Over the past year we have talked once or twice about our commitment to advance planning: giving authors and deadline-weary editors the extra time needed to do a thorough and thoroughly credible job. Well, the idea for this issue’s cover story has been circulating through these offices for at least two years. Stimulated and spurred on by inquisitive readers and friends asking such questions as: “Do reconstructionists really want to trade the freedoms of American democracy for the strictures of Old Testament theocracy?” and the more basic “Who are these people and should I be concerned?” we finally turned the idea (and the writing of the article) over to associate editor Rodney Clapp.

Rodney has been with CT for more than five years, and his early training as a news editor proved invaluable here. He asked Reconstructionist kingpins hard questions about a political agenda that would, among other things, reinstate a form of indentured slavery, and execute homosexuals—not to mention incorrigible children.

In addition, Rodney read. And read. And read (ending up with one of the more complete libraries on this topic in the Midwest).

“Actually, I came to appreciate their serious attempt at seeing what kind of impact Christians can have on society,” Rodney said. “But I found they have a curious way of expressing their nonprivatistic faith.”

Rodney also found other interesting and disturbing elements of this movement just simmering under the surface of public awareness, but getting hotter with each new call to use the political system for setting up God’s kingdom.

HAROLD SMITH, Managing Editor

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