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ORTHODOXY: SETTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT

The Reduction of Christianity is a response particularly to two books written by cult watcher Dave Hunt, The Seduction of Christianity and Beyond Seduction. Mr. Hunt, moreover, has been joined by David Wilkerson, 1 Hal Lindse y,2 Jimmy Swaggart,3and a growing list of others in a struggle against what they perceive to be dangerous and even heretical tendencies in modern churches. As we explain more fully throughout this book, they believe, for example, that Christians who support social and political involvement with any chance of long-term success are leading people astray. Dave Hunt does make passing reference to the Christian's responsibility to be involved in what are typically described as "social issues,"4 But in all of his writings and in the writings of those who support his theological position of impending eschatological disaster, there is the denial that any of these activities can ever be successful. In effect, Christians are wasting their time trying to fix what can never be fixed this side of heaven.

More particularly, we wish to respond to Mr. Hunt's implica

1. Wilkerson, Set The Trumpet to Thy Mouth {Umd&Xe, TX: World Challenge Inc., 1985) and The Laodicean Lie!"(Lindale, TX: World Challenge Inc., n.d).

2. Hal Lindsey's criticisms have come from radio and television debates on the subject.

3. "The Coming Kingdom," The Evangelist (September 1986), pp. 4-12. Rev. Swaggart has had Dave Hunt on his daily Bible study program "A Study in the Word."

4. Dave Hunt, Beyond Seduction: A Return to Biblical Christianity (Eugene, OR: Harvest House, 1987), pp. 247-48.

tion that those who teach that Christianity will be victorious in history and on earth before the rapture are on the verge of apostasy. With this we enter the area of eschatology, the study of the "last things." While the church has always believed that Jesus will come again to judge both the "quick and the dead," Mr. Hunt and others tend to make a specific eschatological position a test of orthodoxy,

In addition, there is the implied association of Christian reconstruction and various strains of "dominion theology" with the atheistic views of the New Age Movement. As we will demonstrate, this accusation is clearly false and borders on the absurd. As we will show in this chapter and subsequent chapters, Christian reconstructionists have led the way in fighting against secular humanism and New Age humanism. - The writings of Christian reconstructionists give clear indication that they have had a real understanding of these movements long before they became an issue in the broader Christian community. This is why we are shocked to read in books and periodicals that somehow Christian reconstructionists are being seduced by the stupidity and silliness of the New Age Movement.

Moreover, we will address a subtle current in the writings and interviews of those who criticize the theology of Christian recon-structionists. With the radical division these men make between the Old and New Testaments, law and grace, and Israel and the Church, there is no objective ethical standard that the world can use to make societal transformation possible. They believe something like the following:

While there is a personal ethic for the Christian, there is no universal ethical standard for the nations. While a Christian can run for political office, he cannot, for example, bring his biblical views regarding civil affairs with him into the law-making process. The law was for Israel. There is no longer a universal biblical law that applies to Christians and non-Christians. For Christians, the law has been internalized.

We will spend considerable time refuting this viewpoint.

Finally, this book is not a defense of all those who call themselves "Christian reconstructionists ." There are many people who claim the name but know very little about its theological characteristics. Neither do we defend all advocates of "dominion theology" since many wear the label without understanding its distinc-tives as they relate to Christian reconstruction.

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