Important Influences in Our Lives - EC397

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Lesson[edit]

Professor: Rushdoony, Dr. R. J.
Title: Important Influences in Our Lives
Course: Course - Easy Chair Series
Subject: Subject:Conversations and Sermons
Lesson#: 89
Length: 1:00:29
TapeCode: ec397
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 397, November the seventh, 1997.

Tonight Douglas Murray, Andrew Sandlin and I will discuss, first of all, influences that have been important in our lives, men, books, events, whatever. Mark Rushdoony is not with us. He is out fire fighting this evening.

I will start off and the beginning point for me will be my family. My father, my mother, my grandmother, all of them. They were very remarkable people. I will begin with my grandmother, because she is the ... was the oldest one in the family and a very remarkable woman. She was twice married. Her second marriage was to my grandfather who was killed when she was left with two children, a new born baby boy, virtually, just weeks old and a girl about two or three. She was an unusual woman. She was a widow. My grandfather was a widower. The four daughters of my grandfather, my mother and three ... her three sisters were overjoyed when my grandmother married their father. They thought she was wonderful. And they said it was a double bonus. She was someone we loved from the beginning and, she said, “In those days if a man or a woman were left widowed, then one of the children had the duty of caring for them for the rest of their life.” And it was regarded simply as a duty. You didn’t doubt it or question it. You could, if you wanted to, walk away and marry somebody, but she said, “I never knew anyone who did.” And my mother said, “We welcomed mother, because we loved her and we knew that not one of us four girls would have to be an old maid taking care of her.” [00:03:29]

I mention that in passing because that was a common...[edit]

I mention that in passing because that was a common place thing in the old country and here in the United States. Very wonderful people I have known, people who have done this sort of thing simply because they feel it is their family and their Christian duty and it sets them apart for life as very remarkable people. In fact, I knew one man, a very wonderful man whose father died and he was told, “You are the oldest of the three boys, son. You are now going to take over the farm and you are going to see your brothers through college, because all three of you are very, very intelligent and should have college training. But it will be your duty to help your brothers.”

He put them through college. They both became professors and this man was a man of sterling character. He created a family and in the third generation now you can see the character that he has left there. I just mention that in passing.

Well, my grandmother had a hard life.

[Sandlin] Rush, was this your paternal or maternal?

[Rushdoony] Maternal. The Turks killed her second husband and she was left with one child by her first marriage, an uncle of mine whom I remember very well. He died in 1917 or 18. I have forgotten which. He was in the US army. Two sons and five daughters, a widow. She had the responsibility. She never complained. [00:06:13]

I would never have known about the hard life she lived...[edit]

I would never have known about the hard life she lived, had not my father and mother told me. When the massacres began and she was on the march with my parents and other family members from Armenia into Russia, there was a quiet acceptance by faith of what God had ordained by a father and mother and one aunt and uncle and their son, my cousin Edward had enough funds to make it to this country. The others were going to be left there to be sent for as they accumulated funds. Of course, with the post war world everything fell apart. Russia was in revolution. There was no much opportunity to get out of Russia. Then you had the horrible famine created by Lenin and his associates who destroyed every kind of production so that neither factories nor shops nor farms could function. And millions died in the famine.

Herbert Hoover and the near east relief and one or two other agencies sent in a great deal of food. They saved the people of Russia, really, and made possible Communism. But, of course, they did not know the full extent of the evil of that regime and how the famine had been created by it.

My mother and the two children survived because she was employed in one of the orphanages that American money had set up. It was painfully difficult work. So many children dying. You had so much food. Whom were you going to keep alive? The food rations were stretched out to the point that even after the famine was ended, life was so difficult and malnutrition so great that when my grandmother and young aunt and uncle, who were more brother and sister to me. I never called them aunt and uncle, because we were for all practical intent brother and sister. When they came over her they had night blindness. Once it was dark they couldn’t see. [00:09:52]

My grandmother never complained...[edit]

My grandmother never complained. I never heard her nor did anyone in the family ever say a harsh word about {?} a person or group of people, not even, in her case, the Turks. With her strong faith, her response to every kind of evil person was the Lord is the judge. He will take care of them.

Now when my uncle, the youngest in the family, just a few years older than I, married, the girl he married, Bertha, had the care of her two elderly parents, both sickly and it didn’t seem as though she would be able to marry, but my grandmother said, “I am going to move in with you, Bertha. And I will help with all the tasks,” which she did.

I will never forget the wedding. After the wedding and the reception, Bertha and my uncle got in the car, my uncle driving, and in the back seat Bertha’s two aged feeble parents and my grandmother. That is...

[Sandlin] {?} honeymoon or...

[Rushdoony] Yes. To come along and to care for them. But that was what she was, a very wonderful person. The only problem she ever had with her children, blood children and step daughters was that all of them wanted her to stay with them. So on the rare occasions when for a couple of weeks in the year Bertha got in help to take care of her parents, the girls were always so eager to have her. They loved her so dearly. The only time in all the years they ever disagreed was whose place is she going to go to. [00:12:31]

So she would divide her time equally among them...[edit]

So she would divide her time equally among them. She got what she wanted at the end. She was briefly ill in the hospital, recovered and came home, was up around and helping her daughter, my aunt who is still living, 91, 10 years older than I. And then suddenly and quietly she died, a wonderful woman and really a saintly woman.

My mother was, again, a very remarkable person. Unlike my father, she was a town girl, a city girl. And when her father was alive they were fairly well off. She married my father when... well, they became engaged just before she went to college and married after she graduated. They lost their first born whose name was Rousas George when he was not quite a year old, 11 months and some days. That was at the time of the beginning of the massacres. And because there was no ammunition left and the Russian troops who were there also, the imperial troops said, “We, too, are going to have to retreat.” They had to leave. It was the infamous and horrible death march.

They walked until the bottom of their shoes would be totally gone and they feet a bloody pulp and they would keep moving. I never heard my grandmother or mother or anyone else complain about that march. I learned by bits and pieces and from others of the horrors of it, of the attacks by the Turkish cavalry carrying off people and killing others, of the streams they passed that were clogged with the dead. And when they finally came to the border to cross into Russia, the two horses that they had and on which they put the two children and occasionally the women, alternating, a Russian general had given them the horses and taken over my father’s home as his headquarters in the last days of his campaign there in {?} province, that my father used the horses to get the family across and then stood there to help one person after another sometimes if there were small three on the horse go across the river until finally the Turkish soldiers were in sight and meanwhile virtually everyone was across and then he went across. [00:17:00]

My mother and her sisters lost their favorite sister...[edit]

My mother and her sisters lost their favorite sister, the darling of the family. They never knew what happened to her, because she was elsewhere in another community with her family. She lived there. But they heard that that town had been wiped out and everybody in it.

A curious thing happened about three or four years ago. My cousin Dora and her husband Sam who traveled a great deal were in Jerusalem seeing the last of the sites before they went to the airport and someone came up and spoke to my cousin Dora in Armenian and called her by a name that she didn't recognize. And she said, “That is not my name.” And the woman apologized and said, “You could be twins with this friend of mine.”

The got on board the plane and suddenly it occurred to Dora and haunts her to this day. What if my aunt lived? What if she escaped to Palestine and this were her daughter, my cousin that I was mistaken for?

Many stories like that.

Well, my mother had a great deal to do with my education. Both my parents loved to read and when we came up to Vallecito my mother no longer could stay alone as she liked to in her apartment. She came and lived with us. And until her eyesight prevented it, she was an omnivorous reader, delighting in the books that I passed on to her out of my library. Of course, my father read constantly until he went blind. And before he did so he had memorized much of the Old Testament, most of the New Testament and could speak on a text without reading it, because it was committed to heart. His own father, my grandfather, who is a priest in the church of Armenia and their priests are married, had been first blinded by the Turks because of his ministry. And he memorized a great deal of the Bible to continue to be able to preach. So then they killed him.

My father was a very naïve person in that there was no sophistication about him. He had the simplicity as an adult that he had as a child. And the same child like delight in very simple things. [00:21:19]

He could get excited and happy as he saw things growing...[edit]

He could get excited and happy as he saw things growing in the garden or flowers in the yard. The grandchildren adored him, because he understand them so well. Rebekah and Joanna to this day, because they remember him very well, the others just barely, think very, very lovingly of him. He was an unusual man in every respect. He studied in Edinburgh, Scotland at the University of Edinburgh and also at Newmont College there. He became a minister in his country. He had been a professor in the old country before the war.

From the time I was a toddler, he would take me with him, often carrying me in his arms and he would talk to me a great deal about anything that interested him. And he told me a great deal about the heavens, the stars, so that my first ambition... well, my very first was to be a farmer, because I loved the farm. And then after, oh, I think about the third grade, it was to be an astronomer. But he was an omnivorous reader and I became the same with a deep love of books. He found it hard to throw anything away that was printed. And I have the same kind of feeling.

We had very wonderful family. My sister is dead. My brother is still living. I was the eldest after, of course, Rousas George who died in the old country. [00:24:10]

Well, I have gone on too long...[edit]

Well, I have gone on too long. Why don't one of you start? How about you, Douglas? And then we can continue with you, Andrew, later on.

[Murray] Well, I guess each of us bears the stamp of our family history. On my father’s side the emigrated to this country from the Island of Skye off the coast of Scotland in the early 1800s and settled around the Great Lakes. Actually in the United States and then crossed over into Canada later on. And my... my grandfather was a surveyor for the Canadian Pacific railroad. And he had promised to marry my grandmother before they were engaged, before he left to go across Canada to survey the track for the Canada’s transcontinental railroad.

Apparently they are not very many Indians or virtually no Indians in the interior. Most of the Indian tribes apparently live along the coast or right around the Great Lakes. So in some of the provinces they... they would go for months and never see another human being. And it was just there were three or four of them in the survey team—my grandfather and his ... his brother and a couple of other fellows—and I have pictures of them and they look like they are right out of, you know, look like Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, some pretty rough looking guys, about six foot four or six foot six and big handlebar mustache and they don’t look like people you would want to get angry at you.

But the touching thing is that my grandfather wrote letters and occasionally they would run into a fur trapper and ask that on his way back to trading post if he would try and get these things mailed.

Well, I have those letters and they tell of the very lonely isolation out there in that country. And later I had some letters where he, after he got out there, he homesteaded a piece of land in the province of Saskatchewan and by himself with nothing but a couple of animals he cleared this section of land. This is cutting the trees, pulling the stumps and tilling the ground. And he would recite from memory long passages of poetry, what he knew, the Kipling and Longfellow and so forth, but he would explain to my grandmother who was waiting until he got the homestead ready for her to come out about the loneliness and what he saw of the birds that, you know, the migratory birds that he would see and the animals that he would see and so forth. And I guess even he was reciting his poetry to the two big draft horses. I guess they were about the size of Clydesdales. They had enough horse power to pull the plow through that un... previously unbroken ground and pull stumps out. [00:28:08]

But the... the letters are quite tender and romantic for a man of his stature and, you know, it is hard to know. I... I knew him as a child. We used to go up to Canada and I knew him when he was in his, probably his 80s and he, I think he died when he was around 95. But they raised 12 children. First, all the way across Canada from Saskatchewan to British Columbia where they finally settled. And my grandfather was, in addition to being a farmer and had several hardware stores, general stores in Alberta and so forth, different places {?} Alberta and various places where they settled as they came west, he was also a copper smith and... which was a trade that was passed on to him by his father.

Apparently in ... in Scotland I have a model of a boat that my great grandfather built which was a very wide beam, short boat, a very tough boat that they used for fishing in the North Sea. And in the North Sea is very rough. And I guess they would fish during what they... what little summer they had. And then when they were shut in during the winter, why he would make copper pots for, I guess, hung in people’s fire places where they did their cooking. And he was quite an artisan. And I have a flower vase. It is a beautiful thing all hammered and it was done with old world technique where they would take a piece of hardwood and carve it out to half the shape of the vase that they wanted and then they would take a flat sheet of copper and meticulously hammer it, or peen it as they called it, until it fit the shape. And then they would cut the excess and then hey would do two halves of that and fit them together and silver solder them together so fine that you had to look with a magnifying glass to see the seam between the two halves. And that is... it was quite a piece of work. [00:30:57]

My grandmother was a remarkably industrious woman...[edit]

My grandmother was a remarkably industrious woman. She had a... I remember as a child a large wood stove in the kitchen which was always going and kept the house toasty and warm. The kitchen was the big gathering place for the family and she baked 12 loaves of bread a week on that wood stove and everything came out perfect. She liked to bake what she called tarts which were, you know, a cherry tarts and berry tarts and so forth, little treats to give the kids, the youngest ones that would come and visit her. She always had a treat for the... for the grandchildren when they came. And I can remember during World War II my grandfather had this great big cathedral radio sitting in the parlor and the parlor was really neo Victorian and had this red satin covering on it and all looked like museum pieces to me, but I guess it was the thing to have in their day, but I was about six years old and I remember I had found a huge pear on the pear tree in the back yard and I came running in while Gabriel Heeter or H. B. Kelton Borne or something was delivering the news of the night and, boy, I got hushed in a hurry. My grandfather glowered at me. You didn’t interrupt the news at six o'clock.

[Rushdoony] Yes, especially during the war years. People sat glued to the radio.

[Murray] Yeah. Yeah. But anyway it was a very warm family. The... all of the … my cousins and aunts and uncles would come over on Saturday evening and, of course, there was no television. Nobody just sat and listened to the radio. It was all... what have you been doing over the past week. It was all conversation and... and family socializing. And some people would play whist or 500 or some card game or something or other and they would play cards until midnight and then the ... all go home and get ready to go to church in the morning. [00:33:36]

But the ... my mother’s side of the family came from Germany around the time of World War I into Pennsylvania and, of course, they suffered the being social outcasts. They were ... they were called Pennsylvania Dutch which was a euphemism for people who returned, I guess hide their ... their background where they came from. But my grandmother was a relation, somehow. I never got it straight, of Kit Carson the explorer.

[Rushdoony] Oh.

[Murray] And she was a ... she read the Bible. I remember that as a very young child and I think I went in and all naïveté and just asked her straight out. I said, “Grandma, why do you read the Bible so much?”

[Sandlin] What was her denominational...?

[Murray] Well, I... I am not... not sure what church she went to. I just, you know, wasn’t old enough, really, to be that... that aware. I remember that she went, but she read the Bible a lot. But I just asked her straight out one day why she read the Bible and her answer was, “Because it is the most important book in the world and the most important one that you will ever read.”

And she was quite emphatic about it.

My... my grandfather on my mother’s side was a farmer and they unfortunately for them chose to go to Oklahoma in the 20s and started a farm there when the dust bowl came along and they were forced to leave because all the wells dried up and they had horrendous dust storms that destroyed the crops, made it impossible to farm and they left and came out to California and he had some education and got a job with PG&E hooking up gas meters or something and they made out ok. [00:36:07]

They finally... they moved to San Jose and they had a little ranch there and they ultimately sold the land to what is now the property that Apple Computer is sitting on. So it is ... an... an interesting journey on both sides. But religion played a big part in both sides of the family and church was important on both sides of the family, particularly in the grandparents’ years because it is... it is what got them through the hard times. Without them, without it, it would have been difficult if not impossible for them to survive the...

I think that people today don’t realize the hardships that all of our grandparents and great grandparents have gone through.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Murray] We tend to trivialize it and because they didn’t make too much of it, because to them it was more normal than abnormal to go through that kind of hardship and deprivation. You know, homesteading... In fact, my grandmother as a child was in the Oklahoma run in the panhandle where they opened up the panhandle of Oklahoma and she was in a... a covered wagon and remembers as a child riding in a covered wagon when the gun went off and they all crossed over the line and went out into that territory to homestead a piece of land to farm.

So we ... we have to reach back and realize that if we think it is tough today, it was 100 times tougher in their day.

[Sandlin] Yeah.

[Rushdoony] Yes. Yes. And we don’t appreciate what I remember vividly as a child, the pleasure people took in going to church, hearing the sermon, singing the psalms and standing around and visiting with friends and neighbors. Tremendous sense of community.

[Murray] Well, that is another thing that I remember as a child is that whenever people got together someone played an instrument and they all sang.

[Rushdoony] Yes. Yes.

[Sandlin] That was the entertainment rather than TV or...

[Murray] That was ... that was the entertainment. I mean they... they weren’t having a good time unless they were singing.

[Rushdoony] That kind of singing went out with World War II. Before that everybody sang on the slightest occasion, at the drop of a hat and with pleasure.

[Sandlin] Now it seems there is more of the obsession with professionals singing, rather than...

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Sandlin] ...individuals.

[Rushdoony] Well, Andrew?

[Sandlin] Well, I won’t be any different than either Rush or Douglas. I was born into a very devout Christian family. My parents are both old fashioned Bible believing Baptists. I should go back a little bit. Racially I am Irish and English. My mother’s maiden name is Hopkins which is a very standard British name. And Sandlin, English or Irish. [00:39:43]

I had an ancestor on my mother’s side that came over...[edit]

I had an ancestor on my mother’s side that came over on the Mayflower. But I guess the best way to begin with my background is to say that all of my life has been conditioned in Christianity so I don't really think of anything else. My father has been a Baptist pastor and evangelist for, oh, 40 some years now and my mother who was saved at a very young age... he was converted in a revival meeting at 24. She was converted as a Sunday school girl at about 12 years old. I have great affection for them, obviously, as you men do for your parents. They trained me in historic, biblical Christianity.

I will give you an example of that. I will never forget my first job was... my father was pastoring a church in Florida. I must have been all of about six or seven years old. And he needed someone to sort of pull the weeds around the large church building. I think I was hired for five dollars a week to pull all the weeds around the church building. I remember the first time that I got paid the five dollar bill. My father sat me down and he said, “Now, son, the Bible teaches that you should tithe and that is 10 percent. Ten percent on five dollars is 50 cents and you can give more, but you owe to God 50 cents.” He said, “Please understand that this is not something there is any question about. It is just it belongs to God.”

Well, all of my life I have never had one problem, one problem tithing. And the most difficult times, not because of any goodness in me, but because we were just trained that that was the way you live your life. It couldn’t be any other way. That is why when I encountered Van Til’s In Defense of the Faith and other works and Rush’s Institutes and his... his other works, it was so natural. [00:42:06]

I was taught that the Bible is the inspired and infallible...[edit]

I was taught that the Bible is the inspired and infallible Word of God. My parents both have a great love and belief in the authorized or King James Version which I share. And therefore it was just natural to accept that all of the Bible is true and that all of the Bible applies to all of life.

Go back and mention there is also some strong old fashioned Methodists in my background. My dad tells a story of his grandmother, my great, great grandmother who was an old fashioned Methodist who liked to dip snuff. She would sit in her old chair and have her hair in a bun and dip snuff and read her Bible, had a real little spittoon and she would thoroughly enjoy doing that.

Because of this... and, Rush, I know that you probably feel much the same. It just never occurred to me that Christianity could not be true.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Sandlin] That the Bible is not the Word of God, that Jesus is not the Son of God or so forth. So even though I didn’t know it at the time, presupposition or what we today call presuppositional thinking was just the natural way of thinking to me. There was never any question about verifying the faith. The faith wasn’t meant to be verified. It was meant to be believed and applied, you know.

Because of that I... and it may sound odd to evangelicals, but I don’t ever remember getting saved. No doubt there was a time of regeneration. The Bible teaches that if we are truly converted. That frightens some people when I tell them that, but it doesn’t frighten anybody who grew up in a Christian home.

[Rushdoony] A covenant child.

[Sandlin] Absolutely. It is interesting, though... though my parents are not theoretically or theologically covenantal, yet their actions are so strongly covenantal and I think that is true in the... in the home schooling movement.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Sandlin] Not everybody in the home schooling movement is technically committed to reformed theology and yet in essence the home schooling movement is all about the practice of reform, new covenant theology.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Sandlin] I was trained in a... in a Christian school all my life. As a matter of fact, I didn’t encounter public education until I stepped into a... to do doctoral studies in a... in English and in the state university. And by then my thinking was so solidified in ... in historic Christianity and in Van Tillian apologetics and Rushdoony’s approach to the faith that there was nothing that could tear it down. [00:45:04]

And I thank a Christian family for that and, of course...[edit]

And I thank a Christian family for that and, of course, secondarily to ... to Rush who has been such a deep influence on my life. I look at Rush as first at my parents who trained me in the faith and then at Rush as sort of the continuation onto the next level of a full application of the faith in all areas of life.

But that is sort of a little of my background. I want to echo what you men said about the past. I hear stories about some of my relatives. My dad’s dad was ... he was a milk man just about all of his life back when the milk was delivered, of course, to the door. And by horse drawn carriages. My dad tells a story...

[Rushdoony] I remember.

[Sandlin] Yes. My dad tells the story about the fact that his... he knew his horse so well and the horse knew him so well that he would, at several stops, just sort of get out and say, “I will meet you out there,” and he would go over and make a couple of stops and the horse would just sort of walk down the proper number of blocks and would just stop right there and be waiting.

And his wife, they divorced later. This... they were not Christians at the time, was a... just a very hard working woman who had little education, but scrubbed floors for a living. Speaking about hard working, she was scrubbing floors for a living into her 60s and early 70s. Babysitting just to get enough money to get by. A dear Christian woman. They are all Christians now, those that are still alive. A couple of the grandparents are dead.

My maternal grandfather was a truck driver for years and years. A lot of them, by the way, came from Kentucky.

I don’t know if you know. Ohioans call people from Kentucky briar hoppers that is one of their briar hoppers, one of their terms of sort of friendly derision. But many of them migrated to Ohio and all of them saved. Virtually all of them on both sides of those still living, the younger ones, almost all profess Christianity. Many Baptists, some reformed, some non denominational.

But I will conclude with this. There are so many things I could say, but I will never forget that for years my father would always put in his Bible a picture of the cross. I have three siblings. There are four children. And of course the ... the cross has four points to it and he would put my name on the top and my brother’s name here and my sister’s name on the side and the other sister on the bottom always with the prayer that the entire family would be Christian. And he strongly believed in household salvation and God has honored his and my mother’s faith. She is a dear soul, has an operatic voice, would sing with him on his crusades and preaching the old hymns and old gospel songs. He jokes that some of the ministers where he preached say, “We don’t really like your preaching, but we have to get your wife... get you in order to get your wife to get her to sing. So that is why we invite you to come.” [00:48:25]

But never heard her say a cross word, just a dear Christian...[edit]

But never heard her say a cross word, just a dear Christian woman. But those have been the main events of... I think, you know, I think of Van Til’s little booklet Why I believe in God and he begins with his discussion about the fact that he was just taught in his Dutch family that ...

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Sandlin] Well, I... I feel just the same way. Could not be otherwise and I thank God for it.

[Rushdoony] Well, the family was very, very strong in the era before World War II and in the generations before. I know that when I was growing up and in high school, the aunts, my grandmother and three aunts would come together regularly in one home or another, bake bread together for all the families and do a great deal like that, you know, that was routine. They would make the big flat bread which will keep indefinitely and pile it high. And then they would make the round bread like a sheep herder’s bread, which it really was in the old country. They would work together like that. And Sunday dinners were held together, all of us at one home or another and it was a wonderful thing. Each Sunday all the years we were on the farm and then when we came back to the farm every one together, very happy and harmonious. The family could depend on the larger family for anything, any crisis. They would be put up. If they didn’t have a place to stay they would be helped out. It was just taken for granted that that was the way you did things. [00:51:00]

That was fairly common across country and I remember...[edit]

That was fairly common across country and I remember vividly when the Depression hit how many, many families had the children come back and go into their own old bedroom with their wife and children so that there would be two or three families under one roof and nobody thought that was unusual. It was accepted that this is what families were for, to love one another, to care for one another. It was a very wonderful way of life.

In the Bible the family is the basic institution. And we have forgotten that. And the thing that makes me value so highly the home school movement is that it is restoring the family to its proper place.

Christian school is a big help, but the home school is even better at this.

[Sandlin] Yes. That is right.

[Rushdoony] So I think we are in the midst of a great change in this country that we are not only going to see a revival of Christianity, but it is going to begin in the home. It is not going to begin in...

[Sandlin] That is right.

[Rushdoony] ...churches.

[Sandlin] Absolutely.

[Rushdoony] ...and campaigns by the clergy. It is going to begin in the home. And I am seeing it already.

[Sandlin] Yes.

[Rushdoony] I can go on at length about some of the families on the Chalcedon mailing list, people who support us, the remarkable family life they have, the high caliber of their children. It is a very important thing and we are just seeing this...

[Sandlin] Yes.

[Rushdoony] ...come to the fore, say, in the past 10, 15 years.

[Sandlin] That is right.

[Rushdoony] It was not there before. The family was tending to disintegrate. Now, of course, you have the disintegration in the non Christian realm, but in the Christian a remarkable resurgence of family life.

[Sandlin] An that is how we are going to turn things around and are turning things around.

[Rushdoony] Yes. It is going to be not only an intellectual, theological thing which is what we are trying to do here at Chalcedon, but it is going to be something rooted in the family.

[Sandlin] I was about to say before you mentioned that, Rush, I think all of these people that think they are going to turn things around by evangelistic crusades really have it just backwards.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Sandlin] I mean, we have had 30 or 40 years, you know, this crusade evangelism. I mean, after the Billy Sunday era and, well, most of it is Arminian any way, but even if it weren’t, I think it is missing the whole point. [00:54:05]

[Rushdoony] Yes...[edit]

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Sandlin] There can’t be revival in the Church until there is revival in the family.

[Rushdoony] That is right.

[Murray] It is interesting. I taught ... I run into people that are home schooling and some of the women who, for one reason or another, didn’t finish high school, they get excited about learning because they see...

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Murray] ... the kids getting excited.

[Sandlin] That is right.

[Murray] ...and they go back and get their high school diploma.

[Sandlin] That is right.

[Rushdoony] I have seen young mothers who were products of the public school and barely capable of reading and writing become highly literate and well educated because they started with their children, taught them step by step and themselves learned everything.

[Murray] You know, women... the women’s movement has talked about empowerment. The women that I have talked to that have gotten involved in home schooling with their kids that is the one thing that just really gives them empowerment.

[Sandlin] Yes it does.

[Murray] It is to take charge of that responsibility back in the home again. And it is... they... they... I don’t think many of them realize that they lost it until they rediscover it and then they realize what they ... what they had lost.

[Rushdoony] Well, the family at one time was the normal way of life and the urge to create families is very strong. Now I mentioned earlier that my father did his graduate work in Scotland. Well, when he went there he stayed with a childless married couple, the Olivers, John Oliver. And he not only had a marvelous family life, but he became their son. And all the time I was growing up I was writing letters to granny Oliver. She was another grandmother. And John Oliver died when I was quite young, but granny lived for a long, long time and all through the years every Christmas not only would she send my father something, but us children and me, in particular, because my middle name John was from John Oliver and I almost got named John Oliver Rushdoony. [00:57:10]

At any rate she gave me many books, some of which I...[edit]

At any rate she gave me many books, some of which I still have with the notation that it was to Johnny from granny, Christmas 1925 or something like that. She gave me magazine subscriptions to Scottish and British boys’ magazines, a book about Edinburgh.

I came to know Edinburgh so well that when I first went there in 1987, I could recognize things and in a few areas I knew my way around just from all that reading.

Well, our time is almost up. Is there something any... either of you would like to add?

[Murray] Well, I would encourage everyone who has not done so to go back as far as they can in their family tree and get a picture, a snapshot of what life was like through letters, recollections of still living grandparents and find out what you have lost.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Murray] Because it is an enormous reservoir of experience and the ability to deal with the difficulties of life. It is there for the taking, but very few people ask.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

Another thing to do which our family does, is to have regular family reunions. And we have them currently every year at my brother’s place. Occasionally we have other reunions and while my Aunt Rhonish who is the third oldest, second after my mother, was still alive and she died a few weeks shy of 100, we had an annual reunion on her birthday as well as the one at my brother’s. It was wonderful. And today people very often don’t know their grandparent’s name or have never seen their cousins. I find that hard to understand. [00:60:05]

Well, our time is up...[edit]

Well, our time is up. Thank you all for listening and God bless you.