A Paradigm For A New Reformation

“I have noticed the following parallel between the fourth century and the sixteenth century, periods I consider to be times of fundamental reform for the church. In both periods the dominant theology was a kind of synthesis between biblical thought and Greek philosophy: in the fourth century, Origenism; in the sixteenth, the theology of Thomas Aquinas. In both periods there came a heresy that upset the balance; in the fourth century, Arianism, in the sixteenth, the sale of indulgences by people like John Tetzel. Then came a Reformer: in the fourth century Athanasius; in the sixteenth, Luther. Then came a consolidator, someone who rethink the whole of the Church’s theology in the light of the gains of the Reformation: in the fourth and fifth centuries, Augustine; in the sixteenth, Calvin.”

Rev. John Frame 
A History of Western Philosophy and Theology — pg. 107

I am convinced that Rev. Frame is on to something here and I would suggest applying this template to a 21st-century setting. However, instead of Greek thought being the syncretistic factor as being added to Biblical thought and categories I would suggest that the syncretistic factor as being added to Biblical thought and categories is the hybrid form of Marxism called “Cultural Marxism.”

Per Rev. Frame’s model, I would offer something like,

1.) 20th-century syncretistic synthesis of Christianity with the Cultural Marxism originating with Antonia Gramsci, as introduced in America by the Frankfurt School (Herbert Marcuse,  Wilhelm Reich, Theodore Adorno, etc.) popularized by the civil rights movement in the 1960’s, and embraced in principle by many young Reformed Churchmen who would later become leading light in the Reformed Church. They absorbed this thinking during the Civil Rights movement of the 1960’s and at the very least have said very little to overthrow this warfare on God ordained distinctions.

2.) This syncretism that developed as a combination of Christianity and Cultural Marxism begat the egalitarian heresy that currently infects all of our social order including the Church. The egalitarian heresy has given us a warfare against distinctions wherein ontology as well as roles are flattened out so as to result in a social order where all colors, differences, and distinctions bleed into one. Viva la the distinction-less society.

3.) We are still awaiting a God raised Reformer to emerge to lead the Gideon sized orthodox army to do battle with the multitudinous heretics who currently control the Church.

4.) Then comes the consolidator who will rethink the whole of theology in light of the knowledge gained in what will be a new post tenebras lux.

This is the way that God has worked historically. First, the downgrade as exemplified in one particular person, then the widespread infection, then the battle to heal as exemplified in one particular person, and finally the reconstruction, again, as exemplified in one particular person.

We might add here that with each example in each century (fourth, sixteenth, and prospectively the 21st) the issue really comes down to the Supremacy of God. Athanasius and Luther, each in their times, were contending for the Sovereignty of God vis-a-vis the desire of man to pull God off His throne. The 21st century is no less a battle for the supremacy of God. If the Egalitarian heresy is given in its head then the final outcome will be the removal of the distinction between God and man… between the Creator and the Creature.

It is also interesting here that while the Reformations in question (4th, 16th, 21st) are separated by centuries the formal cause of Reformation in each case is the issue of Scripture as Authoritative.  The material causes of Reformation may switch but it seems the formal cause of Reformation is always the issue of whether or not Scripture will be taken as Authoritative. In the 4th century, the Arians refused to come under the authority of Scripture pertaining to the deity of Jesus Christ just as the Medieval Roman Catholic Church refused to submit to the authority of Scripture pertaining to the issue of justification by grace alone just as today the modern church refuses to submit to authority on the issue of God-ordained distinctions. In each Reformation, the formal cause remains the same (the authority of Scripture) while the material cause (the occasion for Reformation) changes.

In reading what I have offered here some may think that I am involved in a kind of Hegelian dialectic where I have posited a  Thesis/ Antithesis/ Synthesis.  Allow me to note the distinction between the Hegelian dialectic and what I am advocating here.

 First, the Hegelian dialectic is man wrought in opposition to God. This is a matter of God’s providence.
 
Secondly, there really is no synthesis here because it is the previous synthesis that is being pushed off the scene in favor of God’s thesis reality.
 
Thirdly, the Hegelian dialectic presupposes that truth is always becoming. There is no absolute Truth. This paradigm presupposes absolute truth and a return to God’s reality.
 
Finally, the Hegelian dialectic speaks of historical “progress” via the outworking of the Geist. This approach is not about progress or process so much as it is about providence.
 
 In brief, while the Christian offers a Thesis (proper distinctions) contra the Thesis of anti-Christianity (no distinctions allowed) no synthesis between the two or of the two is allowed.  Orthodoxy allows no synthesis. Only repentance and then realignment to God’s thinking and reality.

Our role is to pray that God will work to bring the man and the moment together as He did with Athanasius’s opposition to Arius and as He did with Luther’s opposition to schoolmen of his time.

On “Out ‘Enemying’ the Enemy”

“No cultural conservative could seek to copy the left’s means and create conditioning mechanisms of our own because psychological conditioning leads to a Brave New World regardless of what attitudes it is attempting to impart. That is not where we want to end up.”

William S. Lind

In the article from which this quote comes Lind is warning against the instinct to use the techniques of the cultural Marxists in order to defeat the cultural Marxist. Lind’s point is that if we have to become like our enemy in order to defeat our enemy our enemy has defeated us inasmuch as we have become him.

Any victory that is found against the Cultural Marxists by using their techniques against them will be a victory that is defeat. Success in this way will mean failure as we become the same venomous sons of Belial that the Cultural Marxist already are. Oh, sure, people will be dancing in the streets thinking that they have had great success because the beast of Cultural Marxism has been slain but if that beast is slain by the same tools that it used to slay Biblical Christianity than whoever has won the field of battle it is not the Biblical Christians and it is not Christ.

Jesus himself told us that Satan does not drive out Satan and so we can be sure that if the techniques to drive out Satan are being used by someone else purporting to be ‘good-guys’ but who use the same techniques as Satan than it is not the case that Satan is being driven out. At best he is merely changing uniforms in order to keep ruling.

When you fight someone to win at all costs you will do literally anything to win. You will even take on that person’s vices if that is what it takes to win. You will, in essence, become that person. You become your enemy. And your enemy wins because now there’s another one of him in the world. Oh sure, your cause may well triumph but what profit is it to gain the whole world while losing your own soul? And what will a man give in exchange for his soul?

Another way of saying this is that you cannot accept the presuppositions of your enemy and still expect to defeat your enemy. If you accept the premise of your enemy you lose even if you win. One cannot use the enemies methodologies, techniques, and assumptions as un-reinterpreted through a biblical grid and win without becoming the enemy.

In literature, this has been teased out a couple times that I know of. In C. S. Lewis’ “Prince Caspian,” the character Nikabrik desires to win at any and all costs. Nikabrik makes it clear that he believes in anything or anyone that will rid Narnia of the Telmarines: Aslan OR the White Witch. After the Narnians suffer many defeats at Aslan’s How and Susan’s Horn appears to have failed, Nikabrik concocts his own plan. Nikabrik invites two of his “friends” — a Hag and a Wer-Wolf — to the council, and suggests that they use black sorcery, calling up the White Witch to defeat Miraz. When the Wer-Wolf mentions preparing the blue fire, a fight breaks out between Nikabrik’s group and Caspian, Doctor Cornelius, and Trufflehunter. At that moment, Peter, Edmund, and Trumpkin, who had been listening outside the door, rush in to help. During the fighting in the dark, Nikabrik is killed, though no one knows who killed him. Caspian says,

“I am sorry for Nikabrik, though he hated me from the first moment he saw me. He had gone sour inside from long suffering and hating. If we had won quickly he might have become a good Dwarf in the days of peace.”

One easily sees that Lewis’s “Nikabrik” had no problem becoming the enemy to defeat the enemy. However, even with a White Witch very real victory, there would have been no real victory.

It is possible that many of our people are going “sour inside from the long suffering and hating” that the West has had to endure since the Endarkenment. It’s perfectly understandable that some people, like Nikabrik, want victory so badly they will call on any and all powers to deliver them but at the end of the day victory achieved with these kinds of tools will remain defeat.

The other example is Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings.” The Fellowship of the Ring refused to wield the ring of power even though the ring of power guaranteed victory. They all understood (except possibly Boromir for a space of time) that victory with the ring meant defeat. The Fellowship refused to use the methodologies, techniques, and tools of the Evil One in order to defeat the Evil One because they understood that victory gained by techniques of darkness means defeat even if you call defeat “victory.”

The German “philosopher” Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche also understood well what I’m getting at in this article. Nietzche wrote,

“He who fights with monsters should be careful lest he thereby becomes a monster. And if thou gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will also gaze into thee.”

Monsters defeating Monsters leaves Monsters.

So, what are the means of victory against our enemies?

Well, first we need to realize that it has taken several generations to come to this point and so victory is not likely to come over night or with abrupt suddenness. We need to gird up our loins for a long fight that begins in our homes and with our families and then radiates out from there first into Christian churches and then to different institutions and walks of life. The victory over our Cultural Marxist enemies will only be won if we train up our children in the way of the Lord Christ and His righteousness. A lack of worldview training and catechesis in the home is almost certain to guarantee the loss of the next generation. If the enemy keeps stealing our children than all talk of victory is mere stand up comedy. Of course, this also means not sending our children to Government schools, not letting them be influenced by the Ichabod Church in the West,  and not sending them to University. Likewise, this also means our children must see their parents standing for righteousness and opposing wickedness and wicked people. This can happen any number of ways from activism for Biblically righteous causes to standing in public forums contesting for Christ against the wicked. Children must not only learn it between the ears they must see it lived out with their eyes. It must be both caught and taught.

In order to be victorious in the long fight, we must also get out of the cultural current and dare to think differently than the zeitgeist. This means reading, study and research. Lots of it. I’ve known any number of families who have homeschooled and yet remain in the zeitgeist and so part of the problem because they continue to support a Republican “Patrick Henry College” type mindset for their children. These types end up being in league with the enemy that needs to be defeated.

Finally, for this article, I’m going to get out on an edge and insist that this long fight will only be won to the degree that we are Calvinists. Throughout history with the Reformation and since Calvinists have been the particular expression of Christianity that those intent on tyranny most hate. Whether you are talking the Calvinist Dutch against the Catholic Habsburgs of Spain, or the Glorious Revolution of 1689, or the American Counter-Revolution of 1776 Calvinists have always been those who are willing to resist on Biblical grounds. Inasmuch as the steel spined Calvinism (as opposed to R2K “Calvinism” and Cultural Marxist “Calvinsim”) goes into eclipse in just that much any hope for recovery goes into eclipse.

But the victory, however long it might take, begins in the home and if Christians keep routinely losing their children as they currently do all talk of looming victory is just so much happy talk.

 

 

 

Charlottesville … A Post-Mortem

It has now been two weeks since the Charlottesville Chaos and while I’d like to think this is a postmortem after the dust has settled, I know that is just not true. There is plenty of dust that is yet to be stirred up. All the same, I want to get on the record as to my observations in relation to Charlottesville. So, in no particular order,

1.) This conflict is not ultimately about race

It may be argued that race is the occasion of the conflict but in no way is race the cause of the conflict. If it weren’t about race it would be about something else. In the past, the faux issues have been worker oppression by the bourgeoisie, oppression of women by an evil patriarchal system, and oppression of students by the system.

What is this conflict is about is the Revolution. Most Americans believe that Communism died with the USSR  and so their knowledge about the reality and techniques of Communism is virtually nil. Most Americans do not realize that for the Marxists the issue is never the issue. The issue is always the revolution. The conflict in Charlottesville was never primarily about race. The conflict in Charlottesville was about advancing the Revolution.

In order for the Marxist Revolution to be successful unto the seizing of power conflict, division, and chaos must be generated by any and all means necessary. In this most recent rendition of Revolution, the issue chosen is the issue of race. In order for the Revolution to be successful envy and distrust must be created and accentuated with the result of an intense conflict wherein a totalitarian regime can come to the fore.

In the end, the Marxist Revolutionaries must create a stampede in the social order. The stampede exists in order that some Marxist tyrant can step forward in order to stop the stampede.

All of this is classic Marxism 101.

2.) Unite the what?

The rally was called, “Unite the Right.” The problem is that a good deal of what showed up in Charlottesville was not “right,” but instead was an expression of National Socialist beliefs of one degree or another. In other words, the “Unite the Right” rally found genuine elements of the right coming together to unite with leftist organizations.

It has been a myth long concocted by the left that expressions of National socialism is a “rightist” expression. This myth has been created in order for the left to have a bogey man on the right but the truth of the matter is that a degree of the violence that we saw in Charlottesville was between varying factions of the left. It was the same kind of violence that was seen in the Weimar Republic Germany and was characteristic of the Spanish Revolution. In all cases, it was and is just variant expressions of the left seeking to grasp power.

Because of the above, I think it was a mistake for the leaders of organizations that attended Charlottesville who are legitimately of the right as defined by support for limited and decentralized government to attend this rally. This is especially so if those leaders knew the other organizations who were going to show up were suspect.  There is no “Uniting the Right” with organizations that are left and neo-nazi and the attendance by the genuine right in a rally with pagan left organizations only ends up delegitimizing those who are genuinely on the right.  This is even more true for organizations who characterize themselves as Christian. These organizations need to be reminded of the prohibition of being unequally yoked.

3.) Even John Lennon had this figured out

In his Revolution soundtrack, Lennon wrote,

But if you go carrying pictures of Chairman Mao
You ain’t going to make it with anyone anyhow

In the same vein, we might write,

But if you go carrying the Nazi flag 
You’re just going to make people gag

No organization is advancing their cause by waving a Nazi flag. Similarly, no organization is advancing their cause by associating with those carrying a Nazi flag.

4.) All because I am convinced that it was a mistake for Christian organizations to attend a rally where they were asked to unite with the left  — and this because of the Scriptures command to not be unequally yoked —  this does not mean that I don’t believe that the Christian men in attendance were not demonstrating a heroic bravery. My Grandfather fought in the Battle of the Bulge. He was a brave man as seen by the Bronze Star that he earned in that battle. However, I still think it was a mistake for him to be there and it was a mistake for these united States to have been involved in that war. The men at the Charlottesville rally may be faulted for their decision to attend but they can not be faulted for a lack of courage or bravery.

5.) Note the qualifier

President Trump was correct when he said,

“You have some very bad people in that group, but you also had people that were very fine people on both sides. You had people in that group — excuse me, excuse me — I saw the same pictures as you did. You had people in that group that were there to protest the taking down of, to them, a very, very important statue and the renaming of a park from Robert E. Lee to another name.”

There were many fine people who attended this rally to protest the taking down of the Robert E. Lee statue. I am honored to know several of them and double honored to call them friends.  The fact that the organizations they were aligned with made a mistake in supporting such a rally does not diminish the fact that many people in attendance, who were part of the legally permitted protest are upstanding Christian people.

6.) But they chanted, “Jews will not replace us.”

Well, given these kinds of statements as below it is not a wonder. Start at the 38 second mark,

Start at the 5:50 mark

Some people do not want to become culturally or racially other than what they are culturally and racially or other than what their Christian forebears were culturally or racially. Some people don’t want to be genocided. Such people are apt to chant what others find to be edgy.

I will grant it would have been much more effective for those carrying the Tiki torches to be singing “Christ shall have Dominion.’

7.) The reason that this event exploded

It exploded because the antifa attended. The “Unite the Right” folk had a permit to march. If they had been permitted to march without being harassed there would have been no incident.  The antifa attended with the purpose of injuring people. They were launching bottles of urine and feces. They were launching soda cans filled with cement. They were spraying mace, bear spray, and who knows what other vile liquid. If you want to ask who brought the violence it was not the “Unite the Right” folks. It was Antifa. The fact that the “Unite the Right” folks may have used violence in order to defend themselves is perfectly normal.

8.) There is no serious threat from the Fascist left though there is a huge threat from the Bolshevik left.

It wasn’t the Fascist Nazi left who blew up in violence in Berkley when Milo Yiannopoulos showed up to speak. It wasn’t the Fascist Nazi left who blew up in violence at Middlebury College when Charles Murray showed up to speak. It wasn’t the Nazi Fascists who threatened such violence that Ann Coulter had to cancel her speaking engagement at Berkley for the threat of violence. It wasn’t Nazi Fascists whose violence canceled the Trump Rally in Chicago in 2016. It wasn’t Nazi Fascist who rioted in Baltimore and Ferguson. It wasn’t the Nazi Fascists who rioted when Heather MacDonald showed up to speak at Claremont McKenna College. How many have I missed?

There is no serious threat from the Fascist left though there is a determined effort by the Marxist Bolshevik left to rend the social fabric of America.

9.) The Establishment is the left

The response of the Media being breathless over Trump’s correct assessment of the Charlottesville in terms of guilt proves that the Media is Bolsheviki. The same goes for the Republicans who couldn’t get to a microphone fast enough to denounce Trump’s accurate representation.  This social order is Bolshevik. The Media is Bolshevik. The Political class is Bolshevik. The Juridicial class is Bolshevik. The Clergy is Bolshevik. The therapeutic Psycho-shrink class is Bolshevik. The academic class is Bolshevik. Exceptions in each exist but speaking, on the whole, our civil social order is Bolshevik. To do anything to fault the Bolsheviks will result in outrage as Trump saw.

10.) Karl Marx knows antifa?

“We make war against all prevailing ideas of religion, of the state, of country, of patriotism. The idea of God is the keynote of a perverted civilization. It must be destroyed.”

11.) Why Right Wing Protesting Seldom works

Why does left-wing street activism work, and right-wing street activism does not? As Carl Schmitt explained in Theory of the Partisan, street activist, guerrilla or partisan warfare is never effective on its own. The street activist working from below is only effective in tandem with working with those from above. Schmitt taught that the street activist is only successful as an interested third party (military, political force, bureaucrat) is operating from positions of entrenched power. This teaches us that successful street activism happens typically only when it is already in power and not when it has no sponsor from above.

Right-wing street activism in the modern world is cargo-cult street activism where the ‘from below’ participants on the right believe that if they just copy the empowered left activist they will get the same result. The problem though is that without the hammer from above the anvil below can’t succeed in shaping the social order in a “right” direction.

12.) The “Church”

Exceptions notwithstanding, the pop Church seemingly lines up just short of “Black Lives Matter.” A great number of the Clergy seem to just assume that the current “racism” narrative is true. (Nevermind that the whole notion of racism was popularized by Trotsky in order to create the sense of social displacement and injury that Communism thrives upon.) In their own version of “Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh my,” the Clergy give us ubiquitous denunciations of “White Supremacists, White Nationalists, Neo-Nazis, and KKK members.” There are 330 million people in America. I would be impressed if you wouldn’t have room to spare for all the Neo-Nazis and KKK members to fit in in a modest sized Synagogue in America.

And yet the pop Church is absolutely consumed with that bogey man narrative.

As far as White Nationalism goes, there was a time when White Nationalism was not seen as any more suspect as Chinese Nationalism as it exists in China.

“Cosmopolitanism gives us one country, and it is good; nationalism gives us a hundred countries, and every one of them is the best.”

G. K. Chesterton

“One of the very reasons that Paul desired that the Gentiles become Christians was not only so that the Gentiles themselves may be blessed but also so that the Gentiles, then as Christians, may proceed to provoke his own Israelitic nation to jealousy and thereafter to faith in Christ. Accordingly, I think we must judge that every Christian who does not love his own nation is either an ungrateful cosmopolitan rascal and a rebuilder of the tower of Babel or otherwise is woefully ignorant of Scripture. And, I am sorry to say that the world is full of these kind of people today.”

Dr. Francis Nigel Lee
Sermon

“Nationalism, within proper limits, has the divine sanction; an imperialism that would, in the interest of one people, obliterate all lines of distinction is everywhere condemned as contrary to the divine will. Later prophecy raises its voice against the attempt at world-power, and that not only, as is sometimes assumed, because it threatens Israel, but for the far more principal reason, that the whole idea is pagan and immoral.

Now it is through maintaining the national diversities, as these express themselves in the difference of language, and are in turn upheld by this difference, that God prevents realization of the attempted scheme… [In this] was a positive intent that concerned the natural life of humanity. Under the providence of God each race or nation has a positive purpose to serve, fulfillment of which depends on relative seclusion from others.”

-Geerhardus Vos,
Biblical Theology

Look, if you’re in a Church that cannot find it within itself to see the problem of growing Bolshevism in this country and instead is only feverish about denouncing the National Socialist Lilliputians while ignoring the Bolsheviki Giants you need to think long and hard about where you are attending.

I highly recommend this article for a more thorough analysis of what the author refers to as “The Kalergi Clergy.”

Charlottesville and the Kalergi Clergy

13.) What I pray for

I pray that the Church and Christians could just despise both National Socialism and International Socialism… both Fascism and Communism. I pray that we would have nothing to do with either one of them. What I fear is that we are being stampeded into choosing one or the other. We would be better served to just let them duke it out and pray that they might destroy each other.

This means I’m hated on much of both sides. The racial Marxists hate me because I won’t back their play for a return to a Christless White Nation. The class Marxists hate me because I find ridiculous their view that Christianity means an imagining their’s no nations where all colors bleed into one.

Ah well, I’ve got big shoulders. I can handle all that hate.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Satanist Prayer … A Christian Rebuttal

After complaints from several community members that only prayer or religious groups can give the invocation at the Grand Junction City Council meetings, council members decided to allow a satanic invocation at their August 2 meeting.
 

“We beseech all those present to shun primitive hatreds and superstitions, bigotry, prejudice and atavism and instead seek equality and justice and thereby safeguard all world views and treat them equally and with respect. So say we all in the name of reason, in the name of free inquiry and in the name of rebellion against theocracy. Hail Satan.” said Andrew Vodopich with the Western Colorado Atheists and Freethinkers.

http://www.kjct8.com/content/news/GJ-City-Council-allows-satanic-invocation-at-meeting-438227943.html

 

Notice that the Satanists are Classical liberals. They want to “safeguard all worldviews and treat them equally and with respect.” Here we learn

1.) Egalitarianism is a doctrinal plank which Satanists approve.

2.) Satanists support absolute libertine freedom when they invoke “the name of free inquiry.” “Free inquiry” is the call for absolute freedom. Absolute freedom is to man what freedom is to a goldfish outside its bowl. Absolute freedom is to man what freedom is to a train once off its tracks.

3.) Classical liberalism is Satanic in origin. Satanist are perfectly good with God getting a vote as long as all the other false gods (including Satan) gets a vote as well.

The Satanists pray for all worldviews being treated equally and with respect. However, this is a prayer request as coming from those who have a worldview that allows only their worldview to be treated with respect. This worldview that, “all the Gods should be equal” is a worldview that does not treat equally any other worldview besides their own. Their egalitarian god rises above all competition from any other god. Any God who insists that He-they are God above the Satanist (classical liberal) god is a god that the prayer of the Satanists is not treating with respect.

Another way to say this was framed by a friend of mine,

“It’s as self-contradicting as it can be. They want their world view – in which all world views are treated equally and with respect – to dominate. If their world view dominates, then they can’t say that all world views are equal. Domination negates equality.”

4.) Satanists enshrine reason as an autonomous source of knowing. This is consistent with Satan’s temptation in the garden of Eden. “You shall be as God determining good from evil.” However, their appeal to reason is shipwrecked by the “reasoning” in this prayer.  What good is reason if you are involved in repeated contradiction as we noted above?

5.) The Satanist pray in favor of rebelling against Theocracy. Yet, their belief system has provided the evilest theocracy that man has ever seen. So, the Satanists are for rebelling against theocracy all the while affirming a theocracy that forces all worldviews to be treated as equal.

McAtee contra Wolfe

“If it is the case that fallen, unregenerate man can attain civil righteousness (worthy of praise among men, even from the regenerate) and if regeneration necessarily effects a radical change in the one regenerated, then the principal effect of regeneration cannot be civil righteousness, political, social, or anything related to the basic elements of civil or domestic life. The principal effect must be something else. It must be, then, the restoration of one’s immediate relationship to God, one’s orientation to the spiritual (yet-to-be-visible) kingdom of God, and true worship of God. In short, the principal effect is the adventitious infusing of heavenly gifts and the outward change in religion. The Gospel then is not essentially political, social, or anything earthly other than the true public worship of God.”

Stephen Wolfe

I don’t know Mr. Wolf well at all. He is an acquaintance.  I’ve heard he is a student working on a terminal degree. This quote comes from a piece where Mr. Wolf quotes several theologians demonstrating their belief in Natural Law. Many of those quotes spoke about how the heathen could do “good” works of civil righteousness. The quote above seems to form his conclusion if we stipulate that pagans can do “good.”

We need to keep in mind our Augustine here. Augustine called the so-called good works of the heathen, “splendid vices.” Augustine remains notorious for his insistence that the “virtues,” so-called, of pagans, are not genuine virtues at all. Luther echoed and restored this Augustinian sentiment during the Reformation.

In order for any human action in any area inclusive of civic Righteousness to be considered “righteous” that action must be done for the glory of God. If actions are not done for the glory of God those actions are splendid vices because they are being done for the glory of self. We grant that comparatively on a sliding scale, the pagans can do righteous deeds. Pagans can and do build burn hospitals. Pagans can be philanthropic. Yet any “good” action that an unconverted man or woman can do is not good considered absolutely as according to God’s standards.

So, if Augustine is correct about splendid virtues than Mr. Wolfe is incorrect in suggesting that regeneration does not touch “anything related to the basic elements of civil or domestic life.” The “noble” pagan upon regeneration may do the same types of works in his civil or domestic lives but now they are doing their doing on a different axis. Whereas before their “noble” acts were for their own glory, now their noble acts are for the glory of God. Because of regeneration, this is a monumental shift.

There may be a bit of a false dichotomy going on in the opening quote. It is true that the primary impact of regeneration is “the restoration of one’s immediate relationship to God, one’s orientation to the spiritual (yet-to-be-visible) kingdom of God, and true worship of God,” but because one’s orientation is changed in such a fashion the effect is that one’s orientation to everything from domestic life to civic righteousness to all things earthly is changed as well. This results in all things that are performed by regenerated man to be an expression of public worship of God.  

So, contra Mr. Wolfe, unregenerate man cannot perform civil righteousness per an absolute standard. All the civil righteousness of the unregenerate are just so many splendid vices.

We would also quibble with Mr. Wolfe’s intimation that the Kingdom of God is completely “yet-to-be-visible.” The Kingdom of God is already visible and according to the will of God goes from visible unto visible until such a time that it becomes visible in all of its splendor.

Mr. Wolfe strikes me, with this quote, to be close to a kind of unfortunate dualism as seen in his willingness to suggest that  “the Gospel then is not essentially political, social, or anything earthly other than the true public worship of God.” Now, the key word here is “essentially.” I would be more inclined to say that “the Gospel, in its broadest definition, then is essentially a totalistic claim that calls a man to bring the good news to every area of life including political, social, or anything earthly, especially including public worship.”