Christianity,  Politics

Groothuis Blows-up the “Dominionism” Bogey Man

Douglas Groothuis puts the nail in the coffin of the “dominionism” meme. The New Yorker really should consider publishing Groothuis’ response to Ryan Lizza’s tendentious reporting. Here’s a snippet:

There is a buzz in the political beehive about the dark dangers of Bachmann’s association with “dominionism”—a fundamentalist movement heaven-bent on imposing a hellish theocracy on America. In the August 15 issue of The New Yorker, Ryan Lizza asserts that Bachmann has been ideologically shaped by “exotic” thinkers of the dominionist stripe who pose a threat to our secular political institutions. The piece—and the much of the subsequent reaction to it the media—is a calamity of confusion, conflation, and obfuscation.

Lizza notes that Bachmann was influenced by the writings of Francis A. Schaeffer (1912-84), an evangelical minister, theologian, and philosopher. Schaeffer, along with the contemporary writer Nancy Pearcey and others, are “dominionists.” That is, they believe that “Christians alone are Biblically mandated to occupy secular institutions until Christ returns.” Worse yet, Schaeffer, in A Christian Manifesto (1981) supposedly “argued for the violent overthrow of the government if Roe vs. Wade isn’t reversed.” Lizza also writes of the influence of the prolific author Rousas John Rushdoony (1916-2001), who advocated “a pure Christian theocracy in which Old Testament law…would be instituted.” Bachman is allegedly thick as thieves with all these “exotic” subversives—and should be exposed as such.

Having read reams of books from all these authors (and every book by Schaeffer) over the last thirty-five years, as well as having taught many of these books at the graduate level, I assign Mr. Lizza the grade of “F.” Consider four reasons.

Read the rest here.

(HT: Tim Challies)


  • Christianes

    One good thing comes out of all this mess . . . Bachmann gets ‘cleared’, Perry gets ‘cleared’ and the Dominionists get ‘known’ by Americans who formerly had no idea who they really were and what their goals are . . .

    American VOTERS can be counted on to understand what’s what by asking questions and exploring data from many sources. Currently, Rick Perry has recommended to a questioner at one of his speeches . . . ‘read my book ‘Fed Up’ . . . and Americans are following his advice and it is ‘sold out’ in our town’s Barnes and Noble and copies are on order big time.

    People want to know the candidates. From their OWN words and their OWN records. The media will spin what it will, but Americans, in the end, will sort out the truth.

    Dominionism, or whatever this movement is labeled, is a great threat to this country. I think we can all agree on that. The further Republicans can distance themselves from that movement, the better. ‘C’ Street secrecy . . . exposed. Ugandan involvement . . . exposed. People are now learning more and connecting dots.

    Republican candidates will, of course, more carefully stay far clear of the extremism in ‘dominionism’, if they want to pass the inspection of the American voting public.

      • Christianes

        Denny, with all respect, Groothius is a noted teacher of philosophy. He, himself, has named many as ‘influential’ : Francis Schaeffer
        Carl Henry
        Soren Kierkegaard
        Os Guinness
        James Sire
        Rousas John Rushdoony
        Bernard Ramm
        Blaise Pascal
        John Stott
        John Calvin
        C.S. Lewis
        Arthur Holmes
        G.K. Chesterton

        If Groothius has listed Rousas John Rushdoony among his list, it must have been for a reason.

        I think Rushdoony has had a tremendous impact in certain areas and I think that Groothius understood this.

        I am going on what he has previously stated, as well as the current opinion.

  • Barry Applewhite

    Yes, I did read the Grothius article and thought it was a helpful balance to Lizza’s remarks.

    However, it is my opinion that you are being much too hasty in putting “the nail in the coffin” of allegations about “dominionism.” Why are you so desperate to bury that idea?

    Just yesterday, Terry Gross of NPR hosted Rachel Tabachnick, who talked at length about the connections between Rick Perry’s prayer rally and the “New Apostolic Reformation” movement. The lead sentence in the summary article says, “An emerging Christian movement that seeks to take dominion over politics, business and culture in preparation for the end times and the return of Jesus, is becoming more of a presence in American politics.”

    These dominionism concepts are much more widespread that you allow, and I doubt you will bury them with one article, good as it is, by a single evangelical scholar.


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