Joel McDurmon – who left the major distinguishing tenets of theonomy some time last year – is for some reason still keeping the fires stoked at American Vision. One would think that the last organization promoting theonomic reconstruction that’s not yet in archive mode might have dismissed McDurmon for ideological treason (they’ve treated other absconders of theonomy far worse), but being Gary North’s son-in-law must have it’s perks. For whatever reason, McDurmon is still at the helm of the ship at American (re)Vision and that ship has set her rudder straight towards Gospel preachers who aren’t yet ready to prioritize conquering the seven mountains of culture.
McDurmon, whose greatest notable achievements thus far amount to leaving theonomy and posting epic beer and cigar photos on Facebook, has used American (re)Vision to repeatedly dog the elder expositor. There was the post blaming MacArthur for the rise of Donald Trump. And remember when MacArthur preached that epic, “We Will Not Bow” sermon about the Obergfell Supreme Court decision? Then came that post in which the former theonomist claimed that MacArthur was a compromiser and partially to blame for gay marriage. Then there was the post calling MacArthur a crotchety old man for his Strange Fire Conference (actually, he just called MacArthur reckless). You remember when McDurmon posted the article accusing MacArthur or engaging in a “con-game” when it came his teaching on government? Good times. Good times. Oh, and then there was that time that Dr. Hipster McBeardface complained that MacArthur was too down on the booze. Heck, earlier this month, McDurmon accused McArthur of “executing Christian civilization.”
McDurmon certainly seems to have taken a liking to blog-pounding our elder brother for not being zealous enough for a Neo-Mosaic cultural, social, entertainment and religious takeover. That is, when he wasn’t favorably citing MacArthur as a fellow theonomist (back when McDurmon was a theonomist).
Okay, here’s the thing. I highly doubt that Dr. MacArthur knows about Joel McDurmon (or the Internet, possibly, but that’s just speculation). In fact, presuming Dr. MacArthur did know about McDurmon taking these kind of incessant potshots at him, I would also presume that MacAthur would be too busy finishing his new 1,394 volume critical commentary of the Olivet Discourse or preaching backwards verse-by-verse from Revelation (in Koine Greek) to Matthew for him to care about the guy whose most prominent book is on what kind of beer Jesus would drink.
In McDurmon’s latest sortie against the theologian, he claims that MacArthur is “wrong on the Kingdom of God,” citing the words of failed economist and Y2K-prophet, Gary North, and accusing him of “great error.” Again, I figure MacArthur is too busy with something of actual importance to respond to our Pink Floyd T-shirt wearing Cicerone, so…here I stand, I can do no other (actually I could do other, and just ignore American Vision like everyone else does, but I’m a glutton for punishment).
Todd Friel played a segment on Wretched Radio, recalling these words from MacArthur that made our formerly-theonomic bohemian friend so upset.
What happens in America politically has absolutely nothing to do with the kingdom of God. Whether America is Republican or Democrat, whether it is libertarian or socialist, whether it becomes a communist country or whether it becomes a dictatorship—what happens in America has absolutely nothing to do with the kingdom of God.
Hiss. Boo. Hiss.
How dare he say such things! Grab your stones and…hold up. Never mind. Some folks need to read Chapter 19 of the Confession a bit more closely (put your rocks down).
McDurmon goes on to take issue with Friel’s words that, “No earthly kingdom has anything to do with the kingdom work that Jesus is doing.” In McDurmon’s hyper-post millennial view, such a statement amounts to heresy. How dare, McDurmon actually argues, a dirty dispensationalist (the author of this post is not a dispensationalist, by the way) claim that Jesus’ words are true, or that they mean precisely what Jesus said?!
An an apt analogy for his entire body of work, McDurmon attempts to refute the words of MacArthur, Friel, and Jesus by citing another more prominent scholar of years gone by. Repeating the words of economist, Gary North, American Vision’s director argues that Jesus’ kingdom is indeed tied like a pretzel to earthly governments. In fact, the Kingdom of God in North’s view is indistinguishable in any meaningful way from earthly government itself.
North claims that he actually holds to the real Protestant view of Kingdom theology, a view that has been “steadily abandoned by Protestants since 1660” (which, if his figures are correct – and I would remind you that in the field of economics, it never is – it would have left a little more than a century of the “real Protestant view” having prominence in Protestantism). Those who equate God’s kingdom to a spiritual realm rather than a body-politic full of partisan political parties, referendums and governmental take-overs hold the Roman Catholic view, North argues.
North ends his diatribe with this accusatory line, which McDurmon ostensibly is applying to Dr. MacArthur:
[Pietism] rejects the very idea of the comprehensive redeeming power of the gospel, the transforming power of the Holy Spirit, and the comprehensive responsibility of Christians in history. In this rejection of the gospel’s political and judicial effects in history, the pietists agree entirely with modern humanists. There is a secret alliance be tween them. Christian Reconstruction challenges this alliance.
MacArthur, so McDurmon’s argument goes, doesn’t get the Gospel and its “comprehensive redeeming power.” I’ll remind you of this video, in which McDurmon claims that the Gospel can be summed up by, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” I assure you, that’s not a mistake that Dr. MacArthur would make.
Folks, this is really nothing but the charismatic Seven Hills Dominionism created by Gary North and his posse of Reconstructionists in 1987. The only true fruit of North’s doctrinally deviant demands for cultural take-over have been Pat Robertson and the Trump-wing of the moral majority, an abortionist assassin, and our current crop of cop-hating theonomic bloggers who are too busy evading taxes to figure out that theonomy was abandoned by American Vision’s fearless leader when they weren’t paying attention.
Joel McDurmon may no longer, as of last year, believe in stoning homosexuals, but he has plenty of stones to throw at Dr. John MacArthur. In the mean time, the man still hasn’t figured out the difference between law and Gospel.