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Mon Nov 21, 2005 at 08:34:03 AM EST
I think that you guys need an explanation of who "Dominionists" are somewhere right at the top of the website - permanent.  Plus the "About TTA" link needs to be much bigger so that those browsing through quickly can click on it and see that the site's about fighting the Christian Right.

We have a glossary already, but we haven't yet linked to it : "Dominionism" and other terms dealt with in this project are contentious and slippery - we're working with relevant academics to achieve the most accurate definitions possible :

To illustrate the problem - is "The Great Commission" a Dominionist project ?

Some would rightly say yes, others rightly no - but a third group might more accurately note that Dominionism operates actually as recently emergent subculture within the long historical tradition of the "Great Commission" and is often at odds - sometimes violently so - with the mainstream of that tradition.  

And, further, while some might even go so far as to claim that the historical Crusades were "Dominionist", that approach would dilute the term hopelessly in terms of it's contemporary practical application. This website is fundamentally [ to use a currently loaded term! ] concerned with making these sorts of finer grained distinctions.

So - in short - please bear with us. This website is only at a very preliminary stage, and there are many site additions planned for the near future. One step at a time.

But, your concern is a top priority for the site.

by TTA Site Administration on Mon Nov 21, 2005 at 08:59:58 AM EST

Finding a "beginning point" for dominionism is difficult, in that there are multiple groups involved in dominionism and each has a different starting point.  Major "moments in dominionism" that I can point out (partly from research, partly from growing up in a large dominionist church):

Pentecostal/charismatic affiliated dominionist groups:

1830's (First writings on rapture; "pretribulation dispensationalism" (a la the kind of stuff you read about in the Left Behind books) is the dominant flavour in many pente/charismatic dominionist groups, but is a very new concept in Christianity itself; much of support for dominionism in pente/charismatic groups is based on idea church has a "dispensation", and this is also basis of much support for "Christian Zionism"; also is focus for the extremely aggressive attempts by the AoG in particular to convert Jews (including in Israel) to "messianic Jews")

190: (Azusa Street Revival--this is actually specifically cited by pente/charismatic groups of "evidence of God's choosing the US" and a reason why the US must be converted to a theocracy; originally a split within the Methodist Church (hence why Bush can be practically an AoGer but still claim he's "Methodist"--technically all pentecostal/charismatic denominations are ultimately Methodist splits)

1920's (splits between pentecostal denominations)

1930's (beginning of radio-evangelism)

1940-ish (founding of Full Gospel Businessmen's Fellowship International; one of the first "front groups" of the AoG devoted to stealth evangelism and major early centre of dominionist movement; trends in "word-faith" (aka name-it-and-claim-it), "deliverance ministry", Brownsville/Toronto "third wave" stuff, etc. have largely spread between and through pentecostal denominations through FGBMFI)

1950's (first modern examples of dominionism taking advantage of "red scare" (including attempts to pass constitutional amendments declaring the US a "nation under the law and authority of Jesus Christ"); "under God" amendment to Pledge of Allegiance one major result, also beginning of televangelism and of conspiracy theories in dominionist community concerning Russia-as-Antichrist; beginnings of "Third Wave" pentecostalism (which is explicitly dominionist) via Paul Yonggi Cho in Yoido Full Gospel (AoG) megachurch in South Korea)

1960's, especially late 1960's (beginnings of "neo-pentecostal" and charismatic movements, which have generally been more explicitly tied to dominionism; beginnings of parachurch groups associated with dominionism such as Campus Crusade for Christ and Maranatha (later disbanded after exposes of coercive tactics); beginnings of "quasi-denominations" such as Calvary Chapel and the Vineyard churches; initial spread of "Third Wave" dogma to American AoG churches)

1970's-early 80's (foundation of Moral Majority and Christian Coalition; beginnings of explicit attempts to hijack Republican Party state conventions; most of the "old guard" dominionist groups like Eagle Forum, etc. began their formation around early 80's; "Third Wave" practice embraced by AoG and especially "independent charismatic" churches like Ted Haggard's New Life Church (one of the first three or four big "third wave" churches in the US)

Mid-80's-90's ("Brownsville Revival"/"Third Wave" breaks out of AoG, goes to Vineyard churches and back to AoG again; dominionist control over Republican state conventions solidified at this point; US Taxpayer Party (nee Constitution Party) formed; most of "new wave" of dominionist groups founded at this point)

(Forgive the fuzziness in dates--as this involved multiple denominations and dominionism is highly tied with at least three religious movements in pente/charismatic churches (word-faith (aka name-it-and-claim-it), dominion theology including specifically the practice of "deliverance ministry" (to quote Marguerite Perrin: "Everything Is Un-Godly"; Perrin is actually a good example of someone into the "third wave" variety of pente/charismatic thought) and especially the "Third Wave" movement (Toronto/Brownsville revivals, practices at New Life Church and multiple large AoG churches, "Kansas City Prophets", et al) which is dominionist at its core and has a heavy emphasis on "spiritual warfare") dates will often overlap.  I am most familiar with dominionism within the AoG itself, but a lot of "independent charismatic" churches also have similar histories.)

Southern Baptists:

1847--Split with the original main body of Baptists regarding the issue of whether missionaries could own slaves.  (The main body of Baptists had passed a church regulation against it.)

Church remains conservative through 50's to early 60's; post-Civil War era experienced considerable liberalisation until the mid-80's.

1986-ish and continuing from there: Rev. Al Mohler hijacks Southern Baptist Seminary in Louisville, begins major purge of non-dominionists.  Dominionists succeed in taking over church government apparatus for the Convention, leading ultimately to the destruction of the social works school at the Seminary (quite literally all the professors were purged for not being dominionist enough).  Church ultimately splits again, with Mainstream Baptists (moderates) leaving the Convention.  Southern Baptist Convention especially since the 90's has gone hardline dominionist, but is actually a relatively new player compared with pente/charismatic groups and "independent Baptist" groups.

Independent Baptists:

Generally small splits (much like how one or two pentecostal denominations have split to nearly 400 (not counting the "independent charismatic" megachurches)), the fundamentalist "independent Baptist" churches, much like pente/charismatic churches, have been at the early heart of dominionism.  Much writing on "Christian Reconstructionism" in particular is from the "independent Baptist" churches, including the writings of Rushdoony himself.

by dogemperor on Mon Nov 21, 2005 at 04:56:36 PM EST

You know, you're addressing a leading historian in his field - which I'll not divulge without asking.

But, I'll say this - it's not religion and certainly not Dominiomism [ although he does study politics of a sort ] .

OK, enough said - but I can assure you that eveything you just wrote will be read with interest.

by Bruce Wilson on Mon Nov 21, 2005 at 06:56:37 PM EST

Hopefully, whomever our Mystery Researcher is should find it of interest (and one hopes he will correct me if I'm off in areas).

by dogemperor on Tue Nov 22, 2005 at 10:12:08 AM EST

In my own writings about this subject, I've floundered around forever trying to find a word that describes the unique and dangerous combination of belief, intent, and political meddling that characterizes this subsect within Christianity. For a long time, they were 'fundies' and 'evangelists', along with 'religious right' and other titles. But in scrutinizing these words, it was clear that such usages were muddying the waters, as well as casting aspersions on Evangelicals and Fundementalists who were not necessarily Dominionists. There had to be a better word.

When I encountered the word "Dominionist", which listed the traits and characteristics of this movement, I realized that this word would probably be the best to use. I'd considered "Christianist", but that was a fairly rare usage.  "Dominionist" was the right word to use, as it did not indicate a sect, but instead indicated a Trojan Horse type movement within the faith, and it also indicated its ultimate goal- both religious and political.  It is descriptive without being slangy, which is the best thing to be.

by Lorie Johnson on Mon Nov 21, 2005 at 09:15:17 AM EST

Is "Christian supremacy" - but that might not necessarily be identical with "Dominionism".  

by Bruce Wilson on Mon Nov 21, 2005 at 10:42:43 AM EST
"Religious Supremacists". It generally reflects the same thing as "Dominionist" does, but isn't as often used.

by Lorie Johnson on Mon Nov 21, 2005 at 11:16:24 AM EST

that's a good suggestion.

in the meantime, the glossary on Religious Right Watch might be useful: http://www.religiousrightwatch.com/glossary/glossary.htm

by IseFire on Mon Nov 21, 2005 at 01:52:01 PM EST

http://www.rthoughtsrfree.org/tcnglossary.htm (Project Tocsin's glossary on dominionist terms)

http://www.livejournal.com/community/dark_christian/64392.html (an attempt to catalogue code words, code phrases, and "brand names" used in the dominionist community)

http://p212.ezboard.com/fexpentecostalforumsfrm7.showMessage?topicID=969.topic (another attempt to create a lexicon, this one more specific to pente/charismatic-affiliated dominionist groups; is a good guide for many of the more "hardcore" dominionist groups to show how an entirely different language is spoken at times)

by dogemperor on Tue Nov 22, 2005 at 10:20:42 AM EST

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