Reading list for those who are dominionism deniers

As a public service for those Christian pundits who are having trouble seeing the dominionists in their midst, I am constructing a reading list of online reources. Since they sometimes partner with the authors and groups mentioned here, surely this list will help them spot the tell-tale signs of Christian folks who want to impose biblical law on those who do not believe in biblical law. My suggestions are provided in no particular order and I will add to them as I find suitable resources. Here is my first entry:

Ruler of Nations by Gary DeMar – Gary DeMar runs American Vision, a group that last year put on a worldview conference, sponsored in part by Liberty Law School. In his book 1992 Ruler of Nations, Gary DeMar wrote about the D-word:

The loss of dominion by Christians did not just happen. A study of our nation’s history will show that there was a time when the majority of the people were self-consciously Christian in their outlook. Even those who did not acknowledge Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord still looked upon Christianity as the cornerstone of a Christian civilization. Over time, the idea of a Christian civilization waned. What was gained was soon lost, not by a military coup, but simply by the passivity of Christians. Dominion will not return through magic or even through a barrage of miracles. We cannot wait on dominion. It will not drop in our laps from heaven. There must be a starting point. Faithfulness is the word. (pp. 213-214)

DeMar does not call for violent overthrow of the government. Rather, he hopes like-minded people will run for office and vote to limit the size of government which will lead to a more biblical society. He explains:

Christians should run for office, in order to get power in the

various government hierarchies. Then they should vote against

every expansion of power and every tax hike and every bond

issue. The State must be cut back.

This is the battle: the belief that the State is the only important

government. As self-governed Christians, we must work to cut

back the unbridled power and authority of the State. Dominion in

the area of civil government does not mean that we desire the

escalating power base available to those who seek and hold office.

Rather, we should run for elected office to pull on the reins of

power, to slow the growth of power run wild.

But Christians must also recognize that we need a peaceful

transfer of power to a new Bible-based system of multiple authorities. They must recognize that God will drive out our enemies little by little, over many years (Exodus 23:29, 30). We are not to become revolutionaries. We are not to impose a top-down tyranny to ram the Bible down people’s throats. The goal is to use every means available to educate voters, and only then to transform their increasingly Biblical outlook into legislation. Mostly, it will be legislation abolishing past legislation. (p. 217).

The D-word shows up all over this book, and here are some steps to take to get it.

The first step in overturning the messianic State is to place ourselves under God’s law. We must meditate on the law. We must make the 119th psalm our hymn of obedience.

The second step is to teach our children the law (Deuteronomy 6:6, 7). We must demonstrate to them by our actions that we are self-governed by the law.

Third, we must proclaim the law to others. We must abandon the false theology that New Testament Christians are in no sense obligated to obey God’s Old Testament law. We obey the sacrificial law by baptizing people and eating the Lord’s Supper. We obey Biblical laws against murder, adultery, and many other capital crimes in the Bible.

Fourth, we must elect public officials who say they will vote for Biblical laws. First and foremost, this means voting to prohibit abortion. While few Christians are willing to go this far, the long term goal should be the execution of abortionists and parents who hire them. If we argue that abortion is murder, then we must call for the death penalty. If abortionists are not supposed to be executed, then they are not murderers, and if they are not murderers, why do we want to abolish abortion? In short, Christians must learn to think consistently. (pp. 217-218).

Believe me, most pro-life people would like to see abortion restricted but we don’t want the state to kill anyone. There is a tell-tale sign of a dominionist. Wherever the Bible invokes death, they want to do that now; like for gays, disobedient children, blasphemers, idolatry and so on.

Actually, this isn’t the first book on the list. I already examined a 2011 by Stephen Che Halbrook, titled God is Just: A Defense of Old Testament Civil Laws. Halbrook completed a shorter version of his book for his master’s thesis at Regent University. There are chapters defending the death penalty for gays, adulterers, blasphemers, disobedient children, etc., as well as descriptions of how one should set up stonings and burnings.

This is only a beginning. I will put up some more links soon.

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  • M. Worrell

    Too much focus on this is like when people were obsessed with the most absurd aspects of Black Liberation theology and how all of that related to Obama’s politics. None of this nonsense is going to come to pass, and any candidate who tries to bring it into the mainstream is going to get crushed… whether they try to do so before or after they are elected. Might we see a move back towards more traditional sexual values, etc.? Maybe, but that’s a far cry from what these kooks what to do.

  • M. Worrell

    *want* to do, rather

  • M. – In general, I agree that they are kooks and that any current politician who brings up a suggestion to make the Constitution second to Moses is signing his political death warrant. However, mischief can be made in lesser ways.

    For instance, Rick Green is David barton’s co-host on Wallbuilder’s Live. He also ran for Judge in Texas. He lost narrowly but what if he had been elected? He believes the constitution’s first amendment is for Christians. He thinks biblical law is the basis for US law. As a Judge, he might have some rulings which will allow him to rule based on his judicial philosophy. Maybe he is a dominionist lite.

    The very conservative Republican tea partiers nearly shut the govt down because they did not want to raise the debt ceiling. Are they following DeMar’s advice? The politics of NO?

    Finally, I think it is disingenuous for Matt Barber and David French to say they don’t know what dominionism is. Their reaction is reason enough to point out the obvious.

  • Christians should run for office, in order to get power in the

    various government hierarchies. Then they should vote against

    every expansion of power and every tax hike and every bond

    issue. The State must be cut back.

    Who can say they don’t see this in action?

  • Villabolo

    I linked to DeMar’s “Ruler of Nations” but found a blank PDF.

  • is the link; sometimes it comes up and sometimes it doesn’t. Hope it works for you the next time you try.. Maybe cut and paste the link into a browser…

  • carole


    The very conservative Republican tea partiers nearly shut the govt down because they did not want to raise the debt ceiling. Are they following DeMar’s advice? The politics of NO?

    I’ve not followed this thread except to scan it, Warren, but I did see this statement of yours and was struck by it. Forgive me, but I think you have gone off the deep end with this presumptive link. All varieties of the politically persuaded, including the most fiscally conservative of the House (who owed their elections last fall to promises of fiscal restraint and debt containment), to the most liberal of the House and a few in-between the extremes voted “No” to the raising of the ceiling.

  • carole

    From Politico:

    By ALEX ISENSTADT | 8/1/11 9:07 PM EDT

    There were 161 members who voted against the deal to raise the debt ceiling – an unusual mix of mostly tea party-aligned freshmen and progressive stalwarts.

    Among those who opposed the bill were conservative first-termers like New York Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle, Idaho Rep. Raul Labrador, Minnesota Rep. Chip Cravaack and Louisiana Rep. Jeff Landry, who said in a statement, “I’m sure by Washington standards, today’s deal is a great accomplishment; but by American standards, it comes up short.”

    It’s little surprise that South Carolina – a hotbed of tea party activism – was a center of opposition. The state’s three freshmen House Republicans joined GOP Rep. Joe Wilson in casting no votes.

    They were joined by several freshmen who’ve distinguished themselves as fiercely anti-Washington figures. Among them were Florida Rep. Steve Southerland and Illinois Rep. Joe Walsh, a combative conservative who said the package “spends too much and cuts too little.”

    Of those who voted No, 95 were Democrats – many of whom are liberals like Oregon Rep. Earl Blumenauer, Tennessee Rep. Steve Cohen, Arizona Rep. Raul Grijalva, and Illinois Rep. Jan Schakowsky, who called the bill, “the wrong medicine for a sick economy.”

    “It is a fake solution to a phony crisis,” said Ohio Rep. Dennis Kucinich, another holdout. “It is an attack on the principle of government of the people. All this in the name of fiscal accountability.”

    Nearly two-dozen were members of the Congressional Black Caucus, including California Rep. Barbara Lee, Georgia Rep. John Lewis, and CBC Chairman Emanuel Cleaver, who drew headlines for calling the bill a “Satan sandwich.” Nearly a dozen were members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, including Arizona Rep. Ed Pastor, New Mexico Rep. Ben Ray Lujan, and Texas Rep. Silvestre Reyes.

    In some cases, those who opposed the package are looking to run for higher office, including GOP Rep. Denny Rehberg of Montana and Democratic Rep. Chris Murphy of Connecticut, both of whom are running for Senate. Democratic Rep. Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin and GOP Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah, both of whom are considering running for Senate, also voted no.

    One of the most noteworthy holdouts was Tom Latham, who also opposed last week’s package proposed by his close friend and ally, House Speaker John Boehner. The Iowa Republican is facing a perilous post-redistricting path to reelection, facing an incumbent-vs.-incumbent race against Democratic Rep. Leonard Boswell, who also voted no.

    Read more:

  • David Blakeslee


    Carole makes a good point.

    Dominionism is a great topic though, keep going.

  • Jayhuck

    The “politics of NO” goes beyond the vote to raise the debt ceiling. But yes, Dominionism is a fine topic. Onward!

  • Patrocles

    Warren’s dominion-phobia shows a lot of parallels to the islamophobia of Robert Spencer, Pamela Geller et alii.

    First, there’s nothing wrong with being worried about dangerous aspects of Islam (or evangelicalism) and you might try to construct a concept under which to sum up all those dangerous aspects (“islamism”, “dominionism”).

    But you mustn’t confound concept and reality. In reality, there’s always a CONTINUUM between extreme defensive and extreme aggressive policies, and religious or ideological movements are just FLOATING between the extremes forth and back.

    A fault quite often made is, to fix one’s attention on alleged token words. But “Jihad” doesn’t mean that the speaker will join Al Quaeda, and “dominion” doesn’t mean that he asks for the execution of gays. (“Dominion”, by the way, is the kingdom of God on earth, an idea much beloved by American Christians.)

    Rushdoony was overcompensating the relative weakness of mid-20th century evangelicals, dreaming wild dreamsof power (like Isaiah in his time).. DeMar was a lot more pragmatic and realist, nowadays “dominionists” are much more assertive.. If I rely on Warren’s quotes, DeMar asked basically for a limited government, which sets the denominations free to organize their lives along their own ideas. That’s the same kind of policy that Catholics proclaim under the name of subsidiarism and that seculars or Jews proclaim under the name of communitarianism.

    It CAN be used as kind of interstate on one party’s way to total power. But mostly that happens, because people get the bleak view that neutrality of the state, pluralism and balance between conflicting ideological groups are IMPOSSIBLE. And we all have to change reality so that people don’t get such bleak views at first.

    (As for the execution of aborters, I think that Warren misinterprets DeMar: he doesn’t impose a particular denominational dogma, but he appeals to the law of the land.)

  • Jayhuck

    Patrocles –

    Warren’s dominion-phobia shows a lot of parallels to the islamophobia of Robert Spencer, Pamela Geller et alii.

    Actually its within Dominionism that you find a phobia of Islam, but you do a good spin job 😉