Dominion Theology

Dominion Theology
This is a sub-article to Dominionism and Theology.
See dominion (disambiguation) for other meanings of the word Dominion.

Dominion Theology is a grouping of theological systems with the common belief that society should be governed exclusively by the law of God as codified in the Bible, to the exclusion of secular law. The two main streams of Dominion Theology are Christian Reconstructionism and Kingdom Now Theology. Though these two differ greatly in their general theological orientation (the first is strongly Reformed and Neo-Calvinistic, the second is Charismatic), they share a postmillennial vision in which the Kingdom of God will be established on Earth through political and (in some cases) even military means.

Dominion Theology is seen by some as a subset of Dominionism, a term used by some social scientists and journalists to describe a theological form of political ideology, which they claim has broadly influenced the Christian Right in the United States, Canada, and Europe, within Protestant Christian evangelicalism and fundamentalism.



The name "Dominion Theology" is derived from Genesis 1:28, where God grants humanity "dominion" over the Earth.

And God blessed [ Adam and Eve ], 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."

Christians typically interpret this passage as meaning that God gave humankind responsibility over the Earth, but Dominion Theology infers a mandate for Christian stewardship in civil affairs, no less than in other human matters.


Contemporary Dominion Theology arose in the 1970s in religious movements reasserting aspects of Christian nationalism; however, the Dominion concept has existed within mainstream Christianity since the Third Century. Ideas for how to accomplish this vary. Very doctrinaire versions of Dominion Theology are sometimes called "Hard Dominionism" or "Theocratic Dominionism," because they seek relatively authoritarian theocratic or theonomic forms of government.

Christian Reconstructionism

An example of Dominionism in reformed theology is Christian Reconstructionism, which originated with the teachings of R.J. Rushdoony in the 1960s and 1970s. Rushdoony's theology focuses on theonomy (the rule of the Law of God), a belief that all of society should be ordered according to the laws that governed the Israelites in the Old Testament. His system is strongly Calvinistic, emphasizing the sovereignty of God over human freedom and action, and denying the operation of charismatic gifts in the present day (cessationism); both of these aspects are in direct opposition to Kingdom Now Theology.

While acknowledging the small number of actual adherents, authors such as Sara Diamond and Frederick Clarkson have argued that postmillennial Christian Reconstructionism played a major role in pushing the primarily premillennial Christian Right to adopt a more aggressive dominionist stance.[1] [2]. According to Diamond, "Reconstructionism is the most intellectually grounded, though esoteric, brand of dominion theology."[3]

Dominionism, Dominion Theology, and Christian Reconstructionism are not the same thing. A nested subset chart looks like this:

Dominion Theology
Christian Reconstructionism

The specific meanings are different in important ways, although the terms have been used in a variety of conflicting ways in popular articles, especially on the Internet.

Kingdom Now Theology

Kingdom Now Theology is a branch of Dominion Theology which has had a following within Pentecostalism. It attracted attention in the late 1980s.[1][2] Kingdom Now Theology states that although Satan has been in control of the world since the Fall, God is looking for people who will help him take back dominion. Those who yield themselves to the authority of God's apostles and prophets will take control of the kingdoms of this world, being defined as all social institutions, the "kingdom" of education, the "kingdom" of science, the "kingdom" of the arts, etc.[3]

Kingdom Now Theology is influenced by the Latter Rain movement,[4] and critics have connected it to the New Apostolic Reformation,[5] "Spiritual Warfare Christianity",[4] and Fivefold ministry thinking.[6]


Hal Lindsey criticized Dominion Theology in his 1989 book, The Road to Holocaust.

See also


  1. ^ Anderson, Gordon (Summer 1990). "Kingdom now theology : a look at its roots and branches". Paraclete 24 (3): 1–12. 
  2. ^ Griffin, William A (Spring 1988). "Kingdom Now : New Hope or New Heresy". Eastern Journal of Practical Theology 2: 6–36. 
  3. ^ "An Examination of Kingdom Theology". Apologetics Index. Retrieved 30 January 2011. 
  4. ^ a b Steinkamp, Orrel (November / December 2003). "The "Script" Underlying Spiritual Warfare Christianity". The Plumbline 8 (4). Retrieved 6 November 2010. 
  5. ^ West, Marsha (25 May 2010). "Damnable Heresies Invading the Church". Conservative Crusader. Retrieved 6 November 2010. 
  6. ^ Bowman, Robert M. (Fall 1987). "The Faulty Foundation of the Five-Fold Ministry". Christian Research Journal: 31. Retrieved 6 November 2010. 
  • Barron, Bruce A. (1992). Heaven on earth?: the social & political agendas of dominion theology. Grand Rapids, Mich: Zondervan. ISBN 0-310-53611-1. 
  • Rushdoony, Rousas John; Gary North (1973). Institutes of Biblical Law. Phillipsburg, N.J: P & R Publishing. ISBN 0-87552-410-9. 
  • Diamond, Sara (1995). Roads to dominion: right-wing movements and political power in the United States. New York: Guilford Press. ISBN 0-89862-864-4. 
  • Lindsey, Hal (1989). The Road to Holocaust. London: Bantam. ISBN 0-553-05724-3. 

External links

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