You’re thinking that I misspelled “house.” I didn’t. The reference is to Brannon Howse who heads up Worldview Weekend. A better designation would be “World-Ending Weekend” since so many of his speakers and article topics push an end-of-the-world eschatology.
Howse warns his young audiences of the dangers facing society with one batch of speakers and then with another batch of speakers tells the same impressionable and eager audiences that the rapture is near. Here’s a list of some of the many articles he publishes on end-of-the-world themes:
- “Prophecy Update. Turkey’s Alliance with Iran Grows Stronger” by Joel Rosenberg
- “Salvation in the Tribulation: Revisited” by Thomas Ice
- “The Emerging Babylonian Harlot” by John McTernan
- “Is the Antichrist a Jew, Gentile, or Supernatural?” by Bill Salhus
- “Jesus is Returning in Our Time: The Key Sign” by David R. Reagan.
There is hardly a talk or article that offers anything related to bringing about cultural change. In fact, Howse seems to go out of his way to dispel the notion that societal change is even possible or permissible for Christians to pursue. His site includes an article written by prophecy writer Bob DeWaay that critiques the “dominion mandate” based on passages like Genesis 1:28 and Matthew 28:18–20. If there is no dominion mandate, then what are these worldview weekends all about? Why are parents sending their kids to these conferences? To tell them how bad things are and get them ready for the rapture?
Without the dominion mandate, we would not be here. The dominion mandate is the application of all the Bible to all of life. In 1988, Henry Morris set forth a theology of dominion in his book The Biblical Basis for Modern Science. According to Morris, the “dominion mandate” (his usage) includes science, technology, the humanities, commerce, law, civil government, and education, in short, every facet of human culture. Morris notes:
[L]ong before [the Great Commission] another great commission was given to all men, whether saved or unsaved, merely by virtue of being men created by God in His image. It also had worldwide scope, and has never been rescinded. It had to do with implementing God’s purpose in His work of creation, just as Christ’s commission was for implementing His work of salvation and reconciliation.1
Morris says that the command to subdue the earth means “bringing all earth’s systems and processes into a state of optimum productivity and utility, offering the greatest glory to God and benefit to mankind.”2 So then, there is nothing unusual about advocating dominion based on Genesis 1:26–28. By the way, the “dominion mandate” was never conceived to allow for the rape of the environment. Dominion is a form of stewardship under God.
There is a theological and logical relationship between the “dominion mandate” of Genesis and the Great Commission of Matthew 28:18–20. Dr. Harold John Ockenga, in his Introduction to Carl F. H. Henry’s 1947 watershed book The Uneasy Conscience of Modern Fundamentalism, writes:
A Christian world- and life-view embracing world questions, societal needs, personal education ought to rise out of Matt. 28:18–21 [sic] as much as evangelism does. Culture depends on such a view, and Fundamentalism is prodigally dissipating the Christian culture accretion of centuries, a serious sin. A sorry answer lies in the abandonment of social fields to the secularist.3
D. James Kennedy, the late Senior Pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church, was a vocal advocate of what he and others have called the “cultural mandate.” He defined it this way:
As the vice-regents of God, we are to bring His truth and His will to bear on every sphere of our world and our society. We are to exercise godly dominion and influence over our neighborhoods, our schools, our government, our literature and arts, our sports arenas, our entertainment media, our news media, our scientific endeavors—in short, over every aspect and institution of human society.4
You can’t beat something with nothing. While the Worldview Weekenders are being told how bad things are but not to worry because the “rapture” is going to save you, the secularists and Islamists are working their own form of dominion. Not a dominion by consent and service but by force. Opposing the “dominion mandate” does not put Christians in neutral territory; it puts them on the defensive. Of course, this doesn’t matter because as the cosmic rescue is just around the corner to take the “terminal generation” to heaven because as David R. Reagan, frequent contributor to Worldview Weekend assures the Weekenders, “Jesus is Returning in Our Time.” James Davidson Hunter has written that “[m]ost Christians in history have interpreted the creation mandate in Genesis as a mandate to change the world.”5 Worldview Weekend is not about changing the world; it’s about how the world is going to end in the lifetime of the young people attending the conferences.
As anyone who knows anything about the history of prophetic speculation is aware, this promise has
been made over and over again. While multiple generations of Christians waited impatiently for the promised rescue, the anti-Christian dominionists went about their work.
Dominion does not disappear when a man renounces it; it is simply transferred to another person, perhaps to his wife, children, employer, or the state. Where the individual surrenders his due dominion, where the family abdicates it, and the worker and employer reduce it, there another party, usually the state, concentrates dominion. Where organized society surrenders power, the mob gains it proportionate to the surrender.6
To make matters worse, Howse republished an article by Dave Hunt that first saw the light of day in 1987. The title? “The Danger of Dominion Theology.” What’s Hunt’s answer? The “rapture”! Hunt was on the cutting edge of prophetic speculation in the late 1980s. His books The Seduction of Christianity and Beyond Seduction were bestsellers. He went on the record opposing “dominion theology.” I did a number of debates with Hunt. Peter Leithart and I wrote the 440-page book The Reduction of Christianity: Dave Hunt’s Theology of Cultural Surrender in 1988. I followed this with The Debate over Christian Reconstruction, also in 1988. It’s obvious that Brannon Howse hasn’t read either one of them.
Brannon needs to make a decision. Is he going to be in the “rapture rescue” business or is he going to be
in the dominion business? Does he see the teenagers who attend his conferences as part of the “terminal generation” or the “pivotal generation”? You can’t change the world by promising Christians that soon they will escape it.
Brannon, it’s time to choose. Choose wisely—a generation of young Christians is depending on you.
- Henry M. Morris, The Biblical Basis for Modern Science (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1984), 41. “The responsibility of administering capital punishment is the greatest responsibility of human government. It implicitly entails the obligation also to control those human actions which, if unchecked, could easily (and often do) lead to murder (e.g., robbery, adultery, slander, greed). The dual role of government is that of both protection and punishment—protection of the lives, property, and freedoms of its citizens, and just retribution on those citizens who deprive other citizens of life, possessions, or liberty” (45–46).(↩)
- Morris, The Biblical Basis for Modern Science, 41.(↩)
- Harold J. Ockenga, “Introduction,” in Carl F. H. Henry, The Uneasy Conscience of Modern Fundamentalism (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1947), 14.(↩)
- D. James Kennedy, Led by the Carpenter: Finding God’s Purpose for Your Life (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1999), 7.(↩)
- Quoted in C. Peter Wagner, Dominion! How Kingdom Action Can Change the World (Grand Rapids, MI: Chosen, 2008), 41.(↩)
- Rousas J. Rushdoony, The Institutes of Biblical Law (Nutley, NJ: The Craig Press, 1973), 448.(↩)