Talk:Dominion Theology

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POV comment[edit]

It is good to mention (as the article in its current form does) that this is not a mainstream viewpoint in the evangelical Christian community, it part due to its extremely radical nature, and it part due to strong theological differences with mainstream evangelicalism. Perhaps the article should note that many U.S. political conservatives do not endorse or agree with this movement, seeing it as radical, not conservative, in that it seeks to expand the pervasiveness of government and is not based on the idea of a political system founded on the Constitution of the United States. This article still strikes me as being an attempt to "expose", rather than to "explain", this theology, and it still needs some rewriting, but I will defer putting it on cleanup for now. Rlquall 01:36, 29 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Why I rewrote this page[edit]

I am a critic of Dominionism, but this page was way over the top in terms of violating NPOV. Dominionism, Dominion Theology, and Christian Reconstructionism are not the same thing. A subset chart would look like this:

Triumphalism
Dominionism
Dominion Theology
Christian Reconstructionism

The specific meanings are different in important ways. Some national Republican political figures are Dominionist, but few are believers in Dominion Theology, and I can't think of any who are actually Christian Reconstructionist, although it is possible one or two are. --Cberlet 15:13, 28 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Although these terms are descriptive enough, I'm not sure they really identify subsets. As we've worked through some of the issues on the Dominionism page, for example, we've done so in terms of the "theology" of so-called Dominionists. I would think this page would provide more detail about the theology of dominion, rather than try to distinguish "Dominionism" from "Dominion Theology". Mkmcconn (Talk) 19:11, 23 Jun 2005 (UTC)
The problem is that a lot of critics make no distinction between generic "soft" Dominionism and the harder forms of Dominion Theology of which Christian Reconstructionism is but one example. Also, some critics have written that Christian Reconstructionism is the same thing as Dominion Theology, or even claimed that Christian Reconstructionism, Dominion Theology, and Dominionism are all ways to describe Christian Reconstructionism. So this page serves as an educational placekeeper to help folks sort this out in a more accurate way. Understand that I am a critic of Christian Reconstructionism, Dominion Theology, and Dominionism, but I think it is important to recognize that when Diamond and Clarkson and others write about these tendencies, they are making distinctions that get lost if the terms are used as synonymns.--Cberlet 20:55, 23 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I agree with you, that distinctions are important. The problem is that, these terms are creating artificial distinctions (apparently for academic purposes), that are not meaningful inside of the debate. Moreover, it seems that the actual "theology" of Dominion theology, is not of interest.
Within my circles, for example, which might be called the birthplace of Christian Reconstructionism, there is a variety of theological perspectives concerning how a Christian should conduct himself in the public sphere - ranging from withdrawal, to immersion. Within that theological arena, "Dominionism" and "Dominion theology" are precisely the same thing, and describe fairly narrowly one of the theological and intellectual influences of Christian Reconstructionism. But, behind it, is an idea that's borrowed from continental Reformed theology, especially what is called the "reformational", or "calvinian" movement. Abraham Kuyper, the chief articulator of that perspective, expressed its main principle in this confessional form: there is not a thumb-breadth of the universe about which Christ does not say, "It is mine" If you put that phrase in the mouth of a "reformational" Christian, it means something sharply at odds with what it means in the mouth of a Reconstructionist. The difference between these two ideas (which are based on identical interpretations of Genesis 1:26-28, by the way) is a difference in their theology of stewardship (dominion). Both understand the dominion mandate to be applicable to all of life (not just to taking care of animals). But Kuyper's approach led to pluralism, Rushdoony led the way to Theonomy: opposite ends of a political spectrum. Mkmcconn (Talk) \
Furthermore, there are other theological sources behind these two schools of thought, which branch out in further diversity, which is very wide indeed. Mkmcconn (Talk) \
Now, to me, it would seem that an article entitled "Dominion theology" should have some reference to the original context in which these terms originated. Strangely, it does not; and, after all, even if it did, it really can't be discussed here, anyway. Wikipedia is not a theological journal. Where does that leave me? It leaves me in the position of trying to contribute to a outsider's view from the outside, when I could contribute an insider's view, but it doesn't seem relevant. Very odd position to be in. I hope that you can sympathize. Mkmcconn (Talk) 00:14, 24 Jun 2005 (UTC)
What do you think about the change to the introduction? I'm not entirely happy with how relative it renders the term, but I'm at a loss for how else to approach this. If the quoted writers are actually dictating how the terminology is being used, and especially if their work has become influential, and they are the creators of the categories (like "Hard", "Soft", "Dominionist vs Dominion Theology", etc.), then it seems that there is no choice but to constrain the article to the terms as they use them. Mkmcconn (Talk) 01:27, 24 Jun 2005 (UTC)
To a sociologist, what matters is when a group of people become a collective self-aware movement. To a sociologist of religion, there is a difference between a theological debate, and the development of a group of people who have embraced a particular theological sect. But in part, this page exists to make people pay attention to some distinctions that are relatively opaque to folks not conversant in theological debates. All over the internet are claims that go like this:
The Christian Right is Dominionist, and Dominionism is the same thing as Dominion Theology, and Dominon Theology is the same thing as Christian Reconstructionism, and Christian Reconstructionism is the same thing as theocratic neofascism, and since theocratic neofascism is just a fancy word for a type of fascism...therefore the Christian Right is fascist.
So this page exists to help folks sort out why that type of thinking is simply invalid logically and in terms of analytical content.--Cberlet 16:17, 26 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Nested chart[edit]

Reconstructionists call themselves theonomic, so I swapped them in the chart. Restored Triumphalism as well. Helps reader see the flow. --Cberlet 13:51, 22 May 2006 (UTC)

Kinism[edit]

The paragraph on Kinism is un-sourced, and inaccurate. Kinism can hardly be called a "movement" - though its proponents want it to become one, as there are less than ten people known to have publicly embraced the tenets of "Kinism" when they signed a statement written by Stan Poston - who coined the term and is the father/author of the ideology.

Poston, a graduate of Virginia Military Institute, and at that time a federal agent, coined the idea of Kinism in 1999, and got a few people to sign his founding statement. Poston was Anglican at the time - a denomination not normally associated with Dominionist ideaology. Poston was a member of the Virginia chapter of the League of the South. In 2000 he introduced his idea to the state leadership of the League of the South. Kinism was rejected by the leadership and members of the Virginia League of the South, which led to Poston and the other members who endorsed Kinism being asked to leave the organization - which they did.

Poston retired from federal law enforcement and moved to Tennessee shortly thereafter, and as of 2008 has not done any more to publicly promote Kinism, though he still believes it.

Harry Seabrook was the author of the website www.littlegeneva.com which started out as a Christian Reconstructionist website in the 1990's. After the turn of the millennium Seabrook started moving toward racism and adopted "Kinism" from Poston, making it his flagship idea. During his ideaological transition, Seabrook posted a mix of both ideas on his website - dominionism and kinism. However, other Dominionists rejected Seabrook. R.C. Sproul Jr, wrote an open letter in his newsletter, "Every Thought Captive", denouncing Seabrook and Kinism as incompatible with the Gospel. Consequently, Seabrook alienated himself from the Dominionist movement and the Reformed churches in his area.

Seabrook was a notable failure in his attempt to popularize the mixing of Kinism and Dominionist ideas, primarily because the two ideas are antithetical to each other.

In 2007 Seabrook shut the Little Geneva website down for fear that his employer might find out about his open promotion of white supremacy. Shortly thereafter the site was put back online using the new name "spiritwaterblood.com" and registered in the name of Randall Jamison, another Virginia Kinist, and former chairman of the Virginia chapter of the League of the South. The new site has the same header shots of Andrew Jackson, Robert E Lee, Stonewall Jackson, R.L. Dabney, Cornelius Van Til, and Rousas Rushdooney as the Little Geneva website - and in the same order - suggesting to those familiar with Little Geneva that this is the same website under a new name.

Kinism does not have a strong intellectual backing, unlike the Reconstructionist movement, and does not flow from Reconstructionist thought. It is merely a repainting of age-old racist ideas with a new label.

The information presented here is undoubtedly "original research". The point is that Kinism is merely an idea that was aired on the internet by a handfull of people. It is not a movement, and is not endorsed by any churches in the "Dominionist" genre. The known adherents of Kinism could be counted on one's fingers. There is no organization.

Someone could write an entry on Kinism but it does not belong in this section. Cadwallader (talk) 17:09, 6 December 2008 (UTC)

Specific note on Assembly of God's position out of place?[edit]

Seems like this mention doesn't really fit in with the overall narrative on this item. Should it be removed? — Preceding unsigned comment added by THX1136 (talkcontribs) 19:39, 9 May 2013 (UTC)

RS for the distinction between this and Dominionism[edit]

I'm having a hard time finding a distinction between Dominion Theology and Dominionism in any of the sources here. Anyone want to help me out before I start a merge discussion? --JFH (talk) 19:41, 25 August 2013 (UTC)

Merge discussion[edit]

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
merge Dominionism to Dominion Theology, as described by BlueMoonlet --JFH (talk) 12:55, 6 September 2013 (UTC)

I have been unable to find a source for the claim that Dominion Theology exclusively refers to these two movements. I've seen some folks use it just for CR, some for Kingdom Now, and some for dominionism, which also has a range of meaning. DT and dominionism are frequently used interchangeably, and I have yet to see someone make the kind of distinction we have here. DT should probably redirect to Dominionism, with hatnotes or a DAB page to explain that both DT and dominionism are frequently used to specifically refer to smaller movements. --JFH (talk) 15:33, 27 August 2013 (UTC)

I think that, if merged, this article should redirect to Christian Reconstructionism. I've never seen the term "Dominion Theology" actually used to refer to anything other than CR. Counterexamples would be welcome. --BlueMoonlet (t/c) 18:49, 27 August 2013 (UTC)
  • Page 246 of Roads to Dominion has a section on "Dominion Theology" which "took a number of forms". "Reconstructionism was the most intellectually grounded, though esoteric, form of dominion theology."
  • C. Peter Wagner, a pentecostal, uses dominion theology for his own position in On Earth As it is in Heaven and Dominion!: How Kingdom Action Can Change the World, consistently with the definition I've been using for dominionism
  • Terror in the Mind of God: The Global Rise of Religious Violence (Mark Juergensmeyer) uses "Dominion Theology" on page 27 for the position of Falwell and Robertson and calls "Reconstruction Theology" "the extreme right wing of Dominion Theology".
  • Radical Islam in the West: Ideology and Challenge says pretty much the same thing on page 21.
These last four sources were found on the first couple pages of a Google book search. --JFH (talk) 12:36, 28 August 2013 (UTC)
As far as splitting Kingdom Now theology into a separate article, I don't think it will have legs. The article was deleted five years ago, and I have considered re-creating it, but I haven't been able to find the sources. See User:StAnselm/Kingdom Now theology for my modification of an earlier version of the article. 06:13, 30 August 2013 (UTC)
I have no problem merging it to dominionism if it is considered part of that. --JFH (talk) 13:02, 30 August 2013 (UTC)
Okay, you've convinced me that we need an article on Dominion Theology, because there are radicals who argue theologically for a Christian-controlled society who are not Reconstructionists (not Calvinist etc.) and not Theonomists (not insisting on Mosaic Law). The conversation now shifts to whether this page should be merged into Dominionism (as you suggest) or whether Dominionism should be merged into this page and Christian right (as I would prefer).
Of your sources, Diamond is the one who started the whole debate, and it should be abundantly clear that her views are not generally accepted as consensus. Wagner is a partisan, a founder of the New Apostolic Reformation that is itself a Dominion Theology group. Juergensmeyer is a serious scholar, and it may be worth mentioning his support of the idea that Falwell and Robertson subscribe to DT. However, he gives no support for the contention, using it basically to get the reader's attention and then immediately moving on to the actual topic of his book (and of his expertise): radicals such as Terry, Hill, and Rushdoony. Finally, Brian Farmer (Radical Islam in the West) is simply following Juergensmeyer, repeating him almost verbatim and citing him in a footnote.
So I don't think you have shown any consensus among scholars that the mainstream Christian right can reasonably be called "Dominionist". Plenty of people disagree with what Juergensmeyer wrote, and the overall silence from scholars on the topic shows that most do not find it a useful topic of conversation. --BlueMoonlet (t/c) 13:53, 30 August 2013 (UTC)
I'm not arguing that the mainstream Christian Right is dominionist. But the concept is obviously notable and can't be treated well at Christian Right. There is no consensus distinction between DT and dominionism so they should be merged. --JFH (talk) 14:23, 30 August 2013 (UTC)
I think we've come to an agreement that the two pages should be merged, and we're now discussing which page to keep and how to distribute things. I am now suggesting that Dominionism be merged into Dominion Theology, with the following specifics:
For posterity, the current versions of the three articles I'm discussing are here: [1] [2] [3]. --BlueMoonlet (t/c) 16:49, 30 August 2013 (UTC)
By the way, the main advantage to structuring the articles in this way is that all article subjects would be things that are generally agreed to exist, thus removing the word "alleged" that has bothered some people. --BlueMoonlet (t/c) 19:23, 30 August 2013 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.


Systemic bias[edit]

If this particular subject is something restricted to the United States then it should say that. If not there is clearly an important systemic bias problem due to this sentence at the intro that says "Dominion Theology or Dominionism is the idea that Christians should work toward either a nation governed by Christians or one governed by a conservative Christian understanding of biblical law." If this is only a development within the United states then it should say something along the lines of "Dominionism is an idea that exists within United States protestant christianity......". And i bring to consideration also the issue of "protestant christianity" since this does not seem to exist as far as other christian forms within the US such as catholicism or eartern orthodox churches.--Eduen (talk) 11:22, 31 December 2013 (UTC)

Whether similar movements exist in other countries or other branches of Christianity is beyond my pay grade. And I don't think we need to answer that question because this particular name has, to my knowledge, only been applied to U.S. Protestants. I made this edit to clarify the point, and I hope you'll agree that this addresses your concern. --BlueMoonlet (t/c) 20:33, 1 January 2014 (UTC)