Douglas Groothius clutches his pearls, flutters his handkerchief and collapses on his fainting couch over Ryan Lizza’s scandalous suggestion in The New Yorker that Rep. Michelle Bachmann, R-Minn., has ties to advocates of “dominionist” theology.
That fainting couch is quite crowded with evangelical critics of Lizza’s piece, all adamantly insisting that Bachmann is far, far removed from anything at all that has anything to do with dominionism. Groothuis provides a fine example of their exuberant protestations, usually mingled with accusations that Lizza is ignorant or confused or deliberately lying, or perhaps all three:
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 much of the subsequent media reaction—is a calamity of confusion, conflation, and obfuscation.
Foul, he cries, foul! It is simply unfair to accuse Bachmann of being influenced by “thinkers of the dominionist stripe!”
Warren Throckmorton notes that Bachmann aide Peter Waldron, “was key to Michele Bachmann’s straw poll win in Iowa on Aug. 13 and is now in South Carolina attempting to line up evangelicals for Bachmann.”
In 1987, Waldron co-authored a book titled, Rebuilding the Walls: A Biblical Strategy for Restoring America’s Greatness. A whiff of dominionist “reconstructionism,” perhaps, in that title. But much more than a whiff in the other book Waldron’s co-author, George Grant, published that same year.
That book, Changing the Guard, Throckmorton notices, was published by Dominion Press — the reconstructionist/dominionist publisher of books by Gary North, Gary DeMar and David Chilton, which is to say many of the leading voices in dominionism.
Here’s a snippet from the excerpt Throckmorton quotes from Grant’s book:
Christians have an obligation, a mandate, a commission, a holy responsibility to reclaim the land for Jesus Christ-to have dominion in the civil structures, just as in every other aspect of life and godliness.
But it is dominion that we are after. Not just a voice. It is dominion we are after. Not just influence. It is dominion we are after. Not just equal time. It is dominion we are after.
World conquest. That’s what Christ has commissioned us to accomplish. We must win the world with the power of the Gospel. And we must never settle for anything less.
The author of that book simultaneously co-authored a book on “a biblical strategy for restoring America’s greatness” with the man who is, at the moment, on Michelle Bachmann’s payroll and coordinating the religious outreach for her campaign in South Carolina.
It is not “paranoia” to suggest that Bachmann is closely tied to dominionism. It is not “confusion, conflation, and obfuscation” to point out that, in fact, Michelle Bachmann is hiring people who are closely tied to dominionism.