Genesis Flood - Nadezhda Mandelstam - Gary Wills - Hebrew Source of English - EC198

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Lesson[edit]

Professor: Rushdoony, Dr. R. J.
Title: Genesis Flood; Nadezhda Mandelstam; Gary Wills; Hebrew Source of English; English Public Schools; Puritans and Conversion; Perry Miller; Christendom; Paul Johnson; Day Care; Lyndon B. Johnson; Franklin D. Roosevelt; N.E.A.; Spanish Armada; Spanish Civil War; Kant; Thomas S. Kuhn; James Clark Maxwell
Course: Course - Easy Chair Series
Subject: Subject:Conversations and Sermons
Lesson#: 19
Length: 0:54:10
TapeCode: ec198
Audio: Chalcedon Archive
Transcript: .docx Format
Easy Chair Series.jpg

This transcript is unedited. It was:
Archived by the Mt. Olive Tape Library
Digitized, transcribed, and published by Christ Rules
Posted by with permission.


This is R. J. Rushdoony, Easy Chair number 198, July the seventh, 1989.

This evening Otto Scott and I are going to discuss some of our readings, some books that we think are of interest. And we are doing this because you said you wanted more of this type of Easy Chair. I think I will start off by dealing with a book just published, World That Perished by John C. Whitcomb which was brought out a little earlier, but reprinted not too long ago by Baker Book House.

It is about the world that perished with the flood, the biblical flood and one of the points that Whitcomb makes is that we have a remarkable fact in the formation of fossil beds. We have untold numbers of fossils laid down on a particular level, but no fossilization before or since. And formations have been discovered containing hundreds of billions, not millions, but billions of fossils. And the museums now have over 100 million fossils of 250,000 different species.

Well, here are all kinds of fossils, crustaceans, fish, land animals, plants perfectly preserved and yet nothing since or before. Obviously these fossil beds were created by a particular kind of catastrophe. The fish were swimming and were caught in the process. Mammoths were feeding and were suddenly frozen in their tracks and so on. And he gives a very, very vivid account of what has happened.

For example, an estimated five million mammoths have remains buried all along the coast line of northern Siberia and Alaska. And these deposits have been worked for nearly two centuries. How could this have happened? How were they frozen instantaneously so that they have buttercups in their mouth one minute and the next moment were in deep freeze? The permafrost in such areas is up to 1000 feet. [00:03:21]

People are unwilling to recognize that a catastrophe...[edit]

People are unwilling to recognize that a catastrophe is responsible for the fossil beds. Then, again, one of the things that Dr. Whitcomb calls attention to is the creation of Surtsey Island which a few years back in 1963 was created by a volcano a few miles south of Iceland. The jabbed boulders were such that it was assumed that vast ages would be required to smooth them in terms of established geological thinking. But, as he says, quoting the National Geographic magazine of 1973, January, “Within a matter of months surging surf ground jagged lava into rounded boulders with a speed that astonished geologists attending Surtsey’s birth.”

Well, this is a delightful book full of such data, highly readable. And, of course, I am very partial to anything that Dr. Whitcomb writes.

Let me say also that he calls attention to the advanced knowledge that went into the building of Noah’s ark in its relationship of width to length. He has a good page or more on that. All in all a very fine book.

Otto, what would you like to deal with?

[Scott] Something entirely different although that sounds fascinating. Two books, really, both of which I believe Dorothy read. Hope Against Hope.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] ...by Nadezhda Mandelstam and The Hope Abandoned. They were both printed in English by Athanean, the first one in 1970 and the second in 1974.

Nadezhda Mandelstam was the wife of the poet Osip Mandelstam and both of them were interesting people. They were Jewish revolutionaries or Liberals, you might say. Osip was a poet, very well known and she was raised in an upper class well to do family. She was taught in childhood three or four different languages, read the classics. They were both highly literate, very intelligent, ardent for the revolution. And, of course, the revolution ate them up as it ate up so many of that generation. [00:06:33]

He disappeared in Siberia...[edit]

He disappeared in Siberia. Before he disappeared he was a fugitive practically speaking. They had no home. They had no income. They would sneak into Moscow and live off the bounty of their friends, although in the beginning of the revolution in the first few years they had been on the very top. And in the course of these fugitive years he had her memorize all of his poetry.

The Pravda, I think, somewhere along the line reported that Osip Mandelstam last seen drunk at a certain bar. And then he vanished from public print. His books were destroyed. In the early 30s he was picked up, finally, because he had written and delivered a poem making fun of Stalin. And he vanished into Siberia and nobody has really determined what happened to him there. Had various bad stories come out. In any event he disappeared into the maelstrom.

She continued as a school teacher in the provinces and finally late in life allowed back into Moscow.

One of our New York Times correspondents visited her and wrote about there in his book about Moscow. He is still in Washington. He is with the Washington bureau of the New York Times. His name escapes me at the moment, but he was a bit disdainful of her. He said she was smoking cigarettes one after the other and he didn’t... he wasn’t too greatly impressed.

But in the meantime her manuscript Hope Against Hope was a {?} name which means hope in Russian, {?}. And it ended, it really was a story of Osip Mandelstam and their 20 odd years together. The second volume was her own biography which she also smuggled out which was printed in the West. The first one made her world famous. It is a great classic, a tremendous book, marvelous. The second is equally good, but in the second book she is talking about herself and not about her husband. [00:09:11]

She has had two things to say that strike me as worth...[edit]

She has had two things to say that strike me as worth repeating now. The first was that she assumed in her moments of despair and depression, and especially dealing with ignorant and unlettered people in the provinces that the regime had succeeded in destroying historical memory and was creating a generation of robots. But then toward the end of her life young people began to look her up. They transcribed... she had her recite her husband’s poems and the poems went into the {?} and suddenly all the work that Osip Mandelstam had done in the years of his internal exile was re placed back into the stream of world literature. She also said that these young people began to bring up topics and conclusions that were classic, that were equal to anything she had known before and she realized for the first time that the human race cannot be destroyed, that every generation comes into the world with the same brains as its predecessors thinking the same thoughts and coming to similar conclusions.

And, of course, she also in this was very interesting. She also said she looked forward to death because she knew she was going to meet her husband in the next life in heaven. And that conclusion caused her to be dropped abruptly from all the reviews by all the critics in charge of... what would you call it? Literature that traffic in literature in our intellectual circles. She had evidenced at the end of her life a Christian conversion and all the words and that was unforgivable.

Amazing. Two of the greatest books, I guess, to ever come out of the Soviet or to come out of any experience.

[Rushdoony] Yes, well, right now we are seeing a campaign against Christianity conducted by book reviewers. New York Times review of books recently had a long article ostensibly on Randal Terry by Gary Wills, but in the course of which he took a swipe at virtually everything Christian.

[Scott] Took a swipe at you, too.

[Rushdoony] Oh, yes.

[Scott] ... in the process, yes.

[Rushdoony] Yes. The article went all around the barn to do so. The Rutherford Institute...

[Scott] Right.

[Rushdoony] ...was in for criticism. Nothing about what it has done in the defense of the religious freedom of Christians, Jews and Atheists’ First Amendment rights, nothing. [00:12:16]

[Scott] Gary Wills is a curious specimen...[edit]

[Scott] Gary Wills is a curious specimen. There are a number of good old English words for him. One is turncoat and the other is ingrate. He began as a young classics scholar who attracted the attention of William F. Buckley, Jr. and William F. Buckley, Jr. put him on the staff of the National Review which gave him a position of eminence at least in an intellectual sense. And the last good thing that he wrote when he was still using Buckley as a springboard was his coverage of the... I think it was the 1968 Democratic convention in Chicago. Do you remember? That was the convention that had all the violence. And he wrote a piece for, I think it was for Time magazine which Time magazine paid for, but did not publish and which I got a copy of and it was an unexpurgated description of some of the happenings at that point which the average person still doesn’t know about.

[Rushdoony] Do you have that?

[Scott] No, I don’t. I am sorry I don’t have it anymore. But they filled bags... they filled bags with excrement and threw them at the police. They copulated in public. They did things which are simply unbelievable. And he wrote that I remembered I copied it, had it Xeroxed, rather, and circulated around the executive suite of Ashland Oil which caused great shock, but they didn’t forget it.

Well, shortly after that Gary Wills switched to the other side. He switched to the side of the demonstrators. He switched to the side of the radical left. He wrote a series of scathing articles about the men that had helped him including John Chamberlain and others. And then, of course, was given a university post as a professor and has since then been spewing acid across not only Christianity, but every traditional value in this country.

How would you describe such a man? It is a complement to be insulted by him.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

Well, to continue, I would like to mention a book now—and I don’t want any letters correcting me on this. It is by Isaac E. Mozeson, M, as in Mary, O Z E S O N.

[Scott] You will get letters anyway.

[Rushdoony] I will pay no attention to them. [00:15:01]

The Word: The Dictionary that Reveals the Hebrew Source of English. And Joseph T. Shipley who is the author of The Dictionary of Word Origins says that this book is a challenge to linguists and that it calls for a reexamination of our thinking in the area, because what Mozeson believes is—and this book was published by Shapolsky Publishers in New York, 1989. Shapolsky, S H A P O L S K Y Publishers, 136 West 22nd Street, New York, New York 10011.

Well, his thesis is one that has been dropped in the past two centuries, monogenesis, namely that all languages have a common origin. Now if you believe in the Bible you believe that God created man, you have to be believe in monogenesis. But anything that points to monogenesis is treated with withering contempt, is ruled out by the academy.

[Scott] ... by the philologists.

[Rushdoony] Yes. And as he says that he believes that Hebrew is the mother tongue and that he is... well, let me quote a little bit.

“In search of an honorable ancestor for the Aryan race, the linguists developed a theoretical prototype language that could even claim Sanskrit as a child. And so for the past several decades, western historical linguists have been the proud doctor Frankenstein creators of a proto Indo-European language that curiously favors the Germanic element. Who would research Hebrew as a root language when even the PhDs in Semitics hung Hebrew out on a limb called West Semitic? Nobody uncovered a clay tablet of proto Semitic, but surely the argument went: Hebrew evolved from older, more cumbersome languages. The devolution of words and the ongoing corruption of human kind was simply not considered. The logic was consistent with biblical criticism.”

Then he goes on to say, “Noah Webster’s etymology’s, discredited for 200 years almost now, were full of English words traced to Shemitic sources. Most significant of all if a vote in the Continental Congress had gone the other way, America and much of today’s world would now be speaking Hebrew.”

[Scott] Is that right?

[Rushdoony] Yes. We fail to realize how biblically oriented our American forefathers were.

[Scott] Noah Webster, very much so.

[Rushdoony] Yes. Noah Webster is treated with endless contempt and scorn.

[Scott] Well, look at all the lavish praise upon Dr. Johnson, Samuel Johnson...

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] ...for his dictionary which is unusable today.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] And the fact that nobody pays attention to Noah Webster. His dictionary is better than the one we have now.

[Rushdoony] Yes, very true. [00:18:44]

Well, one of the things, for example, because the word...[edit]

Well, one of the things, for example, because the word “babble” so obviously goes back to the Hebrew for Babel and the tower of Babel, one would think obviously that this had to come from the Bible. But the Oxford English Dictionary and others prefer to give Babel an origin unknown designation rather than tell the truth about the fact that it is a Hebrew word. And baby and so many other words, bad, balsa, ball, bar, bear and so on. And he says that this dictionary of about 300 some pages is only an introduction to the subject.

[Scott] Very likely so. I can imagine that the philologists are sharpening their sabers right now.

[Rushdoony] Yes. They find such things intolerable because it says something favorable to a biblical perspective.

[Scott] Well, I am going to take the subject far afield now. There is a book called Boys Together, 1800-1864 by the Yale Press, written by John Chandos in 1984.

From 1800 to 1864 the author examines the structure and climate of Eaton, Winchester, Harrell and other great English public schools. The boys ran the schools. The protesting of the teachers only ran the classroom. The rest of the society from 1800 to 1864 was totally governed by the senior class. And the author does the unusual thing of being totally unexpurgated version of how they behaved and what they were. The senior class, the upper form varied. Sometimes it was inhabited... it was governed by gamblers, boys that had their own prostitutes in the town, their own mistresses and others by the ones that were heavy in sports. Sometimes homosexual cliques and the individual boys were portrayed by their nickname and by what happened to them later in life. They became bishops. They became soldiers, bankers, this, that and the other thing [00:21:41]

An amazing book because it is candid and it describes...[edit]

An amazing book because it is candid and it describes a very difficult experience on the part of the young boys who went there, beginning at, say, the age of nine. They were thrust into, you might say, a... the boy’s world which became a young man’s world by the time they were in the upper form and they were judged to the last inch.

Then in came the middle class teachers who had grown up in the re... early Victorian period who said this has got to stop. This immorality has got to be ended. This license and so forth and so on. So they came down very heavily and the teachers, the house masters as they call them expanded their authority over all aspects of the school and that was the end of that particular kind of education, which was essentially an 18th century education. It was a hang over from the 18th century into the 19th century all the way up to the middle of the century. It stopped. Everything ironed out. Misbehavior was punished and this and that. The boys no longer held their own course, their own fights, their own punishments, their own government. And the empire went down, because they ceased to make men.

It was amazing that all of the sudden they had an entirely new kind of man who came out. And the author said until then, enough, I suppose, to an extent since, the English public school product could immediately recognize one another and they could also read other men with unerring instinct because they had the experience of the totally masculine world and all those formative years.

And it is one of those books which brings all sorts of thoughts to mind, an interesting work, which, of course, the test of a book in my estimation is something that causes you to think after you have finished reading it. [00:24:03]

[Rushdoony] Well, I am going to deal very briefly with...[edit]

[Rushdoony] Well, I am going to deal very briefly with a book, an older book because of a single point in it. It is by Kent B. Murdoch, Literature and Theology in Colonial New England, a Harper book from 1949, which, of course, is now out of print. But the author makes a very important point that is often forgotten.

One of the problems we have today in evangelicalism is over the matter of conversion. Fundamentalism believes in an instantaneous conversion and if you cannot date the hour and the date and the place of your conversion, you weren’t converted. And that is a problem that developed with Experimentalism, the scientific outlook. Things had to be visible and physically obvious. It had to be a physical experience. And that is why you have the revivalist type of conversion.

But the Puritans, as he points out, especially the Puritan in New England, conceived of a process of regeneration as ordinarily a slow one and one that involved patience and effort on the part of the individual. There must be study, a search for advice from the learned and godly, constant striving for righteous conduct and persistent self scrutiny.

The Puritans recognized that in some instances, as, with of course, Paul, the conversion was an instantaneous experience. But they refused to limit it just to that type of thing. And as a result, they stressed very heavily the fact of education, family training and of the church as a nurturing society to bring people to the kind of knowledge, self scrutiny and experience that would bring about their conversion. And I do think we are very much in need in our time of a recognition of why the Puritans were strong. And it was because they did not limit God to operating in one way. And that is one of the fallacies of so many people in our time. They are going to say how God operates and they are going to put limitations on God’s methods. [00:27:12]

[Scott] Well, they have rules for God...[edit]

[Scott] Well, they have rules for God.

[Rushdoony] Yes. And that is very dangerous.

Well, I... I think here and elsewhere Puritan culture can teach us a great deal. I don’t agree with everything he Puritans believed, but I do feel we need to restudy Puritanism in terms of things that they contributed to our culture and what it is we could learn from them.

[Scott] Well, in that regard perhaps more Christians should look at the writings of Perry Miller.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] Who did a great deal to recall the Puritan culture to general attention.

Well, you were talking before about the Puritan culture and that brought to mind the book by Christopher Dawson called The Formation of Christendom.

[Rushdoony] An excellent book.

[Scott] ...which is really a marvelous book. I have given it to, over the years, to several young men and even several older men who didn’t have a high regard for the Christian civilization and it opened their eyes and changed their attitudes, because it brings Christianity from its earliest stages up to the Renaissance, to the edge of the Renaissance, if I remember correctly and before the Reformation. And this is, of course, a part of our common Christian history which too many of our people do not understand. The ages of faith which preceded the Puritans should not be buried.

[Rushdoony] No.

[Scott] And should be respected because hundreds of hundreds of years are involved in the growth of the faith throughout Europe and the world.

And the other book that I think is interesting, but not, of course, on the same level, is Hamlet’s Mill by Santillana. Santillana was a professor of scientific history in MIT. This book came out in 1977. And he was approached by a Dutch anthropologist named Von Detchand, a woman, who was studying the Polynesian culture and who could make no sense out of the Polynesian myths. And I immediately developed a little respect for her when I read that, because, you know, a lot of these things don’t make any sense at all and a lot of people are too inhibited to say so. [00:29:59]

Well, Santillana said to her, ...[edit]

Well, Santillana said to her, “Why don’t you try astronomy as a key?”

And using astronomy as a key, the Polynesian myths began to make sense in terms of the stars and the planets because, of course, they were great navigators. They crossed the Pacific Ocean and so forth.

And astronomy was the key to ancient science. The ancient science, the science of Egypt and the science of Babylon was based upon measurements and upon astronomical observations. So, of course, was the Mayan and the Aztec, very interesting. It is as though there was a world wide body of knowledge and science which was lost with the debacle of the ancient world.

So it reminded me of the book that you were talking about before. In the sense that Santillana investigated, even the primitive tribes in Africa had this information. And they held it in common away from the bulk of the people. It was esoteric knowledge. It reminds you almost of the modern scientist who has developed a special language, an esoteric language to kept he mysteries of his profession from the ordinary citizen of today. In many respects this is a regressive thing. In stead of our language encompassing more and more areas of discovery, it is being used to break up people’s information.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] ... to bar people from understanding things. And it goes against the flow of the period that Dawson wrote about. And I find this fascinating.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

Dawson is beginning to be read more again in recent years. And I am glad of that.

One of the idiocies in Christian circles is that Protestants are unwilling to see any good in Christianity before the Reformation and Christians are robbed by the unwillingness of Protestants and Catholics to see any good in the other’s camp. And I think it produces a warped Christian.

I would like to deal, very briefly with a book that I returned to. It was given to me some years ago, 10 years ago, by Stephen and Phyllis Harris. And the title of it is Children are the Revolution: Daycare in Cuba, by Marvin Leiner, L E I N E R, produced by the Viking Press in ’74. [00:33:12]

I think this book is of interest because here was an...[edit]

I think this book is of interest because here was an American teacher went and spent some time in Cuba in two separate trips studying daycare. And his purpose in studying it was to see the future of the United States in terms of the same type of daycare. And he said of the goal of daycare facilities is to get the child early to produce Humanistic man.

[Scott] That is like Soviet man updated.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

So the primary goal of the revolution as articulated by Fidel Castro is the creation of the new Cuban man, a fundamentally humanistic, altruistic concept of the human being which combines classical Marxism, collective consciousness and the view that people are perfectible beings. In a July 26th, 1960 speech Castro outlined the key points in Cuban Communist eschatology saying, “To live in a Communist society is to live with out selfishness, to live among the people and with the people as if every one of our fellow citizens were really our dearest brother. The new man will be collectivist, utterly selfless and ever mindful of his obligations to the revolution and the Communist Party. Until the old man is replaced by the new, the Proletarian way of life cannot prevail and the new society must remain a dream,” unquote.

[Scott] He is going to have a long wait.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

But we are getting the same thing. The daycare facilities with the same goal in mind.

[Scott] That is true. That is true.

That is interesting because it brings us around to books about leaders of our time. There are two such books that I think are interesting. One was by Robert A. Carroll, Random House, 1982, called Lyndon Johnson, the Path to Power. The path to power.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] It took Lyndon Johnson from the backwaters of Texas up to Hollywood where he curried favor with Sam Rayburn and other powerful congressmen, betrayed some of his most faithful people, seduced the wife of his greatest supporter and got himself on the verge of where he later became. [00:36:21]

Now the second volume, that came out in ...[edit]

Now the second volume, that came out in 1982 which is now seven years ago. Apparently the second volume has been written, but it has not been published and my feeling is that it has not been published because it would demolish too many people that are still in positions of power. I know that it is existing because Paul Johnson referred to it in his book Modern Times. He has a footnote saying that Lyndon Johnson took bribes when he was a vice president. And he cited Robert A. Carroll’s, but I have yet to see the second volume.

[Rushdoony] Why don’t you drop him a line and ask him what has happened to the second volume?

[Scott] I will do that. I will.... I will... I will do that. And the other book which I think was... is fascinating and is by Jim Bishop who is a very good writer, by the way, and always disdained by the literati, but he was a very clear, good, journalistic writer, published by Morrow, 1974, FDR’s Last Year, April 1944 to April 1945.

Now when you read it, it is horrifying because his physician, the White House physician lied through his teeth.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] He has showed the press and everybody else if that man was capable of serving as President of the United States when he was walking death. He could barely function.

But the physical wanted to keep his post as an admiral in the White House. So he put his lousy little position ahead of the destiny of this nation and allowed FDR to go over to Yalta and Tehran and indulge in the idiocies that he did.

[Rushdoony] And the media covered up the fact of Roosevelt’s incompetence.

[Scott] Then and since.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] Do you realize that nobody was ever told what he gave away? Nobody was ever given a treaty to approve. It was simply that Mr. Roosevelt had negotiated and the fact was that and no questions were asked by the same Democratic party that is responsible for sending Oliver North into oblivion.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] Astonishing, you... the idea that the American people are informed is one of the most enduring of illusions. It lasts longer than Santa Claus. And this Jim Bishop did a marvelous job. [00:39:12]

[Rushdoony] Yes...[edit]

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] ... on that book.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

Well, I would like to deal with a book published just recently, 1988, Suzanne Clark, Black War Blackmail, published by Footstool Publications, PO Box 161021, Memphis, Tennessee 38186.

Now this book is of considerable importance because it deals with an actual case. Suzanne Clark wrote or spoke about the facts of contemporary education and the NEA’s position. She was promptly sued by the NEA although what she had done was the research, the NEAs own documents to demonstrate what its agenda was.

So they took her to court in order to punish anyone for criticizing them. It was a bitter and a costly experience for her. It could have wiped her out except that Beverly Lahaye and her organization Concerned Women for America helped fund Mrs. Clark in her fight.

What Suzanne Clark had done was to call attention to Humanism in the state schools, the NEAs war on the new right and to cite the attitude of some experts that there are no right answers and, therefore, the school has the duty to teach children each to develop their own values and so on and on.

It is a very grim account of what it means to challenge the status quo today, the kind of abuse you take and how it can destroy you if you don’t have someone come to your aid.

There are four excellent appendices including Robert Dabney’s article on education which we reprinted, of course, in volumes three and four of his Collected Works.

[Scott] Well, that is interesting.

Let me go back to more of a historical ... two historical books, one The Armada by Mattingly. [00:42:06]

[Rushdoony] Yes...[edit]

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] ...which is a great classic describing not only how the Armada was put together and why it really wasn’t going to work, but also it gave a sidelight on the condition of France. France, as you know, at that time, was involved in Civil War, war of the three Henrys they called it. And the Duke of Guise was dominating the transvestite King of France. And the king, finally driven to his extremity, organized the murder of the duke which occurred in the king’s apartments and the king’s men fell upon him, stabbed him to death. The king looked down at him and said, “How long he was. I had forgotten how long he was.”

And when you read the description of France in that time, it seems as though you are looking at a country that couldn’t possibly recover and yet not too many years after that, France forged ahead to become the leading country in Europe. And I think that is remarkable, a remarkable book because it brings the events and the people into contemporary focus. You can almost feel as if you have been introduced to them.

And the other book is a novel, a two part novel called The Cypresses Believe in God.

[Rushdoony] Oh yes.

[Scott] By Jose Maria Gironella.

[Rushdoony] On the Spanish Civil War.

[Scott] On the Spanish Civil War. Alfred Macht, 1955.

The novelist tells you what you really need to know. He takes a small city and he takes a handful of people in the city and he shows you how the war, the civil war started. He doesn’t... he doesn’t get you to the war, but he gets you to the school master and his wife who come in. She preaches Feminism, he preaches against industry and commerce and all the different individuals involved. It is almost like living in the... I wouldn’t say the 60s, but at least the late 50s in the United States.

Then, finally, you realize that all this time the government is going farther and farther left and the government which most Americans don’t know reached the stage where it confiscated all of the property of the Catholic Church in Spain and it confiscated the great estates and then it sent soldiers out in trucks. And one of the men they pick up is this young student who is on the verge of going to the seminary who was extremely spiritual and they take him together with others and you are not prepared for it when you read the book, because it is all so calm. They take him up to the cemetery and there they shoot him in the back of the head. And that is the end of the book, but you know why there was a civil war in Spain. [00:45:26]

[Rushdoony] Yes...[edit]

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] And that is what literature is supposed to do.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

It is a forgotten book now.

[Scott] I would say it was.

[Rushdoony] ... but it is... it was not popular when it was written, because...

[Scott] It is the wrong side.

[Rushdoony] ... the wrong side.

[Scott] He saw the wrong things.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

I would like to deal with a very remarkable book, Grace and Law: Saint Paul, Kant and the Hebrew Prophets. And the author is Heinz W. Cassirer, C A S S I R E R.

[Scott] That is a famous name.

[Rushdoony] Yes, the son of a great scholar.

[Scott] Oh, is that who he is? The son?

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] I see.

[Rushdoony] Ernst Cassirer.

[Scott] Ah, ha, that is who I was thinking of.

[Rushdoony] And himself a life long Kantian scholar.

But it is a very remarkable story. There are points where I would disagree with the author. But all the same, this book published by Eerdmans in Grand Rapids and by the Hansel Press in Edinburgh, published in ’88.

It describes how this Kantian scholar with a Jewish background became a Christian.

[Scott] I was surprised when you said Eerdmans published.

[Rushdoony] Yes. And I would like to quote from the introductory remarks. He describes his perplexities. He said up to nearly 50 years old he had no knowledge of any religious problems or any interest in them. But he was driven by the realities of our times to considering it. And he said, “My perplexities may be summed up under two heads. First, while philosophy is supposed, on all sides, to be a purely rational activity, relying upon the intellect and the intellect alone without ever allowing itself to be swayed by any personal or emotional bias. There remains this disturbing fact. Utterly different conclusions are reached by various thinkers. Each philosopher arguing with great vehemence and ingenuity in favor of the position he wishes to hold while yet the possibility is wholly excluded that agreement might be reached between him and his opponents. This, of course, raises the crucial problem whether any such thing as a reliable criterion of truth is available within the compass of philosophical thinking at all. So far as I could see no satisfactory solution had been offered. [00:48:22]

“Second, I had begun to wonder whether the intellect...[edit]

“Second, I had begun to wonder whether the intellect was really a suitable instrument for dealing with the fundamental problems of existence. That of man’s moral life in particular.”

So he was driven, first of all, to Saint Paul and then to the rest of the New Testament and with that he went back and read the Old Testament and the prophets and found no contradiction, an essential agreement and it all in all it is an excellent analysis of Kant. He doesn't turn his back on Kant. He is fully appreciative and he points out how Kant came to an awareness increasingly of the evil in man. But the one answer he did not want was Christianity.

[Scott] Well, yes, because Christianity, after all, didn’t see him as an equal.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] That is interesting because it is obviously a discussion of a man’s conversion through his past. I can share something with him. I was about that age, too, when I began to look and it leads me to a book which you know. This is well known. Nevertheless I think some of the listeners may find it new. I think it is essential to understanding part of the modern world is Kuhn’s Structure of Scientific...

[Rushdoony] Yeah, Revolutions.

[Scott] Revolutions.

[Rushdoony] Yes, a great work.

[Scott] It is because each stage of science assumes that it has reached the truth. Each stage of science assumes that it has reached a conclusion and that no further investigation in that area is necessary. Then anomalies begin to appear, mysteries that cannot be explained and then a new theory is slowly evolved which presumably settles the apparent paradoxes and everything settles down until the next great revolution.

Well, I bring it up because we are in the midst of such a revolution at this point.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] They have discovered in experiences in outer space remarkable demonstrations of actual events which do not fit any scientific theory whatever, Einstein or anyone else.

[Rushdoony] Yes. [00:51:04]

[Scott] Einstein is as dad as Tutankhamen when it comes...[edit]

[Scott] Einstein is as dad as Tutankhamen when it comes to modern astronomy.

[Rushdoony] Good statement.

[Scott] And the same thing is true in the subatomic world. So on both ends of physical examination of the world din which we live, we are now confronted with more mysteries admitted by science than any time since science became known as such. And I think that is remarkable.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] And I think that this book would at least prepare people.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] ...for this truth.

[Rushdoony] I cannot go into the particulars, but some men are reassessing science by going back to Maxwell and some of his premises.

[Scott] That is interesting.

[Rushdoony] Maxwell was a Christian.

[Scott] Yes.

[Rushdoony] There is a point in Cassirer’s book that I think is telling in this context because he gives a very remarkable appreciation of Kant. In fact, even though he has broken with Kant because of his conversion, it is the finest statement about Kant and an appreciation of him that I have read, because it is accurate.

But then he comes to this conclusion.

“Why then is there no way at all for the Pauline and Kantian to come to terms? The answer is plain enough. So long as one remains within the Kantian obit, one is committed to the view that giving the principle of divine grace admittance into the moral life of man must have the effect of degrading man and depriving him of his dignity. The worth of man consists, according to Kant, solely in his power of exercising rational choice. Any limitation of his freedom and to govern his actions, even though it be one far less extreme than that advocated by Saint Paul must prove wholly disastrous.”

[Scott] That is what I thought. Kant wants to be... he wanted to be equal to God.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] He wanted to be an equal power.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] Equally independent. Too bad.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] Because it means that he was never happy.

[Rushdoony] Right. Very good.

Well, our time is just about up and I ... we still both have things we didn’t get to, but we will do that on another occasion.

[Scott] Very good.

[Rushdoony] Thank you all for listening and God bless you.