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by Gary Demar

  • ISBN: 0915815079
  • Category: No category
  • Author: Gary Demar
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  • Publisher: American Vision (1988)
  • FB2 size: 1836 kb
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  • Rating: 4.7
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What does it mean to be a faithful, Bible-believing Christian? How do you measure genuine orthodox doctrine? How can you determine when a theology or a movement begins to stray from the path of truth? For centuries, dedicated Christians have debated these questions with great intensity. Even though they have amassed over that time a wealth of insights and answers, the debate continues. On April 14, 1988, four prominent Christian authors-Dave Hunt, Tommy Ice, Gary North, and Gary DeMar-added another chapter to that perennial debate.

Start by marking The Debate Over Christian Reconstruction as Want to Read . Author of countless essays, news articles, and more than 27 book titles, he also hosts The Gary DeMar Show, and History Unwrapped-both broadcasted and podcasted.

Start by marking The Debate Over Christian Reconstruction as Want to Read: Want to Read savin. ant to Read. Gary has lived in the Atlanta area since 1979 with his wife, Carol. They have two married sons and are enjoying being grandparents to their grandson. Gary and Carol are members of Midway Presbyterian Church (PCA).

Note: Fort Worth: Dominion Press; Atlanta: American Vision Press, 1988.

DeMar, Gary (1988), The Debate Over Christian Reconstruction, F. DeMar, Gary; Leithart, Peter (1990), Reduction of Christianity: A Biblical Response to Dave Hunt, Ft.

DeMar, Gary (1988), The Debate Over Christian Reconstruction, Ft. Worth, TX: Dominion Press, ISBN 978-30462-33-8, archived from the original on June 20, 2006, retrieved April 15, 2006. North, Gary; DeMar, Gary (1991), Christian Reconstruction: What It Is, What It Isn't, Tyler, TX: Institute for Christian Economics, ISBN 978-30464-53-0, archived from the original on May 21, 2006, retrieved April 15, 2006. Worth, TX: Dominion Press, ISBN 978-30462-63-5, archived from the original on June 20, 2006, retrieved April 15, 2006.

Gary DeMar is the president of American Vision, and a popular writer on eschatology, Christian Reconstruction, and Americanism. This 1991 book is the authors' response to various criticisms of the Christian Reconstructionist movement. They assert, "(Premillennialism) means that nothing positive that Christians do today will survive the Great Tribulation.

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Reviews about The Debate Over Christian Reconstruction (2):
Gary DeMar is the president of American Vision, and a popular writer on eschatology, Christian Reconstruction, and Americanism. This 1988 book is DeMar's (somewhat one-sided, naturally) summary and response to the April 14, 1988 debate between Reconstructionists Gary North and Gary Demar, and opponents Thomas ("Tom" or "Tommy") Ice and Dave Hunt.

He deals with the objection, "Those who hear the debate tapes may come away wondering why Dr. North and I did not deal with all the numerous eschatological points raised by Hunt and Ice. The answer is simple: We came to debate Christian Reconstruction, of which eschatology is one part... our presentation ... covered the main distinctives of Christian Reconstruction, while Ice and Hunt overemphasized the single distinctive of postmillennialism." (Pg. 76)

He argues, "the dispensationalist ... must separate the 70th from the 69th week. Whatever the interpretation is, it comes on the heels of the 69th week. It's a past event from our perspective. We do not need to look for a future fulfillment." (Pg. 128) He asserts, "The text tells us that God 'will overthrow the chariots and their riders...' (Haggai 2:22). This is a description of pre-modern armies... some might conclude that chariots and swords are nothing more than a description of implements of war for any age. But doesn't this severely damage the 'literal hermeneutic' espoused by dispensationalists?" (Pg. 136)

He rejects Hunt/Ice arguing that national Israel is symboilzed by teh fig tree: "where is the biblical evidence for this? There is no biblical evidence. Even Hal Lindsey admits this when he writes, 'The figure of speech "fig tree" has been a HISTORIC symbol of national Israel.' It may be an historic symbol, but it's not a BIBLICAL symbol. Lindsey doesn't even prove how it's an historic symbol." (Pg. 143)

This book will be of considerable interest to Christian Reconstructionists, Postmillennialists, and perhaps even some Partial or Full Preterists.
The Debate Over Christian Reconstruction by Gary DeMar is a book-length response to the debate held in Texas in 1988 between Dispensational Premillennialists (Tommy Ice and Dave Hunt) and Christian Reconstructionists (Gary North and Gary Demar). The debate centered on the question, Is Christian Reconstruction a deviant theology? The purpose of the book is "an attempt to answer what could not be answered during the debate." (p. 7)

Before reviewing the book, let me back up: most Christians today are probably unfamiliar with Christian Reconstruction or the related term, "theonomy." There was, however, a lot of ink spilled over these theological perspectives in the 1970s (due largely to the writings of R.J. Rushdoony) and 1980s.

A lot could be said about Christian Reconstruction. Very briefly, it is a theological position with several important distinctives (e.g., presuppositionalism, theonomy). Simply put, a Christian Reconstructionist believes that the "Bible, the whole Bible, is our final standard for every area of life. Everything is under Christ's Lordship. Everything we do must be done in obedience to Him." (p. 22)

This may seem quite uncontroversial at a glance, but Christian Reconstructionists really mean the "whole Bible" and "every area of life." And when they emphasize this, it quickly becomes apparent that most Christians see the Bible as relevant to only a very narrow slice of life.

When Christian Reconstructionists assert, for example, that Old Testament case law (along with New Testament imperatives obviously) is valid today not only for personal, familial, and ecclesiastical ethics, but also for governmental affairs, the resistance appears: "The Old Testament doesn't apply in the church age." "You can't put a non-Christian under Biblical law." "We're under grace, not law." (p. 31)

Says author, Gary DeMar:

"Of course, all Christians believe that the Bible has some very specific things to say about prayer, Bible reading, worship, and evangelism. But many Christians are not convinced that the Bible has some very definite things to say about civil government, the judicial system, economics, indebtedness, the punishment of criminals, foreign affairs, care for the poor, journalism, science, medicine, business, education, taxation, inflation, property, terrorism, war, peace negotiations, military defense, ethical issues like abortion and homosexuality, environmental concerns, inheritance, investments, building safety, banking, child discipline, pollution, marriage, contracts, and many other world-view issues." (pp. 32-33)

According to Calvinism, which is a strong base from whence flows Christian Reconstruction, man has been negatively affected by sin in his thinking (noetic effects of sin) such that he needs an objective and reliable standard for evaluating all areas of life. Personal opinion, expert testimony, public opinion polls, and natural law are insufficient given their subjective nature among other inadequacies. "The Bible," says DeMar, "is our set of corrective lenses for all of life." (p. 34)

Hopefully, it now becomes clear why Christian Reconstruction is controversial. In a world where most Christians have functionally excised the Old Testament from their Bibles and conformed to the standards of the world in thought and action, the idea that the entire Bible is to be applied to all areas of life is radical and dangerous indeed.

DeMar's book is valuable for the content in the first 55 pages alone. Christian Reconstruction, then as now, is poorly understood and often misrepresented by opponents. In these first 10 chapters, DeMar gives a very good introduction to Christian Reconstruction, explaining what it is and is not.

The rest of the book deals with misrepresentations of Christian Reconstruction during the debate - mostly from Dave Hunt. Also addressed is the unreasonable position assumed by both Tommy Ice and Dave Hunt that Christian Reconstruction is "deviant theology" because of its eschatological distinctive: Postmillennialism. DeMar easily shows that Dispensational Premillennialism (to be distinguished from Historic Premillennialism), an innovation in Christian theology from the 1830s, is not a proper test of orthodoxy, nor has any council in the history of the church made any eschatological position a test of orthodoxy.

The Debate Over Christian Reconstruction is a good primer on Christian Reconstruction. The strength of the position is more fully seen in the second part of the book where DeMar interacts with Ice and Hunt. Dispensational premillenialists will likely not enjoy the read, but it would be helpful in their efforts to understand the "other side."

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