Before this summer, few people discussed or knew anything about the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) movement and Christian dominionist theology. Texas Gov. Rick Perry changed all that with his "The Response" prayer event on August 6 that was funded by the American Family Association. A majority of the leaders and endorsers of Perry's prayer gathering were leading "apostles" and "prophets" of the NAR movement.
What concerns many about the NAR's motivations is their Seven Mountains mandate, which says that Christians must dominate seven mountains or spheres of culture in order to facilitate Christ's return. Those mountains include the media, arts and entertainment, business/finance, education/science, government/military, religion and the family.
Christian Reconstructionists, whose theology is very different from the NAR movement, are associated with the late R. J. Rushdoony and envision a government based on biblical and not secular principles. Christian dominionism, in its more traditional definitions, comes from the Christian Reconstructionists.
Recently, theologies have been lumped into a journalistic shorthand term "Christian dominionism," perhaps incorrectly, since it is an easier term to comprehend than trying to describe several different Christian sects that have goals that overlap when it comes to controlling the government and erasing the wall of separation from church and state.
Regardless of the terminology, conservatives say it's nonsense.
While Christian dominionism, the NAR movement, the seven mountains, the Reconstructionists, and related issues are well-documented by conservative Christians and other researchers, recent articles in popular news sites and blogs about the subject have commentators saying that it's nothing but a left-wing conspiracy theory
"This dominionism nonsense is about the stupidest trend to come along since Birtherism," wrote Joe Carter for First Thoughts. According to Carter, dominionists represent a small and fringe group of Christians who have very little influence. Writing for Commentary, Jonathan Tobin compared the moral values of those who would say Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann were associated with Christian dominionism as the same as those who say that Barack Obama is an Islamist trying to force Islam on America.
Gary DeMar, one of Rushdoony's protégés and founder of American Vision, said back in 1998 that, "Our goal is to continue to define the issues. I think this is what irritates a lot of people about what we do. It's that we force them to look at things in absolutes. There's no neutrality." During the 1998 conference, Rushdoony said that the logical conclusion of democracy was "to destroy morality" because everything was equal. He favored an authoritarian government based on Biblical standards.
Yesterday, DeMar opined at American Vision that it's actually "liberal Dominionists" who are trying to rule the world. According to DeMar,
As long as Christians only talked about their faith, they were ignored by the radical Dominionists on the Left. Now that Christians are actively exercising their faith — theologically, legally, and constitutionally — Leftist Dominionists are frantic. They now have competition, and they don’t like it. Prior to 1976, there was no identifiable Christian voting block, and thus no political competition.
DeMar concludes that the real threat is "Muslim extremists who want us all dead."
Seemingly no debate goes by these days without Charles Darwin being dragged into the fight. Sure enough, creationist David Klinghoffer reported that Darwinian dominionism was the problem, not Christian dominionism. Quoting author Nancy Pearcey, he noted:
There's a growth industry in books apply Darwinian categories to everything from politics (Darwinian Politics), to sexuality (The Evolution of Desire), to music (The Singing Neanderthals), to creativity (Origins of Genius: Darwinian Perspectives on Creativity), to literature (Madame Bovary's Ovaries: A Darwinian Look at Literature).