VIDEO: How to Understand Gary North

GaryNorthatMises“Understand Gary North?”

Sounds like a pretty tall order

Not really.

Not if you understand, first, the men who influenced Dr. North early in his Christian, post-graduate academic life.

Then (and only then), can you begin to understand what makes him tick.  You will also, then, begin to understand what makes him tap: tap millions and millions of keystrokes over his half-century, contrarian career as a writer and speaker, to produce dozens of books, large and small, plus big, fat commentaries (economic) on the books of the Bible, plus newsletters and many thousands of articles written day after day after day, on everything from money to “millennialism and social theory,” all from the perspective of what the Bible and the historic, orthodox Reformed Christian faith have to say about all of these things.

No problem.

You start with John Murray, venerable professor at Westminster Seminary for nearly four decades (1930-1966), whose classes on ethics, systematic theology and the book of Romans served as an exegetical and eschatological wake up call to a young Gary North.

Then you add the uncompromising Christian apologetics philosophy of Cornelius Van Til, who unapologetically held court at Westminster Seminary for 43 years (before retiring in 1973).

Toss in a mind for truth, and a heart for God and His Word, and, presto.

Instant paradigm shift!

Hmm.  A Scotsman and a Dutchman…

No wonder Gary North ended up Reformed and Presbyterian!

Anyway, here is Dr. Joel McDurmon, son-in-law to the curmudgeonly co-founder of the Christian Reconstruction movement, speaking about the things (and people), that massively shaped the thinking and theology of his famous (infamous) father-in-law.

Of course, there were other men whose work and writings informed and profoundly influenced Dr. North’s developing views.  Conservative sociologist Robert Nisbet, under whom he studied while obtaining his master’s and Ph D. degrees at the University of California-Riverside.   And ultimately, R.J. Rushdoony, the man who finally launched Gary’s fully-integrated biblical perspective into a permanent Reconstructionist orbit — and the man who, likewise, ultimately became his father-in-law.

Covenantal history repeats itself.

This talk was given in early 2016 at Branch of Hope Church (OPC) in Torrance, California.

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And Now a Word About the Church’s (Least) Favorite Subject: TITHING

TithesLet me ask you, what is your opinion of tithing?

Is it part of “Old Testament” religion?  No longer binding on Christians?

Is it a pretty good idea… as long as you can afford it?

Does it really have to be ten percent? (Or is setting a percentage for giving “legalism?”)

I’ll tell you this much.  If you want to get Christians arguing about money and especially about tithing, talk about whether or not the practice of giving ten percent (minimum) of their net income or net profits to the local church where they worship is a mandatory part of their religious faith which Christ did not annul or discontinue or eradicate with his coming and his death, resurrection and ascension ushering in the New Covenant, or whether “tithing” is simply a handy term we use in New Testament times to describe our giving at church, regardless of the amount.

Such a discussion will separate the theological men from the epistemological boys.

“We’re not under law but under grace!”  “No law but love!”

Well, Jesus said, if you love me, keep my commandments…

So, is tithing still commanded?

That is the question addressed head on by Dr. Gary North in his 1994 book, Tithing and the Church.

Note: this is not a new book.  It was published more than 20 years ago.  Yet its message is just as vital and as relevant as ever — written on a topic that North believed was so urgent and fundamental and critical not only for the long-term success of the church, but also for the long-term survival of it, that he wrote this at the beginning:

Because of the importance I place on the question of tithing to the local church, I hereby place the entire contents of Tithing and the Church into the public domain.  Anyone may reproduce all or any part of this book without permission from the author or the original publisher.

That’s how seriously he takes this!

He has not changed his views.  In fact, he expanded on this subject later on when he wrote and published a followup title, The Covenantal Tithe.

Financing the Kingdom of God

Giving to support the institutional church is only a part of God’s overall plan for funding his kingdom.  The other primary institutions involved are also included: state and family.  Yet, as Gary argues, the preeminent authority for collecting and expending funds for the preaching of the gospel, the administration of the sacraments, the worship of the saints, and cradle-to-grave ministering to the spiritual and (in the case of qualifying widows) certain of the material needs of Christ’s body and that of the local community and society at large, and for fostering the overall “healing of the nations,” has been delegated to the church.

To do all of this requires money.  A steady, reliable, predictable supply of it.

The main question asked by Christians is, “How much should I give” to support all this?

The answer is best found by the inquiring mind through a thoughtful reading of Tithing and the Church.

(Then later, The Covenantal Tithe.)

Since Gary explicitly states that his former book is essentially FREE for anyone to read and share due to the crucial importance of the subject, I’ve decided to oblige not only by posting a link to the book below, but also by posting portions of it here in a series of articles upcoming.

So let’s get started!

Step one: download and read the book by clicking here: Tithing and The Church

Step two: do what it says.

Think of the possibilities for expansion of the kingdom of God when his people decide to withhold no more than ninety percent of what they earn as their commission for being his agents of change in the world!

“Where Do I Start My Reconstruction Study?”

The Greatness of the Great CommissionThat was the question posed recently by a subscriber to Gary North’s website who posted it on a discussion forum board.

Where, indeed!

If you were to ask me where to start your study of Christian Reconstruction, I would have sent you to a handful of titles by Rushdoony and by Dr. North, followed by Chilton, DeMar and a few others.  All classics, all worthy of your attention, and all written some 20-40 years ago — during the Golden Age of Reconstructionist literature!

With his characteristic economy of verbiage, Dr. North replied only with a link to the Free Books section of his site, to the page for Dr. Kenneth L. Gentry Jr.’s seminal work, The Greatness of the Great Commission: The Christian Enterprise in a Fallen World.

A salutary choice!  And an intriguing one…

Why not a title like, Christian Reconstruction: What It Is, What It Isn’t?  Why not Rushdoony’s Institutes of Biblical Law?  Why not North’s Backward, Christian Soldiers (An Action Manual for Christian Reconstruction)?

I’ll tell you why.

Because those books (and many others written in the same vein) — as critically important as they are to a right understanding of the underlying tenets and theology of the “movement” — only address aspects of Christian Reconstruction.  The prominent (controversial) elements of it.  Practical applications of it.  Arguments for and against it.

Dr. Gentry’s Greatness of the Great Commission addresses something much more fundamental.

It addresses the biblical basis for it.  Which is exactly where one should begin.

Christian Reconstruction, after all, presupposes the continuing validity and scriptural authority of Christ’s mandate in the Great Commission (Matt. 28:18-20).  What separates it from the standard evangelical (pietistic) understanding is that it recognizes (and presupposes) the comprehensive nature of the Great Commission.

The Smallness of Evangelicalism’s Great Commission

Dr. North writes in the Foreword:

Having brought people into the kingdom of God through conversion, God then asks them to begin to make a difference in their world. He does not mean that they should spend day and night passing out tracts or the equivalent thereof; He means that they should reform their lives, their families, and their daily walk before Him and men. Evangelism means teaching people to obey God’s law, through the empowering of God’s Holy Spirit. Evangelism means obedience.

And that is the case that Dr. Gentry makes.  Christian Reconstruction is based on obedience to (and, by God’s grace, the Holy-Spirit-led fulfillment of) the Great Commission.  Bringing all nations into lawful obedience to Christ their King.

North reminds us:

This is why the Great Commission was given: to enable mankind to return to faithful service under God and over the creation. God’s salvation brings us back to the original task: to exercise dominion to the glory of God, in terms of His Bible-revealed law.

Not at all what most evangelical (and Reformed) churches preach on the “Great Commission”!

Nevertheless, to understand what Christian Reconstruction is really all about, one must see it in its proper context, i.e., its biblical context, as being the church’s “marching orders” given to her by Christ Jesus her commander-in-chief, who has commissioned His people (the church militant) to carry them out–and has promised historical success in their mission.  Without this crucial, scriptural context as its foundation, Christian Reconstruction is little more than an aberrant form of “baptized activism,” theological and political extremism, and just plain WEIRD!

I am glad this particular book was recommended as the best place to start.

It is also a great place to return to.

The Greatness of the Great Commission reminds us all — including those of us who have been enlisted in the Lord’s army for quite some time — why we’re doing this.

Out of loving obedience (John 14:15).  For the glory of God.  “For Christ’s crown and covenant.”

Dr. Gentry puts it all in perspective in the opening pages of chapter 1, tying the Great Commission to the original Creation Mandate found in the book of Genesis:

At death, all men enter the spiritual world, the eternal realm (either heaven or hell). But prior to our arrival in the eternal state, all men live before God in the material world, which He has created for His own glory, as the place of man’s habitation.  The Great Commission necessarily speaks both to the present state (by giving our duty in the material world) and to the eternal state (by showing the means of our entry into heaven). In other words, it speaks to issues regarding body and soul.

Both of the foundation stones for our study of the Great Commission are found in Genesis. In fact, the very foundations of all of reality, revelation, and redemption are laid in the book of Genesis, which makes that book of primary significance to the Christian faith.

From there, he proceeds on a marvelous, exegetical journey through the Scriptures!

If you haven’t read (or would like to read again) Dr. Kenneth Gentry’s excellent book, then start (or continue) your study right here:

Download the book for free!

Happy (blessed) reading.

You Can Lead a Horse to (Reconstructionist) Water, But You Can’t Make Him THINK It

Boys Pushing & Pulling Stubborn Mule

Someone on Gary North’s discussion forums this past week posted that he had recently “converted” to Christian Reconstructionism from premillennial dispensationalism.  This, of course, now makes him a contrarian in almost every sense of the word.  He said he is now the only member of his circle of family and friends to hold this position theologically and eschatologically.

His dilemma (and his question) is this: how to persuade members of his family and at least some of his friends that their position is wrong and his position is right?  Ah, yes…

“How to Lose Friends and INFURIATE People!”

Hmmm.  Sounds like a similar dilemma and question when one becomes a new, evangelically-born Christian.  Suddenly, you have (by God’s grace) awakened from a deep spiritual slumber.  You’ve been raised from the dead and rescued from certain everlasting damnation, and given new life and a new purpose.  You feel (and think) like a new man.  That’s because you are.  You know you have a truth that is THE truth (and not just “your” truth.)  The Gospel becomes like a fire shut up in your bones. You can’t keep it to yourself.  You have to tell others.  You want to tell EVERYBODY within earshot.  JESUS is LORD and Savior and King!  Believe in Him and be saved, too. Have peace with God, forgiveness of sins, everlasting life and joy and fellowship with all the redeemed in Christ and joy and peace and radiant and abundant personal fulfillment in spite of your evergreen and enduring Adamic affinities in this life, and so much more.

Who wouldn’t want that?

Well, my fellow Calvinistic, sovereign-election-embracing, total-depravity-acknowledging Christian, not everybody!

In the same way that non-Christians whom God has not been pleased to grant an irresistible attraction to the Gospel of grace in Christ are not all that interested or enthused by your new-found, let-me-tell-you-all-about-what-God-did-for-me-through-His-Son-Jesus “fanaticism,” likewise, non-Reconstructionists, whom God has not been pleased to grant — well, anyway — who are not only not interested in your new-found, “unorthodox,” borderline-heretical, overly optimistic, evangelically-incorrect belief system and worldview, they are incensed by it.

You have gone to the dark side.  You have defected from the safe haven of Rapture-and-tribulation-focused, eschatologically emasculated, piously pessimistic, conservative, culturally-defeatist, evangelical Christianity.

In other words, you’ve been a BAD boy!

At least, that’s how it looks when they are in the majority and you are in the minority — a teensy-weensy (but slowly growing) minority.  Their sense of validation and biblical superiority is based solely on the fact that they outnumber you.  Their favorite Bible teachers and preachers all teach some form of pietism-premillennialism-dispensationalism.  All the Christian radio and TV stations they tune into teach it. Probably, their pastors all teach and preach it.  Therefore, most (if not all) of their Christian friends — and relatives — believe it.  Therefore, it MUST be true.

For the most part, folks who hold to dispensationalism do so because that’s been the prevailing alternative to the anemic amillennialism of most reformed, liturgical protestant and Roman Catholic churches.

Regardless of what tradition you came out of, when you become a “Bible-believing” conservative evangelical or mainline pentecostal committed to biblical inerrancy, premillennial dispensationalism is pretty much what you are expected to believe — otherwise, you’re a LIBERAL!

And even if you’re a dedicated, conservative Calvinist, chances are you’ve shed dispensationalism and adopted a more robust covenantalism, but you have still retained the pessimistic eschatology of premillennialism (i.e., Satan reigns now, Jesus will reign later).

The Question

Anyway, here is the question, verbatim, posted by this person:

I was recently “converted” to the reconstructionist/postmillennial view of Scriptures. I am the only only person in my family who holds this viewpoint. All of my family and Christian fellowship from the past are the dispensational types. For the most part they are all heavily invested into thinking about the “end times.”

I am not really one who likes to debate and argue, but at the same time, I do not like seeing them being affected by this subtle (or sometimes not so subtle) worldview of defeat. Most of them are just “hunkering down” and waiting for Christ to return. They have no ambitions for productivity. They wouldn’t say that, but that’s how they live.

What are some good ways to be an influence on my family and friends in trying to help them see the hope that is in the Reconstructionist view of scripture and life? What are some good questions to ask to get them thinking about their assumptions?

The Answer

Here is Gary’s answer.  Pay close attention to the action steps prescribed here.  They can be applied to virtually any situation where you hold to a certain set of beliefs and the majority of people around you hold to another.  He does not say to marshall your forces to do intellectual and rhetorical battle with your ideological (but not spiritual) foes.  Rather, he says, put your theology where your mouth is.  That includes your eschatology.  Live it out so that others — especially the ones you’re trying to persuade and hoping to convince — can and WILL see the real, visible difference that it makes.

Hunkering down is the preferred way of life for the vast majority of people. This will not change. It’s Pareto’s law: the ineffective 80%.

You perceive that their eschatology is a root cause of their lack of initiative. But is it? It may be the other way around. They are just normal people, hunkered down, and their eschatology comforts them. It tells them that this is all they should expect. You want to take this excuse away from them. You will encounter resistance. If you are not rich or famous, they will say to themselves: “What does he know?” What is your answer?

So, the best way to handle this is by word and deed.

First, achieve some obvious success.

Second, produce materials that show how you did it. This includes your views on eschatology. Write a short a book on eschatology and success. Explain why eschatology does not promote or justify a lack of success. Aim this book at somebody who is about 15 years old. Do not target your relatives. Your relatives do not want to hear it. Your relatives do not want to be reminded by you that they are underachievers due to their eschatology. Publish this book by print-on-demand.

Third, produce a series of video lessons that could be used in a Sunday school. Explain your position. Post these on YouTube. I recommend a 12-week series of lessons, each about 25 minutes long. Use a screencast program to do it, with a presentation graphics program such as the one in Libre Office. Buy a good lapel microphone. Buy a good webcam for $70 or so.

Fourth, set up a WordPress.com site. Post the videos on the site as embeds.

This way, when somebody asks you what you believe, hand him a book, and then hand him a short link created by Bitly.com or TinyURL.com that takes the person to your video series on eschatology. If the person is interested, he can find out what you believe at his own pace. He can listen, review it, or ignore it. He does not have to listen to you tell him face to face.

He listens to you teaching teenage kids, which is a completely different positioning. He does not feel threatened. You are not targeting him because he is a failure. You are targeting young people to help them not become failures. The positioning is completely different. Everybody wants kids to be successful. It is just that few people want to pay the price personally to be successful and to be a role model for kids. He expects his own kids to do what he has not done, despite the fact that he has taught his kids erroneously.

If you are positioning the materials to help teenagers do better in their lives, it is very difficult for anyone to criticize you. Ignore your relatives. Why? Because they surely ignore you. Treat them in exactly the same way. Target a completely different audience, and then, if a few of your relatives are curious about what you have been doing, you can hand them the book and a link to your blog site, which has your YouTube videos embedded in it.

Again, there’s no strategy of full-spectrum theological dominance here.  Just a practical program of, “Don’t tell me, show me!”

To subscribe to Gary North’s website, click HERE!)

Forum question and answer reprinted by permission.

Reconstructionism vs. Dispensationalism: 25 Years Later, the Debate Still Hinges on the Role and Responsibility of Christians, Not the Return of Jesus

88 Reasons

Younger Christians may not remember this, but 25 years ago, in 1988, millions of Bible-believing Christians all over the world were anxiously awaiting and breathlessly watching for that glorious event to take place, in which the hopes and dreams of generations of believers would be fully realized and instantly confirmed and consummated in the physical, earthly return of our Lord Jesus Christ at the moment of the “catching away” of His bride into the clouds of the air in a biblically predicted event known as “The Rapture.”

I was one of those anxiously awaiting, breathlessly watching Christians that year.

And when 1988 came and went, and I was still here — and Jesus wasn’t — I became even MORE anxious and breathless!

Talk about not getting what you wanted on Christmas morning.

Talk about disappointment and disillusionment.  Our Deliverer was a no-show.  And, here we all were — breathless, anxious and now demoralized Christians — still stuck in our day jobs, still stuck with the world’s problems to solve and Satan’s wickedness (and our own sinfulness) to contend with.

In other words, same old same old!

But the next 2-3 years were a time of transition and reexamination for me.  Reexamining my theology, my eschatology, and my underdeveloped biblical worldview.  Providentially, that was also the time during which I discovered R. J. Rushdoony, Dr. Gary North, Calvinism, the Reformed faith and Christian Reconstructionism.

The more I read and learned and developed my newly-emerging, Calvinist Christian Reconstructionist biblical worldview, the less relevant and less biblical I saw the doctrine of an imminent Rapture and imminent, literal, physical return of Jesus to set up his earthly, millennial Kingdom (with bureaucratic headquarters in Jerusalem) really was.

I moved on and left it behind.

Fast forward.  Yesterday, Gary North published an article asking the question: “Whatever Happened to the Rapture?”

It reminded me of the bigger question: whatever happened to Christians rebuilding and redeeming civilizations and cultures and preparing them for the return of their Savior-King, instead of abandoning civilization and preparing themselves for “stand-by” status on the next flight to heaven?

That article commemorates the 25th anniversary of a debate Gary had, along with Gary DeMar, against Dave Hunt and Tommy Ice — two well-known figures in the world of evangelical pop prophecy and Dispensationalism during the 1980s — on the subject of Christian Reconstruction.

Earlier this year, North and DeMar sat down for a followup video discussion of that debate and of the debate that is still going on about what Christians should be doing in this world while Jesus reigns from heaven and before His return.

Their discussion is not even about eschatology per se– the last days and end times — as you might expect.  It is more about, as they emphatically point out, ETHICS and ACTION.  How Christians can and should be applying their faith in the various areas of education, politics, economics, religion and the family, etc..  Eschatology may have been the “hook” that North and DeMar used to launch and frame the debate, but it was never the crux or essence of it.

Their concern is and has always been about the practical application and implementation of the Christian faith, not theoretical, hermeneutic speculation and rhetorical argument.

Watch the discussion here (opens a new window).

The original debate is here:

The hair has changed. The issues have not!

The Rebuilding of Western Civilization Just Got a Whole Lot Easier, Faster, Cheaper and Better–and Therefore More Likely to Happen SOONER Rather Than Later!

The announcement today by Dr. Gary North of the Ron Paul Curriculum — roll-out scheduled for Fall 2013 — is big news.  REALLY big news.  It should give statists, socialists, academic leftists and other social and cultural miscreants reason to fear and tremble.

Ron_Paul

We’re not talking about a mere educational innovation here.  This is a REVOLUTION in the making!

This will, if it is successful, spur an ongoing cultural and social reconfiguration of every institution in society — a total transformation of civil, political, ecclesiastical and family life as we know it — the likes of which none of us has ever seen before.

Are you ready for a restoration of liberty, constitutional government, free enterprise/free-market (“Austrian”) economics, a “non-humanist” renaissance in literature, learning, the arts and sciences, a peaceful, well-informed rolling back of tyranny, poverty, ignorance, illiteracy and their attendant evils?

And, if all goes well, given enough time, eventually, who knows, maybe even a restoration and flourishing of a true and vibrant biblical Christendom around the world?

Christendom restored.”  That has a nice ring to it!

But, we’re getting ahead of ourselves.  The breaking news of this intellectual watershed event is enough to buoy us up for the moment with substantive hope for the future of humanity.

The fact that the convergence of digital technology and academic mastery have brought about this breakthrough in the delivery of education — instantaneous, “eternal” (the Internet is forever), global, and both free and cheap to the next generation of learners — is a marvel to behold.

So, let’s behold it together.

Here, in this four-and-a-half-minute video, the curriculum’s lead developer, Dr. Gary North, gives a detailed description and overview of what the program has to offer the academic buying public in terms of its “USP” — Unique Schooling Proposition — and it is unique!

You can read the complete description and summary article on the program, published today, here.

I browsed the Ron Paul Curriculum website.  There is a page where the faculty members are introduced. Wow!

Can you imagine having a super-heavyweight in the liberty community like Tom Woods teaching you history? Or a wellknown and respected academic quantity like Timothy Terrell teaching you economics?  Or, how about this… a steely, take-no-prisoners, Bulgarian master of Christian missions and all things theological like Bojidar Marinov teaching you math!

For a rock-bottom price like this?

I can’t either.

There is also a page written by the former Congressman, Dr. Paul, entitled in no uncertain terms, “This Site is Phase 2 of My Revolution: Beyond Politics.”  He makes no bones about his intentions of reclaiming education: “I believe homeschooling is the wave of the future.”  http://www.ronpaulcurriculum.com/public/118.cfm  (Understatement. It is a tsunami!)

Until the official launch of the program on Sept. 2, 2013, Dr. North is offering a “how-to” course to help you prepare for and maximize the benefits of the curriculum:

You can access the High School Preparation course here.

This is truly amazing.  If you have been following the progress, success and steady inroads the digital, online (and FREE!) education juggernaut has been making within the academic world during the last few years, you know what a momentous occasion this is.  We already know from the gigantic success of Khan Academy that the “self-taught” web-based video model works. And we know from the popularity of the free college lectures and courses offered by M.I.T. and Harvard that this model works.  It works because it’s actually not the student teaching himself.  It’s the student learning independently at his own pace from a master teacher. In this case, he is learning from a bevy of master teachers: the best of the best — specialists in their field.  And he can review and rewind, fast forward and skip over material to his heart’s (and mind’s) content.  He is also learning from his peers through student-led forums and discussions.  This is not re-inventing the wheel or flooding the market with cheap educational “alternatives.”  (Or, maybe it is!)  It is iron sharpening iron. Skilled craftsmen forging and shaping steel.  Gold and silver being purified and refined.

But enough with the metallic metaphors.

This development is a phenomenal one.  Another nail has just been driven into the atheist-humanist, anti-Christian, anti-liberty academic cartel’s coffin.  The handwriting is on the wall — or on the touchscreen.  As the foundations of a monopolistic, bureaucratic, statist education system continue to crack and crumble, a freshly-laid, superior superstructure of technology-based, liberty-and-free-market-driven education and intellectual development, advancement and enhancement is taking its place.  September 2nd can’t get here fast enough.  Let there be a renewal of liberty and learning and a revival in the theology of Christian excellence in all things.  Let the reconstruction of Western Civilization begin!

What Do Ethics, Eschatology and Economic Progress Have in Common? Gary North Says: Plenty!

In a room full of scholars and economic specialists last week, Dr. Gary North gave a one-hour lecture at the 2013 Austrian Economics Research Conference, that parted the curtain on a bombshell thesis he offered in order to explain (or try to explain) the modern phenomenon of continous, compound economic growth, which inexplicably began in the Western world around 1800 and has continued unabated since then, and thus answer the unanswerable question (also the title of his speech), “How Come We’re So Rich?

I say bombshell because, in an economic school of thought that is heavily populated by atheists and anarchist-leaning libertarians, that’s exactly what it is.

Not to say that anybody in the room was surprised necessarily by Dr. North’s connecting the causational dots in his admittedly unproven theory regarding the unexpected onset of long-term economic progress and radical social change during the last two centuries.  He is, after all, the author of multitudes of books, articles, essays, tomes and commentaries spanning five decades, dealing with economic, social and historical issues from an explicitly biblical, presuppositional, Reformed/Calvinistic Christian perspective.

This is huge.

Not dry-as-dust intellectually huge.  But paradigm-shifting, preconceived-notion-challenging, random-walk-theory-demolishing, economic-myth-busting huge.

North is unique in his historical analysis because it is, in reality, a theological-historical-biblical analysis.  In Austrian, as well as in non-Austrian (anti-Austrian) circles, nobody does it better.

He alludes to the uniqueness of the uniqueness of his thesis during the final part of his lecture — namely, that a sea change in ethics, beginning in the 17th century, coincided with a sea change in eschatology at the same time to begin creating a slow and steady, compounding increase in economic output and economic growth throughout the developing world, starting with northwest Europe — specifically the British Isles — and spreading almost immediately to the United States.

But why?

That’s the $64 trillion dollar question.  One thing is for sure, according to North.  It took from the time of Moses and the Book of Deuteronomy to the time of the battle-weary, ready-for-a-new-and-profitable-adventure Dutch Calvinists of the early 17th century for, (a), the pursuit of personal wealth and profit and material gain — entrepreneurship — to be considered a legitimate (ethical) one for man, even Christian man, and, (b), the prevailing world-and-life view and outlook with regard to the future — especially with regard to the progress and success of the Kingdom of God on earth prior to the Lord’s return — to become decidedly optimistic: postmillennialism.

He says that modern capitalism, the basic concept behind Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations and Mises’s principle of corporate economic prosperity flowing from individual prosperity through the pursuit of “self-interest” in serving customers in a free marketplace, is a secularized version of the biblical-covenantal principle of corporate prosperity flowing from individual ethical obedience in the pursuit of prosperity and wealth in society for the service of the kingdom of God.

Not your garden-variety evangelical message of pietistic, premillennial poverty for God’s people!

No doubt, some in the audience took exception with his theological explanation (hypothesis) for the reasons behind the unremitting advances and successes and progress of the modern world, both in the economic and social order.  But, all were forced to admit to the fact that, to date, no one — North’s main point — has been able to offer a satisfactory explanation, economic or otherwise, for this radical transformation taking place, when it did, how it did, why it did, where it did and to whom it did.

Those of us who embrace the optimistic eschatology he spoke of, as well as the Scripture’s ethical endorsement of entrepreneurship and individual enterprise in the earthly economy of man for the service of the Kingdom of God, won’t find it hard to appreciate the mystery and majesty of the question, and the richness of the historical insights, riveting vignettes and solid theological perspectives offered by Dr. North, evinced masterfully in his speech at Mises.

A tour de force by the professor of Christian Reconstruction (and conscientious statesman of Austrian economics). Worth watching… twice!