Well the dream was fun while it lasted. It did seem for a little while there we had a real possibility that there would be some sort of Young Restless and Reformed 2.0 on the horizon. Alas the chances of that happening now are looking like slim to none and and Slim just left town.
I think the real disintegrator was Stephen Wolfe. What was supposed to be an interesting intramural debate and discussion with an eye on the distant future has turned into factions of blowhards bloviating upon their theological baseness. And there is no small amount of thinly veiled racism being spread around which is obviously unhelpful. Ironically it was Wilson who let this particular cat out of the bag and now it would appear the has that tiger by the tail and is none too pleased about it. But the Wolfe pack really just seem to be a 2.0 version of the Wilson fanboys but without the attempts at good humor. There is something of the tragic about them in that they can see their Christian Nationalist future so clearly but not the path to get there. Constantly aggrieved, appalled, and aggravated by anyone that disagrees with their perspective or fails to conform to their ever sphincter tightening theology. When James White, Voddie Bauchaum, or Wilson are not based enough for you and are “going liberal” it’s time for some self examination.
It has been almost Screwtapeian how this went down. It has been positively unchristian. There is a distinct lack of humility, and a good deal of idolatry. And it is a very ethereal sort of idol. A Christian state does not exist. But Heaven forfend any blasphemy toward the mythical strong man, forgive me Christian prince. Or worse it is verboten to point out that for all of the successes of the magisterial reformers their one great failure was in government.
As I pointed out above it is pride that is motivating a lot of this. And that pride has blinded these people into A. failing to realize that despite their shrill denunciations they are a sever minority, even in the Christian Nationalism world. That world is spinning quite quickly because of the helter skelter movements of the Pentecostal, health and wealth types. The (and I hesitate to truly call them reformed) “Reformed” CNs are a side show of a side show. B. That their pride has caused divisions in the Reformed movement aborting what was shaping up to be something that could have been a real certifiable blessing to the nation. To illustrate allow me to modify Screwtape:
I think I warned you before that if your patient can’t be kept out of the Church, he ought at least to be violently attached to some party within it. I don’t mean on really doctrinal issues; about those, the more lukewarm he is the better. And it isn’t the doctrines on which we chiefly depend for producing malice. The real fun is working up hatred between those who are Christian Nationalist and those who are “Winsome.” when neither party could possibly state the difference between, say, Wilsons’ doctrine and Time Kellers’, in any form which would hold water for five minutes. And all the purely indifferent things—political theory, governmental theology and what not—are an admirable ground for our activities. We have quite removed from men’s minds what that pestilent fellow Paul used to teach about food and other unessentials—namely, that the human without scruples should always give in to the human with scruples. You would think they could not fail to see the application. You would expect to find the Christian nationalist being gracious himself lest the weak conscience of his “winsome” brother should be moved to irreverence, and the “winsome” one speaking forthrightly lest he should betray his “low” brother into bitterness. And so it would have been but for our ceaseless labour. Without that the variety of usage within the Church of England might have become a positive hotbed of charity and humility, – C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters, Letter XVI (modified)
There we have it, a missed opportunity to unite around the Doctrines of Grace, derailed by ungraciousness. The irony would be darkly funny if it weren’t such a loss.