Was early Christian America a theocracy? Should Christians desire a theocracy? What is a theocracy? What are the differences between the Biblical notion of theocracy and the American republic?
Part of the problem with these questions is the wild variation of meaning attached to the term theocracy. Meaning is further complicated by the negative connotation or spin propagated by its opponents, both Christian and non-Christian. For example, among militant non-Christians, it is great fashion to associate the term theocracy with the tyrannical Sharia law of Islam (though liberals are increasingly countenancing it). Christians often seem to interpret theocracy as a coercive, top-down civil order.1 Another difficulty is theological confusion. For example, Noah Webster in his 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language says that theocracy is: Government of a state by the immediate direction of God; or the state thus governed. Of this species the Israelites furnish an illustrious example. The theocracy lasted till the time of Saul. Noah Webster is my constant resort, but here I must disagree with him. Under God's providence, it is virtually impossible to externally enforce any civil order without the mediation of men. Thus, a direct theocracy is not possible. If it was, it would contradict God's purpose to bring volunteers unto Himself (Ps. 110:3). As it has always been God's intent to govern mankind, all of history might be considered a theocracy, though mostly of men in rebellion to it.
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"I am as sure as I am of Christ's reign that a comprehensive and centralized system of national education, separated from religion, as is now commonly proposed, will prove the most appalling engineer for the propagation of anti-Christian and atheistic unbelief, and of anti-social nihilistic ethics, individual, social and political, which this sin-rent world has ever seen."
- Dr. A.A. Hodge, (over a century ago) former Professor, Princeton University (taken from WHAT IF JESUS HAD NEVER BEEN BOORN? by Dr. D. James Kennedy and Jerry Newcombe)
If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth. Mark 9:23
God said, "Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech" (Gen. 11:7). This was His divine response to the arrogant gesture on the part of man to "build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven" (v. 4). God would not overturn the walls, as in Jericho, or flood the land, as in the time of Noah. He confounded their language, and the net result was the destruction of the city.
Whenever I read passages like Mark 9:23 about how all things are possible to them that believe, I think of the builders of Babel. Their unified ambition represents a form of faith that I've not considered as deeply as I should. It's the kind of faith that shapes history, whether for good, or evil.
There are two basic ways most Christians understand faith. It is either an individual's confidence in God's promises (Rom. 4:18-22), or it represents the totality of the Christian belief system (Jude 3). However, a different form of faith operates within the collective hearts of humanistic men. It's a collective faith that is tragically absent from most of contemporary Christianity.
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In this greatly expanded and wholly updated version of Dr. Gentry's classic study of postmillennialism, you will sense anew the powerful message of Psalm 72 that Christ "shall have dominion from sea to sea" (Psa 72:8). You will learn that God's word promises that "the whole earth will be filled with his glory" (72:19) so that "all nations will call him blessed" (72:17) — before Christ returns.
Many evangelicals today are concerned about those being Left Behind on this Late Great Planet Earth as it collapses into absolute chaos. But the postmillennialist optimistically believes that He Shall Have Dominion throughout the earth. In this book you will find the whole biblical rationale for the postmillennial hope, from its incipient beginning in Genesis to its glorious conclusion in Revelation. Your faith will be re-invigorated as you begin to recognize that "the gospel is the power of God unto salvation" (Rom 1:16) and that our Lord Jesus really meant it when he commanded us to "go and make disciples of all the nations" (Matt 28:19).
Paperback, 616 pages
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Salvation and Godly Rule
By R.J. Rushdoony
Salvation in Scripture includes in its meaning “health” and “victory.” By limiting the meaning of salvation, men have limited the power of God and the meaning of the Gospel. In this study R. J. Rushdoony demonstrates the expanse of the doctrine of salvation as it relates to the rule of the God and His people.
Hardback, 512 pages
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