Continuing to Critique Wolfe on Nationalism

“Here we come to Wolfe’s concept of the “nation,” which is left surprisingly ambiguous. We learn from Wolfe that the “nation” is not to be identified with the post-Westphalian nation-state,23 or with racial groups in the modern sense,24 but rather with “one’s own people-group” and “sharing . . . particularity with others.”25 Exactly what, though, demarcates one nation from another? The argument in this section unfolds at a dizzyingly high level of abstraction, with specific comparative examples in short supply. Wolfe acknowledges, to be sure, that “[t]he idea of nation is notoriously difficult to define”26—but more is required than the book provides. Surely, for instance, my college is not a “nation,” no matter how many of the phenomenological conditions for nationhood (similar customs, similar backgrounds of residents, common sense of place) it possesses.”

John Ehrett
Was Nietzsche Right?
American Reformer

1.) I have been saying this ever since I read Wolfe’s book and listened to his interviews so naturally I like it when people agree with me. Let’s be honest here, this is the only criticism of Wolfe’s book that is needed to demonstrate that it is not a serious work on Christian Nationalism. If you can’t or won’t define what a nation is then any musings on Nationalism of any stripe is just so much hooey. This is the first indicator that Wolfe’s book isn’t really a serious work on Nationalism.

2.) A second indicator that Wolfe himself isn’t really a serious Nationalism scholar is seen in a Tweet is pushed out some time ago.

“Isn’t it interesting that neo-Calvinists emphasized improving what is earthly but never mentioned the improvement of the body.”

Now, keep in mind that Wolfe takes pains in his book to promote his Natural Law Bona Fides at the expense of neo-Calvinism. Wolfe desires to ground his vision (such as it is) in Natural law theory and so neo-Calvinism has to go.

This is all well and good and understandable given Wolfe’s persuasion. However, the Tweet above is just not true and a scholar would not have shoved that Tweet out since a scholar would have known that one of the leading neo-Calvinists (Bavinck) of the 20th century wrote a long section in his “Reformed Ethics” on the necessity to improve the body.

Part B. Our Duties toward Ourselves

18. General Bodily Duties to Self
&36 General Duties (Self-Preservation)
&37 Duties toward Bodily LIfe
19. Basic Necessities of Bodily Life
&38 Food and Nourishment
&39 Clothing
20. Bodily Duties to Our Souls
&40 Our Duty to Life Itself
&41 Attending to Bodily Life in the Seventh through Ninth Commandments
&42 Duties toward the Soul

3.) Wolfe’s book on Christian Nationalism is more Rorschach test than it is a scholarly work on Christian Nationalism. I have said that repeatedly since I read the book and it is with pleasure that I notice a recent reviewer of Wolfe’s book has said the same thing.

“As a result, I anticipate that Wolfe’s book will prove to be a Rorschach test.”

John Ehrett
Article Critiquing Wolfe

I understand that there are those who desperately desire a path so as to return to a healthy Christian Nationalism. Dr. Stephen Wolfe’s book, with its Thomistic nature vs. grace Natural Law paradigm does not provide that path. What Wolfe has done for us in this publication is to make it clear that Thomistic thinking remains a non-starter when it comes to philosophy of any kind. It has also made it clear that presuppositionalists who are chomping at the bit for Christian Nationalism are, at best, only going to dine with the Thomistic Natural Law guys, with their version of Christian Nationalism with a very very long spoon.

Vos & McAtee on National Election

“God’s decree is not exclusively concerned with individuals but also comprises nations and establishes the bond between generations. The destiny of a nation is weighed by Him, as is the destiny of a person. There is not the slightest interest, indeed is completely impossible on Reformed grounds, to deny national election or whatever it may be called.”

Geerhardus Vos
Dogmatic Theology Vol 1. — pg. 111

1.) If Vos is correct — and he is — then how could any Reformed Pastor, Luminary, or laymen deny the desirability, irreproachability and necessity of Christian Nationalism?

2.) The denial of the desirability, irreproachability and necessity of Christian Nationalism as coming from the Reformed community is proof positive that the Reformed community has become Baptistified inasmuch there is seemingly no longer an ability to embrace the corporate side of the covenant. For the Reformed, like the Baptists, the emphasis falls so much on the atomistic individual that the corporate side of covenantal categories is completely ruled out of bounds. Like the Baptists, salvation has become completely an individual, subjective reality. The Reformed have lost the corporate and objective side of the covenant.

3.) This statement more clearly than could be asked prohibits the New World Order agenda of erasing the Nations and turning the world into a vast melting pot. If God elects nations then nations are God’s is one means whereby He elects persons from those nations. To advocate positions that would destroy nations is to resist God.

Note also that this National Election, Vos offers, establishes the bond between generations. Clearly if National Election establishes the bond between generations it is a ethnic bond as well as a generational bond. Generations in a nation belong to the same ethnos. God works in ethnic lines. The bond God establishes is ethnic as well as Spiritual. Any attempt to destroy the ethno-generational bond that God establishes in and among nations is a denial of Biblical Christianity.

Alienist theology which teaches a postmillennialism where all peoples bleed into one is a anti-Christ theology. New World Order humanism is anti-covenant theology.

Hoedemaker On the Myth of Neutrality — Advocate for State with the Bible

“After all, science is not an abstract concept. It does not have a life of its own. It varies in accordance with the Scriptural and worldview in which it is rooted. It becomes what it is through what its representatives may or may not believe. This is true of science considered as a whole, as well as in terms of separate parts. Men like Lombroso and Ferri arrive at different criminal law that Gratama or Groen.

But we hereby declare that the modern state, which by its basic principle must keep itself neutral, cannot establish or maintain schools of science, nor even act as its patron. Science cannot and should not be colorless. Neutrality here means unbelief. He who rejects the authority of the King is a rebel. Science that denies its guiding principle is unbelief.

This is not widely recognized in Christian circles. It is believed that the state as we know it cannot have theology taught; but it is forgotten to add that on the same ground and with the same right, no branch of science can be entrusted to it, and the less so, the less it shows the character of an auxiliary science. If the state with the Bible is rejected, then the University has been given its death warrant.

I am now considering the matter entirely in the abstract. But one arrives at the same result if one considers things from a practical point of view. The university is a fortress controlling the entire field of thought and action. It follows that no group in popular life will be able to leave it in the hands of those hostile to its principle. Here we have the key to the position.

P. J. Hoedemaker
The Politics of Antithesis — pg. 75-76

Hoedemaker makes the point here that Thomas Kuhn’s was lauded for when Kuhn’s wrote, “Structures of Scientific Revolutions.” Kuhn’s point there as Hoedemaker’s point here is that Science is not worldview free and does not exist in some neutral vacuum where it is unencumbered by apriorist convictions of the Scientists doing the “science.”

Of course the greater point here is that as long as either the University of the State operates apart from the compass of God’s Word in favor of a idealized but never realized “neutrality,” the consequence will be, as sure as night follows day, that the people of the nation will become pagan. If we cannot have God’s Word as our Lodestone in the University, and indeed in all our government education, than the result will be that our churches will soon become pagan as a result of our children being catechized by a different faith in the school system that is being covered with the fig leaf of neutrality. Having been catechized in the State religion in the school system, — all the time being convinced that they have not been since all their education was “neutral” — at least some of them will then return to the Church and via their “neutral education” reinterpret Christianity to comport with their “neutral education” that was never really neutral.
In my estimation this perhaps the chief problem of the Church in America. As long as the Education centers remain in the hands of the “neutral” statists, just so long Christianity will be a begging religion.

And R2K loves it so.

Just remember the words of Hoedemaker here. “He who rejects the authority of the King is a rebel.”

A Book Review — “The Life & Character of Abraham Lincoln; Monster or Messiah?

Last night I finished George L. Christian’s nifty little booklet entitled, “The Life & Character of Abraham Lincoln; Monster or Messiah”? Most of this I’ve come across before but there were one or two morsels that I had not come across before. One of those morsels was the incredible extent that men, who were previously Lincoln’s enemies, went to in order to grant apotheosis and deification to Lincoln upon death. Though the book does not go into this, connecting the dots allows one to realize that one reason they did that is that by doing so it covered their tracks as perpetrators of Lincoln’s murder. Another reason Lincoln’s deification was pursued by his previous enemies was that they understood that they needed a hero in order to cement both their Republican rule and their recreation of the nation into something that had not existed previously. By deifying Lincoln the narrative of the new USA became untouchable. So ridiculous had the Yankee mob been stirred up by the propaganda of the godlike Lincoln that Lincoln’s oldest friend Ward Lamon could write;

“For days and nights after his assassination ‘it was considered treason to be seen in public with a smile on the face. Men who spoke evil of the fallen chief, ventured a doubt concerning the ineffable purity and saintliness of his life, were pursued by mobs, were beaten to death with paving stones, or strung up by the neck to lamp posts.'”

The author takes pains to suggest that sane people no more grieve Lincoln’s murder than they grieve the state sanctioned murder of Mary Surratt (look her up).

Perhaps the best work in the book is where the author puts to rest the old chestnut that had Lincoln survived he would have certainly treated the South with a far greater kindness than the Black Republicans who were left in power upon his death. Author, Christian, powerfully demonstrates that such a notion that Lincoln would have been a friend to the South after its defeat is pure hagiography.

Anyway … the book is only 50 pages and so it is a quick read. If you’ve read others longer works on Lincoln this supplements that reading well. The longer biography of Lincoln one should read is Edgar Lee Masters, “Lincoln, the Man.”

After reading this book you will realize what a hypocrisy it is to have a Temple built to Lincoln in Washington DC.

Really good at exposing the charade that Lincoln was some kind of American hero. This myth continues to modern times as a reading of Alan Guelzo’s “Abraham Lincoln; Redeemer President.”

We complain about the current gaslighting that goes on in Washington DC, but the gaslighting that continues to this day on the matter of one Abraham Lincoln continues to be some of the greatest gaslighting in world history.

A few recommend reads on Lincoln. Remember, I am challenging the hagiographic Lincoln.

1.) Edgar Lee Masters — Lincoln the Man
2.) Walter Kennedy — Red Republicans and Lincoln’s Marxists: Marxism in the Civil War

3.) Al Benson — Lincoln’s Marxists
4.) Thomas DiLorenzo — Lincoln Unmasked
5.)Webb B. Garrison — Lincoln’s Little War: How His Carefully Crafted Plans Went Astray

McAtee Defends Stephen Wolfe Against Ehrett

“It would seem that antique paganism does a better job of underpinning his (Wolfe’s) political theory than does Christianity itself. Considered abstractly, what belief system could better reinforce one’s natural love of home and family and kin than a religion grounded in that natural love, a religion forming overlapping chains of unbroken continuity back through the generations of one’s particular family and polis, a religion with father-rule at its very core? In view of Wolfe’s claim that the Western mind has a “universalizing tendency” which it ought to reject, coupled with the fairly clear historical datum that this ‘universalizing tendency’ has its roots in Christianity, paganism seems to have some crucial advantages here.”

John Ehrett
Critiquing Stephen Wolfe’s book on Nationalism

Now, I’m no fan of Wolfe’s recent book on nationalism and I don’t know John Ehrett from Adam, but this critique by Ehrett is mind-boggling dense.

Ehrett tells us, in this critique that ancient paganism, with its ancestor worship, better reinforced one’s natural love of home, family, and kin because it was a religion grounded in natural love. First, understand that when paganism had this kind of religion the natural love that Ehrett speaks of instantly became natural love in service of idolatry. The ancient pagans who worshiped the family were guilty of familolatry. As such, whatever natural love that was present in the end was not love at all. Any love that is owned that does not find its meaning in love for God and in submission to God is no love at all. Because the kind of pagans the Ehrett speaks of practiced familolatry therefore it was not possible for pagan religion to be superior to Christianity when it came to love of kith, kin, and place. Second, is Ehrett not familiar with some of the kinds of antique paganism who had this superior natural love for family above that of Christianity? Is Ehrett not familiar that many indigenous peoples across Mesoamerica had altars in their houses or patios and these were used, in part, to communicate with the ancestors? Is this the kind of superiority over Christianity in the matter of kith, kin, and place, that Ehrett speaks of? Has Ehrett ever considered the Mexican holiday of the “Day of the Dead” which stretches back centuries and which is closely connected to the pagan respect for kith, kin, and place? Does he really want to argue that the Day of the Dead is superior to Wolfe’s proper insistence that Christianity is a religion that is better at reinforcing love for kith, kin, and family than paganism?

In making this critique I have to wonder if Ehrett has ever heard of covenant theology with its promise from God that “I will be your God and you shall be my people?” Does Ehrett realize that the Scriptures are all about Father rule so that Christians are constantly accused of that dreaded thing called patriarchy? Has Ehrett ever considered the idea of a promised land. Has Ehrett Revelation 21 where the Nations as Nations are filing into the New Jerusalem? How about Micah 4 or Isaiah 2 where all the nations as nations are streaming to the Mountain of the Lord?

Is Ehrett actually arguing that Paganism gives a better foundation for the idea of family, polis, place, and Father rule than Christianity?

As to the matter of Ehrett’s support for what he believes is Christianity’s “universalizing tendency,” let us keep in mind that a “universalizing tendency” can come in a couple of varieties. The first variety seems to be what Ehrett is pushing. It is the variety that has Christianity working to be a faith that he imagines results in no countries and where all colors bleed into one. This kind of Christianity that Ehrett envisions is one where the universalizing tendency has swallowed whole the particularity that Christianity also embraces with its doctrine of “The One and the Many.” The second variety of a Christianity with a healthy “universalizing tendency” is the kind of universalizing tendency that bespeaks confederation. This kind of universalizing tendency allows for unity in the faith while embracing particularity in peoples and places. This kind of Christian universalizing tendency allows for every tribe, tongue and nation, in their tribes, tongues, and nations, to come around the throne of the lamb to give glory and honor and praise.

Christianity has through the centuries embraced both the idea of a universalizing tendency and of a particularizing tendency when it comes to peoples. Listen to Charles Hodge on the particularizing tendency of Christianity;

“It is moreover a historical fact universally admitted, that character, within certain limits is transmissible from parents to children. Every nation, separate tribe, and even every extended family of men, has its physical, mental, social, and moral peculiarities which are propagated from generation to generation. No process of discipline of culture can transmute a Tartar into a Englishman, or an Irishman into a Frenchman. The Bourbons, the Hapsburgs, and other historical families, have retained and transmitted their peculiarities for ages. We may be unable to explain thus, but we cannot deny it. No one is born an absolute man, with nothing but generic humanity belonging to him. Everyone is born a man a man in a definite state, with all those characteristics physical, mental, and moral, which make up his individuality. There is nothing therefore in the doctrine of hereditary depravity out of analogy within providential facts.”

Charles Hodge

Systematic Theology

And listen to Abraham Kuyper on how particularity can exist within the universal;

“The Javanese are a different race than us; they live in a different region; they stand on a wholly different level of development; they are created differently in their inner life; they have a wholly different past behind them; and they have grown up in wholly different ideas. To expect of them that they should find the fitting expression of their faith in our Confession and in our Catechism is therefore absurd.

Now this is not something special for the Javanese, but stems from a general rule. The men are not all alike among whom the Church occurs. They differ according to origin, race, country, region, history, construction, mood and soul, and they do not always remain the same, but undergo various stages of development. Now the Gospel will not objectively remain outside their reach, but subjectively be appropriated by them, and the fruit thereof will come to confession and expression, the result may not be the same for all nations and times. The objective truth remains the same, but the matter in appropriation, application and confession must be different, as the color of the light varies according to the glass in which it is collected. He who has traveled and came into contact with Christians in different parts of the world of distinct races, countries and traditions cannot be blind for the sober fact of this reality. It is evident to him. He observes it everywhere.”……

Abraham Kuyper:
Common Grace (1902–1905)

And so, we must conclude that this critique of Ehrett’s insisting on the idea that Christianity is a faith that levels all previous cultural distinctions so that men from different cultures and races, once becoming Christian can all live in harmony in the same social order just because they are all Christian is just not accurate.