By Jeff Ziegler
Published March 1, 1996
While evil is being codified at the highest level of American government, the Evangelical Church is undergoing an enormous and historic paradigm shift.
This realignment, which emphasizes a victorious ecclesiology and a biblically optimistic worldview, is nothing less than a renaissance of Puritanism, and is a precursor to the fuller acceptance of reconstructionism across the parched domain of American Evangelicalism.
The rise of a “generalized” Puritan worldview is of great importance to the reconstructionist agenda, for this sweeping resurgence. This renaissance is rapidly preparing the Church corporate in America as the agent for the most comprehensive societal reformation in this nations history. Indeed “neo-puritanism” is having its greatest effect among those evangelicals involved in the “revival prayer movement” which has “wet the appetite” of many sincere saints who earnestly long for a “golden age” of strapping Christianity.
Of special note, is the mounting momentum which Puritan thought is having among some charismatic churches, which despite their diversity and in some cases anarchy, have many in their number who are intuitively covenantal in church polity, with still others having a subjective appreciation for the “Dominion Mandate.”
Many charismatics too, are now overcoming an inbred prejudice of American anti-intellectualism to building in the objective theological moorings of Puritan thought and Christian Orthodoxy, which will inevitably bring an unflagging, optimistic and comprehensive worldview to their ranks. Given time this will shake the very social foundations of The United States.
However, I must caution, this encouraging movement among many evangelicals should not be viewed with a “Pollyanna” optimism. The existence of many entrenched strongholds of sin and blatant violations of orthodoxy within the Church must be vanquished in order to see genuine reformation. These fixed fortifications of indolence, ignorance and iniquity will not fall easily, for apostasy has been theologically rationalized, codified, and institutionalized by wide spread antinomianism (or contempt for the moral law of God), pietistic monasticism (or subjective, mystical, fatalistic and selfish private religion), and relational sentimentalism; with its inherently relativistic morality, emphasis on emotionalism as being superior to immutable biblical principle and an idolatrous notion of God being a self limiting seeker sensitive deity who is subjugated to the whims of autonomous man. It is also important to note that the existence of such evil, should not cause us to have a “give up the ship mentality.” Our Sovereign Lord has ignited the engines of the Puritan juggernaut throughout history, often; from a human perspective, “just in the nick of time.” Thus we as the Lord’s elect knighted ones, cannot cower in hopelessness nor retreat to the bunkers of fatalism.
While each Puritan renaissance has its particular emphases, characteristics and applications, there are elements which are common to each. The most common element of biblical truth which surfaces in Puritan revivals is a distinctly reformed soteriology or theology of redemption. Historically, reformed soteriology is sometimes accepted wholly and at other times in degree depending on the depth, force and fidelity of the particular Puritan resurgence in question. At the time of this writing an Augustinian-Calvinistic approach to the issues of salvation and sanctification is seeing a grass roots resurgence both among evangelical clergy and layman.
Once again, brave pulpiteers are proclaiming the majesty and supremacy of God over against mans absolute total depravity. This “goodness and severity” principle is provoking the saints to a fresh obedience to the “Law of God.”
Reformed soteriology and its application in reformation preaching is the surest antidote to the antinomian, pietistic, sentimental defeatist theology which has surrendered American society to hellish machinations.
Another element key to any resurgence of Puritanism, is a victorious ecclesiology, or triumphant view of the purpose, function and doctrine of the Church. Such an optimistic view of the Church would see her as victorious in time and history and would emphasize a covenantal approach to Scripture as well as a covenantal model as a basis for relations between the family, church and state.
This covenantal appreciation of Scripture can be described and summarized by the following; “The God who created the universe, reveals himself in history, lays down immutable fixed Biblical laws, brings predictable results, both blessings and sanctions in terms of these laws, and raises the elect to a place of victory in history.”
Some of the practical benefits of such a covenantal and triumphant worldview, will include actions by the Church which have not been in evidence since the days of John Knox.
For example, there will be an increase of cooperative ecclesiastical actions such as functioning pastoral presbyteries, which will enforce “The Crown Rights of Christ” over cities and geographic regions through covenantal imprecatory prayer and public proclamations. Also, practical cooperation between clergymen in covenantal relationships will be in evidence in such areas as church discipline, reformation think tanks, ecclesiastical courts and the sharing of resources to accomplish common goals.
Generally, an increase of Christian activism at the grass roots level will be in evidence though firmly rooted in Reformed Orthodoxy.
Socially, one can expect great reaction and upheaval from both the Church and society as the pluralistic, relationally sentimental, moral relativists within the Church and the secularist social Darwinists within the power structures of society rise in raucous denunciation of any movement which dares to proclaim and enforce the absolutes of God’s Law-Word and the Crown Rights of Christ. But such is the stuff of “Puritan storms,” for revival, reformation, and at times “Cromwellian” revolution are very close cousins indeed.
What has thus far been articulated is certainly short of full-blown reconstructionism. However, it is a transitional phase that does provide a sufficient paradigm shift allowing a platform for continued maturity and enlargement in the areas of Calvinism, Theonomy and Postmillennialism.
In conclusion, I will list a series of common attributes which depicts this time of transition. From this base, let us press forward to harness the “Puritan Storm” and reconstruct our apostate culture along Biblical lines.
Common Themes Now in Ascendancy
a) The Church is the only institution that advances Christ’s Kingdom on earth. No other institution is intimated.
b) Christ has furnished all the means to accomplish His work on earth through His resurrection, the Word of God and the Holy Spirit.
c) The witness of the early church in triumph over the Roman Empire, the success of Christian missions and today’s Third World awakenings are evidence of a victorious Church.
d) To intimate that the Church will fail in the Great Commission, dishonors the Gospel and the Holy Spirit.
e) The purpose of the Kingdom of God is to prevent the universal spread of idolatry, preserve the testimony of Christ’s Imperial Reign, gather the elect, enforce the covenants and the moral Law of God and finally, it is to triumph overall.
f) All nations will have an identifiable an indigenous witness of the Church.
g) Ethnic Jews will be reingrafted to the Christian Church in a large way.
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“Give me liberty or give me death!”
Patrick Henry’s famous declaration not only helped launch the War for Independence, it also perfectly summarized the mindset that gave birth to, and sustained, the unprecedented experiment in Christian liberty that was America.
The freedom our Founders envisioned was not freedom from suffering, want, or hard work. Nor was it freedom to indulge every appetite or whim without restraint—that would merely be servitude to a different master. No, the Founders’ passion was to live free before God, unfettered by the chains of autocracy, shackles that slowly but inexorably bind men when the governments they fashion fail to recognize and uphold freedom’s singular, foundational truth: that all men are created in the image of God, and are thereby co-equally endowed with the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
This presentation is a similar call, not to one but many. By reintroducing the principles of freedom that gave birth to America, it is our prayer that Jesus, the true and only ruler over the nations, will once again be our acknowledged Sovereign, that we may again know and exult in the great truth that “where the Spirit of the LORD is, there is liberty” (2 Cor. 3:17).
Welcome to the Second American Revolution!
This DVD features “Liberty: The Model of Christian Liberty” along with “Dawn’s Early Light: A Brief History of America’s Christian Foundations.” Bonus features include a humorous but instructive collection of campaign ads and Eric Holmberg’s controversial YouTube challenge concerning Mitt Romney’s campaign for president.
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Who is the dreaded beast of Revelation?
Now at last, a plausible candidate for this personification of evil incarnate has been identified (or re-identified). Ken Gentry’s insightful analysis of scripture and history is likely to revolutionize your understanding of the book of Revelation — and even more importantly — amplify and energize your entire Christian worldview!
Historical footage and other graphics are used to illustrate the lecture Dr. Gentry presented at the 1999 Ligonier Conference in Orlando, Florida. It is followed by a one-hour question and answer session addressing the key concerns and objections typically raised in response to his position. This presentation also features an introduction that touches on not only the confusion and controversy surrounding this issue — but just why it may well be one of the most significant issues facing the Church today.
Ideal for group meetings, personal Bible study — for anyone who wants to understand the historical context of John’s famous letter “… to the seven churches which are in Asia.” (Revelation 1:4)
Running Time: 145 minutes
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Special Two-Disc Set!
After 40 years of intense study and world-wide ministry, Dr. Francis Schaeffer completed his crowning work of scholarship – to present profound truths in simple film language. Dr. Schaeffer’s brilliant analysis of the past and predictions for current trends have proven so uncannily accurate that this amazing series still feels contemporary almost three decades after its initial release. Ultimately, Schaeffer concludes that man’s only hope is a return to God’s Biblical absolute, the truth revealed in Christ through the Scriptures.
Available for the first time on DVD, this documentary spectacular also includes intimate in-depth conversations with Francis and Edith Schaeffer. With the on-disc study guide, this presentation forms a unique course of comprehensive study. While this series forms an innovative analysis of the past, this outstanding work is more than history. Each episode focuses on a significant era, yet speaks clearly to 21st-century man with answers for modern problems.
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High Quality Paperback — 40 pages of dynamite!
Revival, Resistance, Reformation, Revolution
An Introduction to the Doctrines of Interposition and Nullification
In 1776, a short time after the Declaration of Independence was adopted, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and Benjamin Franklin were assigned to design an official seal for the United States of America. Their proposed motto was Rebellion to Tyrants is Obedience to God. America owes its existence to centuries of Christian political philosophy. Our nation provided a model for liberty copied by nations the world over.
By the 21st century, we need a “Puritan Storm” to sweep away the Hegelian notion that the state is “God walking on earth.” We need revival and reformation in full force to vanquish the problems that plague us as a nation — from government controlled healthcare — to abortion on demand — to same sex “marriage.” This booklet gives a primer on our founders’ Christian idea of government and examines how the doctrine of nullification was woven into the Constitution as a safeguard against federal tyranny. It concludes with the history and theology of civil resistance. A Second American Revolution is coming with the Word of God growing mightily and prevailing! (Acts 19:20).
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Dr. Schaeffer, who was one of the most influential Christian thinkers in the twentieth century, shows that secular humanism has displaced the Judeo-Christian consensus that once defined our nation’s moral boundaries. Law, education, and medicine have all been reshaped for the worse as a consequence. America’s dominant worldview changed, Schaeffer charges, when Christians weren’t looking.
Schaeffer lists two reasons for evangelical indifference: a false concept of spirituality and fear. He calls on believers to stand against the tyranny and moral chaos that come when humanism reigns-and warns that believers may, at some point, be forced to make the hard choice between obeying God or Caesar. A Christian Manifesto is a thought-provoking and bracing Christian analysis of American culture and the obligation Christians have to engage the culture with the claims of Christ.
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