Today, I’ll be taking a look at Gary DeMar’s Introduction to the book he co-authored with Gary North, Christian Reconstruction, What It Is, What It Isn’t.
Gary’s Introduction focuses exclusively on the critics of the “movement.”
In doing so, he says that he’s been able to “categorize the critics” into five distinct groups based on the nature of their refutations over the years.
These five categories are:
1. Gross misrepresentation
2. Eschatology as the test of orthodoxy
3. Anti-biblical culture (i.e., disavowing a uniquely biblical, Christian culture–PR)
4. Combination of gross misrepresentation and no alternative
5. Honest disagreement but appreciation and benefit
Before he gets into what he means by these five categories, Gary mentions how the “flood of critiques of Christian Reconstruction by popular writers began in earnest in 1985, twelve years after Rushdoony’s Institutes of Biblical Law appeared.” And two of its most prolific critics during this time were Hal Lindsey and Dave Hunt.
He highlights the fact that it is the theologically and historically inaccurate dispensational premillennialist views of these two men, being in stark contrast to the covenantal postmillennial outlook of Reconstructionism, that are behind their “gross misrepresentations” of the movement as being anti-semitic due to their differing interpretations of prophecies concerning Israel.
I won’t go into the details of the five categories, but I will mention that Gary takes the occasion of his writing to highlight the “poorly reasoned approach and the failure to study the existing materials” that the critics of Christian Reconstruction (and theonomy) have exhibited and shared in common for the most part over the years.
He says that responses from critics have ranged from mere disagreement with the position to outright accusations of heresy.
It is very much worth reading Gary’s discussion of his five categories. They make up the lion’s share of his introduction.
A lot of people tend to skip over the introduction pages of a book. To me, that’s a mistake. If you skip Gary DeMar’s introduction, you’re skipping (and cheating yourself out of) a vital piece of understanding and appreciating the book!
In conclusion, Gary notes, “the assumption of every critic is that his belief system is orthodox while the position he is examining is unorthodox.”
Tomorrow, a review of Part I, God’s Covenantal Kingdom, written by Gary North.