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Vol. VI • 1983

Box Theology
Rousas John Rushdoony

The Christian Church is busily departing from the doctrine of God's sovereignty and His necessary catholic (universal) jurisdiction. Christianity is increasingly limited to a "spiritual" realm (of which it now concedes vast areas to psychology and psychiatry), and the rest of the world is granted to the state.

The result is box theology. To understand what box theology is, let us compare the universe to the Empire State Building, a great, modern, skyscraper office building. In box theology, the church claims one small office among hundreds for Christianity. All the rest of the building is given over to the jurisdiction of the state and the sciences. One area after another is deemed non-religious and is surrendered. This is done despite the fact that God is the Creator and Lord of the whole universe and therefore has total and absolute jurisdiction over all things. God's law-word, jurisdiction, and authority must govern all things. "All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made" (John 1:3).

Box theology is implicit polytheism. It says in effect that there is one God over the church, but other gods over every other realm, or else, that all realms other than the church are neutral realms. These "neutral" realms are not under the mandate of Scripture but are free to follow the dictates of natural (fallen) reason wherever it leads them.

This idea of neutrality is, of course, a myth. If the God of Scripture is the true and living God, there can be no realm of neutral facts and neutral jurisdiction. All things are under God's sovereignty and law, and nothing can exist apart from Him, nor can any law be valid other than His law. To claim neutrality for any realm is to denythat God created it, and to posit neutrality is to cease to be a Christian.

To acknowledge Jesus Christ as Lord is to bring ourselves, our every thought, every action and word, all spheres of life, and all institutions, under His jurisdiction and law-word. Box theologies and philosophies are finally allotted a narrow box by God: it's name is Hell. The glorious liberty of the sons of God is to be a new creation in and through Jesus Christ, to work for the fulness of that new creation, and to dwell therein eternally in the great consummation by Him who makes all things new.

The foregoing comments are excerpted from Chalcedon
Position Paper No. 39, published by Chalcedon, P.O. Box 158, Vallecito, CA. 95257.

"Box Theology"
CSSHS • Creation Social Science & Humanities Society • Quarterly Journal

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