Chilton Comes to Tyler

A little over a year after Productive Christians appeared, I hired Chilton to come to Tyler and work for my publishing company.9 I wanted him to do several writing projects that I knew he was capable of, but after an ill-fated beginning on a book about agriculture, we both agreed that the topic should be

7. The list of names of former employees of Chalcedon is a Who's Who in Christian Reconstruction (also, in some cases, a "Who's Not'"): Gary North, Greg Bahnsen, David Chilton, James Jordan, Edward Powell, Douglas Kelly, andT^evin Craig. Now that David Chilton is back in central California, perhaps he will become the first of us to be re-hired. The book-writinp experience and theological training that he received in Tyler makes him the ' hottest theological property" in the West. If he joins Chalcedon again, those of us in lyier will be able to proclaim: "Tyler Boy Makes Good (Again)!"

8. Tyler, Texas: Institute for Christian Economics, 1986.

9. The American Bureau of Economic Research, the profit-seeking side of my publishing operations. It owns Dominion Press.

eschatology. Paradise Restored is one of three books Chilton wrote for me on this topic; The Days of Vengeance is the second, and The Great Tribulation is the third, all published by Press.

In Tyler, Chilton once again came under James Jordan's powerful teaching ministry. Jordan was by then the associate pastor of the Westminster Presbyterian Church. It was during Chilton's three-and-a-half year stay in Tyler that he heard Jordan's Sunday School lectures on "Trees and Thorns," which Chilton mentions favorably in the Preface. (Unfortunately, this series has not yet been published, but these 12 lectures on Genesis 1-4 that influenced Chilton are available as a series of audio cassette tapes.) 10

To understand the magnitude of what Chilton has accomplished with Paradise Restored and The Days of Vengeance, you must also understand something about the unique distinctive of dominion theology that were first developed iniyler. Because they could build on the foundational works of R. J. Rushdoony, 11 Tyler (meaning Jim Jordan and Ray Sutton) was able to advance into new territory. "Tyler theology" is a combination of Jordan's studies in biblical symbolism, plus his emphasis on the church's exclusive sacrament of the Lord's Supper, 12 a strong doctrine of the institutional church as God's fundamental agency for the comprehensive renewal of society (again, a position counter to a misguided emphasis on family11 and its agency, the school,'4 as

10. Distributed by Geneva Ministries, P.O. Box 131300, Tyler, TX 75713. Write for information.

11. The intellectual foundation for a new Christian worldview that Rush-doony laid, 1959-1973, is unlikely to be matched by any theologian for two hundred years, and possibly beyond. It began with By What Standard? and it ended with Volume I of The Institutes of Biblical Law, with a dozen brilliant books in between. His books published since 1973 have not had the same kind of impact as those that preceded them.

12. Passover was never a "family sacrament," and neither is the Lord's Supper. Passover was, on the contrary, an ecclesiastical sacrament that was administered by the father in Jerusalem (not the home) each year.

13. I have in mind such statements as: "In the Kingdom of God, the family is in history the basic institution.". . . "The family is the institution of strength. To go outside the family is to deny the family and to break it up.". . ."The family is the Kingdom of God in miniature when it is a godly family, and the the primary Kingdom institutions), 1S and Ray Sutton's development of Meredith G. Kline's five-point covenant structure.

more faithfully it serves the triune God, the more clearly it becomes an embassy of the Kingdom.". . ."The office of elder is first of alla family office. . . ." What the Bible teaches is something very different: the offices of father and church elder are completely separate institutionally, although the church elder must first rule his family in an orderly manner.

This overemphasis on the family and underemphasis on the church readily leads to familism, and then to danism and even a kind of supposed Hebrew tribalism, all of which are features of one or another of the groups associated with the "identity movement," or "Western destiny" movement, or "British Israel" movement, which also frequently emphasize the Old Testament dietary laws.

14. The author I cited in the previous footnote also has written that the Great Commission (Matt. 28:18-20) places teaching before baptizing, and that this means that people owe their tithes, not to the local church, but to schools and to educational foundations: "The Great Commission is a commission to teach and to baptize it has reference to education as well as to worship, to the establishment of schools as well as churches. Teaching is cited before baptizing. It is teaching which alone can create a godly civil government and a faithful church."

This is highly misleading exegesis. First, the author has misread the verses because he used the King James Version without cross-checking with a modern translation or the Greek, which literally reads: "Going therefore disciple ye all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things whatever I gave command to you. . . ." The Interlinear Greek-English New Testament,by Alfred Marshall (London: Bagster, 1958), p. 136. In the Great commission, the word "baptizing" precedes the word "teaching"!

Second, his conclusion would have been unwarranted even if teaching had preceded baptizing in the verses. Can teaching, as he writes, alone "create a godly civil government and a faithful church"? Of course not! The primacy of worship has always been the fundamental doctrine of the church. We worship God even when we do not rationally understand every aspect of worship. The author has fallen into the trap that Christian philosopher Cornelius Van Til warned against: the primacy of the intellect. The author continues: "The primacy of teaching before church worship and national discipleship are asserted by Scripture. The great missionary requirement of the days ahead is Christian schools and institutions. . . . It must become the central area of activity for all Christians, and for their tithes, in the days ahead." Teaching is central to missions? Schools are primary to missions? Isn't worship primary? Isn't the church, the Bride of Christ, central?

For a refutation of these views, see James Jordan, "Introduction," to Jordan (cd.), The Reconstruction of the Church, Vol. 4 of Christianity and Civilization (1986), published by Geneva Ministries, Tyler.

15. James Jordan, The Sociology of the Church (Tyler, Texas: Geneva Ministries, 1986).

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