A Review of Mere Christendom by Doug Wilson

Scott Aniol


When Stephen Wolfe’s book The Case for Christian Nationalism first came out, I picked up a copy, read the first third of the book, and then decided that it wasn’t really relevant to me at the time. I had written and taught about the biblical relationship between Christianity and culture for over a decade, had fairly firm convictions on the matter, and recognized quickly that I disagreed theologically with Wolfe’s proposal. It was immediately evident to me that his proposal was essentially an application of paedocommunion and postmillennialism to whole nations and, well, as a non-postmillennial Baptist, I didn’t think it was relevant.1Update 5/8 2:53 ET: Just to be clear so there is no confusion: Stephen Wolfe is not postmillennial, but my sense when I read his book and started hearing about Christian nationalist was that it was … Continue reading

However, earlier this year I began to see a number of young men start praising Wolfe’s book, using phraseology like “baptize the nations,” asserting that the purpose of government is to orient individuals toward Christianity, aggressively calling for the application of Mosaic law to the nation, and loudly proclaiming that Christian Nationalism is the only way to beat back the onslaught of pagan secularism. And many of these young men were Baptist and not postmillennial.

So I read the rest of Wolfe’s book as well as Andrew Torba and Andrew Isker’s Christian Nationalism: A Biblical Guide to Taking Dominion and Discipling Nations, and then I began to make statements online about how what these men were proposing was inherently incompatible with Baptist theology and essentially amounted to postmillennial theonomy. I became concerned about the latent white supremacy appearing at the fringes of the movement and the growing language of agitation that accompanied much of the (quite understandable) angst regarding the quickly devolving condition of our country.

So when Canon Press sent me Doug Wilson’s forthcoming book that articulates his vision for Mere Christendom, something he has discussed over the years on his blog, my interest was piqued. I wondered how the proposal from this elder statesman of postmillennial theonomy would compare to the recent Christian nationalist language I had read in print and was seeing online.

Wilson’s book did not disappoint.

Not that I agree with his vision. As a non-postmillennial Baptist I do not. But that’s exactly the point. Wilson’s Mere Christendom confirms two important ideas I have been trying to make in the current debates: (1) building Christian nations is inherently a postmillennial/paedobaptist project, and (2) forming a robust Christian public theology does not require Christian Nationalism.

Forming a robust Christian public theology does not require Christian Nationalism.

The book has four parts, the first two presenting the vision for Christendom and the latter two discussing the practical details. In the first section, Wilson characterizes the current mess we are in, and in the second he sets forth his proposal for what he calls “mere Christendom.” In the third part, Wilson carefully describes what such a Christendom would look like, particularly dealing with issues related to free speech, and in the fourth part he articulates what he believes would be necessary to build it. Wilson believes we must pursue mere Christendom since “secularism has run its course and does not have the wherewithal to resist the demands of radical Islam. Or a radical anything else, for that matter” (69).

Wilson’s Vision for a Mere Christendom

Wilson defines Mere Christendom as “a network of nations bound together by a formal, public, civic acknowledgment of the Lordship of Jesus Christ, and the fundamental truth of the Apostles’ Creed” (69). This does not mean a tax-funded established church, but an established church nonetheless, “in the sense that the magistrate has the responsibility to recognize her, to convene synods and councils to seek her counsel, and to listen to her” (70).

His vision for a mere Christendom is predicated upon three fundamental theological presuppositions, the first of which I affirm with qualification, and the latter two with which I disagree. 

The Myth of Neutrality

The first foundation is the myth of neutrality. He asserts, “The public square cannot be neutral” (4). He wants to wake up Christians to the reality that “One of the central tactics of our regnant secularism is to pretend that their foundational assumptions are religiously neutral, and that we need not look at them” (35). He quotes Christian Reconstructionist R. J. Rushdoony’s famous maxim, “not whether but which” (143). Wilson is convinced that accepting the myth of neutrality has led many Christians to stand idly by while Christendom crumbles in the face of secular liberalism. Instead, Christians ought to recognize that secularism is actually an alternative religion that seeks to cast off the Lordship of Christ.

On this point I agree with Wilson. There is no neutrality on any issue; every matter is either consistent with God’s law or it contradicts God’s law. There is only right or wrong, good or bad, light or dark. And secularism is a false religion.

Where I disagree with Wilson is in the implications he draws from this principle. Wilson argues that since there is no neutrality in politics, then the only two alternatives are anarchy (secular theocracy) or theonomy (Christian theocracy). “The Lordship of Christ is not an option that we might select from a row of numerous options,” Wilson argues. “It is Christ or chaos. It is Christ or Antichrist” (70). He believes that the founding of this nation was possible only because it was explicitly Christian: “Republics do not exist without republican virtue. And virtue does not exist apart from the grace of God, as offered in the message of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ” (114).

The problem is that Wilson does not seem to give any space for common grace, the imago Dei, and the reality of “when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do what the law requires … even though they do not have the law. They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them” (Rom 2:14–15). This is what Greg Bahnsen referred to as “borrowed capital”—pagans borrowing biblical values in certain areas of their lives. Even though it is inconsistent with what they say they believe, pagans made in God’s image nevertheless sometimes take advantage of his common grace and do what the law requires.

Please don’t get me wrong. I absolutely do believe that the only grounding for successful living that makes consistent sense is one rooted in the authoritative truth of God’s holy Word and repentant faith in Jesus Christ. When it comes to eternal salvation, it’s Christ or chaos. Yet because all men are made in the image of God (Gen 1:27), because “the heavens are telling the glory of God” (Ps 19:1) and God’s “invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made” (Rom 1:20), and because God shows common grace even to the unjust (Matt 5:45), unbelieving people often reflect a transcendent morality in their lives that in actuality is inconsistent with their belief system.

“There can be no true liberty that is not grounded in transcendentals” (147). Agreed. “Secularism has no transcendent ground for anything” (138). That’s true for secularism. But even pagans throughout history have sought to build their political systems on transcendental realities, even though they could not fully account for those realities. I would quickly agree with Wilson that such philosophical grounding is inconsistent with pagan belief and makes most sense from within a biblical worldview, but nevertheless, what Quentin Faulkner has called pagan “world consciousness” is a far cry from Enlightenment secular nominalism. Pagan Greco/Roman thought embodied transcendental grounding for its political philosophy. Wilson believes that “Post-Christian secularists were using Christian capital” (146), and I agree, but other pagans throughout history have done similarly as they apply God’s law written on their hearts.

C. S. Lewis makes this observation in both Mere Christianity and The Abolition of Man, and in the latter he provides an appendix of many examples of civic laws from various nations around the world that are an embodiment of transcendent morality that ultimately comes from God. These are the very laws that we ought to be promoting and supporting in our own legal system. Pagans can recognize the wisdom of these laws and keep them, though in truth to do so is inconsistent with their own pagan worldview. In fact, as Lewis argues, the propensity of even pagans to recognize the wisdom of God’s moral law opens wonderful opportunities to preach the written Word to those pagans, offering them true freedom and righteousness in Christ.

Interestingly, Wilson appears to acknowledge this reality. For example, he asserts as axiomatic that “it is self-evident that we were endowed by the Creator with certain rights that are inalienable, and that among these rights are the right to life, liberty, and property” (34). He suggests that God has “dropped the yeast of His Word, which included that system of case law into the Greco-Roman loaf” (178), an acknowledgment that even pagan Greco-Roman political philosophy reflected something consistent with a biblical-informed political theology. He references Chesterton’s portrayal of “decent (but still lost) pagans of Rome” (209). Wilson chides those in our nation who “try to pretend that they are the only ones in the world who have had these blessings” (203). “Read the story patterns of history,” he admonishes—“the rise and fall of empires and great nations is one of the oldest stories in the world” (203). Later in the book, Wilson affirms “informed reason, common grace, natural revelation” (223).

Throughout history, pagans have often figured out successful legal systems that reflect biblical values because, since God designed the world to work in a certain way, those kinds of systems just work, and “stupidity doesn’t work” (242). That’s the reality of common grace politics.

In his kind providence, God specifically designed human government to provide a third common grace option that imperfectly preserves a degree of order and peace until Christ establishes his perfect theocratic Kingdom on earth.

The truth is that in matters of the state, the only two options are not Christ or chaos. In his kind providence, God specifically designed human government to provide a third common grace option given to all humankind (not just his redeemed people) that imperfectly preserves a degree of order and peace until Christ establishes his perfect theocratic Kingdom on earth. God’s covenant with Noah in Genesis 9 reveals God’s plan to preserve humankind and creation until the Second Adam establishes his earthly rule. Because of the reality of human rebellion, God provided measures by which in his providence he would preserve the stability of a cursed world through the earthly institution of human government, with its God-given responsibility of capital punishment. Before the Flood, it was Christ or chaos, and it quickly devolved into chaos. After Genesis 9, and especially after Babel, nations formed and prevented chaos as God works his plan of redemption for his people.

I’m afraid many Christians (understandably) want utopia now and they think that can be accomplished by simply asserting Christ’s rule over the nations. But imperfect, common grace order is why God created human government, not utopia. Utopia will come when the King comes. But that leads to the next point. 

Paedocommunion and Postmillennialism

The second and third presuppositions of Wilson’s vision are connected: paedocommunion and postmillennialism. He articulates, “The thing these two doctrines share in common is that they are both, in different ways, an optimistic testimony about the course of future generations” (97). He further explains, “Paedocommunion nurtures the next generation in optimistic faith, and postmillennialism is the grounded hope that God will continue to nurture His Church across multiple generations” (97).

It is important to recognize just how critically fundamental these two presuppositions are to Wilson’s project. He does not really defend the idea of mere Christendom from a sustained biblical argument; in fact, he quotes very little Scripture at all in this section. This is not necessarily a criticism since he acknowledges his own theological presuppositions; he assumes the biblical validity of paedocommunion and postmillennialism (which he has explained and defended elsewhere), and on the basis of these theological commitments, Wilson builds his vision for mere Christendom.

Wilson’s vision is built on the bedrock of these theological presuppositions in two ways. First, Wilson expects Christian parents to baptize their infants, rearing them in the discipline and instruction of the Lord, and that “as children grow up in a faithful covenant home, they will come to a genuine profession of faith as a matter of course” (Standing on the Promises, 85). That presupposition is essential for Wilson’s proposal since it assumes a necessary continued expansion of God’s people through their children, which will eventually reach a tipping point that results in a majority of the world’s population publicly acknowledging Christ’s Lordship.

Further, this theology is necessary for the idea of Christendom implicitly in that to achieve mere Christendom, you essentially “baptize” the nation first (public acknowledgment of Christ’s Lordship), and then you press for conversions (internal conviction of Christ’s Lordship). I am thankful that throughout the book, Wilson stresses that “formal recognition of the Lordship of Jesus is necessary but not sufficient. More is required than paper commitments” (73). He strongly insists upon “the absolute need for regeneration and the cross of Jesus Christ. It is only a work of the Spirit that can give us new hearts. Christian civilization is absolutely necessary, but without those new hearts, Christian standards of civilization are intolerable, as can be easily verified” (226–27). Nevertheless, as with literal paedocommunion, the assumption is that public, formal acknowledgment of Christ’s Lordship by those who have not yet personally professed submission to his Lordship is one means God uses to lead individuals to personal acknowledgment.

Of course, as a Baptist, I don’t agree with this fundamental theological foundation. The purpose of Wilson’s book is not to provide a thorough defense of these presuppositions, and so I will not attempt to refute them here. However, I would like to press in a bit on why Baptist theology would necessarily preclude any adoption of the mere Christendom proposal.

A central difference between credobaptist and paedobaptist theologies is that Baptists stress that the New Covenant is “not like” (Jer 31:32) the Old Covenant. In the Old Covenant, the sign of the covenant precedes inner regeneration and personal profession of faith. Thus, the covenant people are comprised of both regenerate and unregenerate people. In the New Covenant, however, inner regeneration and personal profession of faith precede the sign of the covenant. Thus, the covenant people are comprised of only those who profess faith in Christ.

Hopefully it is apparent, then, why as a Baptist I would object to calling people “Christian” who have not personally professed faith. Baptists don’t expect people to acknowledge Christ’s lordship formally and publicly until after they actually believe it. In the New Testament, no one is forced to acknowledge the Lordship of Christ—in fact, quite the opposite. Yet this is exactly what would be necessary for anything like “Christian” nations or Christendom.

In the New Testament, no one is forced to acknowledge the Lordship of Christ—in fact, quite the opposite. Yet this is exactly what would be necessary for anything like “Christian” nations or Christendom.

In terms of the eschatological basis for Wilson’s vision, I actually agree with most of what he believes will happen; our difference is a matter of timing. He argues that there are only three options when it comes to building Christendom: “(1) Jesus doesn’t care whether or not nations are explicitly Christian. (2) Jesus is opposed to nations being explicitly Christian. (3) Jesus wants nations to be explicitly Christian” (95).

I agree—Jesus does want a theocracy. And he will get what he wants, when he comes again in glory to judge the living and the dead. And it won’t be mere Christendom—it will be totalitarian, rule-with-a-rod-of iron theocracy. For now, Jesus is presently redeeming his elect while preserving the world through imperfect governments, but one day he will establish Christendom.

Further, even assuming Wilson’s presuppositions, his vision for Christendom raises some critical questions that largely go unanswered. First, Wilson says he wants an established Church, but which Church? In Wilson’s ideal Christian republic, “the Church must be established, in the sense that the magistrate has the responsibility to recognize her, to convene synods and councils to seek her counsel, and to listen to her” (69). Notice the singular “Church.” And again I ask, which Church? Maybe in an episcopal or presbyterian form of church government all local churches would be part of a larger body, but what of the Baptists, Congregationalists, and Bible churches. How would they fit in? Again I say, Baptist theology is incompatible with the notion of Christendom.

The second problem stems from the first. In order to achieve a mere Christendom in which a Presbyterian Congress is not flogging Baptists, the doctrinal basis for such a “non-sectarian” Christendom (71) must be reduced to the Apostles’ Creed. Would Roman Catholics, then, be welcomed to the table of Christendom and recognized as Christians? I can appreciate the value of Presbyterians and Baptists happily affirming one another as Christian and working together on various parachurch ministries, all while maintaining their denominational distinctives at the church level; but if the Apostles’ Creed is our only measure of what constitutes Christianity, then we would have to recognize as Christian those who affirm creedal trinitarianism and Christology but who deny justification by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. For that matter, Mormons could technically affirm the Apostles’ Creed. I am aware that Wilson’s church recognizes Roman Catholic baptisms and welcomes them to the Lord’s Table, but this Baptist considers Roman Catholicism a false religion.

Third, I am thankful that Wilson’s version of postmillennialism affirms that the goal of Christendom will be achieved only through “preaching, baptizing, and discipleship, and not by campaigning, legislating, punditblogging, and so on” (95). What he proposes cannot occur “apart from the widespread dissemination of the gospel among the people” (118). And he believes that it won’t happen any time soon. Wilson definitely has a long view. He criticizes “Christendom 1.0” as being too immature to achieve the goal. However, he never clarifies as to when we would know we’re ready for “Christendom 2.0.” “The world will gradually come to recognize [Christ’s Lordship],” he says, but he never tells us how many need to recognize it before we’re ready to publicly and formally acknowledge it.

The biggest reason I object to Wilson’s mere Christendom proposal, however, is that we simply do not find anything like it in the New Testament. I understand the broader biblical/theological argument set forth by postmillennialists, and I do believe in the importance of systematic theology. But if God wanted us to establish nations that explicitly designate themselves as “Christian,” you would think we’d find even the slightest hint of it in the New Testament epistles.

But we don’t. What we find is an emphasis upon the fact that Christians are citizens of a heavenly kingdom (Phil 3:20), that we are pilgrims in this present world (1 Pet 2:11), but that we should care about this world nonetheless (1 Tim 2:1–2).

Wilson’s Christian Political Philosophy

The second half of Wilson’s book is where things get really interesting, because I would suggest that what he offers by way of the practical details of mere Christendom is not exclusively Christendom, but rather how NT Christians ought to think about common grace politics. He moves on from his postmillennial ideal to practically what kind of government rightly takes into account realities in a sin-cursed world. Not only does this non-postmillennial Baptist find much in this second half with which to agree about how Christians should think about government, but also Wilson’s articulation of ideal government ought to restrain the more aggressive Christians who quickly call for outlawing anything they (rightly) think is immoral in culture.

Wilson argues that biblically-informed Christians will favor extremely limited government: “This means embracing the biblical doctrine of the nature of man, which means limited government, separation of powers, checks and balances, and federalism, which in turn means a removal of many of the temptations to bring in the kingdom with a sword” (158). He agrees with Jefferson, who famously quipped, “government is best which governs least” (122). Though he quibbles with part of what C. S. Lewis said on the matter, Wilson quotes Lewis on this point:

The loftier the pretensions of the power, the more meddlesome, inhuman and oppressive it will be. Theocracy is the worst of all possible governments. All political power is at best a necessary evil: but it is least evil when its sanctions are most modest and commonplace, when it claims no more than to be useful or convenient and sets itself strictly limited objectives. Anything transcendental or spiritual, or even anything very strongly ethical, in its pretensions is dangerous, and encourages it to meddle with our private lives. (119)

Wilson considers himself a theonomist, but he argues that “a commitment to biblical law” does not mean “we are to bring all the requirements of the old order straight across” (153). Rather, especially because we recognize the biblical doctrine of human depravity, we insist upon limited government where we restrain authoritarian tendencies. “The first thing that would happen in a biblical law order,” Wilson suggests, “is that the EPA, the IRS, the Department of Education, etc. would all be abolished. Legitimate functions of government (Defense, State, etc.) would be significantly downsized or redirected” (72–73). He argues, “What governmental power exists must be fixed, defined, nailed down, watched very carefully, even though it is swathed in the duct tape of multiple Bible verses about man’s depravity” (123). Thus, Wilson actually describes himself as a “theocratic libertarian” (120).

Wilson applies this specifically in two chapters to the biblical necessity of free speech and therefore avoiding the restraint of blasphemy by the power of the state. While as a theonomist Wilson believes in “the need to restore the Bible as the quarry from which to obtain the needed stone for our foundations of social order” (149), he strongly argues against state imposed punishment for blasphemy. He reminds us that “those who want the government to have the right to kill blasphemers are also asking for the government to have the right to kill those who rebuke their blasphemies” (157), and “When you give the state power to punish a blasphemer, you are giving the state the power to blaspheme with impunity” (171). Since rulers are sinners, a healthy recognition of the depravity of man ought to restrain us from giving them the kind of power that would be required to punish blasphemy. “Whenever you give the state plenipotentiary powers to crack down on x, y, and z, what you are actually doing—please remember this—is giving them plenipotentiary powers to commit x, y, and z” (173).

Therefore, “It is better to allow a troubled individual to blaspheme than to give, for the sake of preventing such things, regulatory powers over the definition of blasphemy to the very people most likely to be tempted to get into real blasphemy” (175–76). Wilson calls this “restraining the worst blasphemer first” (the title of Chapter 11).

It’s not that we Christians don’t want to eradicate blasphemy—we do. But “we are not waging war according to the flesh” (2 Cor 10:3); “the artillery of the new covenant is more powerful than what the people of God had in their possession in the old covenant” (169). We want to eliminate blasphemy, but “not through the law” (158); rather, we do so through gospel conversion. “The central way that Christians are called to transform the world is not to be found in politics,” Wilson insists (221). “Christ gave us our mission and He gave us our methods. The world is to be brought to Christ, with all the nations submitting to Him, agreeing to obey Him. That is the mission. The method consisted of Word and water, bread and wine” (160). Amen.

Wilson argues that inherent protection of free speech by limiting the state’s power “is the theopolitical genius of Christianity” (171). He argues that “The founding of our nation really was exceptional, because the men who drafted our Constitution knew that American politicians, taking one thing with another, would be every bit as sleazy as the same class of men from any other clime” (201). I agree.

However, I would suggest that the U. S. Founders, many of whom professed Christ or at least operated from within the heritage of Christendom, penned the Constitution not with the intent to establish a Christian nation, but rather with the intent to break from the notion of Christendom because they recognized the inherent problems with established religion. Wilson himself quotes John Adams’s infamous assertion that the U. S. republic was founded on “reason, morality, and the Christian religion,” while very quickly admitting that Adams was himself Unitarian, “the granddaddy of all the errors of American civic religion” (71). The very founder Wilson quotes to prove that the United States was established as a Christian nation would not fit into a mere Christendom that had the Apostles’ Creed as its basis. Adams was not a Christian. Instead, he was a pagan who was articulating something more like Romans 2 common grace morality. In other words, protection of free speech by limiting the state’s power is actually the theopolitical genius of those who recognized the abuse of power perpetrated by nations with established religion (i.e., Christendom).

The founding of America was not an expression of Christendom, it was a repudiation of establishment religion inherent to Christendom.

Historically, Western Christendom did not favor limited government but the imposition of Christianity through the establishment of religion. The governments of historic Christendom were quite totalitarian, imprisoning, punishing, and even killing those who dared dissent. The founding of America was not an expression of Christendom, it was a repudiation of establishment religion inherent to Christendom. On the other hand, I also may acknowledge that America would likely not have been possible without Christendom. Perhaps a parallel might be that Reformation theology would not have developed with the depth that it did without the heretical teachings of Rome, but that doesn’t mean that we give Rome credit for Reformation theology. Similarly, America’s federal democratic republic probably would not have developed as exceptionally as it did without the blessings and abuses of Christendom, but that doesn’t mean we long for Christendom once again.

So I agree with Wilson that faithful Christians who have anything to say about government should actively limit its power (159). He rightly observes, “Requiring government to remain modest and within the bounds of sanity is therefore one of the most profound ethical requirements that has ever been promulgated among men” (122). But this is not uniquely theonomic—it’s simply the best way for government to operate in a sin-cursed world.

Christian Faithfulness

At the end of the day, then, though I disagree with Wilson’s mere Christendom proposal, rooted as it is in paedocommunionist and postmillennial presuppositions, I believe Wilson’s political philosophy accurately captures what Scripture teaches regarding a Christian’s interaction with the state. I’m firmly with him that Christians need a “robust theology of resistance” when the state oversteps its jurisdiction and that “we are to be among the best citizens a magistrate ever had—we should be diligent and hard-working, dutiful and responsible, so that we might put to silence the ignorance of foolish men” (213).

Where I may differ practically from Wilson and his followers is when they trend toward what I would characterize as political agitation. Though I believe we ought to call public leaders to repentance, we ought to resist when the state attempts to impose its will upon the church, we ought to loudly decry the immoral atrocities of our day (abortion, gay “marriage,” transgenderism, and child mutilation), and we ought to boldly proclaim the Lordship of Christ in the public square, I’m not sure what real value there is in posting billboards just to poke at pagans or intentionally disobeying the state on matters that don’t actually prohibit the church’s free worship. I’m not sure how this is “leading a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way” (1 Tim 2:2) and obeying the command to “if possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all” (Rom 12:18).

One of the important things about Wilson’s articulation is that it ought to chasten many of those recently quick to jump on the Christian Nationalism bandwagon. He admonishes those “on the right who gladly welcome sobriquets like Christian nationalist, but who then receive it like it was the very latest blasphemous selection from the fruit club, with all the cherries, my only word to them is that they should repent and knock it off. Driving your pick-up around town with that huge Trump flag flapping on one side and the Let’s Go Brandon in the original Greek waving on the other . . . isn’t helping anything” (85). He chides those who think that the cultural predicament we are in is anything new: “Cultural decadence is something that has happened routinely to civilizations for millennia, and it is a sign of our cultural narcissism that we are somehow surprised by it happening to us. The surprise is not sincere; it is not honestly come by. Somebody really ought to read a book” (223). And he cautions those Christians who ultimately diagnose our problems and propose solutions primarily in political terms: “Our problem is not globalization, for pity’s sake. Our problem is unbelief, and it is a very boring and ancient form of unbelief. We are about as unique as a pint of salt water a hundred miles off the coast of Hawaii” (235).

All of Wilson’s emphasis on Christian Faithfulness and limited government that protects free speech can be biblically defended and cheerfully pursued without his theological presuppositions or some sort of Christian Nationalism

And most of all, I love the kind of Christian faithfulness that Wilson consistently proposes as our primary task in this age: strong Christian marriages, godly Christian parents faithfully bringing up their children in the disciple and instruction of the Lord, fervent gospel proclamation, holy living, and covenant-renewal worship that is regulated by Scripture instead of wracked by worldliness. I fully agree with him that our first task is to clean house: “Christ is the only Savior. Christ really is Lord of Heaven and earth. But our immediate task is not to get the world to confess that. Our first and most pressing task is to get over twenty percent of evangelical and Reformed leadership to confess it. Then we would really be getting somewhere” (230). I especially love this passage:

In the face of the kind of evil that is abroad in the world, evangelical Christians need to stop filling up their worship services with sentimentalist treacle and to start worshiping biblically in a very dark world. We are confronted with a great and growing evil, and we are discovering that we do not have the liturgical vocabulary to respond to it appropriately at all. When we sing or pray the psalms, all of them, there are two consequences that should be mentioned. One, we are praying in the will of God, and He hears such prayers. Second, we discover that praying and singing biblically transforms us. This really is the need of the hour. (227–28)

Amen and amen.

Yet my conviction is that all of Wilson’s emphasis on Christian Faithfulness and limited government that protects free speech can be biblically defended and cheerfully pursued without his theological presuppositions or some sort of Christian Nationalism. And that is a key point: I do not see anything in Wilson’s proposal about how we ought to build Christendom that a faithful Christian should not already be doing.

If I could be convinced from Scripture of paedocommunion and postmillennialism, I would enthusiastically pursue Mere Christendom. But, alas, convincing me of such would take a Millennium.

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1 Update 5/8 2:53 ET: Just to be clear so there is no confusion: Stephen Wolfe is not postmillennial, but my sense when I read his book and started hearing about Christian nationalist was that it was an application of paedobaptism to nations as a natural expression of postmillennial eschatology, which Wilson’s book bears out. See below.
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Scott Aniol

Executive Vice President and Editor-in-Chief G3 Ministries

Scott Aniol, PhD, is Executive Vice President and Editor-in-Chief of G3 Ministries. In addition to his role with G3, Scott is Professor of Pastoral Theology at Grace Bible Theological Seminary in Conway, Arkansas. He lectures around the world in churches, conferences, colleges, and seminaries, and he has authored several books and dozens of articles. You can find more, including publications and speaking itinerary, at www.scottaniol.com. Scott and his wife, Becky, have four children: Caleb, Kate, Christopher, and Caroline. You can listen to his podcast here.