Why You Should Pay Attention To The Reconstructionists In Moscow, ID

Previous accounts of Christian Reconstructionists have tended to focus on these believers’ theocratic vision of a future Christian polity rather than their separation from mainstream society. Today, Gribben concludes, these practitioners of “strategies of hibernation” may no longer be as marginal as some have assumed. In a series of illuminating chapters, Gribben astutely examines the history of theonomist migration to the Northwest, the eschatological assumptions underlying the original Reconstructionist vision, theonomic political theory, the movement’s influential educational ideas, and its thoughtful and innovative use of publishing and electronic media.

For these theonomists, present-day survivalism is closely linked to a future reconstruction of a godly society and Christianity’s earthly triumph. Theonomy is a diverse theological movement, arising within a conservative Reformed milieu. Its central ideas were first articulated by Rousas John Rushdoony, a California-based Presbyterian pastor and the son of Armenian immigrants. Gary North, Rushdoony’s estranged son-in-law, is one of many to carry its banner forward into the 21st century. Although theonomy first gained notoriety through its bold application of Mosaic law to the existing political order, more recent adherents have often sanded down its sharp edges. Read more»

Gillis Harp, “Meet the Conservative Evangelicals Practicing ‘Strategic Hibernation’ in the American Northwest,” Christianity Today (June 16. 2021) HT: Gary Johnson


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  1. I think back to my seminary days and to those few who called themselves theonomists – mostly followers of G Bahnsen. I never embraced theonomy, most likely because reformed theology was new to me and I was more interested in delving into it. But I had many friends who did delve into it and I always wondered what the attraction was. Looking back, I saw a real disconnect with what we typically called biblical theology à la Vos and Clowney. In sum, the gospel. Now I understand bigger issues such as the problems theonomy has with confessions and how (in my opinion) it glosses over or doesn’t understand the covenant of grace. Pretty important stuff. It seemed somehow cemented into doing simple textual exposition of, for example, the decalogue and seemed stuck there not being able to see beyond the horizon of the law.

  2. Interesting that the flagship Big Eva publication has decided to focus on right-wing heretics on the eve of the GA of a formerly-conservative Reformed denomination. This is a feint Sun Tzu would admire.

  3. The Moscow theonomy is interesting because I’m so regularly taught the return to Old Testament law and symbolism from a wholly different perspective.

    Maybe some manner of Christian Right will teach “transformation, kingdom-driven, missional, cultural sensitivity, unity & love” to mean Christian business/government as an application. But I’m only familiar with those same concepts to be taught to mean multi-ethnic and homosexual identity, the tearing down of the social divisions that shame.

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