Category Archives: Gary North

Two Books that Influenced Gary North’s Thinking

Rushdoony’s 'Institutes of Biblical Law' (1973) and Ray Sutton’s 'That You May Prosper' (1987)

North writes about ‘The Two Most Important Books in My Life‘.

Excerpts:

Rushdoony’s thinking was shaped by his commitment to Van Til’s Bible-based defense of the faith. But he did not share Van Til’s Dutch Reformed amillennialism, which teaches that Christians will always be in a defensive minority condition. Rushdoony was a postmillennialist, which had been the common view of American Presbyterianism until after the Civil War. It teaches Christian victory in history before the Second Coming.

[…]

It was only with my book on Exodus 20, meaning the Ten Commandments, did the covenant model begin to shake my thinking. I wrote The Sinai Strategy from 1985 to 1986. It reflects the five-point model. But I did not do this self-consciously. I was working with Sutton’s manuscript. I had developed a sense of the model. My book was structured as if I had fully understood Sutton’s model. I didn’t. I structured the Ten Commandments in terms of Sutton’s five-point covenant model: two five-point sections, each with the same five-point order. The first five commandments are priestly; the second five commandments are kingly. That only became clear to me when the book had already been typeset.

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The Inescapable Triad of Religions

Power, escape and dominion - of which power religion is currently dominant in the world

I’ve recently posted an article by Doug Wilson about Gary North. Now Bionic Mosquito (B. M.) has written an interesting article on Doug Wilson.

Quotes:

Who is Doug Wilson? Douglas James Wilson (born 1953) is a conservative Reformed and evangelical theologian, pastor at Christ Church in Moscow, Idaho, faculty member at New Saint Andrews College, and author and speaker.

What does he say about himself?

Theology that Bites Back: I want to advance a Chestertonian Calvinism on education, sex and culture, theology, politics, book reviews, postmodernism, expository studies, along with other random tidbits that come into my head. In theology I am an evangelical, postmill, Calvinist, Reformed, and Presbyterian, pretty much in that order.

Not someone the mainstream would embrace.  Also, not someone that many Christians would embrace.

Regarding the basic, inescapable triad of religions (that of power, escape, and dominion), B. M. writes (and quotes):

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The Naughty Boy of Evangelicalism

Offers a good, concise description of the three basic types of Christians

Doug Wilson, on his Website “Blog and Mablog” describes the condition of evangelical Christianity in today’s world, following the pattern first formulated by Gary North:

First, those believers who have a yen for power may be called friends-of-the-regime. They do not make claims of control over your life directly, but they certainly want to be on the good side of those who do. They want to be fully cooperative with them, believing that helping the tyrants forge your chains should be called something like “loving your neighbor.” These are the pastors and elders who want to assume the very best about the latest contradictory fog bank from the CDC, and who assume the very worst about the consciences of their own most faithful parishioners.

Second, those believers who are keeping their head down until the rapture are seeking a way of escape. Or, if dispensational theology is not their bag, this kind of person might retreat into pietism or confessionalism. The pietist wants to keep his own personal nose clean until God sees fit to take him out of this dirty world, and so he wants to escape unnoticed in this world until he can escape unnoticed to a better world. And the escapist confessionalist wants to sit in the red sports car of the historic Reformed tradition, fire that baby up, put the clutch all the way in, all the way to the floor, and, together with R. Scott Clark, make vroom vroom noises.

And then, third, we have those with a mind for dominion. These are the believers who seek to labor under the grace of God, seeking to have God load those labors up with what I call Deuteronomic blessings in this life, and in the life to come, all of Christ. This third group is the historic Reformed position. It was held by John Calvin, Pierre Viret, Martin Bucer, John Knox, the Westminster divines, Jonathan Edwards, Abraham Kuyper, and, quite humbled to be included in such an august listing, and not quite sure how I came to be added to it, me.

He adds some thoughts about how things are going currently:

The now thoroughly discredited leadership of the evangelical movement has been our Neville Chamberlain, and our last two years of chaos have been Hitler’s invasion of Poland. I speak in a dark parable. But the coming leadership of evangelicalism will need to be Churchillian—or we perish.

Malthusianism vs. Covenantalism

Text by Gary North

And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth (Gen. 1:28).

That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies (Gen. 22:17).

And thou saidst, I will surely do thee good, and make thy seed as the sand of the sea, which cannot be numbered for multitude (Gen. 32:12).

The message is clear: the primary blessing in history is an expanding population of covenant-keepers. Man’s dominion assignment from God mandates population growth. God’s covenantal promise to Abraham involved a multiplication of his heirs. World dominion and population growth are linked.(1)

This fact is no longer taken seriously by most Protestant Christians. It is, however, taken very seriously by the zero population growth movement, which sees man as the cancer of the world. Man’s dominion over nature is seen as the ultimate threat to nature. Bill McKibben has stated this theology well: “We have deprived nature of its independence, and that is fatal to its meaning. Nature’s independence is its meaning; without it there is nothing but us.” Nothing but man: this is blasphemy in the minds of modern pantheists and nature-worshippers.

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Gary North, RIP

Obituary by Craig Bulkeley

When Gary Kilgore North passed away on February 24, 2022, at the age of 80, he left behind a massive storehouse of Christian scholarship without parallel in the modern church. For nearly fifty-five straight and solid years he applied himself as a craftsman with single-mind devotion to researching, writing, and speaking about God’s world from the perspective of God’s Word. While he lived his work benefited his large readership around the world. For generations to come it will be of great use to the Church of his Lord Jesus Christ.

Continue reading here.

More obituaries:

By Timothy Terrell

By Friday Odey

By Bionic Mosquito

By Daniel Silliman (Christianity Today)

By John Reasnor

By Mark Skousen, who writes: “There are people in one’s life that you wish you could talk or write to after they die. Gary North is one of them.”

The memorial service, 26/03/2022

The Bible is a Textbook on Life

Seeing life from God's perspective

You’ve heard people claim that the Bible is not a textbook on particular topics. While that’s generally true, the Bible is a book about all of life. Everything that it speaks of is useful and true for all times and all people. Humanity needs special revelation in order to see life from God’s perspective, rather than through our own sinful perspective. In this final part of the interview between Gary North and Cal Beisner, they discuss Christian education and how we move forward.

It contains these words, spoken by Cal Beisner, which he says he occasionally asks people in Q&A sessions after one of his talks (scroll to 14:15 min):

“Who in his right mind ever thought it made any sense whatsoever to entrust to the government the shaping of the minds of the people by whose consent it is supposed to govern? [. . .] What does consent mean, if the government determines what we thing? [. . .] Government education and liberty are incompatible in the long term.”

(Interview part 1)

(Interview part 2)

It Takes Time

The short term may look bad, but the long term is glorious

In this second part of the interview between Dr. Gary North and Cal Beisner, the discussion turns to long-term and short-term views. A long-term victorious outlook will yield much different results than a short-term pessimistic outlook. Thinking through the consequences of the Christian worldview on every topic of human existence takes time. This will not happen when the church is convinced that its time on earth is short.

Adam’s Fall or Christ’s Resurrection

Which is more important?

[See original text, by Gary DeMar, here.]

It seems like such a simple question for a Christian to answer. The answer seems so easy. Obviously, the resurrection is more important, now and in eternity. If there had been no resurrection of Christ, our faith would be vain. [See 1 Corinthians 15:13-17]

But this immediately raises a second question: Which is more important, the effects of Christ’s resurrection in history or the effects of Adam’s Fall (God’s curse of the ground) in history? The answer to this corollary question is going to make a lot of very dedicated Christians unhappy. The effects of Christ’s resurrection are more important, as time goes by, than the effects of Adam’s Fall.

The implications of this statement, if believed and put into daily practice, would revolutionize the Christian world. In fact, they would revolutionize the entire fallen world. We can go farther: the implications will revolutionize the fallen world. Yet this is what most Christians categorically deny today. They deny it because they have been taught, implicitly and explicitly, that the effects of Adam’s Fall are overwhelmingly, inevitably more powerful in history than Christ’s resurrection. [1]

On today’s podcast, we run the first part of an interview between Gary North and Cal Beisner about worldviews and how they influence everything, including environmental issues. The Apocalyptic Environmentalists have been the majority voice in the media for decades. Cal and his organization, the Cornwall Alliance, work to inform, educate, and motivate Christians to get involved with facts, truth, and optimism.

[1] Adapted from Gary North’s book, Is the World Running Down?