Monday, August 20, 2007

Dare To Be a Dhanab Hamid al-Ghazali

I am working on a review of Michelle Goldberg's book, Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism. Whatever side you're on with respect to the Church's dominion mandate, this book is a must-read. "Christian Nationalism," according to Goldberg, is a "totalistic political ideology" that begins with the idea that "the Bible is absolutely and literally true" and extrapolates from this "a total political program... a conflation of scripture and politics that sees America’s triumphs as confirmation of the truth of the Christian religion, and America’s struggles as part of a cosmic contest between God and the devil."

Remarkably, Goldberg succeeds in recognizing the similar cultural strand that connects LaHaye's Dispensationalism, Kennedy's Postmillennialism, and Rushdoony's Reconstructionaism (not bad for a self-described secular Jew -- she seems to grasp the connection between eschatology and social vision to a degree far beyond most Christians I know).

In fact, she demonstrates in her last chapter that Christian Nationalists have actually become bedfellows with Islamic fundamentalists in the culture wars, even teaming up to lobby the U.N. against international accords protecting women's and children's rights.

It makes sense if you think about it: If Protestant denominational distinctives can be set aside for the sake of a common cultural battle, why stop there?

Those Muslims are good in a fight too, aren't they?