Ralph Drollinger Responds to Allegations He is a Christian Nationalist

Ralph Drollinger really doesn’t like being called a Christian nationalist. He is back with a rebuttal to another Katherine Stewart NY Times op-ed and has a response to my recent posts on his ministry. He gets a few things wrong in his reply which I want to unpack.

First, Drollinger takes on Fred Clark for a brief statement in one of Clark’s Patheos blog postings. Clark wrote:

Ralph Drollinger of “Capitol Ministries” says he’s not a Christian nationalist. (Warren Throckmorton, correctly, disagrees with him.)

In his blog post, Clark linked to my Dec. 31 article on Drollinger and Christian nationalism.

Then Drollinger comes after me.

Throckmorton makes no bones about being a Monday morning quarterback. He describes his blog as a “college psychology professor’s observations about public policy, mental health, sexual identity, and religious issues.”

According to Wikipedia, Throckmorton has no formal training or education in theology.

Throckmorton’s credentials are listed as: bachelor’s in psychology in 1979 from Cedarville College; an M.A. in clinical psychology from Central Michigan University in 1982; and a Ph.D. in counselor education and community counseling from Ohio University in 1992.

I think he means this as a criticism but I don’t know how it helps him. Perhaps, he didn’t recognize Cedarville College as a Christian college. If he had, he might have wondered about my training there. In fact, I took more hours in bible training, theology and New Testament Greek than in psychology (my major). While it was a long time ago, I do have training in theology. Now what?

One consequence of my training as an educator and academic is that I provide citations for my sources. Drollinger doesn’t do that. While he mentions my blog, he doesn’t link to it (or Clark’s). The effect is that he can select a part of my post without his readers having the easy ability to click over and read it for themselves. For instance, Drollinger claims I object to conversion.

In stating his reasons for calling Drollinger a Christian nationalist, Throckmorton objects to Drollinger evangelizing legislators, or, as he writes, “converting legislators to his view of God’s moral law.”

In fact, I don’t object to evangelizing. Evangelizing others is an American freedom. I object to teaching government officials that conversion is necessary for effective public service and possibly using public facilities and resources to do so.

Throckmorton objects to Drollinger establishing “his view of Christianity.” What other view of Christianity would Drollinger impart?

Drollinger gets hung up on my deliberate attempt to distinguish his evangelicalism from other Christian traditions. Of course, he is going to preach what he believes. However, his view of conversion appear to be limited to those in his tradition. It isn’t clear if Catholic, Orthodox, or progressive Christians fall within his definition. Certainly, non-Christians don’t. Even in his rebuttal, he doesn’t back away from his contention that non-Christians however defined aren’t as qualified to legislate as Christians are.

In likeminded logic, does he object to those same actions by other religious leaders, such as the Catholic Pope imparting his brand of Christianity on Nancy Pelosi? Or is it only conservative Evangelical Christians whom Throckmorton believes should be silenced?

I never said he should be silenced. I believe his objectives and teachings should be explicit. That is why I wrote about his operation. My post mostly quoted his material which makes it clear that he believes Christians from his tradition are better legislators and voters than other citizens. I think that runs counter to the Constitution and American values. Since Drollinger obscures the issue by limiting the definition of Christian nationalism to exclude him, it is even more important to present his views clearly.

Non-Christian Legislators Not Effective

Regarding conversion and the effectiveness of legislators, Drollinger says I am wrong and then proves me correct. I don’t think he sees what I see as a contradiction. Drollinger:


Perhaps Throckmorton misunderstood when he mocked Drollinger’s point that conversion to Christianity was preeminent to education for the leaders of the state. Throckmorton wrote:

“If President Trump’s handlers are truly listening to this advice, this could help account for some of the truly unqualified appointments to high administration positions and the judiciary.”

This is False

As Drollinger has said and written many times, education, knowledge, experience, and the proper qualifications are important.

The point Drollinger was making refers to the effect of sin on an individual and strikes at the heart of his ministry as a Christian pastor – to introduce people to God and to teach them why they need His Word.

When someone is “dead in their trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1), they will not be effective in office or anyplace else due to the noetic effect of sin.

This is called talking out of two sides of your face. First he says I am wrong and says education and qualifications are important, but then he says when someone isn’t converted as an evangelical they are not effective. Actually, I wasn’t wrong at all. He still says non-Christian legislators aren’t effective. His evidence is a Bible verse for a political claim.

By raising the “noetic effect of sin,” Drollinger makes a theological argument against his position. The noetic effect of sin is that effect on reasoning and cognition which effects all people, converted and unconverted. As I was taught at evangelical Cedarville College, Christians do not escape the noetic effects of sin. We can learn much from those who are not Christians. In my training, the basis for integration of academic disciplines and theology was rigorous instruction in both professional knowledge and theology.  It is what I currently do now as a Christian college professor. Drollinger’s citation of the noetic effect of sin undermines his point about making conversion a priority for legislators. Just try that when you need open heart surgery.

There is more and you can read the rest.

I don’t think Drollinger should be silenced. I do think he should be watched and his teachings clarified. A key problem I have with his influence is that he thinks non-evangelical legislators aren’t effective. This is arrogant, theologically narrow, and empirically false.

26 thoughts on “Ralph Drollinger Responds to Allegations He is a Christian Nationalist”

  1. Dear commentators and doctors’ philosophers and evangelists; the debate is good, but, lack substance. I did not learn or discover any biblical discernment. Both philosopher doctors have forgotten the following biblical quotations: Matthew 4:8-9; Why did Jesus respond in that way? Read John 18:36; therefore, the political doctrinal evangelism initiated by Mr. Ralph Drollinger is not biblical teaching, it is a ‘political move’ used by Trump and suggested by Mike Pence.

    As for theological studies, it is a farce to argue that an ‘Evangelist Shepherd’ should be qualified by ‘laws of men’. God lifts up the ‘genuine preachers of prophecies, let us see some biblical texts:1 Corinthians 1:26-28; Luke 19:40, 46, and 48. this last verse of the chapter makes ‘reference’ to the strategies of Freemasonry; to make to believe that Donald Trump is acting against globalism or the imminent establishment of the ‘New World Order’; the mission and objective of the ‘evangelizing campaign’ promoted by Ralph Drollinger can be read in Matthew 24:24; Revelation 16:14; 19:20 and its leader is described in Revelation 13:17 (Current sanctions exercised under the Trump administration; for example, trade war, disputes with currency exchange, oil and gas control, imposed economic sanctions, and obstruction of aid between countries that do not accept their leadership; in addition, he believes to be ‘a god’ to dictate decisions “WHO IS THE OWNER OF WHAT”

    In the Bible, Mr. Trump’s U.S. administrative period is depicted in the biblical quotations above and in the book of 2 Thessalonians 2:1-4; If we read these biblical texts and Mr. Ralph Drollinger and Mr. Warren Throckmorton are unable to interpret them; Then, we have reached ‘the final hour’ that tells us that the “New World Order” as the last sign identified with ‘the Antichrist’ 1 John 2:18-19, 22-23; 4:2-3. Therefore, ‘the antichrist’ is not a man, but a ‘group of Israelite descendants’ who ‘claim to be Jews but they are not.’ Revelation 2:8-10; to whom is this verse addressed? To all those ‘Jewish descendant’ who is linked to the “NEW WORLD ORDER”. A ‘hard stone’ writes to all of you as a foolishness without theological titles

  2. He certainly has a right to be a Christian Nationalist if he wants to, under our system. Likewise, Throckmorton has a right to say what he will. Throckmorton provides clear evidence that is what this fellow is: If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck…. It is also obvious this fellow is a charlatan in that “he doth protest too much” when his clear expressions are correctly interpreted in a way in which reasonable people will shun him and his reprehensible ideas. The man is a grifter and a crook extraordinaire. He should embrace it. After all, this is what Brazil’s new fascist President is. And it what our President here in the U.S. would be too if he were not so entirely phony in his policies, not just in his phony wealth and haircut.

    1. Drollinger wouldn’t be doing anything if there weren’t many Democratic politicians who are anit-Christian nationalists, like Bernie Sanders. It is obvious that for secularist liberal Bible-hating world loving-bigots, Ralph Drollinger is a serious threat, but do God fearing Bible-based Christian he is a true hero, who is being lift of the world/salt of the earth, just like Jesus.

  3. So Ralph Drollinger wants to criticize Dr. Throckmorton’s academic training? Drollinger, a former basketball player with a master’s degree from John MacArthur’s Master’s University, an institution currently under investigation and on the verge of being stripped of accreditation? Why would anyone take Drollinger seriously?

    ETA: Drollinger’s dishonest rhetorical tactics suggest he’s used to speaking within small, homogeneous circles that regularly traffic in harmfully narrow and empirically false world views. I am thankful that Dr. Throckmorton has exposed such theological arrogance.

    1. Drollinger believes that he is a better expert in theology than Throckmorton, since he has a Master in Divinity, while Warren doesn’t. I don’t see it as a problem. As for Master’s University recent accreditation issues, it is not known what motivated it, my gut feeling is that i could be because the accreditation body is too liberal and hostile to Biblical Christianity, but it could other reasons, as well. I guess, we have to find out, later. Regardless of MU current problems, it didn’t make their Master of divinity programs invalid in 1985 and it doesn’t make it now. You obviously has a right to dislike conservative evangelical Christian theology but it doesn’t make right to attack people who believe in it by calling them dishonest.

      1. Dr. Throckmorton handled Drollinger’s dishonesty well enough in his original post, so you can take up the relevant passages with Dr. Throckmorton himself. It would do Drollinger some good to ask himself: “hey, how come theologians with a PhD aren’t criticizing Dr. Throckmorton like I am?” Even the smallest shred of self-awareness would go a long way for Drollinger.

        1. I’m sorry but I couldn’t find any link where Drollinger supposedly says: “hey, how come theologians with a PhD aren’t criticizing Dr. Throckmorton like I am?” Ralph and his ministry write what they truly believe, and their positions are very articulate and they have them backed by the biblical passages. They also don’t advocate for Christian nationalism. However, people who disagree with them are eager to label as dishonest.

          1. Sam – So far I have asked you to support your posts with evidence but you simply repeat your positions. I wrote two posts documenting why Drollinger promotes a form of Christian nationalism. You simply say he doesn’t with no evidence or counter points. There’s no reason to continue responding.

          2. Warren-I think this link that you provided explains that Drollinger does not come across as Christian nationalist:

            If he believes in Separation of Church and State, then, it doesn’t look like a Christian or a religious nationalism to me, for example. As far as I know, many countries allow clergy to influence politicians, like in Italy, the Roman Catholic Church is doing so, so why can’t Protestant Christians, alongside with Catholics, Muslims, Jews, and members of other religions be allowed the same in America?. I read that you are saying it in this thread. Italian Catholic priests are no more Catholic Christians nationalists than Ralph Drollinger is evangelical Christian nationalist.

            I also could not find any links where he asks people with PhD to criticize you.

          3. To suggest that legislators are effective only if they are from a certain ‘ideological tribe’ (in this case, so-called Biblical Christianity) is IMO problematic in a democracy that seeks – or should seek – to protect freedom of conscience. Perhaps the moot point here is whether this is what Drollinger is effectively saying. His apparent request to Trump to create a ‘benevolent dictatorship’ does not auger well. https://www.newsweek.com/2017/10/13/donald-trump-white-evangelicals-support-god-677587.html

          4. As long as he respects people who don’t share his beliefs and doesn’t prevent them to influence the government, then it’s no problem. The article doesn’t fully explain what “benevolent dictatorship” means.

          5. What exactly, in your view, is a benevolent dictatorship? It is a dictatorship, is it not?

            To dismiss automatically someone’s effectiveness or potential simply because she/he is not of the same ideological preference is IMO disrespectful.

          6. Like I said, I have no idea what benevolent dictatorship means and the Newsweek article does not provide explanation, so I can’t come to conclusion whether Drollinger actually pracited it.

            From the position of moral relativism, an ideology that there is no absolute truth, claiming that what you believe is the absolute truth and is better than what others believe, is disrespectful. But in general, you can believe that your Christian faith is better than other philosophies/religions/ideologies thus believing that it would make you a more effective workers than others, does not necessarily mean than non-Christians have no value or cannot serve God without acknowledging him per se, or that evangelicals should treat others badly. Actually, quite the opposite is true.

          7. Like I said, I have no idea what benevolent dictatorship means and the Newsweek article does not provide explanation, so I can’t come to conclusion whether Drollinger actually pracited it.

            From the position of moral relativism, an ideology that there is no absolute truth, claiming that what you believe is the absolute truth and is better than what others believe, is disrespectful. But in general, you can believe that your Christian faith is better than other philosophies/religions/ideologies thus believing that it would make you a more effective workers than others, does not necessarily mean than non-Christians have no value or cannot serve God without acknowledging him per se, or that evangelicals should treat others badly. Actually, quite the opposite is true.

          8. All ideological, including theological, positions are relative; noone has a monopoly on ‘the truth’, since truth is ultimately vested in God alone. Any human perspective, however enlightened or inspired, is to some extent compromised by human limitations. This reality is one of things that invites those of us who call ourselves Christians to embrace humility.

            I agree with you entirely that many people outside the Church have much to offer the human family. In our (catholic) neck of woods, we often talk of “people of good will” (outside the Church) – and rightly so.

            The reports that Drollinger asked Trump for “dictatorship” (whether “benevolent” or not is ultimately unimportant – dictatorship is dictatorship, and power always corrupts … again the reality of the human condition, as so powerfully expressed in Genesis) have not, to my knowledge, been contested by him (Drollinger). Whatever one might think of Drollinger as a theologian, the apparent advocacy of “dictatorship” is not something we should welcome, is it?

          9. I have not seen any reports about that so- called benevolent dictatorship thus I can’t make a comment on its substance. Based on the Newsweek article, I probably doubt if it ever existed.

          10. Well, it appears that Drollinger’s outfit denies that D advocated dictatorship, although there appears also to be no direct denial of the use of the term “benevolent dictatorship”: https://capmin.org/capitol-ministries-responds-to-newsweek/

            The CM response to the Newsweek article contains some other interesting assertions. Here’s one of them:-

            “Drollinger is not a climate-change denier. He understands that the world has always experienced climate change. What he does not believe is that man has the power or the ability to destroy the ecological system that God perfectly designed.”

            My response to that last sentence is “hmmmmm”! Has he not heard of nuclear weapons?! Or, at a rather less dramatic level, is he not aware that many species, presumably intended to be part of the “ecological system that God perfectly designed”, are critically endangered owing to human activity?

            And I’m puzzled by this bit:-

            “The Newsweek story reported: ‘Nowhere to be found in the NT is an explicit command for the Institution of the State to assume such a function,’ he wrote. ‘Jesus was only a role model to emulate.’ The last of these two points is false, inflammatory, taken out of context, and libelous.”

            Not quite sure why he is making such a fuss about this … although the NT gives us several other role models, the most notable being Mary.

          11. I’ve found this post very interesting. I concur with you that it can be credibly claimed that D is (might one put it this way?) at least ‘on the Christian nationalist spectrum’.

            For me, the use of the term “dictatorship” – which D does not explicitly deny, although his organization appears to infer that he didn’t really mean “dictatorship” – in the presence of one who often seems to be inclined to dictatorial ways (eg. changing his defence policy without reference to his cabinet) is worrying enough to be going on with, even if Sam’s scepticism about D being a Christian nationalist per se is justified.

          12. Just to correct something you seem to have misread: You seem to have read that commenter Otrotierra claims above that Dollinger *did* ask why theologians with a PhD aren’t criticizing Dr. Throckmorton. Read Otro’s comment again: They wrote that “It would do Drollinger some good to ask himself: “hey, how come theologians with a PhD aren’t criticizing Dr. Throckmorton like I am?”

            Now, carry on….

          13. Thank you for inviting sam80 to stop and actually read the comment he imagines he is responding to.

  4. I’m guessing many atheists believe that atheists or secularists make better, more effective leaders. Mormons probably think that Mormons have certain unique advantages over non-Mormons as leaders. I don’t neccessarily think that Christians make better leaders, as many people are just not very good leaders due to their personality traits, etc. I do think that pro-life legislators and those who place a great deal of value on individual liberty are superior leaders and legislators, and judges. Overall this seems like a very dinky “problem”, given the things happening in the country.

    1. And yet, you get people like Judge Roy Moore, who was removed from office twice (by other pro-life leaders). That’s the danger of such a narrow test. You can believe in the things you listed and still be a terrible leader, legislator or judge if that’s all you have going for you.

      1. Sure, if one has to choose. I am of course speaking of a case in which qualifications are essentially equal. If someone supports unqualified, immoral candidates, that’s just irrational.

  5. I pretty much agree with what Dr. Throckmorton said about Drollinger, and I am glad to hear that you have no problem with him evangelizing. Drollinger does not come across as someone who is trying to force people to agree with his theology and he respects people who disagree with him.

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