The third day He rose again from the dead.
Where the old atheism simply denied the miracle of the resurrection on the basis of its being miraculous, the primary indictment from what is termed the “new atheism” is that Christ’s story as the resurrected Savior is merely a recapitulation of the various mystery religions. This view is born from the assumption of sociological diachronism: the idea that all ideas move linearly, with the earlier necessarily birthing the latter. Which is to say that they assume history to be a closed system, ruling out special revelation from the beginning. So, assuming atheism, they rule out the possibility of Christ’s resurrection in favor of their unprovable assumption.
But prior to the rise of Alienism, Christendom ever looked back on all those preceding messiahs of the mystery cults at once as both demonic attempts to upstage the true Messiah to come, and providentially engineered shadows and prefigurations used of God to adapt mankind to the needed concepts and language to speak, in due time, of the true Messiah. So, to modern anthropology, the biblical view of history is seen as doubly anachronistic. But aside from this view, the mainstay of Christendom past, even history’s parade of false messiahs loses all significance. For absent a true Messiah, there is no standard against which false messiahs may be contrasted or deemed false. Only Christ, even as He condemns them, gives the heathen gods their context. As Alfred told the Viking lord, “Tis only Christians preserve even heathen things.”1
As in the Christian Scriptures, the numbers seven, twelve, and seventy held special significance in Germanic folk religion. But the number three was especially important among the Druids. Even in paganism, they worshiped a triad, bearing no small similarity to the Christian Trinity. As we say, the ontological Trinity, being a law unto itself, defines all creation in terms of God’s own being – both One and Many. And the Druids, remarkably, had some inkling of this as they formed their proverbs and poetry (discourses on all creation) in triads, reflecting the nature of their deity.
So when Jesus chided the Jews, saying that no sign would be given them aside from “the sign of the prophet Jonas” (Matt. 12:39; 16:4) – which is to say, the preaching of one resurrection after three days devoured by death – we see that the Jews had a far fuller access to the type and shadow (as well as the infallible pedagogy of Jesus) than any other people on earth. But it was not the Jews who answered to the types and shadows. It was the Japhethite tribes – the wisdom-seeking Greeks, Druidic Celts, and Odinic Germans foremost.
In Jonah’s typology we see, again, strong correspondence to the Germanic mind as Teutonic mythology depicted Thor to be destined for titanic battle against Jörmungandr, the world serpent; the biblical language of both “the dragon of the sea” and Jonah’s “great fish” sounded much like the beast of their legends which they anticipated to devour that warrior-priest, Thor. This, alongside their doctrine of Thor’s descent into Hell to overthrow the the heart of darkness, as well as Odin’s crucifixion upon a tree, inclined the Gothic tribes confronted with the doctrine of Christ to see Jesus as fulfilling all their legends in reality.
As much as He rose from the dead bodily, He rose from among, and was thus distinguished from, the dead legends. And as much as he redeems men and nations, with all their physical distinctions, so too does He redeem the distinctions of their histories and peculiarities of their folk character.
He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty.
He who suffered His flesh to be brought low in judgment ascended high above all who presumed to judge Him: the Jews, the Empire, and Satan. Thus we see that His bodily ascension from the grave, reprising His earthly throne, mirrored the reprisal of His heavenly throne, and His ascension into heaven mirrored His triumphal entry into Jerusalem. He proved Himself the absolute and unconquerable Sovereign over all things, physical and spiritual, particular and universal.
This is the antithesis of the Alienist doctrine because they depict His ascension as an announcement of some great equalization, a cosmic civil rights act of sorts. They see His ascension as consonant with the brotherhood of Man. Rather than the triumphal entry of the King of all creation, and Heir to the royal house of Israel, looking down from the height of greatest aristocratic glory, they see themselves as His co-regents by theosis in a Kingdom leveled of all distinction. In Alienism, Christ in not seen as ascending so much as pulling heaven down to earth. Theirs is a return to the doctrine of Babel.
From there He will come to judge the living and the dead.
The creed does not here intend to say that Christ will abdicate His throne, nor that He will cease to rule from the right hand of the Father, but rather, that He will judge the living and the dead from the throne. This is the great white throne judgment (Rev. 20).
In this culmination of Providence, all the works of darkness are judged beneath the gaze of Him who sits upon the Great White Throne, with a countenance like lightning, and shining as the sun. As in the beginning, when God separated the darkness from the light, the two factions at last will hold their final council together in the King’s high court; and sentence, long deferred, will finally be pronounced against all the King’s enemies, both living and dead.
The fact that we find the living included at that last judgment (in the historical context of Rev. 20) indicates that this summit shall not occur in some other dimension, removed of time, or as disembodied metaphor, but inside the course of history, as pertaining to living men of flesh and bone. And in this, we see the essentiality of His judging from the throne – that He presides over all things, unimpeachably. As “the Way, the Truth, and the Life,” His authority is unassailable, and His rulings absolute.
Not without cause, then, does John call this “the great white throne judgment,” for here we see the biblical metaphysic of light and dark epitomized. For “God is Light, and in Him is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5). This Christian metaphysic of light (light=good/darkness=bad) woven all through the Scripture, generally elicits outrage from dusky peoples as well as embarrassment from liberal Whites, as it posits what may be termed a sort of ontological white supremacy. That’s not to say, of course, that all White men are saved, or that all White men are even better than all other ethnics in the conventional sense, but rather that the White man generically reflects the superiority of light over darkness.
The Reformed faith in specific has taken the brunt of the outrage by way of its insistence on the hereditary nature of sin, predestination, and the doctrine of sola scriptura, as well as this metaphysic of light. This is why liberals never fail to remind us that “Reformed theology is the taproot of Christian racism.”2 Black liberationists and White liberals cast this, on the one hand, as a problem with the psychology of Calvinism, and on the other as a defect of the White race generally. But we see the same thing in every language by which we may even discuss color and its implications: black carries certain innately negative connotations.
English and American writers . . . believed at the outset of English expansion that Africans were inherently and immutably black – a color fraught with pejorative implications. . . . [I]n each [European] language the word for “black” carried a host of disparaging connotations. In Spanish, for example, negro also meant gloomy, dismal, unfit, and wretched; in French, noir also connoted foul, dirty, base, and wicked; in Dutch, certain compounds of zwart conveyed notions of anger, irascibility, and necromancy; and “black” had comparable pejorative implications in Elizabethan and Stuart England.3
It isn’t just European languages. This is the case in all languages the world over. But that’s just to say that by “the light of nature” all men recognize this metaphysic of light spoken of throughout Scripture.
Be that as it may, the fact that a significant segment of the world population is negatively stigmatized by this metaphysic, as it relates to their physical appearance, inspires rage both at God and at the White man. For “the accursed seed of Cham . . . had for a stamp of their fathers sinne, the colour of hell set upon their faces.”4 And God made the African “so blacke & lothsome, that it might remaine a spectacle of disobedience to all the world.”5 Plainly, God marked the sons of Ham with the color of evil. This remains a stumbling block to the African, as well as for those White liberals who identify with the African over God. For even when they confess Christ, it is most often a Christ of their own making – ostensibly, a black god upon a black throne.
On these grounds Boesak demands that the Reformed faith be entirely re-written to anathematize the historic metaphysic and establish a distinctly African one in its place:
This is what the missionaries could not give . . . because that god was too much the god of whites. . . . This is what I hope African Christianity can bring to West Europeans and North Americans. . . . This seems to me the gospel truth. . . . Dutch Calvinists, . . . French Huguenots, Scottish Presbyterians and Swiss missionaries . . . The God of Reformed tradition was the God of slavery, fear, persecution, and death. . . . [R]acism is an inevitable fruit of Reformed tradition.6
This is so because the salvation which African Christianity offers isn’t redemption from sin, but the abolition of difference:
The freedom which Dr. King envisions is not merely a freedom from domination or discrimination but a freedom from difference. This is the heart of the matter, and, in every stratum of society, there is today a lust for “a freedom from difference” and a resentment against any who claim such a right. . . . [L]iberal neo-Protestants are especially vocal in this regard.7
This African Christianity is, as it pertains to Boesak’s proposed metaphysic, synonymous with liberal neo-Protestantism, otherwise known today as Alienism. For these all teach the same liberation from difference. They all hold the biblical metaphysic in utter contempt. Still, those clans who would and have answered to the biblical metaphysic of light with least reservation are the same who have had least motive to resist it – the fairer clans.
- Chesterton, “Ballad of the White Horse” ↩
- Gayraud S. Wilmore, “Foreword,” Seeds of Racism in the Soul of America by Paul R. Griffin ↩
- Alden T. Vaughan, Roots of American Racism, pp. 5-6 ↩
- R. Wiltkinson, a Puritan sermon entitled “Lot’s Wife,” London, 1607 ↩
- George Best, “A True Discourse of the Late Voyages of Discouerie” 1578 ↩
- Allan A. Boesak, Black and Reformed: Apartheid, Liberation, and the Calvinist Tradition, pp. 51, 86 ↩
- R.J. Rushdoony, Politics of Guilt and Pity, p. 81 ↩