Kirk Cameron: Christian Reconstructionist

Kirk Cameron is off his nut.

I’m unfamiliar with the filmography of Kirk Cameron — haven’t seen a-one of them.

I’m similarly unfamiliar with Christian Reconstructionism. But it seems that I should be afraid of both, especially when they’re put together.

Julie Ingersoll provides a helpful primer on Christian Reconstructionism, using Cameron’s new documentary about…HIMSELF…as a foil. Good reading:

Christian Reconstruction promotes a “biblical worldview” with three interlocking theological notions that, while framed in technical language, have been popularized for over half a century in simple terms and slogans that are now familiar to watchers of the religious right.

Presuppositionalism stipulates that all knowledge is understood to begin with the acceptance of unprovable assumptions. For Reconstructionists only two, mutually exclusive, starting points are possible: the true sovereignty and authority of the god of the Bible or the false claim of the supremacy of human reason. This point has found a voice in the ubiquitous critique of “secular humanism” and the argument that religious neutrality is impossible.

Postmillennialism, an end-times theology that challenges contemporary rapture theology, claims that the kingdom of God was established at the resurrection and is being realized as Christianity spreads across the world through the exercise of dominion. Its popularized versions are “dominion theology” and the effort to “restore America’s foundation” as a “Christian nation.”

Theonomy is the view that all law must be based in God’s law, which is to say biblical law. Reconstructionists look to ancient Israel as the model for society and to the Puritans as an exemplar of the modern application of biblical law. They argue for a distinction between theonomy and the more commonly used theocracy on the basis of what they claim is a biblical division of earthly authority set forth by God.

Read the rest: Kirk Cameron’s Monumental Reveals Subtle Influence of Christian Reconstructionism | (A)theologies | Religion Dispatches.

My Black Brother

That headline is not metaphorical. My parents, in their retirement, have taken in a young African American man, and he has lived with them for the past several years. Cavonte has become a part of our family, and a brother to me. His mother is in prison, and he does not know his father. We have become his family.

My parents have performed a profound act of Christian charity.

Last night, the local news aired a story on Cavonte and my parents:

Youth Pastors Agree: Church Is So Whack

HT: Christian Nightmares

Reading Gagnon: Tony’s Wrap-Up

Last week, Scot Miller blogged about Robert Gagnon’s book, The Bible and Homosexual Practice: Texts and Hermeneutics, which many readers of this blog are sure will convince Scot and me that we’re wrong about the gays. Here’s my summary of Scot’s posts. -TJ

Day One: Hermeneutics Is King

Scot made the Gadamerian move of proclaiming his prejudices up front. In other words, how one reads the Bible vis-á-vis homosexual practice has everything to do with hermeneutics, and hermeneutics has everything to do, according to Gadamer, with what prejudgements one brings to the task. Scot claims his, which is a great benefit to readers. Gagnon, alas, does not. Here’s Scot’s first prejudice:

First: Fidelity to the biblical message is important to me. I am a Christian, and how I understand God and salvation and sin and grace have been mediated to me through the Bible. I am interested in the Bible as a participant, not as a detached observer.

Day Two: Let’s Claim Some More Prejudices

In fact, Scot thinks that hermeneutical prejudices are so important — and I agree with him — that he spent another post explicating his. They are:

Second: I am aware that the Bible can be misread in dangerous ways.

Third: I am better trained as a philosopher than I am a biblical scholar.

If you don’t see what’s coming, it’s this: Scot claims his prejudices, Gagnon does not. Thus, readers can read Scot’s posts with these in mind, and they can judge his conclusions with this knowledge. Gagnon’s entire posture in his tome is one of absolute certainty — he writes as though he is capable of complete objectivity. He objectively looks at the evidence in the Bible, and objectively determines that homosexual practice is definitively rejected.

But, of course, Gagnon is not objective. As Scot makes clear in his later posts, Gagnon’s blindness to his own prejudices is the fatal flaw in his book. He bends all evidence — even scientific evidence — to his pre-determined conclusions.

Day Three: Gagnon Is Not an Inerrantist

Scot expresses appreciation for Gagnon’s biblical hermeneutic. Gagnon doesn’t, for instance, think that the Pentateuch was written by Moses. He acknowledges deutero-Pauline authorship of some epistles. In the end, Scot has a beneficent conclusion:

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