Social Apologetics

I. Introduction
II. Evaluating Christian Social Action
III:   Biblical Social Action Must, in the Name of Christ, Self-Consciously Challenge Man’s Autonomy.
Myth #1: The Myth of Pluralism: The “Religious Right” will not Challenge Idolatry.
Myth #2: The Myth of Human Rights: The “Religious Right” will not Challenge Man’s Claim to Autonomy.
Myth #3: The Myth of Neutrality: The “Religious Right” will not Challenge Man’s Claims to Religious Neutrality.
Myth #4: The Myth of “Practical Compromise.”
A Two-Fold Social Apologetic
Public Consensus
The Facts Versus the Faith
“Practical Compromise”
The Myth of Christian Impotence

I. Introduction

After three-quarters of a century, Fundamentalism and “Social Action” seem to be making amends. For some seventy-five years, “Social Action” has been the domain of the “Liberals.” Fundamentalism chided any political activity beyond voting as “the Social Gospel.” The light dawned on Rev. Jerry Falwell of the Thomas Road Baptist Church in 1973 when the Supreme Court legalized the murder on demand of 8 million unborn in Roe v. Wade. That decision woke a number of sleeping Fundamentalists.

But there is something strange about the Fundamentalist involvement in Social Action. The Bible-thumpers are no longer thumping their Bibles. Coming out of a liberal church myself, I learned from the Fundamentalists to accept the Bible as the inerrant Word of God. Now they seem to be asking me to appropriate political goals from the conservative Humanists and political strategies from the liberal Humanists. If Cornelius Van Til, the eminent apologist from Westminster, were to write Christian-Theistic Social Action,[1] he would surely criticize the leaders of the “Religious Right” for leaving the Bible out of their Social Action. Embarrassed, perhaps, by their historic reputation for obscurantism, the politically active Fundamentalists hide their Biblical convictions to gain respectability in the eyes of an unbelieving nation. Their message “has no Christ who could challenge the thought and life of the natural man in order to save him and his culture.”[2]

Yet it is precisely the political thought and civil life of non-Christian America that must be challenged, and, as this paper will attempt to show, it can only be challenged by declaring the absolute authority of Christ and His Word. “If Christ is to be presented to men as a challenge to their thinking and living, then he must be offered without compromise. Nothing short of the Christ of the Scriptures, as presented in historic Reformed theology, can chal­lenge men to forsake their sin and establish them in truth and life.”[3] The “Religious Right” has consigned itself to long-run defeat by hiding its Biblical distinctives.

II. Evaluating Christian Social Action

Proposition I: Only “Postmillennial, Theonomic Reconstruction” Can Provide the Proper Goals, Motivation, and Standard for Biblical Social Action.

This proposition is easily explained. What is it that those engaged in Christian Social Action should seek to accomplish? How should they accomplish this? What should motivate them? For some, the perspective in which these questions are answered is exceedingly short-run. Ever since its invention in 1830 , a curious doctrine known as “the Rapture” has left most dispensational­ists paralyzed and unable to think or plan beyond the next fiscal year. For such men, political involvement is concerned mainly with a few isolated laws: abortion, homosexuality, the Equal Rights Amendment. This paper reflects a more Biblical approach: “Postmillennial, Theonomic Reconstruction,” as it is becoming known. As Postmillennialists, we hold an “Eschatology of Victory.” The Church is promised success in her efforts to make the nations Christian (Matt. 28:18-20).[4]

As “Theonomists,” we hold that not one jot or tittle of Old Testament Law will pass away until the “Eschatology of Victory” becomes a reality.[5] And as “Reconstructionists,” we hold that it will not become a reality until the Church is awakened and begins to apply the Law in every area of life, including (relevant to our subject) the Civil Magistrate.[6] In both the Old and New Test­aments, then, we have a complete social program that should be implemented, and will be implemented.

But any program of Social Action that seeks to impose a Christian political-order on a non-Christian population is doomed to failure. No law-order can be imposed, for the simple reason that all political systems are a reflection of the faith of the people. If the people are slaves, you will have a slave-state. If the people are responsible and mature Christians, then—and only then—will you have an appropriately Biblical political system. Without doubt, then, educa­tion and evangelism are necessary components of Biblical Social Action. R. J. Rushdoony, who has been accused of overemphasizing politics and minimizing evangelism,[7] has made these observations:

The only true (social) order is founded on Biblical Law. All law is religious is nature, and every non-Biblical law-order represents an anti-Christian religion. But the key to remedying the situation is not revolution, nor any kind of resistance that works to subvert law and order. The key is regeneration, propagation of the gospel, and the conversion of men and nations to God’s Law-Word.[8]
Evil men cannot produce a good society. The key to social renewal is individual regeneration.[9]
In terms of God’s Law, true reform begins with regeneration and then the submission of the believer to the whole Law-Word of God.[10]
If not enough regenerate men exist in a society, no law-order can be maintained successfully. Thus, a healthy society needs an operative law-order and an operative evangelism in order to maintain its health.[11]

It is paradoxical that evangelism plays no part in the political action of the “Religious Right.” It is paradoxical, but not unexpected. The Fundamentalist views of both Evangelism and Social Action are less then Scriptural. This is the subject of our Second Proposition:

Proposition II: Social Action must be Evangelistic in order to Produce Real Social Change.

If our eventual goal is to have this country once again governed by Biblical Law,[12] then we need to see men converted by the Holy Spirit and submitting to the Word of God. Rushdoony is clear: without the work of the Holy Spirit, working through the preaching of the Word to produce conversion (Romans 10:14-17), we cannot expect a lasting Christian Society. Perhaps the need for Biblical preaching in the context of Social Action will be made clearer if we examine the paradox of the “Religious Right.” The “Religious Right” unbiblically separates Evangelism and Social Action. They make no bones about it: they have one organization that is “religious” and another that is “political.” The practice reflects some very unbiblical thinking.[13] Let us examine the two sides of this paradoxical tendency.

They Divorce Social Action from their Evangelism

But you knew that. Altar-call Evangelism has been thoroughly critiqued.[14] Relevant to our thesis are four characteristics of the “nothing-but-evangelism” evangelism of the Fundamentalists.

First, there is no preaching the Sovereignty of God. In certain areas of the universe God is not God; man is. Man’s free-will is all-determining. Fundamentalist preachers tell the sinner that he is in control, and thus there is no challenge of authority. The sinner’s assumed autonomy is never contested. From the beginning, he is as God, and whether he comes down the aisle or stays in the pew, the LORD of hosts is at his beck and call.

Second, preaching is not for nurturing or edification; there is no exposition of God’s Law. Week after week, Fundamentalist congregations are told that God stands helpless while the sinner decides either for or against Him. And the con­gregation hears this “altar-call” whether or not there are any bona fide sinners in the house. The Word of God is never exposited and concretely applied. The church member is never fed, and the sinner is never challenged.

Thus, third, there is no true call for repentance. Men are never told that the Sovereign of the universe commands them to change their ways and submit to Him (Acts 17:30). Men are never told to turn from their selfish ways and begin to exercise dominion under God. No lawyer or congressman is ever told that he must terminate his unbiblical practices and begin immediately to apply the law of God in his vocation.[15] “The Bible says...” is seldom followed by “conform your lives and your society to the Law of God.” “Soul-winning” turns out to be the selling of fraudulent promises of soul-insurance for the after-life.

Not unexpectedly, fourth, being a Christian has no real social implications. Suppose a sinner decides to save God from cosmic embarrassment by graciously going down the aisle. He is not told that his life has been characterized by rebellion and insubordination against the Thrice-Holy God. And even if he has been told that his life is not as “fulfilled” or “rich” as it could be, he will not be told what the LORD requires of him. This situation is mainly a result of a dispensational view of the Law. A good strong dose of Theonomy is needed. Christ is not Lord over every area of life, because His Word in the Old Testament is not upheld. How can Christ be Lord if He issues no commands?

Obviously, this attitude (that the Law and the social implications of the Word of God are not a part of Evangelism) is an unbiblical attitude. To “preach” is to herald the claims of Christ the King before men. David was a true Evangelist. He understood the requirements of the Great Commission: “I will teach transgressors thy ways, and sinners shall be converted unto thee” (Ps. 51:13). The evangelism of the Fundamentalists is not Biblical as long as the demands for Biblical Social Action are not proclaimed. And the opposite error renders their Social Action impotent as well:

They Divorce Evangelism from their Social Action.

The separation of Social Action from Evangelism is somewhat unconscious, being dictated by the dispensational theology of Evangelicals and Fundamentalists. But the separation of Evangelism from their Social Action is more deliberate, and this is what is so ironic. It is no longer the Fundamentalists, or the Evangelicals, but the “Reconstructionists,” who are stressing the importance of Evangelism. Evangelism strangely plays no part in the Social Action strategy of the “Religious Right.” Dr. Jerry Falwell, in an article enigmatically entitled, “Moral Majority Opposes Christian Republic,” declares, “Moral Majority is a political organization and is not based on theological considerations.”[16] The Moral Majority apparently asks no one to believe the Bible and to obey it. The legitimate “right” of all men to be as gods, deciding for themselves what is right and what is wrong, is defended. The Moral Majority merely wishes that men would exercise their sovereignty as traditional conservative gods, rather than as progressive liberal ones Once this awesome program of conversion takes place, Congress should recognize the new consensus and pass laws accordingly. That this commitment to religious neutrality is wrong should be immediately apparent. But it deserves scrutiny.

Proposition III:  Biblical Social Action Must, in the Name of Christ, Self-Consciously Challenge Man’s Autonomy.

The “Religious Right” will not convert men—fully turn them around to a changed direction of life in obedience to God’s Word. Thus they cannot achieve lasting, meaningful social change. They refuse to challenge man’s claims to political autonomy with the claims of “the self-attesting Christ of Scripture,” of Him Who demands faith and obedience to His Word because He is the LORD. Four popularly-accepted political myths fly in the face of the claims of the King of Kings. None of them are challenged by the “Religious Right.” Let us examine each.

Myth #1: The Myth of Pluralism: 
The “Religious Right” will not Challenge Idolatry

The idea of pluralism has many problems. Ultimately it is the assertion that all religions are equally valid (or invalid). It also denies that the Bible can govern directly the operation of political systems. Finally, it is based upon an alleged “right” of all religions to exist in a given social order.[17]

“You can’t legislate morality.” So we are told. But Rushdoony has thoroughly disposed of this notion.

Now it must be granted that there is a measure of truth to this statement. If people could be made moral by law, it would be a simple matter for the board of supervisors or for Congress to pass laws making all Americans moral. This would be salvation by law.
We can agree, therefore, that people cannot be saved by law, but it is one thing to try to save people by law, another to have moral legislation, that is, laws concerned with morality. The statement, “You can’t legislate morality,” is a dangerous half-truth and even a lie, because all legislation is concerned with morality. Every law on the statute books of every civil government is either an example of enacted morality or it is procedural thereto. Our laws are all moral laws, representing a system of morality. Law is concerned with right and wrong; it punishes and restrains evil and protects the good, and this is exactly what morality is about. It is im­possible to have law without having morality behind that law, because all law is simply enacted morality.
There are, however, different kinds of morality. Biblical morality is one thing, and Buddhist, Hindu, and Moslem morality radically different moral systems. For Plato’s morality, some acts of perversion were noble acts of love, whereas for the Bible the same acts are deserving of capital punishment.
The point is this: all law is enacted morality and presupposes a moral system...and all morality presupposes a religion. Law rests on morality, and morality on religion.[18]

If our Social Action is going to advocate the passage of certain laws, then those laws must, if we are Christian, be the laws of the Bible.[19] There is no other choice.

Can two religious-legal systems co-exist? Suppose a man’s religion holds as the pinnacle of morality the ritual sacrifice and cannibalistic consumption of his first-born. According to the myth of pluralism, where no one religion is allowed to impose its views on others, this man would fit in just fine, even if everyone else’s religion commanded “Thou shalt not kill.” Nonsense. Pure pluralism would result in social chaos and the breakdown of law and order. It could not function. The religion of the people of a nation determines its laws. Three hundred years ago, the morality of this nation was directed by Biblical Christianity. This moral system has very nearly been replaced by the morality of the religion of Secular Humanism. The moral system of the Secular Humanists seems to parallel the moral system of Christianity in many respects. Many Humanists do not murder. But they refrain from murder because they want to, not because the God Who is there has said, “Thou shalt not kill.” The Humanist could decide to kill at any moment. A fundamental tenet of Secular Humanism is “freedom of individual choice.” As a result, many Humanists do murder, and a Christian nation ought to pass laws forbidding, for example, abortion, even if it restricts the “freedom of individual choice” of the Humanists. The government ought not allow Secular Humanists to do all that their religion says is moral. If Humanists decide not to kill their children, and, consistent with their religion, they do so because they want to (i.e., because they do not want to suffer the penal sanctions of a Godly govern­ment [Ex. 21:23]), fine. But where the Bible restricts the “religious freedom” of the Humanists, governments ought to restrict accordingly.

It is impossible that a government could give absolute freedom to all religions. Jesus Christ said, “He that is not with me is against me” (Matt. 12:30). One religion must always be preferred. If it is not the Christian religion, it will be a Humanist religion. Suppose President Reagan were approached by both sides of the abortion question. The Humanists say, “Mr. President, you must let each woman decide for herself what is right and what is wrong.” Genesis 3:5 is the fundamental tenet of Humanism. The Christians say, “No, Mr. President. The Bible says abortion is a capital crime. You must pass a law making abortion a capital offense. And you must do it now (2 Cor. 6:2).” There is no escaping it; one religion is going to be favored over the other. Reagan’s decision will either be for Jesus Christ or against Him, and if it is not for Him, it will inescapably be against Him. Suppose that the President, merely as a political sluff, forms a committee to “study” the issue. Obviously he doesn’t accept the assertion that he must obey God and legislate now. God may command, but not with such force that obedience cannot be postponed. Suppose instead that the President says, “Friends, I have studied this issue carefully, and I think it is such an intimate and deeply personal issue, and so complex an issue, that I am going to remain neutral. I will not take an official stand with either of your fine organizations.” Did he pass a law against abortion? Was the Humanist religion favored at the expense of Christianity? There is no neutrality when it comes to law and religion. Pluralism is a myth.[20]

What a shame, then, to find Jerry Falwell saying things like, “Moral Majority strongly supports a pluralistic America.”[21] The “Religious Right” has no intention of bringing this nation’s laws captive to the obedience of Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 10:5). They are apparently not committed to the Great Commission of our Lord, to make all nations Christian by teaching them to observe whatsoever Jesus Christ commanded (Matt. 28:18-20). Biblical Social Activists must command all men everywhere, even in Washington D.C., to repent of their political disobedience, and turn to the Word of God for social guidance, sub­mitting to the absolute authority of the Bible in the realm of politics.

Myth #2: The Myth of Human Rights: 
The “Religious Right” will not Challenge Man’s Claim to Autonomy

Like the Myth of Pluralism, the Myth of autonomous Human Rights is rooted in a denial of God and His Law. The idea of “rights” is the outgrowth of theories of government from Enlightenment Humanism. T.R. Ingram has countered the notion that men, simply because they are men, have certain “inalienable rights.” “Human Rights”

are in fact a kind of back-handed statement of benefits of the common law which Christians enjoy. Common law rights are blessings of public peace in which wrongs are punished. Wrongs are not seen as in­fringements of individual rights, but as violations of God’s commands. It is wrong to murder, not because each has a right to live, but because God said it is wrong....[22] It is easy to understand why the human rights idea came into popularity in Christendom. It is simply that men living in Christendom enjoyed that “blessed liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free” to such an extent and over so many centuries that they found it easy to take for granted. Liberty, instead of being recognized as the gift of Christ and the reward of Christian justice, was something that would easily be seen as an end in itself. It was easy to confuse logical origins. The common law punishes any dishonest violation of each man’s person or his goods and so it is easy to understand a condition in which each may be said to enjoy the right to life, liberty and property.[23]

When people speak of “Human Rights” they are referring to something that really does exist, but by inappropriately calling it “Human Rights” they suggest that it would hold even without God and His Law. What really exists is the blessing of God. God promises that if a nation obeys His Law, He will bless them with security, peace, and stability. The poor and defenseless are protected and safe, when justice prevails, that is, when Biblical law is implemented not merely by the State, but by each Christian and his family. God promises us a good and prosperous land if we hear His voice. The people of an obedient nation shall be safe, and “they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree” (Micah 4:4). Such are the blessings of God (Deut. 28:2). To call the rewards of obedience “Human Rights” is to assert that they rightfully belong to man apart from his obedience to the Word of God. It is to say that man has a claim on the blessings of God.[24]

Perhaps this sounds like so much nit-picking. But the results of the “Human Rights” rhetoric have been deplorable. The purpose of those Humanists who, in the period known as the “Enlightenment,” developed the “Human Rights” concept, was to remove God as Law-Giver, and enthrone man. As could be expected, when God was removed as Law-Giver, the State became the “right-giver.” As Ingram notes, “It is no accident that government sees itself today in the role of being the ‘protector’ of its citizens instead of enjoying along with its subjects the protection of law and order.”[25] “Human Rights” rhetoric inevitably removes the burden upon the State to obey the concrete and specific demands of Biblical Law. Instead of enforcing the Law of God, the State merely “protects” the rights of men.

You may wonder, “What, precisely, are my ‘rights?’“ You needn’t worry. Our Supreme Court will decide exactly what your “rights” are.[26]

Let us examine the “Right to Life” campaign of the “Religious Right.” Virtually all the leaders of the movement have used the “Human Rights” vocabu­lary. Surely the most important is Francis Schaeffer. One must necessarily approach Dr. Schaeffer with a great deal of awe and respect for the work he has done. One approaches any hardworking saint in much the same way, yet we should not be afraid to go against even John Calvin where Calvin is inconsistent with the Scriptures.

To begin, there is obviously nothing in Scripture to support man’s “Right to Life.” All men have only a “right to death.” Because of Adam (Romans 5:12) and their own sin (Rom. 3:23), all men deserve death, not life (Rom. 6:21,23). Every second of life on earth is the undeserved gift of God. Our lives are protected only if society follows the Law of God (Deut. 4:40).

But Francis Schaeffer seems not to hold to the abiding validity of the Law in all its detail, and in its principled application today. Instead of calling our nation’s leaders to repent and begin to implement the specifics of Biblical Law, Schaeffer contents himself with “exposing our rapid yet subtle loss of human rights.”[27] By substituting the rhetoric of “Human Rights” for explicit application of Old Testament Law, Schaeffer has thrown away his only real claim to “absolutes.” As a result, he really cannot challenge our nation’s leaders.

The absence of Biblical Law in Schaeffer’s apologetic leaves him with a kind of “Social Action Deism.” God does not govern the affairs of State; His “judicial” laws have no power in the modern world. God created men and left them alone to work out the implications of their having been created in His image. But without concrete Biblical Law as a basis of definition and public policy, it turns out that “Human Dignity” is as elusive a term as “love.” How does one “love” one’s neighbor other than by fulfilling God’s Law with respect to him? (Romans 13:8-10). “The Dignity of Man” can be and has been defined in almost every conceivable way. Schaeffer is concerned not merely with abortion, but also with infanticide and euthanasia. Our care for the handicapped and disabled also has to be considered in all this. But if one starts from man alone, or even from “man-as-wonderful,” one takes the path that leads to relativism and ethical imprecision. Schaeffer cites many Humanists who believe that aborting the severely handicapped is the only compassionate thing to do. These situation ethicists speak of “meaningful humanhood,”[28] even as Schaeffer extols the worth of every individual life. Christians who begin with the “rights” and dignity of man instead of the rights and dignity of God, face the tortuous road of autonomous human reason. Somehow, starting with man,[29] these Christians must reason their way to the proscription of abortion. And they must compete with the Humanists, who have had far more practice than we at making man the measure of all things.

The courts have consistently taken various “rights” of men and used them against the Kingdom of Christ. The California supreme court ruled “that Califor­nia must pay for welfare abortions because the state constitution explicitly guarantees the right of privacy.”[30] The concept of a “right to life,” that is, the mother’s “right to (quality) life,” was used by the U.S. Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton to legalize abortions.[31] Justice Douglas, in his concurring opinion, cited the existence of virtually every “right” imaginable; from the right to life to the right “to loaf.”[32]

A most important lesson can be learned from the twin-abortion cases of 1973. In a 1925 Supreme Court case, Pierce v. Society of Sisters,[33] an Oregon compulsory education law was struck down because it violated the rights of the parents, teachers, and children involved. Biblical laws concerning parents and the education of their children, or concerning the state and education, were not cited by the dear sisters. The issue was “Human Rights.”[34] Many would think it a good thing that the Court ruled in favor of the parochial schools and against the state compulsory education law. But the Human Rights reasoning in Pierce was cited five times in support of abortion on demand in the two 1973 cases.[35]

Because the notion of “Human Rights” is unbiblical, it is inherently nebulous.[36] To rely on a doctrine of “Human Rights” rather than forcing the State to follow the statutes, judgments, and case law of the Bible is to grant the State a carte blanche of legislative-judicial power.

What is the alternative to “Human Rights?” Man’s duty to obey God’s Law. In a word, “Theonomy.” For the “theonomist,” the road to public proscription of abortion is direct: Abortion is declared to be murder and God demands the death penalty (Ex. 21:23).[37] The Bible sets down a complete social pattern for parents and for the State. It is only the slightest exaggeration to state that judges need walk into their courts with their Bible and nothing else. Men are not given the prerogative to legislate new laws or even to confirm God’s Law on the basis of the “dignity of Man” (or any other theological concept). God has spoken. Man is now to obey. God’s Law, not “Human Rights” is the source of justice; God’s Law guarantees our freedoms.

Myth #3: The Myth of Neutrality: 
The “Religious Right” will not Challenge Man’s Claims to Religious Neutrality

Biblical Social Action is the Reconstruction of our society according to the standards of God’s Law as revealed in the Old and New Testaments of the Bible. We who seek to please the Lord Jesus Christ wish to persuade all men to submit to the Biblical world-and life-view. Even if some separate their pol­itical efforts from their attempt to evangelize, they still view Evangelism as somehow important, and their involvement in the political arena affords them new evangelistic opportunities. They throw these opportunities away who accept the myth of Neutrality.

There is no such thing as an agnostic. The agnostic claims that he does not know whether or not God exists, but that he is willing to search and perhaps someday find out. Much less is there such a thing as an atheist. The atheist says he sincerely, honestly, and genuinely does not believe that there is a god, and certainly not the God of the Bible. The Bible has some very strong words for such men: They are liars. When the atheist tells you “he’s just looking at the facts” when he concludes that there is no God, he is lying. The “facts” are not neutral. There is only one legitimate conclusion one can draw from the “facts” and that is that “the LORD He is God.”

Let us look at two passages from the Bible that declare the non-neutrality of all “facts.” First, Psalm 19:1-4:

The heavens are telling the glory of God, and the firmament is showing His handiwork. Day after day pours forth speech, and night after night declares knowledge. There is no speech nor language where their voice is not heard. Their line goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world.

Every day, men look out onto the world and see inescapable proof that the God of Scripture is their Creator and Lord. Even the unique ability to communicate verbally with one another evidences our created nature. The “facts” are not neutral: they declare the glory of God! The Apostle Paul emphasizes this truth in Romans 1:18-25:

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which can be known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. From the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him or give thanks to Him, but they became futile in their thinking and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and fourfooted animals and creeping things. They exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator, Who is blessed forever. Amen!

Of all the “facts” and the so-called “laws of nature,” we must certainly say they are far from neutral. They give absolute proof that God is our Creator and must be served. There are no maybe’s, no reservations; there is no neutrality. And of those who look at the “facts” and say in their heart, “there is no God,” we must certainly say “they are without excuse.”

This obviously says something important about the unbelievers we encounter, does it not? They all claim to be “impartial” and “objective.” They are, oh, so “modern” and “scientific.” They are just “honest searchers for truth,” but just haven’t seen enough evidence for the existence of God. So they merrily continue devising political systems “in the form of corruptible man.” Professing to be unbiased and neutral academicians of political thought, they show themselves, by their politics of tyranny and murder, to be fools. The “Religious Right” as a whole is to be congratulated, therefore, in their largely successful efforts at reducing humanistic politics and legal decisions to absurdity and self-contradiction. But the “Religious Right” has done nothing to challenge this grand pretension of neutrality and objectivity. The Bible says that the “facts” bear inescapable and absolute proof of the governance of God, yet the Secular Humanist, claiming to be “objective,” does not see it! How can this be? Only two explanations are possible. Either as a political “scientist” he is a dull and ignorant Philistine of the most startling dimensions (what? with all his Ph.D.’s?) or he maliciously suppresses the true nature of the “facts” because he hates God and violently opposes the Christian system. Both may be true but the Bible tells us that the latter is always true.[38]

The Myth of Neutrality is obviously the theological first-cousin of the Myth of Free-will, so ably destroyed by Martin Luther in his debates with Erasmus over the Bondage of the Will. Because so many in the “Religious Right” are governed by an Arminian, rather than Calvinist, theology, they so easily fall prey to the Myth of Neutrality. The presumptuous claim of the unbeliever is that he could become a Christian if he wanted to; that he could agree with the teachings of Scripture if he chose to, but just hasn’t been persuaded for lack of evidence. The Arminian agrees. The unbeliever tells himself and the world that his think­ing processes are just fine. Not just in the area of “religion” or “spiritual” matters,[39] but in every subject, and every discipline. And there is no dissent from the Arminian. In fact, the Arminian would be the first to tell the natural, unregenerate man that, if he wanted to, he could see the Kingdom (John 3:3), understand the Christian system (1 Cor. 2:14), objectively hear the Word of God (John 8:43), and receive its truth (John 14:17). Following this fair-minded and non-partisan examination of the truths of Christianity, the unregenerate man could then submit to the Lordship of Christ (but only if he made the decision — 1 Cor. 12:3), and then subject himself to the whole Law of God, surely becoming a great Christian statesman (Rom. 8:7). Clearly, the Arminian, in affirming the sovereign will of unsaved man over the sovereign grace of the Triune God, runs pell-mell against the Word of God. According to the Arminian,

There is not necessarily any sin involved in what the unbeliever, or natural man, does by way of exercising his capacities for knowledge and action. On this view the natural man does not need the light of Christianity to enable him to understand the world and himself aright. He does not need the revelation of Scripture or the illumination of the Holy Spirit in order that by means of them he may learn what his own true nature is.
But without the light of Christianity it is as little possible for man to have the correct view about himself and the world as it is to have the true view about God. On account of the fact of sin man is blind with respect to the truth wherever the truth appears. And truth is one. Man cannot truly know himself unless he truly knows God.[40]

This is why we cannot accept the Myth of Neutrality. The unbeliever is at war with himself and with the world around him, both reveal God, and he is at war with God. He is not subject to the Word of God, and cannot be, because he enters this world behaving as though he himself were God, deciding for himself what is right and what is wrong. The non-Christian may think of himself as neutral;

The non-Christian thinks that his thinking process is normal. He thinks that his mind is the final court of appeal in all matters of knowledge. He takes himself to be the reference point for all interpretation of the facts.[41]

But the Bible tells us that he hates God, and cannot submit to Him.

The non-Christian seeks to suppress the truth, to distort it into a naturalistic scheme, to preclude the interpretation of the God who makes things and events what they are (determining the end from the beginning. Isa. 46:10). Specifically, and very much at the heart of disagreements with unbelieving scholars or thinkers, we should see that the unbeliever has an incorrect diagnosis of his situation and of his own person.[42]
This is, in the last analysis, the question as to what are one’s ultimate presuppositions. When man became a sinner he made of himself instead of God the ultimate or final reference point. And it is precisely this presupposition, as it controls without exception all forms of non-Christian philosophy that must be brought into question. If this pre­supposition is left unquestioned in any field all the facts and arguments presented to the unbeliever will be made over by him according to his pattern. The sinner has cemented colored glasses to his eyes which he cannot remove. And all is yellow to the jaundiced eye.[43]

The notion of neutrality must be challenged head-on. We cannot simply appeal to vague notions of “Human Rights” or of the creation of man in the image of God, and let the unsaved man re-work them according to his hatred of the things of God.[44]

The unbeliever does not accept the doctrine of his creation in the image of God. It is therefore impossible to appeal to the intellectual and moral nature of man, as men themselves interpret this nature, and say that it must judge of the credibility and evidence of revelation. For if this is done, we are virtually telling the natural man to accept just so much and no more of Christianity as, with his perverted concept of human nature, he cares to accept.[45]

Van Til asks the practical question, Is there an area known by both the unbeliever and the believer from which, as a starting point, we may go on to that which is known to believers but unknown to unbelievers? What point of contact is there in the mind and heart of the unbeliever to which the believer may appeal when he presents to him the Christian view of life?[46] Is it just “the facts?” Is it “logic?” The point of contact for the gospel must be sought within the natural man.[47] Deep down in his mind every man knows that he is the creature of God and responsible to God. Every man, at bottom, knows that he is a covenant-breaker. But every man acts and talks as though this were not so. It is the one point that cannot bear mentioning in his presence. A man may have internal cancer. Yet it may be the one point he will not have one speak of in his presence. He will grant that he is not feeling well. He may admit that he is experiencing many terrible symptoms. He will accept any sort of medication so long as it does not pretend to be given in answer to a cancer diagnosis. Will a good doctor cater to him on this matter? Certainly not. He will tell his patient that he has promise of life, but promise of life on one condition, that is, of an immediate internal operation. So it is with the sinner. He is alive but alive as a covenant-breaker. But his own intellectual and political activity proceeds on the assumption that such is not the case. The “Religious Right,” by failing to appeal exclusively to that which is within man but is also suppressed by every man, virtually a1lows the legitimacy of the natural man’s view of himself. They do not seek to explode the last stronghold to which the natural man always flees and where he always makes his final stand.

The truly Biblical view, on the other hand, applies atomic power and flame-throwers to the very presupposition of the natural man’s ideas with respect to himself. It is assured of a point of contact in the fact that every man is made in the image of God and has impressed upon him the law of God. That fact makes men always accessible to God. That fact assures us that every human, to be a human at all, must already be in contact with the truth. He is so much in contact with the truth that much of his energy is spent in the vain effort to hide this fact from himself. His efforts to hide this fact from himself are bound to be self-frustrative.

Only by thus finding the point of contact in man’s sense of deity that lies underneath his own conception of himself as ultimate can we be both true to Scripture and effective in reasoning with the natural man. Man, knowing God, refuses to keep Him in remembrance (Rom. 1:28).

Failure to reject the Myth of Neutrality and inevitably leads to the fourth and final myth we must avoid at all costs if we are to engage in fruitful, Biblical Social Action.

Myth #4: The Myth of “Practical Compromise”

Kent Kelly, Pastor of Calvary Memorial Church in Southern Pines, North Carolina, and extremely active in the struggle for Christian Schools, has written a book that, were it not for its acceptance of many of the myths we have discussed, would be a fine book.[48] The research is thorough, and the task of reducing arguments for abortion to rubble is admirably discharged. There have been many good books against abortion that were not written from a Biblical perspective, and this is one of them. Only about 3% of the book has to do with the Bible, and Kelly is very open about his appeal, not to the authority of Scripture, but to the authority of the unregenerate mind of man:

Most of this volume is directed toward reason for a specific purpose. Pro-abortionists across the entire spectrum have little or no regard for the Bible and its implications for the question at hand. Our message to the nation must be communicated in a practical manner or no change will be forthcoming. Approaching the world at large with Bible in hand is an exercise in futility.[49]

This is such a tragic statement. It is all the more tragic when one realizes that the great majority of the Evangelicals and Fundamentalists involved in Social Action accept the idea. It is the practical denial of Hebrews 4:12:

The Word of God is quick and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

The Bible tells us to bring the Bible into our conversation and our Social Action.

For as the Rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater, so shall my Word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereunto I sent it (Isa. 55:10-11).

The Bible is powerful and effective precisely because it is the voice of the Father which the natural man knows down to the joints and marrow, but refuses to know. He hears this voice, but refuses to hear. How shall we make him hear? Do we use the words which man’s wisdom teaches (1 Cor. 2:13) depending on our own rhetorical gifts for persuasion? Or do we use the methods of the Spirit, depending rather on the grace of God for success? Men must submit to the Lord and His Word if our culture is to be saved.

How then shall they call on Him in Whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in Him of Whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God (Romans 10:14,17).

Answers to political problems are found in the Bible. We must confront legislators with the Word of God.

“I will speak of thy testimonies also before kings, and will not be ashamed” (Psalm 119:46). It is the Word of God that tells men who they are and what they must do to save themselves and their society. Satan has deluded Christians into thinking that man is not “dead in trespasses and sins” (Eph. 2), but alive and religiously neutral.[50] He has then convinced us that we must cater to the unbeliever’s scholarship and scientific outlook by not bringing up the Word of God. The strategy is brilliant: by taking away the Bible, Satan has disarmed the Church.

What is it that seems to be worrying the “Religious Right?” Kelly voices his fears:

Our response will determine our ability to be heard. We need not give them the ammunition they seek with which to shoot our arguments. If they can relegate us to some isolated corner of the theological world by slander and innuendo, they will do so. If, on the other hand, we meet them on their own ground, we will get results. This book is designed to give you ideas which defeat humanists on their own battlegrounds. God says abortion is wrong. But to 1ead with that statement is to play into the hands of those who would negate sound argument by pseudo-intellectual hatchet jobs on the source of our reasoning. Far better to say—history is against abortion, public conscensus (sic), science, and logic all militate against abortion....[51]

A Two-Fold Social Apologetic

Is the Christian position so weak and untenable that we have nothing to say even against “pseudo-intellectual hatchet jobs?” Proverbs 26 gives us a two-fold Social Action program. Verse 5 says we are to “answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit.” The conceit of the Humanist is his claim to be able to construct a cohesive pattern of society and of life in general apart from the Word of God. But no knowledge, no political action, no real functioning in life, is possible unless you begin by assuming the truth of the Word of God. The Humanist says he will construct a political order based not on God’s Law, but on himself. Where will this lead? The Christian must give a scenario “according to his folly.”

The Christian apologist must place himself upon the position of his opponent assuming the correctness of his method for argument’s sake, in order to show him that on such a position the “facts” are not facts and the “laws” are not laws. It is not as though the Reformed apologist should not interest himself in the nature of the non-Christian’s method. On the contrary, he should make a critical analysis of it. He should, as it were, join his “friend” in the use of it. But he should do so self-consciously with the purpose of showing that its most consistent application not merely leads away from Christian theism, but in leading away from Christian theism, leads to destruction of reason and science as well.[52]

Van Til has done much work in showing how science is impossible unless the truth of the Word of God be presupposed. The same holds true for politics as well9 of course. Rushdoony has shown that if men try to engage in politics without relying on Biblical Law they will move inexorably toward totalitarianism or toward anarchy, and will eventually destroy their society.[53] Van Til has gone further, and shown that the Humanist destroys any possibility of thinking![54] Fortunately, no Humanist is a consistent Humanist; he always cheats and pulls truths out of the Bible for his own convenience and claims them as his own. We must argue on the unbeliever’s ground only to show him that on his ground there can be no arguing at all: we assume his position to show him the hopelessness of unbelief.

But having reduced the unbeliever to absurdity, we must not stop there. Proverbs 26:4 has given us the next step. “Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou be like unto him.” This means that we must present our case on Christian grounds. Yet the “Religious Right” has swallowed the Myth of Practical Compromise hook, line, and sinker. They present no answers. They battle the Humanists on their battlegrounds and never leave. And by arguing their final case on humanistic grounds, rather than Biblical grounds, they undermine their whole cause.[55]

Setting forth the impact of Biblical Law on politics is obviously beyond the scope of this paper. Our purpose will be rather to show why the Christian involved in Social Action cannot be like the Humanist, battling on his grounds. Kent Kelly has said that we must not use the Bible as our authority: “In speaking to media, in public debate, as we write to newspapers and lobby the lawmakers, we need not appeal to faith in the Word of God.” Then, we ask, how shall we be the “salt of the earth?” “Far better to say—history is against abortion, public conscensus (sic), science, and logic all militate against abortion....”[56] Let us examine each of these and show that they simply cannot be our battleground.


Pastor Kelly says that when we battle the pro-death Humanists, “We have history on our side. American history says that ‘We are endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are…the right to life.’“[57] It is true that history is on our side. But it is only because every event and object in history has been predestined by the God of Scripture. Thus all things in history have a certain, unique meaning: the meaning that God gives them.

This does not mean, however, that we can appeal to some kind of “neutral” his­tory, the meaning of which is agreed upon by both Humanists and Christians. All his­tory is Christian history. It is not neutral. All men by no means agree on what history is or means. Christians have one view of history (the Biblical view) and non-Christians have quite another (the Humanist view[s]). If we do not impose God’s meaning on history by speaking in terms of the Word of God we are not left with “neutral” history, we are left with Humanistic history.[58] We must have a Biblical history, yet that will, as Kelly rightly fears, offend the natural man. But without it, we have a Humanistic history that cannot win us a thing.

We have established, from Romans 1 and elsewhere, that all men know God. Man cannot be aware of himself without also being aware of objects about him and without also being aware of his responsibility to manage himself and all things for the glory of God. But man’s consciousness of himself and the created world is not static. He is conscious of God’s handiwork in time. This means that his consciousness of himself and of God’s creation in time results in an aware­ness of history in relationship to the predestined plan of God in back of history.[59]

But man suppresses the knowledge of God in unrighteousness (Rom. 1:18). This means he distorts history. No unbeliever is an honest historian. Bluntly, he is a liar. Never was this more evident than in the Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion (Roe v. Wade). The Court very definitely used history to justify the decision on abortion, but it was not Christian history, it was “neutral” history.

First, the Court said, “It perhaps is not generally appreciated that the restrictive criminal abortion laws in effect in a majority of States today are of relatively recent vintage.”[60] It is not enough that a majority of the states have the laws,[61] the Court wants to look at their history.

It is certainly true that the statutes enacted against abortion were enacted in the 1800’s.[62] It might be assumed that the laws against murder were sufficient, but it is easy to understand why they were not. The law “grows,” in applications and precedents. As men gain experience in judging, new applica­tions of case law are encountered and codified. We presently have few, if any, criminal laws against ritual cannibalism. Perhaps, if the current punk rock craze develops, we may see the reintroduction of some form of ritual cannibalism, and the need for a specific statute forbidding it. May God help us if the Supreme Court strikes down such statutes because of their “relatively recent vintage.”

But second, the Court was not content to look at American history alone:

...abortion was practiced in Greek times as well as in the Roman era, and ... “was resorted to without scruple.” Greek and Roman law afforded little protection to the unborn. If abortion was pro­secuted in some places, it seems to have been based on the concept of a violation of the father’s right to his offspring. Ancient religion did not bar abortion.[63]

This is incredible. The United States Supreme Court, in an effort to justify striking down state abortion laws, appeals to pagan Rome. Can the Christian appeal to “neutral” history? Is “history” on our side? Not unless it is brought under the authority of the Word of God, and given God’s interpretation.

The Court was not unaware of the ancient Hippocratic Oath, which forbade abortion. But this Oath was easily dismissed. It did not represent the true genius of the pagans. Its popularity came with “the emerging teachings of Christianity.”[64] It therefore could not be of any historical significance: “Most Greek thinkers, on the other hand, commended abortion....”[65] History is full of sin; sinful men and sinful societies. The unbiased and objective Humanistic historian will always throw out the Puritans and their culture, and cling to pagan Rome. If there were no Rome, there would be some obscure African or South Pacific tribe that would, in their practice of infanticide, “embrace the most progressive of man’s ideals.” History is not neutral, and certainly not in the hands of depraved man. Pastor Kelly’s observations in other places in his book are most astute:

Humanism is, without question, the major driving force behind the abortion movement. A Humanist is one who believes the source of ultimate truth is his own evaluation of observable facts. A Human­ist does not accept the validity of God in our first document of government as the One who has endowed us with certain inalienable rights, such as the right to life.[66]

This is so true! A Humanist will make up history if he has to—anything to avoid submitting to the Lord of hosts. Can we blithely hand history over to the Humanist and let him “judge for himself?” That is already his problem!

Public Consensus

Next, Kelly says, “we have public consensus on our side.”[67] Do we?

Kelly himself cites an amazing example of how indicators of public opinion can be manipulated. Even if an honest poll revealed that a majority of Americans said that they were opposed to abortion, even to the point of agreeing with the Bible that it is a capital crime, I would still be skeptical. I would bet that if they were the typical jury, trying such a case, the defense attorney would ask, “what if she were your daughter?” and the jury would unhesitatingly vote to acquit. Most “conservative” Americans talk big, but when they have to push the button, they really aren’t opposed to abortion after all.[68] If, to prevent an abortion, Mr. and Mrs. Joe Christian would have to personally help a young girl through her pregnancy and then perhaps adopt the child themselves, we would find them saying they were “opposed to abortion, sure,” but they “aren’t fanatic about it!” Legislation without works is struck down (James 2:20).

Could Elijah appeal to “public consensus” (I Kings 19:10)? Should we?


After all the hassle we’ve had with the evolutionists, it seems a bit odd to have appeal to “science.” What Kelly means is that the “public consensus of scientists” is on our side. This is, of course, a far more reliable source of argument than the public consensus of historians. Historians, as we have seen, tend to make the source of ultimate truth their own evaluation of observable facts.[69] Scientists, as we all know, are “objective.” And because of their dispassionate searching for truth, the consensus of scientific opinion never changes. The Supreme Court, in Roe v. Wade, recognized medical and scientific authority. Acknowledging that medical technology has made an abortion so much safer than it was decades ago, the court saw no reason to forbid it.[70] Medical science, it seems, was on their side. The Court wrestled with the problem of when life begins. Some say life begins at conception. But the Court said science was not on their side:

Substantial problems for precise definition of this view are posed, however, by new embryological data that purport to indicate that con­ception is a “process” over time, rather than an event, and by new medical techniques such as menstrual extraction, the “morning-after” pill, implantation of embryos, artificial insemination, and even artificial wombs.[71]

We cannot appeal to the “neutral” facts of “science.”


The “Religious Right,” as it seeks the favor of the Humanists for its policy proposals, grants to the natural man the right and the ability to engage in his­tory, science, and all things else, utterly unhindered by sin. The fall, it seems, affected the religious dimension of man, but nothing else. Certainly sin does not affect logic. If ever there were anything “neutral,” logic is it. Surely we can appeal to logic. Logic is something that operates rightly wherever it is found. Van Til dissents:

But the “reason” of sinful men will invariably act wrongly. Particularly is this true when they are confronted with the specific contents of Scripture. The natural man will invariably employ the tool of his reason to reduce these contents to a naturalistic level. He must do so even in the interest of the principle of (logic). For his own ultimacy is the most basic presupposition of his entire philosophy. It is upon this presupposition as its fulcrum that he uses the law of contradiction. If he is asked to use his reason as the judge of the credibility of the Christian revelation without at the same time being asked to renounce his view of himself as ultimate, then he is virtually asked to believe and to disbelieve in his own ultimacy at the same time and in the same sense. Moreover this same man, in addition to rejecting Christianity in the name of the law of contradiction, will also reject it in the name of what he calls his intuition of freedom. By this he means virtually the same thing as his ultimacy. We seek our point of contact not in any abstraction whatsoever, whether it be reason or intuition. No such abstraction exists in the universe of men. We always deal with concrete individual men. These men are sinners. They have “an axe to grind.” They want to suppress the truth in unrighteousness. They will employ their reason for that purpose. And they are not formally illogical if, granted the assumption of man’s ultimacy, they reject the teachings of Christianity. On the contrary, to be logically consistent they are bound to do so.[72]

The basic tenet of Humanism is that every man is his own god. It would be illogical for Humanists, as long as they are Humanists, to pass a law against abortion; every man must decide for himself what is right and what is wrong. This is the problem in America today. It isn’t a lack of logic; it is increasing consistency to a position of Humanism. Men do not need to take a course in logic. They need to submit to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. In our day there is no King in America. Every man does that which is logical in his own eyes (Judges 21:25).

The Facts Versus the Faith

Leaders of the “Religious Right” seem embarrassed to be Bible-believers. So they encourage the troops to appeal to neutral things like history, public opinion, modern science, and logic. As Kelly exhorts, “Force people to fight the facts before they fight the faith.”[73] But as we have seen, men fight the facts in order to fight the faith, because the “facts” reveal God.

The issue between believers and non-believers ... cannot be settled by a direct appeal to “facts” or “laws” whose nature and significance is already agreed upon by both parties to the debate. The question is rather ... what is the final reference point required to make the “facts” and “laws” intelligible. The question is as to what the “facts” and the “laws” really are. Are they what the non-Christian... assumes they are? Are they what the Christian ... presupposes they are? The answer to this question cannot be finally settled by any direct discussion of “facts.” It must, in the last analysis, be settled indirectly.[74]

“Practical Compromise

The preaching of the whole counsel of God will, undoubtedly, offend many. It is for this reason that the “Religious Right” would like to tone down their message. Will the Humanists listen to us when we tell them they must believe and obey the Bible? Kelly says, “Approaching the world at large with a Bible in hand is an exercise in futility.” To hide the Bible from our opponent is to communicate our message in a more “practical manner.”[75] The Reformed defender of the faith has a different answer:

As for the question whether the natural man will accept the truth of such an argument, we answer that he will if God pleases by His Spirit to take the scales from his eyes and the mask from his face. It is upon the power of the Holy Spirit that the Reformed preacher relies when he tells men that they are lost in sin and in need of a Savior. The Reformed preacher does not tone down his message in order that it may find acceptance with the natural man. He does not say that his message is less certainly true because of its non-acceptance by the natural man. The natural man is, by virtue of his creation in the image of God, always accessible to the truth; accessible to the penetration of the truth by the Spirit of God. Apologetics, like systematics, is valuable to the precise extent that it presses the truth upon the attention of the natural man. The natural man must be blasted out of his hideouts, his caves, his last lurking places. Neither Roman Catholic nor Arminian (apologetics) have the flame-throwers with which to reach him. In the all-out war between the Christian and the natural man as he appears in modern garb it is only the atomic energy of a truly Reformed (apologetic) that will explode the last fortress to which the Roman Catholic and the Arminian always permits him to retreat and dwell in safety. (The use of such martial terminology is not incon­sistent with the Christian principle of love. He who loves men most will tell them the truth about themselves in their own interest.)[76]

The Libertarians are convinced that they have all the answers. They believe that if you eliminate the government, all social problems will disappear.[77] They are confident. They have studied their system, and know its various implications. We can learn a great deal from them as we become involved in Social Action? Murray Rothbard, in his book, For a New Liberty, gives us some helpful suggestions.

First, we must recognize our strategy. Our strategy is one of education and conversion.

There is no magic formula for strategy; any strategy for social change resting as it does on persuasion and conversion, can only be an art rather than a science. But having said this...on one point there can scarcely be disagreement: a prime and necessary condition for libertarian victory (or, indeed, for victory for any social movement, from Buddhism to vegetarianism) is education: the persuasion and conversion of large numbers of people to the cause. Education, in turn, has two vital aspects: calling people’s attention to the existence of such a system, and converting people to the libertarian (read: “Christian”) system. If our movement consisted only of slogans, publicity, and other attention-getting devices, then we might be heard by many people, but it would soon be discovered that we had nothing to say -- and so the hearing would be fitful and ephemeral. Libertarians must, there­fore, engage in hard thinking and scholarship, put forth theoretical and systematic books, articles, and journals, and engage in conferences and seminars. On the other hand, a mere elaboration of the theory will get nowhere if no one has ever heard of the books and articles; hence the need for publicity, slogans, student activism, lectures, radio and TV spots, etc. True education cannot proceed without theory and activism, without an ideology and people to carry that ideology forward.[78]

The Bible is a system. We may speak of systematic politics as much as we may speak of systematic theology. The Bible is a textbook for both, and in the same degree. We must defend the ideology of Biblical politics, not a freshened-up conservative Humanism.

Second, we must be “Utopians.” The vast majority of the “Religious Right” believes that we cannot apply anything from the Old Testament to modern politics. Even if we may, we couldn’t because our premillennial eschatology says we can’t. The postmillennial “theonomists” can be Biblical “Utopians.” They have done their Biblical homework, studied their system, and are coming to know its various im­plications. And they believe that Christians will have victory before Christ comes again to melt away the old heavens and the old earth. The Biblical “Utopian” has a vision of a Christian nation. He has an idea of what it would be like to live in a world under God’s Law. It is this vision of salvation in the fullest sense of the word[79] that he holds out before all men. Rothbard stresses an important reason for keeping our ultimate goal—the discipling of all nations for Jesus Christ, and the implementation of the obedience of faith—open and in front of all men’s eyes:

There is another vital tactical reason for cleaving to pure principle. It is true that day-to-day social and political events are the resultants of many pressures, the often unsatisfactory outcome of the push-and-pull of conflicting ideologies and interests. But if only for that reason, it is all the more important for the Libertarian to keep upping the ante. The call for a two percent tax reduction may achieve only the slight mod­eration of a projected tax increase; a call for a drastic tax cut may indeed achieve a substantial reduction. And over the years, it is precisely the strategic role of the “extremist” to keep pushing the matrix of day-to-day action further and further in his direction. The socialists have been particularly adept at this strategy. If we look at the socialist program advanced sixty, or even thirty years ago, it will be evident that measures considered dangerously socialistic a generation or two ago are now consid­ered an indispensable part of the “mainstream” of the American heritage. In this way, the day-to-day compromises of supposedly “practical” politics get pulled inexorably in the collectivist direction. There is no reason why the libertarian cannot accomplish the same result. In fact, one of the reasons that the conservative opposition to collectivism has been so weak is that conservatism, by its very nature, offers not a consistent political philosophy but only a “practical” defense of the existing status quo, enshrined as embodiments of the American “tradition.” Yet, as statism grows and accretes, it becomes, by definition, increasingly entrenched and therefore “traditional”; conservatism can then find no intellectual weapons to accomplish its overthrow.[80]

The only reasons “Liberals” have been able “to relegate us to some isolated corner of the theological world” is that they outnumber those who espouse a Biblical politics. But now Fundamentalists are beginning to see that a consistent position, when it builds force, can withstand “pseudo-intellectual hatchet jobs.” Even the Moral Majority, with its less-than-Biblical presentation, has had some good effects, and has incurred the wrath of the liberal politico-theologians. But Jerry Falwell has at least a glimmer of the answer:

The problem is that they have never had credible opposition. They had always been able to portray the Conservatives as religious fanatics and got by with it. They can’t do that anymore. The people on our side now have tremendous media coverage. We have our own networks, our own maga­zines and newspapers. We have the ability to answer fully and logically. What they are now screaming about is that we outnumber them; we are mobilized; we are effective; and, we are not going away.[81]

If it is this easy to battle for the cause of conservative Humanism, it should cause us no fear to fight the Lord’s battles in the Lord’s armor.

The Myth of Christian Impotence

Perhaps the most important myth that needs to be challenged is one held by the “Religious Right” itself. There are two sides to this myth. The first is the notion that God is impotent, that the world was lost in the Garden of Eden, and that God is powerless to save it. Christ came to be King but was not powerful enough to get elected. But God is sovereign, and His promises of victory will be realized. We will fulfill the Great Commission: all nations shall obey the Son (Psalm 2; 72:11), and it is the saints, armed with the Word of God, that shall accomplish this in His power (Ps. 149:4-9; Rev. 19:15). As long as the “Religious Right” believes that man is stronger than God, very little will be accomplished in the long run. But when Christians finally realize the power of God to fulfill His promises, they will no longer consider themselves impotent. When Christians no longer see God as impotent, and no longer see themselves as impotent, then two things will happen.

First, we will see Christians unafraid to challenge the Humanistic political system head-on. Christians will begin; to run for political office on an explicitly Biblical platform. The Libertarians recognize that they will lose a few at the start, but they believe that in running on such a platform they educate and convert. Christians must do the same.[82]

Second, and simultaneously, we will see the full power of Biblical preaching. James Robison has recognized the potential power of the pulpit.

The American clergyman has one of the few channels by which morally sound conservatives can go directly to the people without media distortion. For example, I can speak with Americans not only in church buildings and on crusades, but also through our pulpit ministry on television.
In America, the Establishment media play such a role in distorting the truth that we need people who will challenge the false gods of the state’s secular “religion.” Preachers can deliver this challenge directly to the American people, and they must. A businessman cannot communicate his message directly to the people; a housewife cannot make her voice heard widely. Only the President among politicians has the ability to use the mass media to go directly to the American people with an unfiltered message. We preachers therefore have an extraordinary responsibility and a unique opportunity.[83]

The responsibility of the pulpit is two-fold: First, to challenge unbelievers to forsake their supposed ultimacy as would-be gods.

The depravity and alleged autonomy of man’s thinking prevent the regenerate Christian from seeking common ground in the unbeliever’s understanding of things, whether they be the laws of logic, the facts of history, or the experience of human personality. Rather than agreeing with the sinner’s conception of his experience, the Christian seeks his repentance—repentance in the world of thought. Our approach should be that of Isaiah 55:7: “Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return unto the Lord.”[84]

Second, the preacher must set before believers the vision of a Biblical society. This is an encouragement toward sanctification and Christian maturity. The Biblical system works! The Bible really does have the answers, and any preacher who doesn’t show these answers, who does not think along the lines set forth in the seminal Social Action work, Institutes of Biblical Law, and does not present the full ideal of a consistent Christian society, cannot inspire his congregation to Biblical Social Action.[85] If we wish to restore the peace and prosperity left us by our Puritan forefathers, we must accept their vision, and preach their theology. If this generation will follow the Biblical Social Action of the Puritans, our nation will again become a Christian nation.

[1] Cornelius Van Til wrote Christian-Theistic Evidences, dealing with the philosophy of science, and Christian-Theistic Ethics, dealing with ethical philosophy. Van Til taught that the only true theism is Christianity, and the Reformed faith is Christianity come to its own. His book The Defense of the Faith is the essential work for any apologist. No one is prepared for any kind of Social Action who has not read it. (All three books distributed by Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company, Phila., PA.)

[2] The Defense of the Faith, pp. 3-4.

[3] Ibid, pp. 3,5.

[4] Post-millennialism is the doctrine that Christ returns after the world­wide prosperity of the gospel. Christ does not return to set up His Kingdom, he comes to judge and melt away the heavens and the earth. For an excellent, albeit short, defense of postmillennialism, see David H. Chilton, Productive Christians in an Age of Guilt Manipulators, published by the Institute for Christian Economics, P.O. Box 6116, Tyler, TX, 75711, chapter 17. Also see Part Three of Gary North’s Unconditional Surrender: God’s Program for Victory (Geneva Press, 708 Hamvassy Tyler, TX 75701).

[5] “Theonomy,” from the Greek, Theos, “God,” and Nomos, “law,” means simply “God’s Law.” Greg Bahnsen’s book, Theonomy in Christian Ethics, defends the thesis that the Old Testament Law, except where specifically set aside in the New Testa­ment, is still binding on the Christian as a rule of life, and the “judicial law” binding upon all civil magistrates. The argument that this would constitute a “theocracy” is, of course, true. A “theocracy’ is literally the rule of God in society. The “Christocracy” under Jesus Christ is described in Isa. 11:4 and Rev. 19 (esp. v.15). When the saints rule according to the whole Law of God (Ps. 149:4-9) then God governs that nation, and Christ the King is here with us (Matt. 28:20).

[6] The basic text of Christian Reconstruction is R. J. Rushdoony’s Institutes of Biblical Law, (Vol. I, The Craig Press; Vol. II, Ross House Books). Here the substance of the whole Law of God is applied to contemporary social problems. If you have not read and digested Institutes, you are not prepared to be involved in Social Action.

[7] Chiefly by those who have never fully read the Institutes.

[8] Institutes, Vol. I, p. 113.

[9] Ibid., p. 122.

[10] Ibid., p. 627.

[11] Ibid., p. 321.

[12] As was the case in our early American history under the New England Puritans. It is strange how, by celebrating our “200th Anniversary” in 1976, we calmly erased nearly 200 years of prior history in which our country was governed substantially by Biblical Law. The modern “Reconstructionists” go back to the early 1600’s and find documents more noble than the Declaration of Independence. documents that see the Bible as a blueprint for society. One such document, John Cotton’s “Abstract of the Laws of New England,” is reprinted in the Journal of Christian Reconstruction, Vol. II, No. 2, (Winter 1975-76) pp. 110-128. In the Abstract it can be seen that the laws of New England were taken almost verbatim out of the Bible, and notably, from the Old Testament. We should take our cue from Puritan Social Action.

[13] It also represents some very devious government regulation. Humanistic tax laws ingeniously force the separation of the Bible and Social Action by playing upon the covetous fears of empire-building churchmen, who, by virtue of their tax-exempt status, will not preach God’s Law in their tax-sheltered church-monuments, and are “religiously neutral” in their separate, political organizations.

[14] See Ian Murray, The Invitation System, Carlisle, PA: The Banner of Truth Trust, 1967.

[15] And the Westminster Confession of Faith rightly points out that unless a man subjects every aspect of his life to the authority of God speaking in the Bible, he really does not have saving faith (14:2).

[16] Jerry Falwell, “Moral Majority Opposes Christian Republic,” Moral Majority Report, Vol. I, No. 13 (Oct. 15, 1980) p. 4.

[17] The notion of “Human Rights” is examined below. The Biblical society would not, of course, deny the freedom of conscience; only certain external acts are governed by Biblical Law as it pertains to society. Nevertheless, the character of the government should be explicitly Christian, and non-Christians should act like Christians even if they don’t think like them.

[18] R.J. Rushdoony, Law and Liberty, Fairfax, VA: Thoburn Press, 1977, pp.1-4. That the “Religious Right” has not thoroughly studied this and other works published by the Chalcedon Foundation is evident in Falwell’s statement: “Moral Majority is a political organization and is not based on theological considerations.” (Falwell, ibid., my emphasis.) One could compare similar statements in Tim LaHaye, Battle for the Mind, (Old Tappan, NJ: Fleming H. Revell Co.) p. 187, and many others. Although Newsweek identified Chalcedon as the “Religious Right” “think tank,” it is hoped that the “Religious Right” will begin doing their homework a little more diligently. (Newsweek, Vol. XCVII, No. 5 (Feb. 2, 1981), p. 60).

[19] The rhetoric of the “Religious Right” is surprisingly two-faced. Appeals to Christians are usually Biblical. Jerry Falwell admonishes a crowd at an “I Love America” rally, holding up a Bible, “If a man stands by this book, vote for him. If he doesn’t, don’t.” (Time Oct. 1, 1979, p. 62) But when appealing to unbelievers, he changes his tune. When Penthouse accused Falwell of imposing his own view of the way things “ought to be,” he responded, “Well, I think that the American tradition—forget the Bible—is the sanctity of the family, the husband, wife, legally married relationship, is unquestionably the cornerstone of this republic.” (Penthouse, March, 1981, p. 152.) “Forget the Bible”?! Dr. Falwell!!

[20] The Supreme Court’s assertion that they did ‘not know when life began was actually a (not-so-) veiled assertion that it did not begin at conception. Harold O.J. Brown notes the Court’s dogmatism-disguised-as-neutrality:

The Court’s words on this subject sound very modest: “We need not resolve the difficult question of when life begins. When those trained in the respective disciplines of medicine, philosophy, and theology are unable to arrive at any consensus the judiciary, at this point in the development of man’s knowledge, is not in a position to speculate as to the answer.” (But apparently it is in a position to deny that the unborn child is a human being and thus to legalize his destruction, as Justice White complains, “for any.. .reason, or for no reason at all.”) (Death Before Birth, New York: Thomas Nelson, 1977, p. 83.)

Not only is pluralism impossible, but it is also forbidden by the Law of God . When the Westminster divines exposited the implications of the Second Commandment, they mentioned as one of the sins forbidden, “tolerating a false religion,” appending for Scriptural proof Deut. 13:6-12.

[21] Falwell, ibid. We could only wish that he would instead point out the great inconsistencies of those who demand freedom for every man, “as long as they do not interfere with the freedom of others.” Where does this exception come from? On what basis do we restrict our cannibal “friend” above? Isn’t this the imposition of a moral system? How can we call this pluralism? Much can and should be done by way of exposing the contradictions and inconsistencies of the Humanists. Use their premises against them.

[22] Not that God could ever legislate “arbitrarily,” i.e., against His character. The point is that God, not man, has legislated. God surely commands us to respect our fellow man because he reflects the image of God (James 3:9). God also commands capital punishment for the same reason (Gen 9:5-6). But understanding why God has commanded is not license for man to legislate. God is our Law-giver (Isa. 33:22). We as men cannot pick a doctrine (e.g., man’s dignity) and attempt to construct public policy deductively. Public policy is found in Biblical Law.

[23] T. Robert Ingram, What’s Wrong With Human Rights, Houston: St. Thomas Press, 1978, pp. 5, 21, 49.

[24] Many modern translations of the Bible have unfortunately picked up this Humanistic concept. In every case God and His Law take a back seat to man and his claims. Revealing examples are Proverbs 31:5, 8, and 9, and Isaiah 5:23. In Proverbs the emphasis is literally on “judgment,” i.e., the efficient applica­tion of Biblical Law to the case at bar, not on the “rights” of man. In Isaiah, in the KJV, the emphasis is God-ward: “righteousness.” The modern versions subtly emphasize man’s claims. The Scriptures teach that man is blessed for obedience. Today we claim these blessings as a “right.” We do not have a right to cultural and social stability. Man has no “right” to protection, but all men have a duty to obey God’s Laws concerning our fellow man. A government that enforces these laws creates a climate of safety and peace. But social peace is not a “right” of man, or something that God owes man. It is a gift from God. One need only substitute “rights” in Deut. 9:4-5 where the word in Isa. 5:23 occurs to find an explicit condemnation of the “rights” perspective.

[25] Ingram, Rights, p. 55.

[26] After Roe v. Wade no other conclusion than that drawn by Harold 0.J. Brown is possible: “The only human rights are those granted by the state.” (Ibid., p. 82, his emphasis.)

[27] The subtitle of the book Schaeffer co-authored with C. Everett Koop, M.D., Whatever Happened to the Human Race, Old Tappan, NJ: Fleming H. Revell, Co., 1979. If the book is supposed to be a positive setting forth of the Christian view, it should have been entitled, Whatever Happened to Biblical Law. It may be, however, that Schaeffer is merely taking an assumption of the Humanists and showing that the position cannot be logically maintained without running into severe social problems and ethical relativism. This negative critique of the Humanist use of “Human Rights” is the only legitimate use of the concept.

[28] Schaeffer, Whatever, pp. 78ff.

[29] And ironically, when it comes to public policy, this seems to be the way Schaeffer starts. His approach is not as consistent as it is at times in other of his works. The “rights” rhetoric works against him.

[30] Walter Isaacson, “The Battle over Abortion,” Time, Apr. 6, 1981, p. 24.

[31] Cf. Doe v. Bolton, 410 U.S. 179, at 190. See also Justice Douglas’ concurring opinion at 214.

[32] 410 U.S. 179, 213. Jerry Falwell has said he would be willing to die, apparently, in defense of the right to loaf. Says he, “We philosophically dis­agree with the American Civil Liberties Union, but we would die for their right to do what they are doing.” (Falwell, ibid.) Ingram has picked this no­tion apart: “This is utter nonsense.” It is, he continues, a defense of “a claim to the worst of all moral evils, the right to be wrong.” (Ingram, Rights, pp. 16-17.)

[33] 268 U.S. 510.

[34] cf. 268 U.S. 510 at 515, and 534-535.

[35] Including concurring opinions: 410 U.S. 113, 153, 159, 168, and 169; 410 U.S. 179, 212. Surely the reverse will be true as well: those who are going to argue against abortion on Humanistic grounds, rather than on Scriptural grounds, be prepared to have your reasoning turned against those who are trying to establish Christian schools.

[36] Not only does the State have total power to decide which “rights” exist, they determine how they will be applied. Consider the “right to privacy.” The “right” has obvious importance when it comes to a “mother’s” freedom to kill her unborn “invader.” But as Brown notes,

In a recent series of Supreme Court decisions and federal laws, the “right to privacy” has been almost abolished with respect to financial transactions. Banks must keep and furnish to the government on demand elaborate records of all transactions by their customers, and they are not required to tell their customers when they do it. Federal agents have the right to enter businesses and confiscate their records without respect for the “right to privacy.” It seems that this “right” is a very flexible one, applying to hospitals for the purposes of abortion, but not to individuals for banking transactions. Or, to put it bluntly, what you do with your money is more important to the federal government than what you do with human lives. (Brown, Death, pp. 91-92.)

[37] For an analysis of the modern re-interpretations of this passage, and a defense of the view that Ex. 21:22-25 speaks of the abortion of the fetus, see Jack W. Cottrell, “Abortion and the Mosaic Law,” Christianity Today, Mar. 16, 1973, pp.6-9.

[38] Many Christian social activists fail to understand just how non-neutral the natural man is. Many have the idea that the non-Christian is not neutral with respect to “religion” in general. The Humanists assert that Christianity is not “scientific,” to which some will reply, “Oh yeah? Well it takes just as much faith to be an atheist, buddy!” In other words, no man is neutral because all men hold to some beliefs that are not susceptible to the “scientific method.” But the Bible says more. Religion is not defined by the scientific method, it is defined by the sense of deity that every man has: all men know of the Triune God, but actively hate Him and rebel against Him. In this respect no man is neutral.

[39] Of course, we must recognize that all subjects are ultimately religious (cf. note 18 above).

[40] Cornelius Van Til, The Defense of the Faith, Phila. PA: Presbyterian and Reformed, 1967, p. 73.

[41] Greg L. Bahnsen, A Biblical Introduction to Apologetics, Fairfax, VA: Thoburn Press, 1976, ch. 11.

[42] Ibid.

[43] Van Til, Defense, p. 77.

[44] Romans 2:15 tells us that the unbeliever has the work of the law written on his heart. Whatever policy the “Religious Right” will propose, the unbeliever will oppose, unless God restrains his lawlessness.

[45] Van Til, p. 81.

[46] Ibid., p. 67

[47] What follows is adapted from Defense, pp. 94-95.

[48] Kent Kelly, Abortion: The American Holocaust, Southern Pines, NC: Calvary Press, 1981. Thesis: If you adopt a Humanist view of abortion you are on the ethical road that leads to Nazism. An excellent critique of the Humanist position.

[49] Ibid., pp. 63-64, my emphasis.

[50] The gospel of redemption comes into enemy territory. See Van Til, A Christian Theory of Knowledge, Grand Rapids, Mich: Baker Book House, 1969, pp. 26-27.

[51] Kelly, Abortion, pp. 65, 66.

[52] Van Til, Defense, pp. 100, 102.

[53] Rushdoony, in The One and the Many, shows how all non-Christian political systems wind up either in totalitarianism or anarchy (Craig Press, 1971). In order for the Humanist to avoid these two extremes, he has to assume some truth or law from Scripture. He is always inconsistent, and his inconsistencies are fair game for the Christian.

[54] “An illustration may indicate more clearly what is meant. Suppose we think of a man made of water in an infinitely extended and bottomless ocean of water. Desiring to get out of water, he makes a ladder of water. He sets this ladder upon the water and against the water and then attempts to climb out of the water. So hopeless and senseless a picture must be drawn of the natural man’s methodology based as it is on the assumption that time or chance ‘is ultimate. On his assumption his own rationality is a product of chance. On his assumption even the laws of logic which he employs are products of chance. The rationality and purpose that he may be searching for are still bound to be products of chance. So then the Christian apologist, whose position requires him to hold that Christian theism is really true and as such must be taken as the presupposition which alone makes the acquisition of knowledge in any field intelligible, must join his “Friend” in his hopeless gyrations so as to point out to him that his efforts are always in vain. (Defense, p. 102.)

[55] We must not fail to see the underlying truth in Pastor Kelly’s fears. He fears those who would “relegate us to some isolated corner of the theological world by slander and innuendo,” or by “pseudo-intellectual hatchet jobs.” (pp. 65,66). There is some basis for these fears. If we tell the world we are Bible-believers, what is the world (initially) going to think? When the world thinks of Fundamental­ists, or Evangelicals, the world thinks of incompetence, isolationism, and reac­tionary obscurantism. And do you know what? The world has almost 100 years of theological incompetence, isolationism, and reactionary obscurantism to back them up! In general, ever since Christian scholarship went out with the postmillennialism of B.B. Warfield, the Hodges, J. Gresham Machen, et al., Bible-believers have been incompetent! Their inability to answer even “pseudo-intellectual hatchet jobs” is a sign of this incompetence. Because most Evangelicals and Fundamentalists have never seriously considered the Bible in all its social implications, they feel, deep down, that the Bible has nothing to say about politics, law, education, or anything else that requires Social Action. If they would study the Bible for its political and economic implications they would be more assured that the Bible really does ‘have all the answers.” If we begin with the Scriptural assump­tion that the Word of God is forever, not just for Israel, we will make progress. The Christian need not be ashamed of being a Bible-believer, and should be able to defend his position, not be forced to hide it.

[56] Kelly, Abortion, p. 66.

[57] Ibid.

[58] For a Calvinistic treatment of History, see Gordon H. Clark, Historiography Secular and Religious, Nutley, NJ: The Craig Press, 1971.

[59] Van Til, Defense, p. 91.

[60] Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113, 129.

[61] We see already problems with Pastor Kelly’s “argument from public consensus.”

[62] And we must also admit that these laws were not strictly Biblical. They were plagued with compromises that weakened the position (e.g., abortion allowed when mother’s “health” was endangered),and by Aristotelian, pagan notions of the “quickening” of the soul, a few months into the pregnancy, as the Court rightly notes at 133-135.

[63] At 130, my emphasis.

[64] At 132.

[65] At 131.

[66] Kelly, Abortion, p. 28.

[67] Ibid., p. 65. Cf. p. 66.

[68] Their principle of action is a selfish, Humanistic one, not a theistic one, and is subject to immediate change. This is why Evangelism must be a part of our Social Action.

[69] Ibid., p. 28. Even secular scientists such as Kuhn and Polanyi are admitting that science is not strictly without pre-theoretical presuppositions.

[70] 410 U.S. 113, 148-149.

[71] At 161. Of course, “science” usually boils down to public consensus. The Court relied heavily on public consensus to determine the beginning of life:

It should be sufficient to note briefly the wide divergence of thinking on this most sensitive and difficult question. There has always been strong support for the view that life does not begin until live birth. This was the belief of the Stoics. It appears to be the predominant, though not the unanimous, attitude of the Jewish faith. It may be taken to represent also the position of a large segment of the Protestant community, insofar as that can be ascertained; organized groups that have taken a formal position on the abortion issue have generally regarded abortion as a matter for the conscience of the individual and her family. (At this point, in a footnote, the Court cites the “Amicus Brief for the American Ethical Union et al. For the position of the National Council of Churches and of other denominations, see Lader, 99-101.”)

Any Christian who recognizes the Humanist character of those two groups must surely recognize also the need for an explicit statement of the Biblical position to counter it. The non-neutrality of the Court is surely evident here. If it were a “fact’3 that 99% of all Christians vigorously opposed abortion, it would mean nothing to a Humanistic Court. When the Court sets out to make a judgment concerning the “will of the people,” their hatred of God and His servants will determine who “the people” are. The “facts” are molded and interpreted to fit the faith. (See David Chilton’s article in this issue, p. 16e)

[72] Van Til, Defense, pp. 83-84.

[73] Kelly, p. 66.

[74] Van Til, p. 100.

[75] Kelly, p. 66.

[76] Van Til, pp. 104-105.

[77] The Libertarians would have been the major third party in 1980 had not the media decided to build John Anderson into a “major force.” The Libertarians are Humanistic, but are surprisingly close to Biblical Law on many positions. The obvious exception is in the area of “victimless crimes,” which the Libertarians would legalize. I personally voted Libertarian in many cases in 1980, among them for President, assuming the election of Mr. Reagan would put any then-battling conservative Christians to sleep. Politically, the Libertarians do not owe any­thing to the Eastern Liberal Establishment, which is to say, I would rather have a Libertarian as President than George Bush. Their basic assumption, that elimination of government would solve most problems, is a half-truth. It is a whole truth if Christian families will assume their duties.

[78] Murray N. Rothbard, For a New Liberty, New York: Collier Books, 1978, 297-298. See also Gary North, Unconditional Surrender, chap. 9, “A Strategy for Dominion.” [ch. 10 in 4th ed.]

[79] Salvation comes from a Hebrew word, yasha, which literally means, “To be safely set in a wide, open place,” and can be translated, “defense.” “preservation,” “safety,” “liberty,” “prosperity,” “health,” and a number of other, very worldly, words. Biblical eschatology sees the entire world being restored to condi­tions similar to the Garden of Eden, and the building of the City of God, the New Jerusalem.

[80] Rothbard, Liberty, pp. 301-302. F.A. Hayek, Nobel Prize-winning free-market economist, is no “extremist,” but echoes Rothbard’s thinking:

We must make the building of a free society once more an intellectual adventure, a deed of courage. What we lack is a liberal Utopia, a programme which seems neither a mere defence of things as they are nor a diluted kind of socialism, but a truly liberal radicalism which does not spare the susceptibility of the mighty (including the trade unions), which is not too severely practical and which does not confine itself to what appears today as politically possible. We need intellectual leaders who are willing to work for an ideal, however small may be the prospects of its early realization. They must be men who are willing to stick to principles and to fight for their full realization, however remote. ...Free trade and freedom of opportunity are ideals which still may rouse the imaginations of large numbers, but a mere “reasonable freedom of trade”. or a mere “relaxation of controls” is neither intellectually respectable nor likely to inspire any enthusiasm. The main lesson which the true liberal must learn from the success of the socialists is that it was their courage to be Utopian which gained them the support of the intellectuals and thereby an influence on public opinion which is daily making possible what only recently seemed utterly remote. Those who have concerned themselves ex­clusively with what seemed practicable in the existing state of opinion have constantly found that even this has rapidly become politically impos­sible as the result of changes in a public opinion which they have done nothing to guide. Unless we can make the philosophic foundations of a free (read: “Biblical”) society once more a living intellectual issue, and its implementation a task which challenges the ingenuity and imagination 9 of our liveliest minds, the prospects of freedom are indeed dark. But if we can regain that belief in the power of ideas which was the mark of liberalism at its best, the battle is not lost. “The Intellectuals and Socialism,” in Studies in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics Chicago; Univ. of Chi. Press, 1967, p. 194.

[81] Jerry Falwell, interviewed by John Rees, Review of the News, Vol. 17, No. 18 (May 6,1981), p. 51.

[82] Great encouragement can be gained by reflecting on the origin of the Libertarian Party:

On election day, 1976, the Libertarian Party presidential ticket of Roger L. MacBride for President and David L. Bergland for Vice President amassed 174,000 votes is thirty-two states throughout the country. The sober Congressional Quarterly was moved to classify the fledgling Libertarian Party as the third major party in America. The remarkable growth rate of this new party may be seen in the fact that it only began in 1971 with a handful of members gathered in a Colorado living room. The following year it fielded a presidential ticket which managed to get on the ballot in two states. And it is now America’s third major party. (Rothbard, Liberty, p. 1)

[83] James Robison, interviewed by John Rees, Review of the News, Vol. 17, No. 26 (July 1, 1981), pp. 43-45.

[84] Greg L. Bahnsen, Apologetics, ch. 11. Needless to say, the Old Testament prophets as a whole should be our guide in Social Action.

[85] Rothbard speaks of “the excitement and enthusiasm that a logically consistent system can inspire. Who, in contrast, will go to the barricades for a two percent tax reduction?” (Liberty, p. 301.)

Friday, June 01, 2001, 3:21:06 PM