Christian Reconstructionism, Theonomy

Christian Reconstructionism also known as Theonomy (Rule by God's law), Dominion theology.

Founders:  Arose out of the conservative Reformed (Calvinist) churches.  The leading proponent is Rousas John Rushdoony (1916 - 2001) who in 1973 published the Institutes of Biblical Law, a large work expounding the 10 commandments.

Recent advocates are Gary North, Gary DeMar, Kenneth Gentry, Larry Pratt, Greg Bahnsen.

Few adherents who usually are Calvinists and hold to the orthodox doctrines of the Trinity, deity of Christ, vicarious atonement, Christ's physical resurrection, justification by faith, etc.

Christian Reconstructionism (also known as theonomy) is a highly controversial movement within some conservative Christian circles.  It maintains that the world should be brought under (reconstructed) the lordship of Jesus Christ in all areas:  social, moral, political, judicial, military, family, art, education, music, etc.  Christian Reconstructionism advocates the restoration of Old Testament civil and moral laws in order to reconstruct present American society into an Old Testament type Mosaic form and that the three main areas of society - family, church, government - should all be biblically modeled, the Bible being the sole standard.  This would include severe punishments for law breakers.  Some Christian reconstructionists would advocate death for adulterers, abortionists, idolaters, murderers, homosexuals, rapists, etc.

Reconstructionts maintain a strong belief that the Bible is true and inerrant.  Generally postmillennial 'that through the preaching and teaching of the gospel, the world will be converted to Christianity and that Christ will return after a period of time after the world is converted.

Christian reconstructionism advocates removing prisons and and replacing them with the practice of restoration of damages done.  Christians are the new chosen people of God, replacing national Israel.  Other religious systems would be strongly resisted.

There is a debate among some Christian reconstructionists on whether or not slavery should be reinstituted; not all are in agreement.

Opposes evolution.  Teaches Jesus will physically return to Israel.

Christian reconstructionism began with the publication of the Institute of Biblical Law by R. J. Rushdoony in 1973.  This 800 page work expounded on the 10 Commandments.  After Rushdoony's death in 2001, his son-in-law Gary North took the reins and has become a prolific writer, further advocating Christian Reconstructionism.

Publications: Conspiracy, published in 1986, also Was Calvin a theonomist, published in 1990by Gary North, Ph.D, president of the Institute for Christian Economics; By What Standard, The Roots of Reconstructionism, The Mythology of Science, The Biblical Philosophy of History, Institutes of biblical law, by R. J. Rushdoony

Comments:  This movement rose out of Calvinism.  It is an extremist Christian movement, not held by very many people.

The concern is that when a religiously dominated society has control of family, moral, and governmental regulations, who is to govern the governors?


About The Author

Matt Slick is the President and Founder of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry.