The book I’m reviewing here, Christian Reconstruction, What It Is, What It Isn’t, co-authored by Gary North and Gary DeMar, wasn’t meant to be an “exhaustive” treatment of the subject when it was first published in 1991.
But it is a very good, albeit brief introduction (200+ pages). It’s concise enough to be read in a fairly short amount of time.
The book summarizes the most relevant points and arguments concerning Christian Reconstruction as a biblical philosophy and “blueprint” for a long-term, spiritual project of renovating the earth as per the transformative, regenerative power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
The explicit goal of the book is to dispel myths and present facts and biblical evidences (as Dr. North and Mr. DeMar see them) to support their position.
Here’s an overview of what is covered in the book.
First, the Preface, which Gary North writes. It’s an interesting and lively, 13-page recap of the “origins” of the Reconstruction movement, beginning with his first meeting of Rousas J. Rushdoony in 1962. He tells about how his interest in economics and history crossed paths with Rushdoony’s foundation-laying work in biblical law and applying the principles thereof to all areas of life, including law, politics, theology and education, how Rushdoony’s thinking was influenced by Calvinist theologian Cornelius Van Til, and how his own thinking about biblical law was shaped by what he learned through his research (Ph.D.) into the New England Puritans of the 17th century.
North talks about how the early movement evolved from one of “negative criticism” to one of “positive reconstruction,” offering books, publications and institutional foundations that were needed to begin presenting to the public, and to the church, clear, “actionable” and explicitly biblical solutions and alternatives to the humanist, atheist and generally unbiblical solutions currently in vogue that were being offered as “solutions” to the world’s problems, and cures for society’s ills.
He discusses how the boldness and confidence of those who believe in the continuing application and validity of God’s law in the world, who have an unwavering conviction that the future belongs to covenant-keepers not covenant-breakers–and the Bible offers no common ground between these two disparate factions of the human race, other than the fact that they’re both made in the image of God–is often misinterpreted and mistaken as arrogance.
This he refers to as The Offense of Christian Reconstruction.
“God is plowing up the modern world.” North says. And He’s busy establishing His New World Order–the true New World Order that Jesus launched–to supplant Satan’s counterfeit world order. And, according to North and DeMar, He’s using His own infallible, immutable law–contained in the Old and New Testaments–as the basis for it.
“And so we go about our work. We have time on our side; our opponents don’t. We have a sovereign God on our side; our opponents don’t. We cannot afford to be complacent; we can, however, afford to be confident, and for the same reasons that David was.”
Tomorrow, Gary DeMar’s Introduction.