Reconstructionist Christianity


A new movement is being added to evangelical circles. To a fully committed dispensationalist (this writer for two years had the late Dr. William Pettingill as his teacher), the philosophy of Dr. Rousas Rushdoony swings to the absolute opposite of how we understand God’s plan for the present and the future. Here is post-millennialism back to town with some added features. The Levitical law should be imposed on society. This includes the abolition of democracy, no prisons; criminals to become slaves until they have made amends. Some fifteen calls for capital punishment — murder, rape, sodomy, etc. No usury, and a gold or silver currency. This should give an idea of what is on the agenda. One critic says, alarmed at their growth, “They haven’t been taken seriously enough.”

Recently Bill Moyer on TV gave an hour interviewing leading Reconstructionists. A further supportive of this trend is a pile of books and magazine articles. In some respects it presses Calvinism to its logical conclusions, a theocracy. In fact, the New England Puritans had much which Reconstructionists could admire. The Calvinistic thinker, Van Til, although not a follower has laid the groundwork for some of their philosophy. In turn, Dr. Francis Schaeffer’s, A Christian Manifesto, relied on Rushdoony’s social analysis, according to “Christianity Today.”

These views merge nicely with religious conservatives who are deeply concerned over the moral breakdown so prevalent today in the home, church and state. They suggest as timely recoil from the articulate and riotous picketing of those who wish to emphasize their liberal persuasions. The Reconstructionists echo the feeling of every God-fearing heart for a better world. The movement we are considering says, “Don’t just go to church, be a divine activist in this present world. Furthermore, our solutions must be right because they are biblical. This is something with which you could become spiritually intoxicated. In many quarters this seems to be happening. Reconstructionists are strict inerrantists. However, they are hopelessly short on Calvin’s first point, total depravity.

In 2 Timothy 2:15, we are instructed to “rightly divide the Word of Truth.” Obviously, we do not circumcise our males on the eighth day after birth, or stone a sabbath breaker to death, because there has been a dispensational change. Read carefully our Lord’s prayer for His own now that He is leaving them. In contrast He prays not for the world (John 17:9) and further states, “the world doth not know thee” (v. 25).

The world in response to divine things has always been static and the only prayer left for a Christ-rejecting world is found in Psalm 2:8-9: “Ask of me, and I will give thee the heathen for thine inheritance. Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.” As to the Lord’s own, they are to be kept from the world’s evil and to be distinctly “not of it.” The present dispensation of grace is well defined throughout the New Testament. James, the moderator of the first church council, put God’s purpose for the present age in a capsule, “God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take unto them a people for His name” (Acts 15:14).


At first glance it looks like the world of mankind is becoming more and more fragmented. The many nations that have gained their independence since World War II are imbued with a spirit of nationalism.

No matter how poverty-striken they may be their first thought is to secure armaments, and well they might. Opposite to all of this is the global mentality that has always been with us and is sprouting old solutions in modern attire. The global ambition springs from the origin of man, “God hath made of one blood all nations for to dwell upon the face of the earth” (Acts 17:26). To prevent man from gaining a complete monopoly in an unchecked development of his sinful self-will came God’s judgment at the town of Babel. Man now stricken with his many tongues, natural resources and climates have encountered obstacles that have frustrated his efforts to regain his unity. No effort has excelled that of Nebuchadnezzar as the prophet Daniel acknowledged when he addressed the king, “It is thou O king, that art grown and become strong: for thy greatness is grown, and reacheth unto heaven, and thy dominion to the end of the earth” (Dan. 4:22). This was accomplished by conquest and “the golden image” (religion). It was short-lived by corruption of his successors.

We hear today that our children are being taught in our schools that they are citizens of planet earth. The “New Age” cult, symbolized by the rainbow seen in windows and on car bumpers, seeks world peace by a single religion; opposition to it will be crushed. Dr. Rushdoony and his fellow Reconstructionists believe the church will ultimately triumph bringing in a Christian, Mosaic milennium. Communism prides itself on having the only solution to the world’s problems and cannot perfectly work until it has brooked all opposition. Then there is talk of a universal currency. In the Middle Ages the church had a display of unity, but was never more corrupt. The present World Council of Churches by its enormous compromises is embarrassed by evangelicals who refuse its extended arms of tollerance. The 13th chapter of Revelation depicts a future unity that will doubtless satisfy the instinct for unity among the majority and will be accomplished by an economic monopoly — none can buy or sell who refuse to worship “the image of the beast”. This Devil-inspired and man-engineered success invokes our Lord’s return as a warrior to destroy this consummation of iniquity.

All the aspirants after world dominion have failed because of the persistence of sin. Some have been inspired by good intentions, such as the League of Nations and the United Nations. Others, like Napoleon and Hitler, have tried force and met their Waterloos and Stalingrads. God has purposed such an empire but reserved its accomplishment to His Son. “The seventh angel sounded; and there followed great voices in heaven, and they said, The kingdoms of the world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of His Christ; and He shall reign for ever and ever” (Rev. 11:15).