Monday, October 23, 2006

One Market, Under God – Part One: Dominion Now

I was planning to consider further the nature of confessional Christianity (which I will eventually do), but I came across an example of what happens when transformationists attempt to “redeem” every square inch of life, and I just can’t pass this one up.

In the latest issue of the PCA’s byFaith magazine there is an article by Dick Doster called “The Kingdom Work of the Corporate World” (!) that illustrates the danger I have been attempting to highlight, i.e., that “bringing Christ’s kingdom to bear” upon various cultural spheres often involves the baptizing of the transformer’s favorite political or socio-economic theories.

The article begins by arguing that God calls his people into the corporate world in order for them to fulfill their mandate to subdue the earth by means of their ingenuity in business:

“Consider the things that make your life richer, more comfortable, more convenient, and more productive. Think about all the things that make you safer, healthier, and wiser. They are all products of business innovation.”

Note the unspoken (and unproven) assumption here: God desires our lives to be rich, comfortable, convenient, productive, safe, healthy, and wise. Really? With the exception of the fourth and seventh, none of those qualities characterized Jesus, or Paul, or Peter, or John. Without skipping a beat the author continues:

“There is no more creative force in the world today than business, and God has placed most of his people there, not to pursue money or power, nor to satisfy their selfish ambition—but to create, rule, fill, and subdue the Earth.”

As is often the case with transformationists, and with post-millennialists more broadly, the author has failed to read the cultural mandate of Genesis in the light of the suffering motif that the cross provides for us. Yes, it was Adam’s duty to subdue the earth, and that command was repeated in the common grace Noahic covenant of Genesis 9. But as Hebrews 2 points out (building upon both Gen. 1 and Psa. 8), it is through the “suffering and death” of the second Adam that he, and mankind in him, will eventually be “crowned with [the] glory and honor” that would have been ours in the first Adam had he fulfilled his covenant obligations. For now, though, “we do not see all things in subjection to man, but we see Jesus...” (which really ought to be enough).

So whatever visions of conquest that we may entertain in this age must be understood in the light of the cross. It is in the age to come, and not now, that the dominion mandate will be realized.

And even if it were fulfilled in this age, it most certainly wouldn’t be through Big Business....