Biblical Nationalism and the Sixteenth Century States

An honest and straightforward reading of the bible makes one a nationalist–indeed an “ethno-nationalist.” Here we see that there would have been no Reformation as we understand it today if ethno-Nationalism had not been in the mix. Do not believe the lies of the modern Reformed clergy today (like Dr. Alan Strange) who want to suggest that there is something inherently evil and/or dangerous about Christian Nationalism. At least this is the conclusion of Dianne Applebaum’s “Biblical Nationalism and the Sixteenth Century States.”

“The emergence of Protestant nations in sixteenth-century Europe was driven by the sudden rediscovery of biblical nationalism, a political model that did not separate the religious from the political. Biblical nationalism was new because pre-Reformation Europeans encountered the Hebrew Bible through paraphrases and abridgments. Full-text Bibles revealed a programmatic nationalism backed by unmatched authority as the word of God to readers primed by Reformation theology to seek models in the Bible for the reform of their own societies. Sixteenth-century biblical nationalism was the unintended side effect of a Reformation intended to save souls.”

“Christians inspired by the Reformation to read or hear the Bible found a ‘developed model’ (Hastings, 1997, p. 18) of nationhood, beginning with an expansive description of a world arranged into ‘kindreds, tongues, lands, and nations’ [Tyndale [1530] Genesis 10:20 (Daniell, 1992)]. This association of nations with kin, language, and territory is part of a biblical discourse that reflects many of the desiderata identified by later scholars as characteristic of nations. The biblical world is imagined as composed of rightfully sovereign and equal nations. God Put the borders of the nations (Tyndale, Deuteronomy 32:8), and generally played an active role in human history, allotting territories to specific peoples.”

“But [John] Foxe would have had in mind the establishment of Protestant states in the Swiss cantons and Germanies, Sweden (1531), Denmark (1536), and Scotland (1560). Protestantism in each of these states was driven by specific factors along a unique path. What they shared was a new conviction that the model of the Godly life, for whole societies as for individuals, must be sought and would be found in the unmediated text of the Bible. Some lands experienced the Reformation primarily as a top-down royal programme, some as popular revolutions, others as a reform movement harnessed by magnates. What the several sixteenth-century ‘New Israels’ had in common was the power of the biblical narrative of nationhood to generate mass political participation because the Bible not only provided both a lexicon and a discourse of nationhood, it provided those ideas with unmatched authority as the word of God.”

 Diana Muir Applebaum
“Biblical Nationalism and the Sixteenth Century States”

Author: jetbrane

I am a Pastor of a small Church in Mid-Michigan who delights in my family, my congregation and my calling. I am postmillennial in my eschatology. Paedo-Calvinist Covenantal in my Christianity Reformed in my Soteriology Presuppositional in my apologetics Familialist in my family theology Agrarian in my regional community social order belief Christianity creates culture and so Christendom in my national social order belief Mythic-Poetic / Grammatical Historical in my Hermeneutic Pre-modern, Medieval, & Feudal before Enlightenment, modernity, & postmodern Reconstructionist / Theonomic in my Worldview One part paleo-conservative / one part micro Libertarian in my politics Systematic and Biblical theology need one another but Systematics has pride of place Some of my favorite authors, Augustine, Turretin, Calvin, Tolkien, Chesterton, Nock, Tozer, Dabney, Bavinck, Wodehouse, Rushdoony, Bahnsen, Schaeffer, C. Van Til, H. Van Til, G. H. Clark, C. Dawson, H. Berman, R. Nash, C. G. Singer, R. Kipling, G. North, J. Edwards, S. Foote, F. Hayek, O. Guiness, J. Witte, M. Rothbard, Clyde Wilson, Mencken, Lasch, Postman, Gatto, T. Boston, Thomas Brooks, Terry Brooks, C. Hodge, J. Calhoun, Llyod-Jones, T. Sowell, A. McClaren, M. Muggeridge, C. F. H. Henry, F. Swarz, M. Henry, G. Marten, P. Schaff, T. S. Elliott, K. Van Hoozer, K. Gentry, etc. My passion is to write in such a way that the Lord Christ might be pleased. It is my hope that people will be challenged to reconsider what are considered the givens of the current culture. Your biggest help to me dear reader will be to often remind me that God is Sovereign and that all that is, is because it pleases him.

2 thoughts on “Biblical Nationalism and the Sixteenth Century States”

  1. “Here we see that there would have been no Reformation as we understand it today if ethno-Nationalism had not been in the mix.”

    Romanist polemicists, who after all were proponents of an international (if not outright globalist) church, often threw this fact into the teeth of their Protestant opponents, claiming that their religion had its origin in such “carnal” factors as ethnic loyalty – which position of course goes nicely along with modern anti-racist posturing.

    G.K. Chesterton, for example, mocked the Protestants of Northern Ireland for being embarrassing race-idolater bigots, much like the imperial Germans, who had just been defeated in the First World War at the time of this writing:

    “That is the real moral issue in the modern struggle in Ireland, nor is it confined to Ireland. England has been deeply infected with this pharisaical weakness, but as I have said, England takes things vaguely where Ireland takes them vividly. The men of Belfast offer that city as something supreme, unique and unrivalled; and they are very nearly right. There is nothing exactly like it in the industrialism of this country; but for all that, the fight against its religion of arrogance has been fought out elsewhere and on a larger field. There is another centre and citadel from which this theory, of strength in a self-hypnotised superiority, has despised Christendom. There has been a rival city to Belfast; and its name was Berlin.

    Historians of all religions and no religion may yet come to regard it as an historical fact, I fancy, that the Protestant Reformation of the sixteenth century (at least in the form it actually took) was a barbaric breakdown, like that Prussianism which was the ultimate product of that Protestantism. “

  2. And actually the old-school RC ultramontane polemicists criticized even the Eastern Orthodox for similar kind of “nationalist heresy,” for having many separate national churches or patriarchates, which contradicted their own globalist, centralized, antichrist vision of universal papal rule:

    “Naturally the Phanar hates the national idea; in 1872 it held a synod to declare that Philetism1 (the love of one’s race in ecclesiastical matters) is the latest and most poisonous heresy. But it is a most astonishing case of poetic justice. It was on the strength of this very national idea that centuries ago the Patriarch waxed strong and rebelled against his over-lord, the Pope. Now he sees his own children, having learned it from him, also wax strong on it and rebel against him. And so he finds Philetism to be a deadly heresy. Poor Patriarch! in his glory he was only a very feeble imitation of the Pope, and now he is fixed between two theories, and either way he loses. Shall he denounce Philetism, stand out for the old rights of the hierarchy and of the chief sees, preach unity and ancient councils? Alas! his see is not even an Apostolic one; he would have to go down below Alexandria and Antioch. Every one knows which is the first see in Christendom, and every one knows that unity means returning to the obedience of that see. Or shall he, taking up a cry that seems to come more naturally from Constantinople, talk of equality and national Churches, national rights and no aggression, no Head, in short, but Christ? But, then, what shall he say to the Bulgars? Of course what he wants is just enough national idea to disobey the Pope and not enough for the Bulgars to disobey him.”

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