Dr. Andrew Sandlin’s Warning About the Second Coming of Lincolnian Nationalism

“I think the problem with Christian nationalism in its most prominent iterations is that it’s essentially the positing of an ethno-state bound together by kinship, presided over largely by concentrated political order with a formal Christian profession. That’s certainly not the same thing as Joe mentions as biblical nationhood, and it’s certainly not Christian culture. I think we need to understand that, proximately, the greatest enemy in Western culture is statism, and we don’t need a revived Christianized statism (which is oxymoronic) to replace that.

I think we need to Christianize culture in all areas of life. I’ll say finally, I think one problem is that because Christians have been so culturally derelict for the last 150 years—they have lost in culture, lost in politics, lost everywhere—now in a mad panic, say, we must capture politics in order to impose a Christian vision. I don’t think that they understand that the left did not first win politics, the left won culture over last 100 or 150 years. And we will not win the culture back simply by gaining political victories, though getting good Christians in political office is certainly desirable. So, this is basically a cultural battle. Christian nationalism sees it as a political battle and that is a dangerous miscalculation.”

Andy Sandlin

1.) Sandlin speaks of “CN in its most prominent iterations.” I want to know the names of those individual CN out there who believe that CN is what Sandlin is saying they believe CN is. I demand this because I seriously doubt very many of the major CN thinkers and advocates out there define CN has primarily political. Sandlin here has given us a genuine example of the red herring fallacy.

I will speak only for myself that this has never been my vision of Christian Nationalism and that in point of fact any Christian Nationalism that would be “presided over largely by concentrated political order,” could not be in any way taken as a serious establishment of Christian Nationalism.

It seems the Boomers like Sandlin have this fixated image in their head that all us Christian Nationalists desire the second coming of the Abraham Lincoln’s Nationalizing of America. It is just asinine that any Christian would have to say to Andy, “No, Andy, I do not desire the second coming of  Lincoln’s Nationalism. How could you be so stupid to think I would want that?”

2.) Having said that, what is the problem with “the positing of an ethno-state bound together by kinship, presided over largely by concentrated political order with a formal Christian profession.” as long as that non-concentrated political order is a reflection of a Christian culture. Sandlin knows that no Christian worth is salt is going to advocate for a concentrated (read centralized) Christian political order. In point of fact a concentrated political order would not be Christian Nationalism because such an arrangement is not particularly Christian. However, a non-concentrated political order — a political order that is diffused and decentralized — could indeed be Christian and I would be shocked to learn the movers and shakers out there supporting CN would say anything other.

Oh sure… there are some crackpots around who wet their pants over visions of some kind of version of Lincoln’s Marxists.

3.) It is completely bogus on Sandlin’s part to suggest that CN believe that it is a political battle vis-a-vis understanding that it is also a cultural battle. However, though politics is indeed downstream of culture, it is also at the same time part and parcel of culture so it cannot be ignored in the way that Andy as, in the past, suggested.

4.) Really, in my estimation, the thing that really blisters Andy’s chaps is the perfectly Biblical idea of CN “positing of an ethno-state bound together by kinship.” However, Andy is just going to have to get over this. As we have noted ad nauseum here nations are merely family writ large. Nations by their very definition have a ethnic core that cannot be negotiated w/o losing the whole concept of “nation.” Christian Nationalists merely desire that their blood informed nations (just as their blood informed family units) be defined and animated by Christian categories. There is nothing startling/shocking in this idea of Nationalism.

However, Andy has sipped from the grog that is the spirit of the age and, like Doug Wilson and so many other evangelicals who have bellied up to the bar of the zeitgeist, he and they just can’t hold his or their liquor.

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.

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