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A Biblically based commentary on current issues that impact you The Dominion Mandate and the Christian Reconstruction Movement by Bob DeWaay A recent theological movement known as Christian Reconstruction has made a significant impact on American Christianity in the past several decades.
It is based on a Reformed, Calvinistic view of theology with some significant, unique twists. The most prominent one is the conviction that the Scripture gives the church a mandate to take dominion over this world socially and culturally before the bodily return of Jesus Christ.
The key 1984 thesis fear to be answered is whether these passages teach the dominion mandate as understood by Christian Reconstructionism.
The thesis of this article is that these Biblical passages do not teach a social or cultural domination of the world by Christians before the bodily return of Christ. This issue is important because one's understanding of the Great Commission is at stake. This paper will exegetically examine these passages to prove this thesis.
Christian Reconstructionism's Understanding of Genesis 1: Rushdoony who is considered the founder of the movement, wrote a book entitled The Dominion Covenant, which is the first in what he hopes will be a multi-volume, economic commentary of the Bible.
Man is actually defined by God in terms of this dominion covenant, or what is sometimes called the cultural mandate. This covenant governs all four God-mandated human governments: Reconstructionists contend that Adam lost this dominion when he sinned: The church is Christ's instrument of rule.
More than that, the church actually participates in Christ's rule over the nations. The ascension of Christ thus marks a transition in our relationship to God's dominion over the world.
Man was created to rule the earth, as a subject of the heavenly King Gen. When Adam sinned he lost dominion.
It is claimed to have been lost by Adam and regained for us by Christ. Unfortunately, according to Christian Reconstruction, thus far through church history we have not properly used this regained dominion.
Gary North clarifies the Reconstructionist understanding of dominion: The way to regain the ground we have lost is by becoming knowledgeable and involved in the ordering of earth's governments, including civil government. I further point out: How can we discipline the earth if we are not involved in running it?
He has also given mankind the tools of dominion, His laws. Beasts, birds, fish, minerals and plants do not respond to verbal moral and judicial laws!
Therefore, the validity of the dominion mandate is essential for the concept of theonomy to have the purpose and application it is given by Reconstructionists. Reconstructionists are correct in identifying autonomy as the key human problem. Gary North discusses sin and autonomy: It is also very much in evidence in the attempts of self-proclaimed autonomous men to exercise humanistic dominion apart from God or God's law-order.
The problem is the presupposition that this includes some humans exercising dominion over others by a Genesis 1: This is not demonstrated in the text of Genesis 1: Non-reconstructionist views of Genesis 1: Clearly other humans, fallen or not, are not included in the Genesis 1: Dave Hunt cites Genesis 1: The Biblical evidence suggests that he is right that they are a faulty foundation.
It is remarkable how much emphasis is placed on Genesis 1: The text says nothing about cultures or subjugating other people. Wayne House and Thomas Ice argue that whatever dominion humans were given was not lost at the fall, because Psalm 8: It does not give men dominion over men.
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A recent theological movement known as Christian Reconstruction has made a significant impact on American Christianity in the past several decades.
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