of God, and Israel
literal and spiritual, generally getting them so mixed up and confused
that it never makes any sense to anyone except themselves and their followers.
The Theonomists (and Post-Millennialists) also generally haven't
a clue as to Biblical truth concerning most things dealing with "end
times" or most other Bible prophecies.
They go to ridiculous extremes with their (I
believe completely false) claims that John's "Revelation of Jesus
Christ" (as well as ALL the rest of the New Testament) was
written before AD 66 or AD 67. Then, building on this completely unjustified
and absolutely unsustainable dating for the writing of the Book of Revelation,
they go on to claim that all of Revelation and most other end times Bible
prophecy was fulfilled at AD 70 with the fall of Jerusalem.
Kenneth Gentry, a leading light among Theonomists or Reconstructionists
has written a 400 page book called "Before Jerusalem Fell - Dating
the Book of Revelation" and other material attempting to prove the
early date of Revelation (before 70 AD). Various other Theonomists have
attempted to prove this, including Greg Bahnsen, one of the leading men
among the "founding fathers" of Reconstructionism.
SHOCKING INTELLECTUAL DISHONESTY
These "Theonomic-Reconstructionist" writers are
sometimes shockingly dishonest, to my view, in many of their approaches
to the promotion of their dangerous false doctrines. One thing they constantly
do, which I consider dishonest, is that they will take some old "standard"
work and try by their "(long) foreword" and their (often long)
"appendix" to deceive the ignorant into believing that the author
of this old standard work was a "reconstructionist" or "theonomist"
in the modern day meaning of the words. An example of this is the Still
Waters Revival edition of the old standard post-millennial work by David
Brown, "Christ's Second Coming."
They have even (same publisher) reprinted the old work by Edward
Fisher titled "The Marrow of Modern Divinity" (with notes by
Thomas Boston) and will no doubt deceive many into thinking that Fisher
and Boston were "Theonomists-Reconstructionists" in the modern
sense of the words.
The "Marrow" book mentioned above
is not really about "Theonomy" at all, of course. The principal
theme of the book is in reality a strong defense of "the free offer
of the Gospel," NOT Reconstructionism! If this author (Edward
Fisher) truly was a theonomic-reconstructionist in the modern teachings
of that group, it certainly does not show up in his "Marrow"
In order to be a truly thorough going Theonomist-Reconstructionist-Dominionist,
you have to be a completely convinced Post-Millennialist, although they
"claim" that some who are A-Mill and Pre-Mill also follow their
We might say parenthetically here that the Reconstructionists seem
to be making some considerable progress in gaining support for their false
beliefs from some of the Charismatics, especially those of the "name
it and claim it" prosperity cult varieties.
But back to our discussion of their attempts to "claim"
support for their ideas from long dead men who cannot defend themselves.
I have the works of Thomas Boston (12 volumes in one set, plus several
other volumes of "odds and ends" of Boston) as well as the Edward
Fisher volume in my own library, and I am NOT IN
THE LEAST CONVINCED THAT EITHER ONE OF THEM WOULD HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH
THE EXTREMIST MODERN DAY RECONSTRUCTIONIST-THEONOMIST MOVEMENT.
There are some things which the Theonomists
say with which anyone could agree, of course. By the same token,
there are nearly always some things that any group in existence today might
say, with which one could agree. But taken as a whole, or in most of its
parts of doctrine, the Theonomic-Reconstructionist movement is far from
scriptural in its teachings and interpretations, and requires severe twisting
of the Scripture to justify itself. Theonomy-Reconstructionism poses a
special threat to Pre-millennialism, as the Theonomic leaders consider Pre-millennialists
to be heretics, and their greatest enemies.
A while back (and "very suddenly") the Christian Book Club
in South Africa where I traded for many years put literally hundreds of
volumes of these modern so-called "theonomic" authors on the
shelves. You can hardly look at any section of the Book Club displays without
coming across many of these books.
As I have already said, some of the materials,
if used or understood in a non-Theonomic or non-Reconstructionist context,
in some of these books are quite good on current events, and on
certain political-ethical or moral issues. HOWEVER, they all start from
"far out" and weird pre-suppositions, and when you start with
un-Biblical premises you always end up with terribly unscriptural teachings
before the end of the story.
I was present and saw, as I mentioned earlier, a certain promoter
of Theonomy in South Africa at the Lynnwood Conference with three other
"stooges" when they tried to disturb, interrupt, and harass Dr.
Samuel Waldron, the speaker. This same Mr. Kreitzer (a local leader among
the theonomists I mentioned in South Africa) has had personal "consultations,
discussions, etc." with one of the leaders of the above mentioned
Book Club (to promote these items, I was told). AND, from a money making
and book selling viewpoint there is no doubt whatsoever that there is money
to be made from selling these books.
But if money making or "sell-ability"
is the criterion for determining which books to sell, then pornography
would make more money, and probably do no more harm in the long term than
the more radical of the books on theonomy-reconstructionism-dominionism,
(I would not want anyone to think I am opposed to Christian Books
or other literature. I am strongly in favor of good, sound, Biblical, [which
is to say Baptistic,] printed materials from multi-volume deep and detailed
studies, to small booklets, tracts, magazines and Christian papers.) THE
NEED FOR GOOD SOLID MATERIALS IN PRINT CAN BE PROVED BY SIMPLY LOOKING
AT THE POOR OFFERINGS IN ANY CHRISTIAN BOOKSTORE. Recently, for a period
of several weeks, the Number Two Bestseller in Christian Books was a book
titled "Mama Get The Hammer, There's A Fly on Papa's Head" --
So help me, that's the title!
The things many of the writers
among the theonomists are trying to promote, although quite different from
"liberation theology" in some ways, yet leave me with a certain
general feeling of similarity to it! Make no mistake, what they are really
promoting is a "revised reconstructionist version" of that old
and terrible evil, the so-called "liberation theology."
I am also quite certain, both from what I have personally
seen of them, and from what I have read of their writings, that these "theonomists" would be the most severe persecutors of those of us who did not fall in with their beliefs -- IF they ever did come to power in a country where they had the power, and could oppress us.
They would justify severe persecution of any who refused their false teachings by their stated belief that pre-millennialism is heresy and pre-millennialists are heretics. R. J. Rushdoony himself in his books "Thy Kingdom Come" and again in his "God's Plan for Victory" clearly considers us "heretics."
To paraphrase parts of what he said, he associated
pre-millennialism and pre-millennialists with Manichee, the Persian founder
of a religious system sometimes called "Dualism," which represented
Satan as co-eternal with God and reached its peak about the 3rd to 5th
centuries. He also associates us with Racism, Arminianism and Pharisaism,
and goes on to say, (and I quote verbatim) "pre-millennialism existed
as a heresy in the Church, rising and falling in various eras, long before
Rushdoony goes on to say he sees pre-millennialism leading to the
"Pharisaism which crucified Christ and which masqueraded, as it still
does, as the epitome of godliness. There can be no compromise with this
vicious heresy." Since heresy can be defined as "a deliberate
denial of revealed truth coupled with the acceptance of error," this
would be strong enough. But Rushdoony went on to say "vicious"
heresy in order to classify pre-millennialism and we who are
pre-millennialists as worse than ordinary heretics!
What would an America ruled by these Theonomic Reconstructionists
be like? There would certainly be a shortage of stones shortly after they
came to power!
IT IS CLEAR THAT THERE WOULD BE PUBLIC STONING OF ADULTERERS AND "HERETICS" IN A RECONSTRUCTED AMERICA, AS WELL AS MANY OTHER CLASSES WHO WOULD BE EXECUTED BY THAT METHOD. There is no doubt at all that if the teachings of some of the Theonomist-Reconstructionist leaders were enacted into law, it would lead directly to public stoning of adulterers, rebellious children, homosexuals and other "criminals," as well as the public stoning of those they would classify as "heretics," if they had the power to do so.
A little booklet distributed widely in South Africa written by one
of the promoters of the Theonomic ideas was written and distributed by
this man Mr. "K," whom I mentioned earlier. His method of writing
and promoting Theonomy or Reconstructionism is typical of what I find in
most of the Theonomic books and writers. I have taken a quick look at various
pages of "Mr. "K's" pamphlet, and found the following in
just a few pages:
Page 1 -- Proverbs 28:19 as quoted by "K" is not
RSV, NIV, or KJV, nor is it LB. Nor does it agree with the JPS translation. He seems to be using his "own" private translation, or at least not one of the common ones I checked. I have also noticed this same problem ("eeny, meeny, miney, moe, to what 'translation' shall I go, OR SHALL I MAKE MY OWN, so it will be sure to say exactly what I want it to say!") in the writings of several
"Reconstruction-Theonomy" leaders. (This problem is NOT just restricted to writers of Theonomic books, of course -- It is creeping or perhaps galloping into many writers methods now). "Mr. K," as do many other false teachers, simply "re-wrote" the verse (via his own private translation), in an attempt to give it a strongly Theonomic-Reconstructionist slant.
George Lawson, in his "Exposition of Proverbs," on page
819 of the Kregel reprint of the 1829 edition, gives an exposition and
application of the same verse. Also Charles Bridges, ("Proverbs,"
Banner of Truth Edition) comments on the same verse. Neither makes any
interpretation nor application remotely similar to "Mr. K." For
Bible students, both these volumes are considered "prime materials"
for any proper study of the Book of Proverbs, or we might call them both
"standards" on the subject. None of the
"old standard" commentators in my library interprets Proverbs
29:18 in ANY WAY REMOTELY FAVORABLE to the Theonomists application.
I have also recently personally checked in the following respectable
commentaries: Gill, Lange, Matthew Henry, Jameson, Fausset & Brown,
Ellicott, Matthew Poole, Adam Clarke, in addition to Lawson and Bridges,
already mentioned, and none of them agrees with the
Theonomic interpretation of that verse.
In page 2 of the Booklet, the Genesis 1:26-28 "quote" appears
to be an RSV quote. The so-called "Dominion Covenant" referred
to by "Mr. K" has been repeatedly and extensively modified by
God on several different "turning points" in the redemptive history
of mankind. It has been modified so
much so that the original "covenant" bears little on present
day affairs other than that man is to rule over the beasts of the earth.
The so-called "Dominion Covenant" we mentioned earlier,
to which Dominionists, Theonomists, Reconstructionists, Kingdom Now promoters
(and others under different names) love to refer, certainly DOES NOT REMOTELY
RESEMBLE NOR JUSTIFY THEIR SUPPOSED INTERPRETATIONS and applications of
the same. They distort, twist, and enlarge
this verse in Genesis 1:26 to make it into a general and universal Dominion
Covenant, with them as the divinely ordained FUTURE DOMINATORS OF THE WORLD,
BOTH POLITICALLY AND RELIGIOUSLY!
Habbakuk 2:14 - Was grossly misapplied by "K," as it is by other Theonomists. Habbakuk 2:14 (KJV)--"For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea," THIS WILL BE TRUE ONLY WHEN THE KING REIGNS PERSONALLY AND PHYSICALLY ON THE EARTH, and He does not yet reign in this sense. "K" later refers again to Habbakuk 2:14, refers to Isaiah 11:9-10, and goes on to say "cf Romans 15:8, 12 in which this verse in Isaiah is quoted, as 'occurring now'."
In other words, he says that the Messianic Age of Christ's spreading
reign over the nations is now. Now, according to "K," "the
heathen peoples are being converted so that they can glorify Him."
This is a commonly made claim (by Reconstructionists) as the leading Theonomists make similar claims that NOW is the time of Christ's Kingdom, that He is reigning now, that we are reigning with him, along with other idiotic statements of a similar nature. Oh, I know God is Sovereign, and in that sense He always reigns, but He does not reign now in the sense of the Millennial Kingdom of Christ, which is a literal and universal reign in every sense of the words, and is yet future -- BUT, I BELIEVE, NOT VERY FAR IN THE FUTURE!
Of course, when one reads these verses in Habakkuk, Isaiah, and Romans,
one finds that they DO NOT SAY WHAT "K" and the other theonomists
claim they say. There is not the faintest indication in any of the cited
verses that the Messianic Age of Christ's spreading reign over the nations
is NOW. Nor is there any Biblical support anywhere else in Scripture, or
in logic, or in history to support such a statement.
Further on in "K's" Booklet -- He tries to
bring forward the Dominionists version of the SAME so-called "dominion
covenant" and apply it without significant change to Noah, Abraham
and David. To do this is ludicrous, and without ANY proper support in Scripture.
It is clear to me that every succeeding new Covenant God made with
His chosen men and through them mankind, (or certain classes or groups
of mankind) was CONSIDERABLY MODIFIED, AND IN FACT, was often
based on a completely or largely different manner, method, or means of
dealing with mankind as a whole, and with the elect in particular.
The South African Theonomist makes Psalms 8:3-5 refer to Adam. There
is no justification in the context or in other scripture to apply this
to Adam. It should rather be interpreted as referring to Christ, and compared
with Hebrews 2:6, 7, 8, 9. John Gill interprets these passages as references
to Christ, the God-Man who shall establish His dominion in His own time,
and this God-Man certainly is not bound to wait 29,000 years (as Thomas
Ice and Wayne House of Dallas Theological Seminary calculated would be
necessary based on the teachings of the Theonomist-Reconstructionist-Dominionist-Kingdom
Now movement) for them to "take over political control of the world"
so that Christ can come back and reign in person.
The Bible everywhere from cover to cover teaches us
that the return of Christ is always to be considered
as "imminent" and that it is NOT conditional on what some heretics
may or may not do, say, or teach. These Theonomists who think they
must get the world under Christian Reconstructionist control so as to prepare
the way for the Lord Himself to come and reign would be pathetic if they
were not so active in promoting their heresies and damnable false doctrines
of every sort.
Arthur G. Clarke denies the Theonomists application of the passage,
(in "Analytical Studies in the Psalms," Kregel, 1979) as he clearly
refers this passage in Psalms 8:3-5 to Christ and His millennial reign.
C. H. Spurgeon ("Treasury of David," Evangelical Press,
1978) interprets these passages as referring to the Christ.
W. S. Plumer ("Psalms," Geneva Commentaries, 1975, Banner
of Truth), while giving some strength to the idea that this is referring
to man's dominion over the beasts and domestic animals of God's creation,
yet secondarily applies it to the Christ, and he with several others he
quotes ascribe the Hebrews 2:6 quotation of this passage rightly to Christ,
our soon coming King.
William Wilson ("Wilson's Old Testament Word Studies,"
nd, MacDonald reprint) clearly identifies this reference in Psalms 8:4
as referring to "the Messiah" not man or mankind.
While I freely admit that not all of the Theonomists writings are
as easy to refute as the pamphlet distributed in South Africa by "Mr.
K," yet out of about 50 volumes or so that I have in my own library
dealing with Theonomy (nearly all written by leading Theonomists-Reconstructionists)
I have not found any yet which can truly stand the test of a plain and
straight forward comparison with the Word of God. (When I say "the
Word of God" I refer to the KJV or so-called Authorized Bible. I am
thoroughly convinced that "anything that can't be proved from the
KJV Authorized Bible, doesn't really need to be proved, and probably is
not true anyway").
I find the Theonomic position
and teachings fall far short of Scriptural teachings, no matter how one
makes the comparisons with the Bible. Whether this comparison
is done on the basis of specific statements, or specific themes, or if
the comparison is made on the basis of comparing general Theonomic-Reconstructionist
principles with general principles clearly taught in the Bible, either
way the Theonomic teachings fall far short of matching the things taught
in the Bible. (All scripture quotations used by me are from the KJV or
Authorized Bible, and shall always be so.)
The best single volume refutation I have seen of the
Theonomic heresies is the book "Dominion Theology - Blessing or Curse"
by H. Wayne House and Thomas Ice, published in 1988 by Multnomah. Thomas
Ice seems to be a real expert on the false teachings of the Reconstructionists.
He was with them for several years, and now they hate him like poison!
If you want to see something
funny, listen to or read after a non-Reconstructionist Post-millennialist
or A-millennialist trying to refute the Theonomists. It is really laughable.
They have to be so careful not to condemn their own Post-millennialist or
A-millennialist positions that they can never mount any credible defense
against even the most radical of the Theonomists.
An example of this is found in the book edited by two
professors from Westminster Seminary, William S. Barker and W. Robert Godfrey.
The title is "Theonomy - A Reformed Critique" and published in
1990 by Zondervan. The whole thing never really gets off the ground, because
they have to be so careful not to "gore their own ox" of Post-millennialism
that they can never really come to grips with a proper refutation of Reconstructionism.
No one really knows what a country ruled by Reconstructionists would be like. There are many questions without any answers. However, as PRE-MILLENNIALISTS, WE MUCH PREFER TO HAVE THE LORD JESUS HIMSELF RULING OVER THE NATIONS DIRECTLY, AS WE BELIEVE THE BIBLE CLEARLY TEACHES HE WILL DURING A LITERAL 1000 YEARS MILLENNIUM.
We are not the least bit interested in being ruled by Theonomists or Reconstructionists who falsely believe they are going to someday rule on His behalf. We shall be quite content, and we do eagerly await that time which we believe is coming soon, when our Great King shall rule over all the earth, with His bride, the Church by His side.
Even so, come Lord Jesus - Let us be ready to meet Him in the air (at the Pre-Tribulation Rapture), and then to reign with Him in the glorious Millennial Kingdom which He shall establish after the Tribulation!
Let us close with the passage in Titus 3:13-14 --- "Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works."
AND SO I SAY -- "Roll on to the imminent, pre-millennial, pre-tribulational rapture! OUR
KING IS COMING SOON!"