Doug Wilson, endorsing this book written by the founder of gab.com, a free speech social network, and his associate, writes, “If you want to know more about Christian Nationalism, this book is for you. You will be getting your info from the horse’s mouth, as it were, instead of the mainstream media, which is oriented more to the other end of the horse.” If Wilson’s claim is accurate, this work is designed to introduce Christian Nationalism to its readers. What do the readers learn about Christian Nationalism, a term which came into vogue during Trump’s presidency (p. 38)?
- Its adherents are Christians (p. 7), defined as a disciple of Christ “who seeks to take dominion in all areas of life by obeying His commandment in the Great Commission to disciple all nations” (p. 17).
- It is loving our neighbors by protecting them “from foreign interests, alien worldviews, and hostile invaders” (p. 19).
- Its goal is “Christiandom,” whereby Christians “order our state governments in such a way as to help Christianity grow and flourish in our states without restrictions” (p.8). The authors do not believe that the United States is a country, but rather that the individual states are countries (pp. 11-12), originally founded as Christian nations (pp. 110-132) with freedom to structure their “country” along Christian lines as their leaders saw fit. However, each state must “recognize Jesus as King, and laws must reflect Christian morality and charity” (p. 15).
- Its design is to “bring the kingdoms of this world into submission to Christ’s Kingship,” as was true historically in the Western world (p. 39).
- It is not a marriage of the gospel and patriotism; rather, it is a movement of rebuilding, reformation, and revival, patiently playing the long game as it exits the secular system, rebuilds a parallel Christian society and takes back local governments (pp. 22-24, 37, 82). The “primary goal is to build a parallel Christian society, economy, and infrastructure which will fill the vacuum of the failed secular state when it falls. We will build back better” (p. 25).
- It understands the Great Commission to mandate discipleship of all nations, not discipleship of individuals who live in all nations (p. 65).
- It sees the Supreme Court’s reversal of Roe vs. Wade as an example of how the cultural tide is turning (pp. 97-104).
- It believes total victory is inevitable in time (pp. 105-109).
Turba and Isker clearly lay out the strategy that will bring about total victory:
We can and must reclaim the pulpit and break the spell that the enemy has over the American church. Our efforts are best spent reforming and rebuilding our own churches to take them back for the glory of God. We must have a positive, optimistic eschatology…
We can and must reclaim and maintain our townships, school boards, and counties. Then our state legislatures. Then the entire nation. In order to do so we must exit the beast system completely and build our own parallel Christian society, lying in wait for their system to collapse which is when the Godly infrastructure we have built will fill the vacuum… Finally, we must be prepared to wage a multi-generational spiritual war against the demonic anti-Christian worldviews that are dominating our culture and Western society. Our sons will have been through the Classics, all of Greek Philosophy, the entire Bible, and know how to build things with their hands, shoot guns, grow food, hunt, fish, lift weights, and start a business by the time they are 18….They will conquer, lead, and take dominion of all nations for the glory of God (pp. 106-107).
A few distinctives of Christian Nationalism are articulated and helpful in understanding the basic theology that undergirds the system. The first has to do with their definition of a Christian. If all the world is to eventually become dominated by Christians and their worldview so that Christiandom is restored, just who are Christians? Here we find an extremely broad definition. It includes Protestant, Catholic, Quaker, and Orthodox individuals who profess Christ (pp. 17-18, 128-129). Nevermind that the understanding of the gospel within these groups is not compatible; the authors declare them all Christians. By doing so, they can write that Christians make up the supermajority in America (p. 80). By this definition, they can declare that Western nations in the past were Christian, even as they persecuted true believers, and that all the original colonies were Christian as well (pp. 110-132). Any who deny the authors’ revisionalistic view of history are liars and propagandists (pp. 121, 130).
A second distinction is eschatological. The authors believe that the primary impediment to the advance of Christian Nationalism is pessimistic understanding of end times, primarily pretribulational dispensationalism. “If we change our eschatology, we will change the world—and take dominion of it for the glory of God. That is the single most important task in all of Christiandom second only to spreading the Gospel” (p. 83). Torba and Isker believe that supersessionism (that the Old Testament promises God made to Israel have all been fulfilled in Christ and the Church), was the theology of most Christians until the introduction of dispensationalism in the 19th century (pp. 56-57). Dispensationalism, they proclaim, is an eschatology of defeat and needs to be replaced with one of victory (pp. 85-85). The recommended eschatology is that of postmillennial preterism, which views the prophecies of the New Testament, including the Book of Revelation, as fulfilled in 70 AD when Rome destroyed Jerusalem. Presently, Satan is bound and Christ’s kingdom on earth is slowly growing and will ultimately dominate the world (pp. 59, 92-94).
A final distinction, laced throughout and emphasized in the epilogue, is that there were once numerous Christian nations such as 17th century England and the early American settlements. This assertion is possible only by defining Christians in the broadest terms, as mentioned earlier in this review. The authors don’t stop to ask why the American colonists fled these “Christian” nations, nor do they dig beyond the official charters to examine the actual lifestyles of many who came to America, or why these “Christian” nations all faded and collapsed in short order or why and how their attempt at establishing the kingdom before the return of Christ will fare any better.
Christian Nationalism articulates clearly what this particular brand of Christian Nationalism is all about, coming straight from the “horse’s mouth,” as Wilson says. If readers are interested in a short, concise, and clear understanding of the movement, this book serves that purpose well.
by Andrew Torba and Andrew Isker (Gab AI Inc: 2022), 135 pp, paper $21.42
Reviewed by Gary E. Gilley, Pastor-teacher at Southern View Chapel