Just as Machen, though sick with pneumonia was bound and determined to keep his word to travel to South Dakota to preach and support a new Presbyterian work there, so I have lifted myself up out of my post-operative open heart surgery rest and recovery regimen in order to answer the absolute inanities of R. Scott Clark and Keven DeYoung on the subject of Christian Nationalism. Aren’t you impressed?
There is nothing quite so as stirring and enlivening to one’s spirit and health has to have the opportunity to lance, like so many piece of vegetable and beef on a shish-kabob, the non-Christian musings of the highly functioning lobotomized clergy class.
R. Scott Clark notes the desire of DeYoung to have “some form of Christian Nationalism,” and then as the cheek to say that no one has ever answered his previous queries as to what it means to modify “nationalism” with “Christian.” Clark, ever the intellectual autistic that he is, insists that no one has ever given him a coherent response as to what it means to speak of “Christian” plumbing or “Christian” math. All I can say here is that if he has seen no coherent response to this it is because he is looking with his eyes shut. Here is my response to that question a couple years ago. It is not the first time I have answered this question for he who runs “The Heidelfog.”
Also, if R. Scott Clark would read my book he would see that I provide an answer for him again in that book in the chapter titled, “Transformation of Culture.” So, either R. Scott Clark is lying when he says he has seen no coherent response to his queries about how math, softball, or nations can be Christian or else his worldview won’t allow him to see an answer that everyone else can easily see.
Clark then insists that he is not a defeatist. All I can do is offer that such a statement is a real knee-slapper. Everything that Clark contends for in terms of his R2K social order project guarantees that Christianity will return to the catacombs. As I argue in my book in the chapter “Militant Amillennialism” R2K’s eschatology requires defeat. Quoting from my book, I note,
“The R2K eschatology is what I call a militant amillennialism. The Amillennial eschatology does not allow for the victory of the Gospel and Biblical Christianity in space and time. In Amillennial eschatology the return of Christ is a return characterized by a church that is under assault and is greatly diminished in the world. Christ returns to rescue the Church much like the US Cavalry rides in to save an almost depleted Fort Custer as surrounded by the Indians ready to make their final push to take the Fort. The R2K Amillennialists really believe this and so it is baked into their eschatology. Because they do not believe that victory is possible they have developed a theology under the tutelage of men like David Van Drunen, R. Scott Clark, Mike Horton, D. G. Hart, and others that by definition does not allow for victory. By creating a common square that, by definition, can not ever be anything but common the R2K Amillennialist has created a self-fulfilled eschatology. Since by definition the public square cannot be anything but common the public square cannot see the triumph of Christ in space and time in the public square. The is militant Amillennialism.”
Clark next insists that all he is arguing for is a return to the American project which means the restoration of secular government while pursuing a desire to re-frame the classical Reformed distinction between nature and grace.
We would note here that when Clark tells us that he desires to return to the American project what he is telling us is that he desire to return to the vision of the Enlightenment crowd numbered among the founding fathers. This is a vision that affirms neutrality as seen in the insistence that the State (as well as the national institutions) remains neutral when it comes to the issue of religion. Clark continues to not understand, and no power short of conversion can make him understand, that neutrality is a myth. Jesus Himself said that “he does not gather with me scatters.” Jesus Himself said that, “he who is not with me is against me.” Jesus Himself said, “You cannot serve two Masters.” Clark desires to serve Jesus as Master while having a neutral state that does not serve Jesus as Master. This is not only not Christianity that Clark is pushing this is anti-Christianity. Let it be said clearly that there is no such thing as a secular State/Government if by secular you mean a State/Government that is ruling apart from a standpoint of religion and ruling apart from some god or god concept. Clark’s idea of secular is the idea that Roger Williams (He of Anabaptist fame) instantiated in Rhode Island. R. Scott Clark as more in common with Roger Williams than he does John Calvin.
Clark next invokes the sainted Abraham Kuyper. Clark would be better served reading Philippus Jacobus Hoedemaker’s critiques of Kuyper on this score. After Clark is finished reading Hoedemaker he can then buy a copy of Wm. T. Cavanaugh’s, “The Myth of Religious Violence.” From that work he can learn that all his chicken little screaming about violence from Christian magistrates is just so much hooey.
Clark then offers a real eye-popper when he writes;
“As a historian, I am endlessly puzzled by the desire, expressed by Wolfe and others, for a return to a state-church. What do they imagine the outcome will be? They claim that they will get it right this time, though virtually all other attempts before them have failed. This reminds me very much of the Marxist claim that we should give that another run because the right people have not tried it yet.”
I too am a historian, though I never earned a terminal degree in the field. (If Clark is an example of a Historian with a terminal degree I thank God I never went on to get the terminal degree.) History was one of my under-grad degrees. I took all the historiography courses. I examined the different schools of history. I read the heavy hitters. So, as a historian I am endlessly puzzled by Clark’s inability to see that a state-church is an inescapable category. Our nation is covered with state-churches, supported with state-funds, manned by state-educated state-Priests. Somewhere in the vicinity of 90% of American children (ages K-12) attend these state-churches being indoctrinated thoroughly with the state religion. Yet, Clark is so jejune that he can suggest that we, in America, do not have a state-Church. It is amazing. Clark complains that too many people are like Marxists and yet the man can’t see that our state-Church pushes some one form or another of Marxism.
R. Scott Clark’s Christianity is completely novel. No Reformed person before Meredith Kline thought anything like this. As Dr. Stephen Wolfe has written regarding R2K;
“Van Drunen (Clark belongs to this school of thought), for example, resolves the ‘contradictions’ of traditional two kingdoms theology with a theological system that affirms post WW II norms of secularism, multiculturalism, and anti-nationalism. His political theology might rightly be called ‘post WW II consensus theology,’ and I suspect that historians, looking back at it, will conclude that his theology is highly historically conditioned.”
Van Drunen, D. G. Hart, R. Scott Clark, Mike Horton, Sean Michael Lucas, Matthew Tuininga, David T. Gordon, and countless others are spewing a “theology” that is perhaps 80 years old at best. It is completely novel and it is a theology that none of the Reformers or their descendants would recognize as Reformed. Yet, despite the truth of that these posers are all over the place screaming that they alone are orthodox. Jesus refused to turn stone into bread but these highly educated dunces have gladly complied.