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Another question for the Christian Reconstructionists

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  • Ricardo
    I don t usually post to this list, but since theonomy and Christian Reconstructionism are being discussed, I wanted to pose a question to the Christian
    Message 1 of 15 , Jul 2, 2006
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      I don't usually post to this list, but since theonomy and Christian
      Reconstructionism are being discussed, I wanted to pose a question to
      the Christian Reconstructionists on the list: What do you think of
      the following article, titled "The Antinomian Streak in the
      Reconstructionist Movement"?

      http://snipurl.com/slnm

      (in case your inbox cuts the original url -
      http://www.swrb.com/newslett/actualNLs/antinomr.htm - in half like
      mine does.)

      I will leave it to better men to discuss the merits - or lack thereof
      - of the theonomic thesis as expressed by Bahnsen and others.

      Sincerely,
      Ricardo
    • peter_dawkins1963
      Funny isn t it? For some Reconstructionists are legalists, while for others they re antinomians. Peter Dawkins
      Message 2 of 15 , Jul 2, 2006
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        Funny isn't it? For some Reconstructionists are legalists, while for
        others they're antinomians.'

        Peter Dawkins


        --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, "Ricardo"
        <ricardo.puente@...> wrote:
        >
        > I don't usually post to this list, but since theonomy and Christian
        > Reconstructionism are being discussed, I wanted to pose a question to
        > the Christian Reconstructionists on the list: What do you think of
        > the following article, titled "The Antinomian Streak in the
        > Reconstructionist Movement"?
        >
        > http://snipurl.com/slnm
        >
        > (in case your inbox cuts the original url -
        > http://www.swrb.com/newslett/actualNLs/antinomr.htm - in half like
        > mine does.)
        >
        > I will leave it to better men to discuss the merits - or lack thereof
        > - of the theonomic thesis as expressed by Bahnsen and others.
        >
        > Sincerely,
        > Ricardo
        >
      • Ricardo
        ... Yes, very ironic. But what did you think of the content? Sincerely, Ricardo
        Message 3 of 15 , Jul 2, 2006
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          --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, "peter_dawkins1963"
          <jcalvin1555@...> wrote:
          >
          >
          > Funny isn't it? For some Reconstructionists are legalists, while for
          > others they're antinomians.'
          >
          > Peter Dawkins

          Yes, very ironic. But what did you think of the content?

          Sincerely,
          Ricardo
        • Kevin Guillory
          ... Not much. In Christ, Kevin
          Message 4 of 15 , Jul 2, 2006
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            Ricardo wrote:
            > Yes, very ironic. But what did you think of the content?
            >
            Not much.

            In Christ,
            Kevin
          • j calvin
            Like Kevin, not much. To accuse Reconstructionists of being antinominians is just as ludicrous as accusing them of being legalists. Peter Dawkins ... Yes, very
            Message 5 of 15 , Jul 2, 2006
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              Like Kevin, not much. To accuse Reconstructionists of being antinominians is just as ludicrous as accusing them of being legalists.
               
              Peter Dawkins

              Ricardo <ricardo.puente@...> wrote:
              --- In covenantedreformati onclub@yahoogrou ps.com, "peter_dawkins1963"
              <jcalvin1555@ ...> wrote:
              >
              >
              > Funny isn't it? For some Reconstructionists are legalists, while for
              > others they're antinomians. '
              >
              > Peter Dawkins

              Yes, very ironic. But what did you think of the content?

              Sincerely,
              Ricardo



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            • Kevin Guillory
              ... Though I m not a professing theonomist, the article was nonetheless a travesty of scholarship. While the quotes were clipped and out of context, the
              Message 6 of 15 , Jul 3, 2006
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                j calvin wrote:
                > Like Kevin, not much. To accuse Reconstructionists of being
                > antinominians is just as ludicrous as accusing them of being legalists.
                Though I'm not a professing theonomist, the article was nonetheless
                a travesty of scholarship. While the quotes were clipped and out of
                context, the author never went on to make the crucial distinction
                between ecclesiastical and theological establishmentarianism.

                In Christ,
                Kevin
              • Ricardo
                ... legalists. ... Kevin, Can you define what you mean by ecclesiastical establishmentarianism and by theological establishmentarianism for me? Thanks,
                Message 7 of 15 , Jul 3, 2006
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                  --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, Kevin Guillory
                  <globachio@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > j calvin wrote:
                  > > Like Kevin, not much. To accuse Reconstructionists of being
                  > > antinominians is just as ludicrous as accusing them of being
                  legalists.
                  > Though I'm not a professing theonomist, the article was nonetheless
                  > a travesty of scholarship. While the quotes were clipped and out of
                  > context, the author never went on to make the crucial distinction
                  > between ecclesiastical and theological establishmentarianism.
                  >
                  > In Christ,
                  > Kevin


                  Kevin,

                  Can you define what you mean by "ecclesiastical establishmentarianism"
                  and by "theological establishmentarianism" for me?

                  Thanks,
                  Ricardo
                • Fred blahous
                  Yes, I am curious as to what is meant by this distinction. Has there ever been a consitutional establishment of a church without receiving a confessional
                  Message 8 of 15 , Jul 3, 2006
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                    Yes, I am curious as to what is meant by this distinction. Has there
                    ever been a consitutional establishment of a church without
                    receiving a confessional standard in the constitution, requiring the
                    whole nation to subscribe the whole doctrine? If so, where?

                    All the best,
                    Fred.

                    --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, "Ricardo"
                    <ricardo.puente@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, Kevin Guillory
                    > <globachio@> wrote:
                    > >
                    > > j calvin wrote:
                    > > > Like Kevin, not much. To accuse Reconstructionists of being
                    > > > antinominians is just as ludicrous as accusing them of being
                    > legalists.
                    > > Though I'm not a professing theonomist, the article was
                    nonetheless
                    > > a travesty of scholarship. While the quotes were clipped and
                    out of
                    > > context, the author never went on to make the crucial
                    distinction
                    > > between ecclesiastical and theological establishmentarianism.
                    > >
                    > > In Christ,
                    > > Kevin
                    >
                    >
                    > Kevin,
                    >
                    > Can you define what you mean by "ecclesiastical
                    establishmentarianism"
                    > and by "theological establishmentarianism" for me?
                    >
                    > Thanks,
                    > Ricardo
                    >
                  • Kevin Guillory
                    ... The terms were first used by, I think, Kevin Clauson. I think a cutting edge for theonomists is the issue of practicality. That is, what would a theonomic
                    Message 9 of 15 , Jul 4, 2006
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                      Ricardo wrote:
                      > Can you define what you mean by "ecclesiastical establishmentarianism"
                      > and by "theological establishmentarianism" for me?
                      >
                      The terms were first used by, I think, Kevin Clauson.
                      I think a cutting edge for theonomists is the issue of
                      practicality. That is, what would a theonomic society look like? What
                      would be its structure? What would be the relationship between the
                      church and the state? It's from these kinds of questions that the terms
                      arise.
                      Ecclesiastical establishmentarianism was what Rome once did to
                      Europe prior to the Reformation. Or the Mormons are doing to large
                      parts of Utah. Perhaps we could even say its what Calvin did to
                      Geneva. Basically it indicates the domination of one particular church
                      "denomination" to the exclusion of all others.
                      On the other hand, theological establishmentarianism is the
                      theonomic concept that a particular theological trend dominates. Hence
                      one could envision a theonomic society that would be inclusive of
                      Reformed Baptists, Covenanters, Presbyterians, etc. It's a more broadly
                      inclusive political and social structure.
                      Yet because it's a theonomic society it would have to take steps to
                      deal with idolatry and heresy (e.g. Rome, Mormons, JWs, Arminians).
                      The question still remains: How would a theonomic society deal with
                      these groups? Outlaw them altogether? Or perhaps reduce their civil &
                      political rights?

                      In Christ,
                      Kevin
                    • Parnell McCarter
                      What you call ecclesiastical establishmentarianism is what the Westminster Standards implicitly (and rightly) call for. - Parnell McCarter
                      Message 10 of 15 , Jul 4, 2006
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                        What you call "ecclesiastical establishmentarianism" is what the Westminster Standards implicitly (and rightly) call for.
                         
                        - Parnell McCarter
                         
                      • Fred blahous
                        G day Kevin, National Establishment is also what James and Charles did to Papists in the three kingdoms. And what public schools do today. Then there is
                        Message 11 of 15 , Jul 5, 2006
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                          G'day Kevin,

                          National Establishment is also what James and Charles "did to"
                          Papists in the three kingdoms. And what public schools do today.
                          Then there is driver ed. I don't see that it is a particularly
                          onerous burden being applied in compulsory attendence laws aimed at
                          non or malignant Presbyterians, under Ecclesiastical Establishments.

                          All the best,
                          Fred.

                          --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, Kevin Guillory
                          <globachio@...> wrote:
                          >
                          > Ricardo wrote:
                          > > Can you define what you mean by "ecclesiastical
                          establishmentarianism"
                          > > and by "theological establishmentarianism" for me?
                          > >
                          > The terms were first used by, I think, Kevin Clauson.
                          > I think a cutting edge for theonomists is the issue of
                          > practicality. That is, what would a theonomic society look like?
                          What
                          > would be its structure? What would be the relationship between
                          the
                          > church and the state? It's from these kinds of questions that the
                          terms
                          > arise.
                          > Ecclesiastical establishmentarianism was what Rome once did to
                          > Europe prior to the Reformation. Or the Mormons are doing to
                          large
                          > parts of Utah. Perhaps we could even say its what Calvin did to
                          > Geneva. Basically it indicates the domination of one particular
                          church
                          > "denomination" to the exclusion of all others.
                          > On the other hand, theological establishmentarianism is the
                          > theonomic concept that a particular theological trend dominates.
                          Hence
                          > one could envision a theonomic society that would be inclusive of
                          > Reformed Baptists, Covenanters, Presbyterians, etc. It's a more
                          broadly
                          > inclusive political and social structure.
                          > Yet because it's a theonomic society it would have to take
                          steps to
                          > deal with idolatry and heresy (e.g. Rome, Mormons, JWs,
                          Arminians).
                          > The question still remains: How would a theonomic society deal
                          with
                          > these groups? Outlaw them altogether? Or perhaps reduce their
                          civil &
                          > political rights?
                          >
                          > In Christ,
                          > Kevin
                          >
                        • Ricardo
                          ... broadly ... Kevin, I m having a little trouble understanding why you didn t think much of the article titled The Antinomian Streak in the
                          Message 12 of 15 , Jul 18, 2006
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                            --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, Kevin Guillory
                            <globachio@...> wrote:
                            > On the other hand, theological establishmentarianism is the
                            > theonomic concept that a particular theological trend dominates. Hence
                            > one could envision a theonomic society that would be inclusive of
                            > Reformed Baptists, Covenanters, Presbyterians, etc. It's a more
                            broadly
                            > inclusive political and social structure.
                            > Yet because it's a theonomic society it would have to take steps to
                            > deal with idolatry and heresy (e.g. Rome, Mormons, JWs, Arminians).
                            > The question still remains: How would a theonomic society deal with
                            > these groups? Outlaw them altogether? Or perhaps reduce their civil &
                            > political rights?
                            >
                            > In Christ,
                            > Kevin


                            Kevin,

                            I'm having a little trouble understanding why you didn't think much of
                            the article titled "The Antinomian Streak in the Reconstructionist
                            Movement", especially since you seem to agree that Arminians and
                            Papists are heretics (judging by your statement above.)

                            And yet that is precisely one of the criticisms that the author has
                            levelled at Reconstructionists: their desire to unite with
                            Charismatics, Papists, etc.

                            Here is a quote from the article:

                            [quote]
                            In a related vein, Pastor Joe Morecraft described his vision for a
                            reconstructed America. Speaking to Bill Moyers, on the t.v. program,
                            "God and Politics," Morecraft made the following statement:
                            "Everybody's going to benefit. Whether they're Christians, whether
                            they're Protestant Christians or Catholic Christians or Jews or
                            whatever they be, everybody will benefit from having a Christian
                            culture. Where Christian principles reign supreme, where people in
                            places of leadership recognize the supremacy of God, there will be
                            more freedom, more prosperity, more security for every law-abiding
                            American." ("God and Politics: On Earth as It Is in Heaven," P.B.S.,
                            23 December 1987.)

                            Is this the millennial kingdom? Are we, indeed, headed for a society
                            where truth and error dwell side by side in wondrous harmony and
                            prosperity? By "Catholic Christians," does he mean those in the Romish
                            communion ­ persons who, by scriptural definitions, are classed as
                            lawless idolators? If so, then what is meant by the term "law-abiding"?
                            [end quote]

                            Also, in the inclusivistic theonomic society that you called
                            "theological establishmentarianism", will the Regulative Principle be
                            a matter of adiaphora? What about Sabbath keeping? Or what about
                            images of Christ - will they be tolerated or unlawful?

                            More to the point, do you agree with the author on these points, or do
                            you agree with the Reconstructionists mentioned in the article on
                            these matters?

                            Sincerely,
                            Ricardo

                            PS Please forgive me for the delay in responding.
                          • Kevin Guillory
                            Ricardo wrote: Just a point of clarity. I m neither a Theonomist nor a Reconstructionist. The verbatim you quoted was merely my regurgitation of a
                            Message 13 of 15 , Jul 19, 2006
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                              Ricardo wrote:

                              Just a point of clarity. I'm neither a Theonomist nor a
                              Reconstructionist. The verbatim you quoted was merely my regurgitation
                              of a Theonomist's comments.
                              > I'm having a little trouble understanding why you didn't think much of
                              > the article titled "The Antinomian Streak in the Reconstructionist
                              > Movement", especially since you seem to agree that Arminians and
                              > Papists are heretics (judging by your statement above.)
                              >
                              Just the title is ridiculous, indicating an overwhelmingly
                              subjectivist bent to Reconstructionism. Kind of like saying "Shakespear
                              was a mysognistic bourgoisie intent on crushing the proletariat -
                              especially those with an X chromosome."
                              Then too, as far as Joe Morecraft is concerned - whose sermons I
                              thoroughly enjoy - was speaking as an individual, not as an official
                              representative of Reconstructionism. And was he quoted in context? Was
                              he talking establishmentarianism? Or exclusivism?
                              I'd also have to ask, do Reconstructionists allow for the
                              possibility of a Reformed society prior to any post-millennial
                              parousia? I have a Covenanter friend who eschews Theonomy precisely
                              because it seems to envision *only* a post-millennial society. He
                              considers himself instead to be a Reconstructionist which (he claims)
                              will allow for an exclusivist Reformed society - here and now - prior to
                              any worldwide revival.
                              Oh yeah ... I don't think Papists are heretical as that designation
                              can be applied only to those who have some semblance of authentic
                              Christianity about them. The papists are merely a satanic cult that
                              dimly tries to ape Christianity.

                              In Christ,
                              KEvin
                            • Ricardo
                              ... I did not wish to imply that you were. ... So the title is ridiculous, but is the rest of the critique accurate [ie is the author correct in taking SOME
                              Message 14 of 15 , Jul 20, 2006
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                                --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, Kevin Guillory
                                <globachio@...> wrote:

                                > Just a point of clarity. I'm neither a Theonomist nor a
                                > Reconstructionist.

                                I did not wish to imply that you were.

                                > Just the title is ridiculous, indicating an overwhelmingly
                                > subjectivist bent to Reconstructionism.

                                So the title is ridiculous, but is the rest of the critique accurate
                                [ie is the author correct in taking SOME Reconstructionists to task
                                for advocating Sabbath-breaking, idolatry, toleration of a false
                                religion, etc.?

                                > Then too, as far as Joe Morecraft is concerned - whose sermons I
                                > thoroughly enjoy - was speaking as an individual, not as an official
                                > representative of Reconstructionism.

                                I didn't realize there are 'official' representatives of
                                Reconstruction. Who might these men/organizations be? Is pastor
                                Morecraft outside of this 'official' group/organization or is he, as a
                                member, merely not authorized to speak 'officially' for
                                Reconstructionist movement?

                                I do, however, heartily commend Pastor Morecraft and the RPCUS for
                                being among the first to recognize and warn others about the Federal
                                Vision heresy.

                                > And was he quoted in context? Was
                                > he talking establishmentarianism? Or exclusivism?

                                Incidently, since Protestants follow the rule of Sola Scriptura, where
                                exactly do you find the distinction between "Ecclessiastical
                                establishmentarianism" and "Theological establishmentarianism" in the
                                Scriptures?

                                > I'd also have to ask, do Reconstructionists allow for the
                                > possibility of a Reformed society prior to any post-millennial
                                > parousia? I have a Covenanter friend who eschews Theonomy precisely
                                > because it seems to envision *only* a post-millennial society. He
                                > considers himself instead to be a Reconstructionist which (he claims)
                                > will allow for an exclusivist Reformed society - here and now -
                                prior to
                                > any worldwide revival.

                                My concern isn't with the escatological outworkings of
                                Reconstructionism, but rather with the anti-confessional teachings of
                                SOME Reconstructionists, and the silence of the majority of
                                Reconstructionists concerning these teachers.

                                > Oh yeah ... I don't think Papists are heretical as that designation
                                > can be applied only to those who have some semblance of authentic
                                > Christianity about them. The papists are merely a satanic cult that
                                > dimly tries to ape Christianity.

                                While I also agree that the papists are a "satanic cult that dimly"
                                try "to ape Christianity", it seems that at least the Free
                                Presbyterian Church of Scotland consider their doctrines heretical.

                                Here's a quote from the Free Presbyterian Bookroom website:

                                "Come Out From Among Them
                                John Calvin, hardback
                                Calvin writes against the `Nicodemites', a class of would-be
                                Protestants who claim that it is lawful to attend the outward
                                ordinances of Roman Catholicism so long as they do not inwardly
                                receive the **heretical doctrines of Rome**. Calvin's response is
                                forceful. Through a series of tracts, letters and sermons the reformer
                                consistently maintains that proper worship is an essential part of the
                                believer's duty to God."

                                https://fpbookroom.org/acatalog/Online_Catalogue_C___D_166.html

                                This is not a major point of contention; if you wish to refrain from
                                labeling romanists heretics, by all means, go ahead. ;-)

                                Sincerely,
                                Ricardo

                                PS In my previous post, I should have clarified that I meant "some
                                Reconstructionists" when I stated:

                                "And yet that is precisely one of the criticisms that the author has
                                levelled at Reconstructionists: their desire to unite with
                                Charismatics, Papists, etc."

                                I believe Rev. Brian Schwertley would identify himself as a
                                Reconstructionists, but it seems clear to me that he wants to remain
                                within a confessional framework. (Although he is a postmillenialist,
                                I don't know whether he is in the Historicist camp or in the Preterist
                                camp. Perhaps someone who is more familiar with his position can
                                comment.)
                              • Kevin Guillory
                                Ricardo wrote: Incidently, since Protestants follow the rule of Sola Scriptura, where exactly do you find the distinction between Ecclessiastical
                                Message 15 of 15 , Jul 20, 2006
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                                  Ricardo wrote:
                                  Incidently, since Protestants follow the rule of Sola Scriptura, where
                                  exactly do you find the distinction between "Ecclessiastical
                                  establishmentarianism" and "Theological establishmentarianism" in the
                                  Scriptures? 
                                    

                                      The same place we find "Trinity."  It's merely shorthand.
                                      As for the rest of the critique, before I can take something seriously it should begin with a reasonable title.  For instance, should I want to read something on logic and plane geometry I would certainly not pick up anything entitled "The 4 Sides of a Circle."  I would immediately take the author to be a fool.  Along those same lines one may also expose his subjective bias in a title.  E.g., "The Sub-Human Characteristics of all Muslims."  I would not read that either.
                                      OTOH, if there are some Theonomists who seem to advocate the tolerance of heretics and apostates ... shame on them!  But I cannot claim to believe such a thing from any work that I have not read - and refuse to do so.

                                  In Christ,
                                  Kevin
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