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Donatism & the State

  Donatism was a movement, occasioned by the end of the persecutions of the church.  During the last great persecutions, there were churches and pastors, as well as members who, when faced with the threat of death, either renounced the faith or took out a state license, and became a part of the officially-approved cults of Rome.  When the persecution ended, the church split over the issue as to whether or not these apostasyzing churches, pastors, and members could be received back into communion again.  The Donatists said no.  The main body of the church said yes, upon repentance.

R. J. Rushdoony
  • R. J. Rushdoony
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Donatism was a movement, occasioned by the end of the persecutions of the church.  During the last great persecutions, there were churches and pastors, as well as members who, when faced with the threat of death, either renounced the faith or took out a state license, and became a part of the officially-approved cults of Rome.  When the persecution ended, the church split over the issue as to whether or not these apostasyzing churches, pastors, and members could be received back into communion again.  The Donatists said no.  The main body of the church said yes, upon repentance.


R. J. Rushdoony
  • R. J. Rushdoony

Rev. R.J. Rushdoony (1916–2001), was a leading theologian, church/state expert, and author of numerous works on the application of Biblical law to society. He started the Chalcedon Foundation in 1965. His Institutes of Biblical Law (1973) began the contemporary theonomy movement which posits the validity of Biblical law as God’s standard of obedience for all. He therefore saw God’s law as the basis of the modern Christian response to the cultural decline, one he attributed to the church’s false view of God’s law being opposed to His grace. This broad Christian response he described as “Christian Reconstruction.” He is credited with igniting the modern Christian school and homeschooling movements in the mid to late 20th century. He also traveled extensively lecturing and serving as an expert witness in numerous court cases regarding religious liberty. Many ministry and educational efforts that continue today, took their philosophical and Biblical roots from his lectures and books.

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