Last post on theonomy (for a while). The title of this post seems odd, given that Christian Reconstructionists seek to “reconstruct” America, and I believe that is sincerely their goal. (Despite the confusion of terms, I am using theonomy and Christian Reconstruction as synonymous. I know they really aren’t, but I don’t feel like getting into semantics).
As Serge Trifkovic noted, Western Civilization didn’t come from the West. It came from Christianity. And Christianity came from the East. (I had a theonomist challenge me on this point; I then asked what town Christ was born in. Where were the apostles first called Christians? It wasn’t Geneva or Scotland). And if Christianity shaped Eastern culture, then the typical Western responses to “Byzantinism” or “early Church apostasy” lose some force. (This is a very interesting point, but I won’t pursue it now).
In one of my monarchist discussions on a theonomy message board, in responding to the standard charge (Moses forever instituted theocratic republicanism for all time and all places), I asked why the early church, the medieval church, and even Calvin (for what it’s worth) all viewed monarchy with more or less primacy? (To be fair to the theonomists, I’m not entirely sure to the answer. I think it has something to do with Romano-Byzantinism, but I really do not know enough to answer that question; I do know that the historical church’s position on this matter was NOT the reconstructionist position).
And so we have something like the following conclusions: in their best moments (Bahnsen, North, Morecraft et al) theonomists will advocate something like “reconstructing” society or defending Western civilization. Most astute Christians know that Western Civilization is tied to Christianity. Here’s the problem: it’s rather odd to say that you are defending Western civilization’s cultural legacy while at the same time trashing what it’s fathers said about the following: the visible church, politics, art (e.g., icons), kingship, and economics (they weren’t free market capitalists).
While I moderate comments, I will allow any interested theonomist to comment. I moderate the comments to keep trolls out.