“All nations shall come and worship before Thee; for Thy judgments are made manifest.” – Revelation 15:4
“All are not created on equal terms … This God has testified, not only in the case of single individuals; He has also given a specimen of it in the whole posterity of Abraham, to make it plain that the future condition of each nation was entirely at His disposal.” – John Calvin1
It goes without saying that ours is an age of leveling and inversion, a circumstance innately caught up with societal apostasy. Civilizational in scope, the moral inversion underway seems to pervade every category. Due to that reality, as Christians, we find ourselves ever more frequently in the position of having to reintroduce doctrines and perspectives which were until recent times taken entirely for granted. This is the patent burden of Kinism – to call the people of God back to “the old paths where the good way is,” that they might erect once more the ancient boundary stones, restore the ramparts of Christendom, and live. And this contra Alienism, which trades life and the life abundant for squalor, misery, and death.
Not even the core of the Christian faith – the doctrines of grace, otherwise known as Calvinism – have been spared in the fugue sweeping the churches. Nowadays whenever the social dimensions of covenantalism are maintained, Alienists meet it with the pearl-clutching chorus:
“What does this have to do with Calvinism?!”
Even if at first we take them to be joking, they really aren’t. Their confusion is not feigned. The very question assumes that Calvinism has naught to do with social matters. Incredulous as it seems, they have lost the social implications of the Calvinism which built the Western world. They assure us in their initial moments of outrage that Calvinism is strictly soteriological, not social or anthropological in any dimension.
Fidelity to that position is, however, fleeting at best. Given time for their creative faculties to reckon with the fact that such a stance entirely forfeits the doctrine of vocation, the Protestant work ethic, the Protestant aesthetic, and the famed assessment of Ranke, Bancroft, and many other historians that John Calvin was the virtual founder of America and the constitutional republic, as well as the role of Reformed theology in shaping the social order of old South African society, it dawns on them that the witness of these implications are too pervasive to merely be brushed aside. For there has never been controversy in the attribution of free enterprise, constitutionalism, republicanism (representative government), separatism, corporate election of nations, or race realism to Calvinism. The witness of Reformed writers past is too uniform in these matters. Unanimous, even: Calvinism was always recognized not only as having formative implications in the development of national societies and their cultures, but also as providing the axiological measure to differentiate among them and the patent means of discerning their moral advancement or decay. Because Calvinism has always been understood as more than soteriology. It has always been conceived by its sons as a comprehensive world and life view – Christendom, the Old World Order, ethnonationalism. Indeed, Calvin himself argued decisively throughout chapter twenty-one of his Institutes of the Christian Religion that though eternal election is by an unquantifiable regeneration of individual souls, the primary form of covenantal election is hereditary and national! As much as infant baptism is couched in this reality, so is the entire history of constitutionalism wherein a founding generation covenants with God on behalf of “ourselves and our posterity” (Preamble to the U.S. Constitution).
But captive to the Marxian programming in which our society is awash, Alienists are compelled at length to cobble together a conclusion more serviceable to their conditioned assumptions – that soteriology bears upon the social realm only insofar as the doctrines of grace may be construed as establishing mandatory egalitarianism in society, the erasure of race, nation, tribe, and clan. Yes, claiming the mantle of Calvin, they preach a leveller’s gospel – an ideology antithetical to Calvinism.
Yes, wherever they cannot conceive a means of inverting some aspect of Calvinism, they insist unblushingly that we are making some egregious categorical error because Calvinism is confined to the realm of soteriology. Except where and when they say it isn’t. Stupefying hypocrisy, I know.
As they tell it, if God’s sovereign election is recognized as entailing conservative social standards of variegated jurisdictions, responsibilities, rights, unequal gifts, handicaps and/or curses among clans and races by appointment of heredity and history, we then have a duty to a pietistical or R2K stance – to ignore it all. To do otherwise, they tell us, would be pharisaical tyranny, and, by that token, heresy.
But to capitulate on this matter as the new-age Calvinists insist, we would find ourselves granting the default position of the zeitgeist with respect to politics, historiography, sociology, law, teleology, and more. Yes, to truncate Calvinism as mere soteriology rather than a full-orbed world and life view is to necessarily concede to the liberal revolution bearing the secular world away in the present torrent of rebellion. Therein we see the similar nature of the “equality” espoused by liberal Calvinists* to secular liberals not only in the content of their ideology, but in the hypocrisy of its application: because they insist conservative Calvinists are somehow duty-bound to keep their beliefs within their prayer closet, while egalitarian Calvinists* such as themselves have a mandate from heaven to bolster the new-age utopia which they pursue in common with the whole menagerie of antichrist worldviews. This rancid fruit only proves the more that the doctrine they have embraced under the aegis of Calvinism isn’t Calvinism at all. It can’t even ultimately be called Christianity. It’s just liberalism overlaid with a patina of christianese. Or as J. Gresham Machen addressed the matter in 1923,
[O]ne thing is perfectly plain—whether or not liberals are Christians, it is at any rate perfectly clear that liberalism is not Christianity. And that being the case, it is highly undesirable that liberalism and Christianity should continue to be propagated within the bounds of the same organization. A separation between the two parties in the Church is the crying need of the hour.2
Of course, our modern Alienist-Calvinists would object, insisting that Machen had not them nor their high-minded egalitarianism in view in his overture against liberalism. But Machen actually defined the liberalism which he rebuked:
The modern liberal doctrine is that all men everywhere, no matter what their race or creed, are brothers.3
This is certainly apropos of the late majority in the Reformed churches. Yes, according to the father of the OPC, an eminent Calvinist to be sure, those who construe Christianity as concomitant with racial egalitarianism should be anathematized for their suppression of the truth in unrighteousness and for revolt against Christ’s Kingdom on behalf of what can only be seen as another religion entirely. We conclude with Machen that if these liberals are taken for Christians, theirs is a faith grossly alloyed and augmented: modern Jeroboamism.
Testifying to the same insurgent liberalism subverting Christianity twenty-five years in advance of Machen, Kuyper described the nascent dilemma overtaking America and the West as one hinged upon the dichotomy of selection versus election:
And thus my final lecture is rapidly drawing to its end. But before I close, I feel nevertheless that one question continues to press for an answer, which accordingly I shall not refuse to face, the question, namely, at what I am aiming in the end: at the abandonment or at the maintenance of the doctrine of election. . . . Our generation turns a deaf ear to Election [God’s order], but grows madly enthusiastic over Selection [encompassing everything from evolution to democracy, liberalism, imagination, and license]. . . . The problem concerns the fundamental question: Whence are the differences? Why is not all alike? Whence is it that one thing exists in one state, another in another? There is no life without differentiation, and no differentiation without inequality. The perception of difference, the very source of our human consciousness, the causative principles of all that exists and grows and develops, in short the mainspring of all life and thought. . . . Whence are those differences? Whence is the dissimilarity, the heterogeneity of existence, of genesis, and consciousness? To put it concretely, if you were a plant you would rather be a rose than mushroom; if insect, butterfly rather than spider; if bird, eagle rather than owl; if a higher vertebrate, lion rather than hyena; and again, being man, richer than poorer, talented rather than dull-minded, of the Aryan race rather than Hottentot or Kaffir. Between all these there is differentiation, wide differentiation. Everywhere then differences, differences between the one being and the other; and that, too, such differences as involve in almost every instance, preference. . . . This is the one supreme question in the vegetable and animal kingdom, among men, in all social life, and it is by means of the theory of Selection that our present age attempts to solve this problem of problems. . . .
Now the blade of grass is not conscious of this, and the spider goes on entrapping the fly, the tiger killing the stag, and in those cases the weaker being does not account to itself for its misery. But we men are clearly conscious of these differences, and by us therefore the question cannot be evaded, whether the theory of Selection be a solution calculated to reconcile the weaker, the less richly endowed creature, with its existence. It will be acknowledged that in itself this theory can but incite to a more furious struggle, with a lasciate ogni speranza, voi che’ntrate for the weaker being. Against the ordinance of faith that the weaker shall succumb to the stronger, according to the system of election, no struggle can avail. . . .
For this is precisely the high significance of the doctrine of Election that, in this dogma, as long as three centuries ago, Calvinism dared to face this same all-dominating problem, solving it, however, not in the sense of a blind selection stirring in unconscious cells, but honoring the sovereign choice of Him Who created all things visible and invisible. The determination of the existence of all things to be created, of what is to be camellia or buttercup, nightingale or crow, hart or swine, and, equally among men, the determination of our own persons, whether one is to be born as girl or boy, rich or poor, dull or clever, white or colored, or even as Abel or Cain, is the most tremendous predestination conceivable in heaven or on earth; and still we see it taking place before our eyes every day, and we ourselves are subject to it in our entire personality; our entire existence, our very nature, our position in life being entirely dependent on it. This all-embracing predestination, the Calvinist places, not in the hand of man, and still less in the hand of a blind natural force, but in the hand of Almighty God, Sovereign Creator and Possessor of heaven and earth; and it is in the figure of the potter and the clay that Scripture has from the time of the Prophets expounded to us this all-dominating election. Election in creation, election in providence, and so election also to eternal life; election in the realm of grace as well as in the realm of nature. Now, when we compare these two systems of Selection and Election, does not history show that the doctrine of Election has century upon century, restored peace and reconciliation to the hearts of the believing sufferer; and that all Christians hold election as we do, in honor, both in creation and in providence; and that Calvinism deviates from the other Christian confessions in this respect only, that, seeking unity and placing the glory of God above all things, it dares to extend the mystery of Election to spiritual life, and to the hope for the life to come?”4
Kuyper’s sentiments above are met today by those who claim to share in the Calvinist creed with a contemptuous wringing of hands and resolute denial. To wit, Greenville Theological Seminary, which was founded in the theology of men like Thornwell, Dabney, Hodge, and Kuyper, has recently repudiated those men’s views with respect to any “racial disparity.” The modern custodians of the Reformed churches have ruled that social disparity itself – be it of race, nation, family, culture, or class – is heretical. But look back again to Kuyper’s words: just as we would prefer to be a butterfly than an insect or a lion than a hyena, so any man would prefer to be
of the Aryan race rather than Hottentot or Kaffir. Between all these there is differentiation, wide differentiation.
If our minds answer to Kuyper’s words here by even recalling from experience the distinct types which he references – Aryan and Kaffir – then we know them to exist. And we have thereby, no matter any degree of reluctance on our part, irresistibly conceded his point that the differentiation between those types is wide indeed, and its recognition as the will of Providence is inseparable from Calvinism. Which is to say that his point here is self-evident: the doctrine of election in Calvinism affirms race realism emphatically.
But note, too, how Kuyper discloses that the scandal of sovereign election in his day hinged only on things spiritual, not the subject of natural election; for he confirms at that time that all the denominations of Christendom agreed on God’s natural appointments of inequality by heredity and circumstance. At the time even the staunchest Arminians confessed God’s sovereign design of inequality among individuals, families, and races; and that these things, as the decree and natural revelation of God, were matters of His truth which demand our acknowledgment and compel the Christian conscience everywhere to race realism. Therefore, Kuyper framed his apologetic for God’s unequal election of the soul a fortiori upon what was still then the non-controversial appointment to inequality in the life of families and races. But this of course is an inverse scenario to the present, where even if our churchmen speak of unequal election of the soul, they contradictorily denounce the unequal election of men’s natural constitutions, as well as the relation of those constitutions to spiritual dispositions, as heresy. This turnabout Kuyper clearly could not foresee. But since he couched his apologetic for inequality of spiritual ordination upon the then-assumed unequal election in things natural, Reformed* Alienists forfeit Kuyper’s entire argument for spiritual election, and with it, Calvinism.
It isn’t merely Kuyper whom the Alienists sacrifice. Charles Hodge affirmed the same social implications in his benchmark work on Calvinist theology:
“It cannot be denied that there is a great difference in men in this respect. Some are morose, irritable, and unsocial in their dispositions, others are directly the reverse. . . . They may be born with these distinctive traits of character, and such traits beyond doubt are in numerous cases innate and often hereditary. . . . It is admitted that nations as well as tribes and families, have their distinctive characteristics, and that these characteristics are not only physical and mental, but also social and moral. Some tribes are treacherous and cruel. Some are mild and confiding. Some are addicted to gain, others to war. Some are sensual, some intellectual. We instinctively judge of each according to its character; we like or dislike, approve or disapprove, without asking ourselves any questions as to the origin of these distinguishing characteristics. And if we do raise that question, although we are forced to answer it by admitting that these dispositions are innate and hereditary, and that they are not self-acquired by the individual whose character they constitute, we nevertheless, and none the less, approve or condemn them according to their nature. This is instinctive and necessary, and therefore the correct, judgment of the mind. . . .
The Irish people have always been remarkable for their fidelity; the English for honesty; the Germans for truthfulness. These national traits, as revealed in individuals, are not the effect of self-discipline. They are innate, hereditary dispositions, as obviously as the physical, mental, or emotional peculiarities by which one people is distinguished from another. And yet by the common judgment of men this fact in no degree detracts from the moral character of these dispositions.”5
This means that when Greenville Theological Seminary (along with the PCA, OPC, et al.) denounces God’s design of racial inequality in the name of Calvinism, then either Calvinism is false, or the contemporary GTS staff has come under an entirely false conception of Calvinism.
Yes, the putative mantle-bearers of the Reformed tradition now dismiss historic Calvinism root and branch as “anomalous,” foreign to genuine Calvinist thought, and, most recently, “heretical.” Because historic Calvinism is an offense to their new-age sensibilities sculpted by the leftward-catapulted zeitgeist; which itself is not the product of any genuine grassroots social advancement, but dictated top-down from the 1967 landmark Supreme Court ruling in the Loving v. Virginia case. Prior to that civil edict, which was predicated entirely on humanism, neither any Reformed churchmen nor even any mainstream denominations voiced much theological objection to the ubiquitous anti-miscegenation laws. In fact, the issue was taken to the secular courts precisely because no Christian ministers would say words over an unequally-yoked pairing. Kinism was assumed in virtually all the churches then.
Albeit too belated to be called coincident, on the heels of said ruling, the Roman Catholic, Unitarian Universalist, and Presbyterian (UPCUSA) denominations issued their groundbreaking joint resolution, announcing that miscegenation was suddenly found licit in Christian theology. Convenient, no? Mere months after a secular court of marked antipathy to Christianity ruled consciously to overturn Christian law, the leadership of these churches came to an epiphany – that the anti-miscegenation codes weren’t Christian after all! Even the bulk of Reformed Alienists today would admit that the churches which blazed that trail all happened to be apostate groups. But they nonetheless admit no contradiction in following said antichrists and apostates. Even if it has taken decades for that sour leaven to worm its way into conservative communions, and only by revolutionizing all Reformed theology, they insist this newfound theology is semper eadem, the same unaltered orthodoxy received of old. Those who point out the fact that this new doctrine is indeed quite new are, according to the new-age Calvinists, the ones really engaged in theological novelty.
Nonetheless, this revolution is still young enough that there remain many living who experienced the Reformed faith prior to it. Their number, though ebbing away year by year, yet constitute a profound statistical embarrassment, in that White Protestant Christians remain the foremost segment of society clinging to anti-miscegenation convictions. At a rate still double that of all other groups. Yes, White Christians of conservative background still far and away outstrip seculars and non-Whites (read: liberals) in Kinist convictions when it comes to marriage.
At this our modern pulpiteers scoff. But it was the very passage from Kuyper above which Loraine Boettner, in his much-acclaimed work The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination, went on to affirm as a quintessential description of Calvinism. Far from refuting Kuyper, Boettner holds Kuyper’s anthropology and social theory as unassailable on this point:
[Some] shall be born, live, and die . . . male or female, white or black, wise or foolish. God is no less sovereign in the distribution of His favors. . . . Some He gives riches, to others honor. . . . Others are born to dishonor . . . and live lives of wretchedness. Some are placed in Christian lands where they receive all the benefits of the gospel; others live and die in the darkness of heathenism. Some are brought through faith unto salvation; others are left to perish in unbelief. And to a very large extent these external things, which are not the result of individual choice, decide the person’s life course and eternal destiny.6
This conception of Providence as inclusive of one’s temporal condition – including lineage and race not only as a divine appointment to unequal states of existence, and determinative of one’s moral character in this life, but as a means toward eternal destiny in heaven or hell – is now totally alien to the institutional claimants of Calvinism; so alien that beyond their amnesia, they actually deride the Calvinism of all our fathers as somehow being anti-Calvinist. They thunder in the most declarative tones that lineage has no bearing whatever upon predilection, and, contrary to Boettner’s words, absolutely no correlation to one’s eternal destiny. Though they countenance amongst their membership an array of opinion so wide as to nullify every orthodox creed, they have come to deny heredity and racial tendency singularly as heresy.
Too bad for them, Berkhof addressed the doctrine of our new-age Calvinists/Alienists well in advance, if under a different name. He knew them merely as “liberals”:
In modern liberal theology the doctrine of the transmission of sin from Adam to his posterity is entirely discredited.7
As if in direct parlay with Berkhof, Hodge says:
[A]nd yet the Bible always speaks of the sinful as sinful and worthy of condemnation, whether as in the case of Adam, that sinfulness was self-acquired, or, as in the case of his posterity, it is a hereditary evil.8
The liberal theology against which Berkhof and Hodge inveighed clearly finds its manifestation today in Alienism’s denial of the heritability of all moral dispositions as a means to deny the existence of ethnic tendencies, as well as their denial of God’s election of peoples on the grounds that such a doctrine is discriminatory; because liberals regard discrimination (observation of difference and quality) as immoral. Or, to modify Steve Sailer’s aphorism, Alienists believe that Christianity “is a war on noticing.” Claiming to champion the conservative Reformed view, they deny any lineal transmission of behavior on the very grounds which, Berkhof assures us, absolutely define liberal theology. In Berkhof’s lexicon, as in Machen’s, ‘liberalism’ meant nothing but unbelief – the negation of Christianity. Clearly, there is no claim to orthodoxy possible when one directly denies that God “visits the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generation” (Ex. 20:5).
Albeit we note here that while Alienists deny heritable tendencies, they apparently affirm inherited judicial culpability for the acts of our ancestors. At least, that is, in respects to our White ancestors who colonized the world, conquering and “oppressing” dusky peoples, “marginalizing” Blacks, etc. Hence the White guilt overtures, the effusive apologies for slavery and segregation, and the social engineering of our congregations and even our families as acts of penance have become mainstays under the administration of all our seminaries and denominational governments today. So while the PCA and like institutions deny the lineal transmission of any particular disposition or inclination (because that would be “racism,” don’tcha know?), they impute to us guilt for things in which we personally had no hand.
This too is a diametric inversion of biblical ethics, because the law stipulates that a son may not suffer the judicial penalty incurred by and due his father (Deut. 24:16). Which, in the American context, was affirmed from the beginning by our founding fathers’ disallowal of bills of attainder.
Not without cause, then, have historians titled Calvin the veritable founder of the American republic, for the colonial mind was indeed ordered and galvanized according to the Calvinist worldview. Though minimized or outright denied in liberal circles more recently, it must be remembered that colonial settlement was preeminently carried out by sons of the Reformation – men of Western Europe in the early 1600s, at the height of the Reformation. In keeping with this fact, westward expansion was for many reasons understood as nothing less than a mandate from heaven: aside from the prerogative to pursue freedom to practice the Christian religion unencumbered by the “divine right of kings,” our Calvinist fathers were also convicted of the general dominion mandate which enjoins believers to subdue the earth and to further the bounds of Christian civilization, and that pursuant of a blossoming millennial Kingdom. But there was another component which tied all others together. Arnold Guyot explains what was taken for granted by all men taking Reformed Christendom into the New World:
Though not the continent of origins, Europe is emphatically the continent of development. The Indo-European race – the people of progress – find their fullest expansion and activity, not in their original seat in Iran, but in Europe, whence they are spreading over all the quarters of the globe. . . . Transplanted to Europe, [Christianity] gradually attained its full development, and became the foundation on which is reared the vast and noble edifice which is modern civilization. . . .
Evidently, this continent [North America] was not designed to give birth and development to a new civilization; but to receive one ready-made, and to furnish the cultivated race of the Old World the scene most worthy of their activity. Its vast plains, overflowing with natural wealth, are turned towards Europe, and its largest rivers discharge into the Atlantic; while its lofty mountains , and less fertile lands, are removed far towards its western shores. Thus it seems to invite the Indo-European race, the people of progress, to new fields of action; to encourage their expansion throughout its entire territory, and their fusion into one nation.9
Heaven hath provided this country, not indeed derelict, but only partially settled, and consequently open for reception of a new enlargement of Japheth. Europe was settled by Japheth; America is settling from Europe: and perhaps this second enlargement bids fair to surpass the first; for we are to consider all the European settlements of America collectively as springing from and transfused with the blood of Japheth.10
More definitive still, eminent Presbyterian minister Samuel Davies, the renowned “Apostle of Virginia,” famed for not only winning over a good many Anglicans to Presbyterianism, but also winning the souls of Indians and Blacks, dedicated an entire book to the subject – Dominion; or, The Unity and Trinity of the Human Race – wherein he writes:
We now reply to the question, Can we know the sense of the prophetic law of Noah [Gen. 9:24-27; 10:1-32] with absolute certainty? We answer most unequivocally, Yes. How, then, is it to be known? By the perfect conformity of the fulfilment of the law to its legitimate interpretation.
Has such fulfilment occurred? Most unquestionably.
Where is it seen? In all quarters of the globe since the flood, but most sublimely in America. It is obvious in a universal and permanent trinity of races; in their political inequality of condition; in the Christianization of all the Japhetic nations, and of no others; in the occupation of the Shemitic wilderness of America by Japheth; and in the service of Ham to Japheth in the Southern States, in the islands, and in South America. . . .
“A perfect coincidence of events with any legitimate interpretation of prophecy is infallibly a fulfilment; and such fulfilment inevitably coincides with the Divine meaning of the text — God being his own interpreter. Fulfilment is to prophetic law what usage is to statute law. Usage specifies the meaning of statutes by a uniform manner of applying them; and fulfilment is but the usage of the Almighty.11
If he were living today, all his work on behalf of Indians and Blacks would not suffice to clear him of the charge of ‘racism’. Nonetheless, his was the mainstream Calvinist view: the Noahic pronouncements of race realism, the ordained and normative ethnic and tribally structured world order, and the eventual transferred custodianship of the covenant from Shem to Japheth in the Christian era (Genesis 9) was the synergistic and indivisible web of concept which propelled Christendom onward in the millennial campaign known as “Manifest Destiny.”
Irrespective of the fact that Manifest Destiny has since been smeared by White Alienists as unconnected with Calvinism, it cannot be disputed that its reference to destiny was predicated upon the doctrine of predestination, and by Presbyterians who would be unable not to make such an association. No one can credibly argue, therefore, that it wasn’t posited in the assumption of Calvinist theology. Even if in Rushdoony’s day he was left one of the few still acknowledging it, precious few had previously contested the fact in the halcyon days of Protestant hegemony.
As Guyot, Thornton, and Davies explained, the foreordination of Japheth (the European race) announced in the book of Genesis, followed by the confirmational conversion of all the Japhetic nations, and unique advance of the White race, were, in Calvinist theology, redoubled sanction for our settlement of “New Canaan” (so North America was called by Puritan and Presbyterian alike) to the furthest bounds of the West. This view was endemic to the worldview of our Calvinist fathers in America from the beginning.
Ironically, while White Alienists expend untold efforts to cast the history of Calvinist civilization as something which transpired with only the slightest correspondence to the Calvinist worldview, Black Christians have tended to accept Kinism as the consistent expression of Calvinism. Or as Black Christian scholar Paul Griffin explains it …
Like most other early European settlers, Puritans initially came without any intention of establishing chattel slavery. They had no plans to enslave blacks because they did not anticipate encountering or having to live alongside people whose skin color was darker than their own. Thus, when they spoke of building a holy city based on cohabitation and consortship, they envisioned a society comprising only white people. . . .
Their theology was preset for racism, because it was undergirded by a strict biblical literalism that could easily be made to support White supremacy. The Puritans were heirs of the Calvinist tradition. A hundred years earlier John Calvin had developed Reformed theology (also called Calvinist theology) in Geneva, Switzerland. His theology was rooted in a literal interpretation of the Bible, especially the Hebrew scriptures. Let us be clear here . . . his theology – especially developed by his successors – supported at least two historic teachings that could easily accommodate such claims. These two pillars were the doctrines of sin and predestination. Calvin (following Paul and Augustine) taught that sin is hereditary and that every human being born after Adam and Eve is an absolutely depraved sinner who lacks the capacity of altering that state. Salvation to Calvin, then, was completely the work of an all-sovereign God. . . . Concerning how evil afflicts some people more than others, Calvin concluded that this is God’s sovereign will. Calvin’s followers moved predestination (or divine election, as it also is called) to a chief organizing position. Therefore God predetermined who would be redeemed to eternal life and who would be condemned to eternal damnation.
Puritan theology was heir to these understandings of sin and predestination; it also espoused distinctive views of covenant and creation. Regarding the doctrine of covenant, the Puritans’ biblical literalism led them to argue for a federal or full covenant, modeled after the Mosaic covenant, by which they insisted that God had predestined them to be the new chosen people. . . .
Regarding the doctrine of creation, their central thesis was that God had not created humanity equal. Human beings had been created hierarchically. This meant that there were levels of humanity ranging from the highest to the lowest. ‘God Almighty in His most holy and wise providence’, they delighted in proclaiming, ‘hath so disposed of the condition of mankind as in all times some must be rich, some poor; some high and eminent in power and dignity, others mean and in subjection.’ . . . Each of these theological ideas . . . divinely imputed superiority not only in religious status but also with respect to racial, gender, social, economic, and political status. This is precisely what happened.12
This is essentially identical to the understanding of Black Reformed theologian, Alan Boesak:
Apartheid was born out of the Reformed tradition; it is, in a very real sense, the brainchild of the Dutch Reformed churches. It is Reformed Christians who have split the church on the basis of race and color, and who now claim that racially divided churches are a true understanding of the nature of the Christian church.13
This “Volkstheologie” Boesak has described patently as one of “the negative aspects of Kuyperianism.”14 However, Boesak isn’t describing America, but South Africa. This entirely fells the environmental argument cited by anthropologists and Marxian economists about the origins of our institutions in America. Calvinism instituted on opposite ends of the globe came to univocal expression: Apartheid. Segregation. Volkstheologie. Kinism.
Alienist Calvinism denies total depravity by objecting to the heritability of sin. They deny that there is any genetic inordinate preponderance toward alcoholism in the Amerind or the Irish. They deny the existence of genes associated with low impulse control and violence in the Black race. They deny the unique character of all peoples, good and ill, because they deny all lineal predilections. More than denying it, they call it “heresy” and “evolution.” But Berkhof says of this doctrine: “In view of its pervasive character, inherited pollution is called total depravity.”15
This doctrine of ‘inherited pollution’ (total depravity), which Matthew Henry called “an hereditary disease”16 presupposes lineal and therefore familial, ethnic, and racial tendencies, for the law testifies unmistakably that the sins of the father do pass to their seed (Ex. 20:5). Total depravity presupposes race realism.
Apart from any merit of our own, God appoints us each in time and eternity to unequal states of being. As Boettner described election, “[Some] shall be born, live, and die, . . . male or female, white or black, wise or foolish. God is no less sovereign in the distribution of His favors. . . . Some He gives . . . honor. . . . Others are born to dishonor. . . . And to a very large extent these external things, which are not the result of individual choice, decide the person’s life course and eternal destiny.”17
This is emphatically denied in the new-age-interpolated Calvinism which has usurped our pulpits. The acolytes of this neo-Calvinism object to the idea of our physical substance having any impact on our noetic or civilizational inclinations, let alone any impact upon our spirituality. But according to the Psalmist,
Thine eyes did see mine unformed substance;
And in thy book they were all written,
Even the days that were ordained for me,
When as yet there was none of them. (Psalm 139:16)
Which Hodge exegetes: “[T]he general meaning of the passage cannot be mistaken. It clearly teaches that the human body is fashioned in the womb by the intelligence of God, and not by undirected physical causes acting blindly.”18 Meaning that our physical appearances and inherited constitutions aren’t matters of little import to God, as those things bind forebears to descendants, and form a universally recognized witness of natality between men and their relations. Indeed, the Scripture assures us that the very hairs of our heads are numbered (Matt. 10:30; Luke 12:7) and that the Ethiopian cannot change the color of his skin (Jer. 13:23). The solemn witness, then, of our physical heritage, having been so purposely sculpted and attested by form, is something which God does not intend for us to ignore. On the contrary, to do so would be a profound denial of His design and purpose.
Accordingly, the Prophet tells us that some races are uniquely “terrible from their beginning onward” (Isa. 18:2); and the Revelator confirms that “every tribe, tongue, race, and nation” (Rev. 7:9; 5:9) – “substances foreordained” (Psa. 139:16) and written in the books of heaven – abides forever and “the glories of the nations [ethne] are brought into the Kingdom of heaven” (Rev.21:6). Because, as Boettner says, “second causes [such as heredity] are fully recognized – not as independent of God, but as having their proper place in His plan. . . . [A]s regards God’s providence we are to understand that He is intimately concerned with every detail in the affairs of men and in the course of nature.”19
Following closely Calvin’s argument that the primary form of election is national, Boettner’s understanding not only encompasses the physical aspects of our being, but insists that those physical circumstances also impact our spiritual identity and eternal destiny. This – the historic Calvinist doctrine of election, in all its implications concerning creation and nature – is now deemed ‘heresy’ by the majority claiming the legacy of Calvin today.
What is true of men is true of nations.20
That God has seen fit to distribute His blessings unequally among men and different races of men is of deepest insult to carnal man. As regards matters eternal we call remonstrants against this doctrine Arminians; in matters temporal we call them Alienists. Both sets object to God’s unequal predestination of men, if merely on different occasions.
Just as the menagerie of unbelievers indict Christians for their “arrogance” in affirming that all those who died ignorant of Christ, or outside a Christian tradition, are unsaved, so too do Arminians indict Calvinists for affirming that Christ died only for His elect. Both groups identify the exclusionary doctrines as racist because they know Christendom to be White history, and what we recognize as Christian societal norms as a White phenomenon, almost exclusively. The Alienist Calvinist then differs little from the position of these others in that he repudiates the Calvinist understanding of God’s superior dispensations upon Japhethites, as revealed beforehand in the prophecy of Noah, and manifest throughout all time since. So much so that Henry summarized it, “So we may say of the Africans and the Indians: ‘They have the gold, but we have the gospel. The gold of their land is good, but the riches of ours are infinitely better.'”21
Such a Calvinism – which was until recently the only sort there was – today is not tolerated in the churches. So they rule all Calvinism past apostate.
Understanding God’s grace as irresistible is a view of chosenness and reprobation which so conclusively opposes the Alienist presupposition of equality that it is understood by everyone, with the exception of that dwindling number of Alienists who call themselves Calvinists, as the ultimate expression of ‘racism’. Not merely by analogy, but by logical extension of the principle. As Reverend Michael A. Cox has stated it, “Calvinism is nothing short of baptized racism.”
Inasmuch as this doctrine offends the Remonstrant’s sense of individualism and will, it all the more offends his new-age axiom of racial equality. Because he looks on Christian history seeing God’s ordination of the apostolic missionary journeys trending (with the exception of Phillip’s witness in Ethiopia) toward Asia Minor and throughout Europe as grievous injustices to Africans and East Asians. The fact that even those church fathers writing from occupied North Africa were all White men strikes the Alienist as naught but bigotry, even if springing from divine prerogative. The two millennia of conciliar and creedal elucidation, the advance of civilization, the Reformation, and the legacy of historic Christendom is consonant with the racial history of European man.
On this account, non-Whites tend to recoil from the doctrines of grace. They do not identify with the church fathers, and less so the Reformers, and even less again with the heroes of Christendom such as tamed ultima Thule and conquered the darkest reaches of the earth, bringing Christlaw to the savage races. For from the non-White vantage, even if Christianized, our Christian heroes are the zenith of evil. Yes, they conclude in near unanimity that Black Christianity conveys “what the god of the missionaries could not . . . 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 to be the gospel truth. . . . Dutch Calvinists . . . French Huguenots, Scottish Presbyterians and Swiss missionaries. . . . The God of the Reformed tradition was the God of slavery, fear, persecution, and death. . . . [R]acism is an inevitable fruit of the Reformed tradition.22
Therefore even when men of other races ascend to affirmation of the doctrines of grace, such as in the case of Anthony Bradley, their entire relation thereto is an exercise in extricating the doctrine from its own historical background and condemning the near entirety of our Christian ancestors for the racism implicit in their lives and those doctrines which guided them.
The whole of which proves so embarrassing to Alienist Calvinists that they literally attempt to rewrite the history of the Church, applying a transparently contrived veneer of diversity over Church history – even going so far as to claim that many of the church fathers were Blacks. Because the alternative is too grim for them to bear, that alternative being that the socio-racial inequality to which they are so indignant is foremost the design of God.
For they find all the same offense in God’s narrow appointment of Japhethites to custodianship of the covenant after Shem and its inarguable outworking which the Arminians and seculars do. It is unfair in their minds that while God sovereignly chose to appoint the White race corporately to n higher state of existence in this life and in eternity while leaving other peoples in spiritual darkness, moral degeneracy, ignorance, and squalor, even up to the present.
The alternatives for these Alienist Calvinists turn are:
1) Lying brazenly, as Peter Leithart makes habit of, by portraying Church history as primarily Black because some of the church fathers wrote from North Africa. Never mind that this is an entirely novel notion, and that all the traditional renderings of the men in question depict them as White Romans, and that the North Africans in question, such as in the case of Augustine, self-identified as Japhethites, i.e., European. Leithart even goes so far as to insist that Black people are the West’s only hope to restore Christendom, because they are its original builders (absurd as that is), and they are much more moral than Whites today (more absurd, still).
2) Construing grace ostensibly as Black Liberation theology, as Cohn, Boesak, Bradley, and those at Reformed Blacks of America tend, positing as doctrinal essentials things like “the blackness of Christ,” “the gospel of personhood,” “human rights,” “social justice,” etc. This brand conceives of Christendom prior to the civil rights movement as having persisted more or less in full apostasy from the earliest times. They regard the White race as bearing a unique corporate guilt, culpable for every Marxian-spun sin on behalf of Black, Jew, Indian, or what have you.
3) Pretending as if Christian history and the doctrines of grace have no racial implications. This option has been prevalent amongst White “colorblind” propositionalists such as John Piper who, after denying the bare existence of races, somehow conclude that “race-mixing is the gospel.”
But in truth these alternatives, wherever found, are blended together in a volatile stew of contradiction. Not just contradiction with Calvinism, but internal conflict amongst all the new-age components which they tell us now define Calvinism.
Perseverance of the Saints
Comprehending continuance in the faith as divine preservation suggests much in the history of missions and the unequal durability of the faith amongst the nations. Clearly, since the Gospel does not change, nor the Spirit who works its efficacy, the differing levels of permeation and persistence of Christianity between the nations denotes inequality of character between the peoples themselves.
Missions in Africa, for instance, have born such sparse fruit precisely because God chose not to preserve the Hamitic wing of humanity in anything resembling what we recognize as orthodoxy. Even amongst those Africans who came to accept profession of the faith under the Ethiopic See, we find them to have sparked only momentarily before flickering out:
In no country did Christianity so soon degenerate . . . [thus] the Abyssinians and their church disappeared from history.23
Even though the Ethiopic See tendered the highest expression of Christianity amongst the Black race, our European missionaries nonetheless collectively appraised Ethiopic Christianity as containing “the utmost amount of superstition that can overwhelm a church without killing it,” concluding ultimately that even when African Christianity has risen to its highest heights, to call such religion Christian faith “strains our idea of Christianity and the church almost to breaking . . . Whatever of extravagant ritualism, excessive dogmatism and fatal divorce between ethics and religion disfigures oriental Christianity reveals itself most hideously in Abyssinia.”24
This is what we continue to see within and without the Dark Continent, wherever Blacks dwell – that Noah’s racial forecast of world history is manifest still in that Christendom is expressed most tenuously amongst the sons of Ham whom Isaiah called “a people terrible from their beginning onward” (Isa. 18.2).
Moreover, if there is a single personality trait which has typified the African, for good or ill, it is his verve. Amongst the races, he represents the most severe and animated wing of the species in affections as well as hatreds. In the language of psychology, the African tends toward the highest “self-esteem” and the least self-critique. He, more than any other race, follows his instincts. This makes of him the least tolerant of the Calvinist doctrine of the perseverance of the saints, because he, more than men of other races, believes himself good; he confesses his own willful determination rather than the sustentation of God.
Those, therefore, who tell him that he is depraved and unable to believe apart from God’s preservation, he denounces as racist, and seeks to kill.
Compare these realities with Kuyper’s narrative of the Reformation and its doctrine:
Simultaneously, Calvinism had its rise in all the countries of Western Europe, and it did not appear among those nations because the university was in its vain, or because scholars led the people, or because a magistrate placed himself at their head; but it sprang from the hearts of the people themselves, with weavers and farmers, with tradesmen and servants, with women and young maidens; and in every instance it exhibited the same characteristic, viz. strong Assurance of eternal salvation, not only without the intervention of the church, but even in opposition to the church.25
Which is to say that different nations have, according to their own circumstances and the secondary causes of affinity and family, responded differently (unequally) to the doctrines of grace. Addressing these matters in America, he explained the doctrines of grace as compelling us to acknowledge our racial kinship with the White race in our European Fatherland:
[S]till we both feel that the life in Old Europe is not something separate from life here; it is one and the same current of human existence that flows through both Continents.
By virtue of our common origin, you may call us bone of your bone, — we feel that you are flesh of our flesh, and although you are outstripping us in the most discouraging way, you will never forget that the historic cradle of your wondrous youth stood in our old Europe, and was most gently rocked in the cradle of my once great Fatherland.26
As such, the Dutch Reformed Church issued the official statement in 1948: “As a church, we have always worked purposefully for the separation of the races. In this regard apartheid can rightfully be called a church policy.”27 These sentiments, which would have been recognized within my own lifetime by mainstream Reformed denominations, are met by the same today with snarling anathemas. If the Reformed churches so recently confessed racial segregation to have always been the position of the Church, what changed? Certainly not Calvinism.
Reverend Cox’s repudiation of Calvinism as ‘racism’ will no doubt be rebuffed by the neo-Calvinists, but insofar as we grant any proximate meaningfulness to the term ‘racist,’ we must in the same measure concede his argument. Because what cultural Marxists such as Cox are objecting to in Calvinism with the accusation of ‘racism’ is God’s sovereign election of men to unequal states of existence. Since the manifestation of Calvinism in society is consistent with its own metaphysical roots, acknowledgment of difference, inequality, and hierarchy ordained of God amid individuals, families, and races is but the consistent social expression of Calvinism.
Conversely, in whatever measure the neo-Calvinist would object to the social outworking of Calvinism, so too does he implicitly deny the soteriology which it mirrors. If we concede to his demands that we ignore the politically incorrect social extensions of Calvinism, more than ignoring, we have joined them in obscuring and suppressing the truth in unrighteousness.
For if the noetic faculties and moral proclivities of men are now said to be untouched by secondary causes of circumstance such as familial descent, the Alienist-Calvinist argues Erasmus’s case against Luther – that the will is not in bondage, but equally free in all to do good or ill. In so doing the neo-Calvinist makes hearty endorsement of “prevenient grace” wherein men cannot be said to differ in respect to sin. Starting from the assumption that all men are equal, all sin is thereby declared of equal magnitude, and the dispensation of grace equal in all. This, of course, lands the Alienist-Calvinist ultimately in moral relativism, and that trending into Unitarian Universalism. Outside the Christian faith altogether.
So it is that the faithful can but look on the one-time Calvinist institutions come under the sway of this deracine neo-Calvinism and say “Ichabod,” for the glory has indeed departed.
Meantime, the remnant, many of whom remain peppered throughout those institutions, and without working toward the establishment of a new denomination for the old faith, abide still. We shall press on while the last of the subverted denominations flounder in the relativist slough of despond.
What does this have to do with Calvinism, you ask? Everything. Calvinism is Kinism.
- John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, Beveridge translation, book iii, pp. 205-206 ↩
- John Gresham Machen, Christianity and Liberalism, chapter 7 ↩
- Ibid., p. 133 ↩
- Abraham Kuyper, Lectures on Calvinism, pp. 268-272 ↩
- Charles Hodge, Systematic Theology, vol. 2, pp. 112-113 ↩
- Loraine Boettner, The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination, p. 36 ↩
- Louis Berkhof, Systematic Theology, p. 239 ↩
- Charles Hodge, Systematic Theology, vol. 2, p. 113 ↩
- Arnold Guyot, Physical Geography, 1873, as reproduced in Hall’s The Christian History of the Constitution, pp. 3-4 ↩
- J. Wingate Thornton, The Pulpit of the American Revolution, as cited in Hall’s The Christian History of the American Constitution, p. 382 ↩
- Rev. Samuel Davies, Dominion; or, the Unity and Trinity of the Human Race, pp. 17, 19 ↩
- Paul R. Griffin, Seeds of Racism in the Soul of America, pp. 13-14, 16-17 ↩
- Allan Boesak, Black and Reformed, pp. 85-86 ↩
- Ibid., p. 87 ↩
- Louis Berkhof, Systematic Theology, p. 246 ↩
- Matthew Henry, commentary on Genesis 3 ↩
- Loraine Boettner, The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination, p. 36 ↩
- Charles Hodge, Systematic Theology, vol. i, p. 613 ↩
- Loraine Boettner, The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination, p. 35 ↩
- Charles Hodge, Systematic Theology, vol i, p. 586 ↩
- Matthew Henry, commentary on Genesis 2 ↩
- Allan Boesak, Black and Reformed, pp. 51, 83, 86 ↩
- Frederic P. Noble, The Redemption of Africa, vol. i, pp. 27-28 ↩
- Ibid., p. 195 ↩
- Abraham Kuyper, op. cit., p. 23 ↩
- Ibid., p. 2 ↩
- Die Kerkbode, Sept. 22, 1948, qtd. in Allan Boesak, Black and Reformed, p. 106 ↩