By now it should be pretty clear I am not on board with the Christian Nationalism bunch. But I am even less on board with the way the secular world is going. And therein lies the problem. As Wilson is fond of pointing out, “It is not a question of wether but which.” And therein lies the best argument for Christian Nationalism.
I am not a fan of either popular conceptions of Christian Nationalism, neither the Trump/charismatic freak show, nor the Stephen Wolfe version. But I would sooner take Wolfe’s over Trumps, and again, over what we currently have. However, the term Christian Nationalism needs to die. Even if someone came up with a version I would go all in for, the phrase has too much baggage. Bearing in mind we live in a day where the word freedom is now considered fascist. How exactly do you think a term involving the word Christian would go down. But more importantly I think Christian Nationalism is reactionary immanentizing of the eschaton.* We are just nowhere near the fever dream that anyone could call Christian Nationalism. I get that Christians are beyond frustrated, righteously pissed I think is the theological term. But fantasizing about a world where we somehow out vote the unbelievers and seize Palpatine like control is just a waste of time.
Therefore in the interim I think we should find some more reasonable fish to fry. I have two suggestions.
First, and you had to have seen this one coming if you have been reading here for any amount of time, we need to take seriously Aaron Renn’s Three Worlds framework. We are in a negative world and need to start thinking like a minority. To much of evangelicalism is still acting like Eisenhower is still in office screaming for his staff to get Billy Graham on the phone to tell him what his next decision should be. If you are Reformed then you are an even greater minority. For the first time in American history non denominational churches out numbered all the denominational ones, combined. Reformed brothers, we were a minority before that, just because Young Restless and Reformed got some traction did not mean we took over. Even worse, just because someone says they are reformed does not mean they actually are. The result of YRR was the equivalent of how Americans in surveys used to say they were christian when what it actually meant was they went to church at Christmas and Easter. People today say they are reformed because they listened to a Piper sermon that one time.
Second, Josh Daws idea of Christian Federalism should be seriously considered. Not only are his ideas achievable. They have the advantage of not being the baggage laden term the left likes to smear us with. He made the term, we get to control it. An additional bonus is it allows fur clear delineation between us, and the crazies.
I don’t want to live in the world we currently have.** But I definitely do not want to live in a world helmed by Eric Metaxas or Stephen Wolfe either. The the problem with, not wether but which is that the speaker generally assumes a binary choice. Frankly Christian Nationalism does not stand an ice cubes chance in hell (as of this moment in time). To say it is Christian Nationalism or Democratic Totalitarianism is a false dichotomy at best and fear mongering at worst. We can have another option. Right now our best ideas seem to be a self assessment from Renn and a plan put forward by Daws.
*Wolfe is in favor of a strong man ruling, but he assumes that person will be reformed and not, say, Kenneth Copeland… While I appreciate his multitude of magisterial reformers cited, he still fails to get why they failed. They were sinners, and there was always the opportunity for a crazy to get in charge. At the end of the day Christian Nationalism has never worked and will never work. Not until Christ returns.
**And yes I can hear Gandalf’s, “So do all who live to see such times but that is not for them to decide…”