Philosophy of Christian Ed as a Biblical World - Life View - RR148A1

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Professor: Rushdoony, Dr. R. J.
Title: Philosophy of Christian Ed. as a Biblical World, Life View
Course: Course - Philosophy of Christian Eduction in Christian Schools
Subject: Subject:Education
Lesson#: 1
Length: 1:31:33
TapeCode: RR148A1
Audio: Chalcedon Archive
Transcript: .docx Format
Philosophy of Christian Eduction in Christian Schools.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.

{?} Or Chalcedon, all three are entirely legitimate, and whichever you use sometimes depends on which university you went to. The name comes from a small town in Asia Minor, not too far from Constantinople where a council of the Christian church was held in A.D. 451. The great work of that council, which should be in every history book, but which is not because the history textbooks are written by anti-Christians, was to set forth the biblical doctrine of Christ, as very God of very God and very man of very man, truly God and truly man. Two natures in perfect union without confusion. What Chalcedon’s council did was to set forth that Jesus Christ as the Lord and savior, king of kings and Lord of Lords, that any other claim to be the link between heaven and earth, either by a church or by state is {?}, because at that time you remember, the Roman emperors were claiming to be gods, and later the church claimed to be the voice of God on earth, and the continuation of the incarnation. Chalcedon stood out against that very clearly, and said that Christ alone is the link between God and man. There is none other way under heaven by which men can be saved than Jesus Christ.

So, today when we have the state again claiming to be God, not saying it in so many words but claiming total power over man, {?} we’ve got to withstand the to totalitarian claims of the state and set forth the total claims of Jesus Christ, and we have to work out the principles, the fundamentals of Christian reconstruction in every area of life and thought. This is what we’re trying to do. This is why, for example, we have men working in various fields here and there across the country in philosophy, in economics, in the area of music, mathematics; that’s one thing we’re very proud of. If you’re interested in math, in our first issue of the journal, Dr. Vern Poythress{?}, who took his PhD in math at Harvard, has written on God and mathematics, or what does God have to do with numbers? Then the foundations {?} mathematics {?} you believe in the God of scripture and the doctrine of the trinity, no mathematics is possible. It is advanced math that we’re dealing with there. It was important in that day that graduate students who had heard about it and seen liberal snatches of some of the advanced proof of it were {?} anxiously wanting to know when the book would be out. It’s a tremendous study, very important. Well, that’s the kind of thing we want to do so that any serious Christian in math will have that as the fundamental principles of a biblical approach to mathematics. We have to do that for every field. Incidentally, I think I saw {?} [00:04:21]

[Audience] {?}

[Rushdoony] Yes. You are very kind.

[Audience] {?}

[Rushdoony] The question is what kind of work have we done in the area of biological sciences.

[Audience] And physical science.

[Rushdoony] And physical sciences. Nothing yet. We have two things we need to do before we can work in many fields. First, to find the funds so that we can get someone to do it, and then find the right person who will deal with the basic theory and the basic principles from a biblical perspective. Now we have someone in the field of music who is going to be a magnificent piece of work there, and that’s an important area. You know we forget that, in the Bible, part of the tithe went to support the musicians because music was considered so basic to the faith and to the life of the faith, so that many of the psalms are composed, as you will see in the heading, for the choir, and for the singers. Come on in, we haven’t actually started.

[Audience] Thank you.

[Rushdoony] Make yourself comfortable somewhere. Here’s a chair right here, there’s one there. Here’s one right over here in the corner. And you see what our problem today is that all our music comes from the wrong source. So church music today, whether it’s the more formal type of church music or gospel music, it’s predominantly influenced by secular music, and the result is that the humanism which thrives in our midst rather than the faith. Music is extremely important, but it’s a neglected area. We hope to do some fundamental rethinking there, and perhaps we have someone working for his doctorate right now in the field of music as well as someone else who is going to do a study of the whole history of music in terms of biblical presupposition. It’s a case of finding the right man and having the funds. We’re really a shoestring operation but we’re having a well {?} interim already. In fact, I’ve had two letters this week: One from a university professor in Scotland and the other from a minister in Alaska, both of whom want to come and stay here, to rethink their fundamental positions. I also got a letter last week from a member of Parliament in South Africa who’s very excited about our thinking. People do want to rethink every area of life and thought in terms of the word of God, and in this respect, we are unique. In fact, the week before last, someone who is a television commentator called and he said we were the only group he knew of that was having an impact in a positive way in the world of Christian though, because we were the only ones who were rethinking things in terms of a biblical perspective, in terms of a world and life view. [00:08:20]

How’s it coming over here?...[edit]

How’s it coming over here?

[Audience] Your outline here, what exactly do you mean?

[Rushdoony] Christian reconstruction means rebuilding in every area of life in terms of biblical presupposition. Biblical presupposition. Now, to cite one example, in the Bible, you do not have such a thing as prison sentences. All you have in the Bible is somebody being kept in custody pending trial, no prison sentences. What do you have instead of prison sentences? Restitution. If you stole, let us say, $100, you have to restore $100. If you stole a sheep, you have to restore fourfold. An ox? Fivefold. You see? The restitution has to be in nature of the offense, so it was either double, up to fivefold. Restitution always. Now, if you were an incorrigible criminal, or an incorrigible delinquent you were executed. It was that simple. So {?} Now, this is the biblical pattern. What we do today is {?} the criminal. He robbed you and then your tax to support him in prison. There is no restitution. When he comes out, {?}, a Chalcedon staff member, was for nine years, on a police force, a fingerprint expert, and he can tell you, he quit because he was spending more time preparing the police against the criminals than he was spending in prison. So, if you have biblical reconstruction would do here. All you have to do is to go to the word of God, study it, {?} its implications and we have a program.

[Audience] We have the fact that the implementation program, {?} a program {?} a long range in other words, {?} incorporate or inculcate {?} into American civilization {?}

[Rushdoony] For example, I have written Institutes of Biblical which is a big thick book of about 1,000 pages. We’re out of copies at present, so we don’t have it here. But if you come back again, we hope to have some more copies here in about a week and a half. Now it’s interesting, the publisher thought that book was going to wreck his reputation and was ready to go bankrupt on it. The printing sold out in seven months and it’s now in its third printing. Some of the most enthusiastic readers of it are in congress. I’ve spoken on biblical law, perhaps next time I’ll speak on biblical law if you’re interested, some of the basic principals of it. I’ve spoken on it to children, to ministers and they say, “Well, it sounds wonderful, but it isn’t practical.” Well, I {?} to legislators two or three times. They told me, “Nothing else works. Maybe it’s time we tried God’s law.” Quite interesting difference. [00:12:08]


[Rushdoony] Next month I shall be speaking for two days, October 14 and 15, to the teachers and administrators of about seventy-five schools, Christian schools, in Ohio. How many of you are familiar with the school situation in Ohio? Any of you? Good. As you know, some of you, the Christian schools in Ohio, in the past few years, have grown rather dramatically. As a result, the State Department of Education in Ohio began to lose heavily in funds from the average daily attendance of students. It became very much a concern that it decided to throw at the schools their minimum standards for {?} elementary schools as well as the junior high and senior high standards. In essence what this mean was that they were requiring the Christian schools of the State of Ohio to teach humanism. {?} went after the schools and refused to accredit them if they failed to comply. In terms of this, they took one pastor to court. That conviction was recently overturned by the State Supreme Court. They tried, however, but this method was too slow. They therefore went after the parents of the school teachers, and this matter is still pending.

[Audience] What school teachers?

[Rushdoony] Parents of the school children. Yes. They went after the parents and said, “You’re under arrest for contributing to the delinquency of your children by having them in these non-accredited Christian schools. They told the parents to come to court with their children’s clothing packed, because after the court session, their children would be taken permanently from them and they would not be permitted to see them again. As you can imagine, there were a great many parents who lost a great deal of sleep and shed a great many tears. {?} Two Christian lawyers, one Catholic and one evangelical, went to the defense of these Christians. Both of these men, incidentally, are on the Chalcedon mailing list. One is Mr. {?} of Harrisonburg, Pennsylvania, the other, Mr. {?} of Cleveland, Ohio. The case against the parents is still not settled, but the Christian schools have taken the offensive. They are now suing the State of Ohio. This case is a most revealing one because the church bowed down, the {?} [00:15:58]

A few years ago, a man in Washington, D...[edit]

A few years ago, a man in Washington, D.C. whose abilities I value most highly, made an off the record statement that, in the next ten years, the main political battle in the United States would be between Christianity and anti-Christianity, and the only thing would be done to disguise the fact that this was the real issue. The politicians would do everything to avoid a confrontation. Now, of course, some candidates this year have been going around as ostensibly Christian candidates; Tom {?} of Arizona and Carter of Arizona, although in their thinking, there is often evidence that there is a brand of humanism and Christianity.

The issue is a critical one, however, and it will not go away. The battle is being joined in Ohio. What’s involved? The issue is simply this: Who is Lord? {?} We do not understand the New Testament unless we grasp this fundamental fact that the great proclamation of the New Testament is this, and it’s the culminating sentence of St. Peter’s speech on the Day of Pentecost. “This same Jesus, whom ye crucified is both Lord and Christ.” St. Peter is followed in this by St. Paul, who over and over again takes up the great proclamation of Pentecost: Jesus is Lord. Now that was a dangerous statement to make, because what does Lord mean? Kurios in the Greek. God. The triumphant, world-conquering ruler, the {?} king. The one who has everything under his jurisdiction. The Lord is the one under whom all things exist. He provides the umbrella under whom creation, the arts, the sciences, politics, education, family, everything exists. As we look at the Roman Empire, we find, going back to the days of our Lord’s birth, the fundamental principle of the Roman Empire was this: There is none other name under heaven by which men can be saved than the name Augustus Caesar. Now do you understand what it meant when St. Peter declared, on the Day of Pentecost, “Jesus is Lord.” There is none other name under heaven by which men can be saved than the name of Jesus Christ {?}. [00:19:39]

This not all. We do know, as the result of very painstaking and dry as dust study of all the ancient documents about the early church, that whatever else is required of someone who presented himself for baptism, that adult had to make this statement: “Jesus is Lord. Jesus is Lord.” This was mandatory. No baptism apart from that confession. Now, what {?} the requirement of a Christian that they approached when they were arrested for this {?} with this simple thing. “Look, be reasonable. We have nothing against Christianity. We’re ready to allow you freedom to worship if you just apply for license, is a license legal {?} and pay a small tax. But, go by that offer of Caesar and say “Caesar is Lord,” and you go free. Now that was it. W{?} say “Jesus is Lord,” or “Caesar is Lord.” Do you know that one of the Roman Emperors actually in his private chapel, set up a statue of Jesus? He was trying to indicate, “Look folks, {?} I won’t enjoy having you killed. I’m willing to give Jesus His due. I’m willing to recognize Him as one of the greatest men of history. I’ll give you {?} whatever you want about him, but Caesar is Lord. That’s what the persecution of the old church was about. And the sad and disastrous fact that there are actually Christians now who consider it wrong to say that Jesus is Lord? If you deny that Jesus is Lord, what you are then saying is Jesus is my insurance agent. I’m buying fire insurance from him. [00:22:24]

If you were a Roman citizen in St...[edit]

If you were a Roman citizen in St. Peter’s day and St. Paul’s day, you would say that Caesar is Lord, for {?} Oh, they were your insurance agent. If you are taking {?} you’d go to the temple {?}, if you {?} you’d go to the temple of {?} and you’d buy insurance. You’d make a gift of so much and you’d say now, I want so much in return, if you don’t deliver I’ll patronize somebody else, and they’d actually do it. They didn’t worship those gods. They wanted them for insurance. To deny that Jesus is Lord, Jesus then only provides you fire insurance, and that’s not Christianity.

Now what did it mean when beginning in Germany and then coming into this country under Horace Mann, James G. Carter, Charles Sumner, and others, all {?} that the state control and support of education {?}. They made no bones about it. The idea was that the general {?} that the state is Lord, the state is man’s savior. There is an established religion today in the United States and in the schools of these United States, and it is humanism, the worship of man. Man is lord. Man in the form of the organized state is lord.

Now, a Christian school to be truly a Christian school must say therefore, “Not Caesar, not the state, not man, but Jesus is Lord. Therefore, every subject we teach must manifest a Christian world and life view. That there is no {?} that is not to be governed by the word of God. I mentioned earlier the minimum standards for the Ohio elementary schools. Well, some people will say, “Now what in the world would be different about science teaching in a Christian school and in a public school? The instruction in a public school is about our physical universe and the instruction in a Christian school is about our physical universe, so what are you talking about? Well, of course, there’s a very obvious fact; evolution versus creation, but this is not all. When you come to their philosophy for the sciences here, they never once mention knowledge of a real world out there. Never once. Now that doesn’t seem possible to you. [00:26:13]

When you read your science textbooks in college, or...[edit]

When you read your science textbooks in college, or read them in school, you felt the real world out there {?} No. They say we are teaching knowledge of the sciences and scientific data thought. Not about the physical universe. Why? Why is their statement never mentioned the physical universe. Well, let me tell you about a very interesting symposium two or three years ago. I deal with it {?} or forthcoming book, I’m not sure which one. In that symposium, held at Princeton, the physicists and astrophysicists, and mathematicians involved in the moon shot were discussing how it was done. They couldn’t’ understand it. They said it’s an impossibility. Of pinpointing a man on the moon they had done it, it’s impossible. Why? Because the way they did it was by mathematical computations which are {?} of human logic, they haven’t been able to figure out exactly how that space vehicle was going to {?} the moon at a particular point and land there. But you see, that presupposes an orderly universe which is God’s creation. This, they deny, and though we’re most insistent that mathematics and all the sciences are simply the logic of the human mind, of no relationship to brute factuality to the outside universe which is a meaningless, blind, chance {?}. Now, how I the world could they then do their logical computations, pinpoint a man on the moon. It couldn’t be done, they said. It was not understandable. Why man {?}, well some people solved the problem by positing God, but he went on to infer that this was a cop-out. Now what can you learn from such a {?} Everything that {?} denies. And Gunther {?} was a molecular biologist at the University of California at Berkeley, said frankly, in his book, that science is going to disappear before too many generations, because if everything is meaningless, what’s the point of studying? He had no answer. He never once mentioned God. That’s the answer he won’t look at.

Now can you see the difference between science and a Christian school and science and secular school? There’s a world of difference. Or history. There was no history teaching in the state school. There’s social sciences. There’s a world of difference. When a Christian school teaches history, its basic textbook has to be the Bible, by the way. In fact, you cannot, although very few historians will tell you this, reconstruct any of ancient history and its chronology apart from the Bible. The Bible is the basic book for dating everything before Christ. However, it gives you the basic premises of history, that God created the earth, the whole universe, in terms of his sovereign {?} He created man to exercise dominion, and to make this God’s realm, God’s kingdom. Man {?} from that purpose and tried to establish the kingdom of man independent of God. Christ redeemed man and {?} just in terms of the promised land that is the whole earth. That’s why it’s called the great commission, as against the commission to Joshua. [00:30:54]

Well, history has a beginning...[edit]

Well, history has a beginning. God created it. It has an end in the second coming{?} For the social sciences, history has no meaning. At a major university in California, a professor of history was teaching the basic required introductory course in history, got up a few years ago and told the entire class, “There is not such thing as history. History is a myth. There is no meaning, purpose, nor direction to life in what we call history. Therefore, the study of history is pointless, but the reason of the State of California pays me a passably good salary to teach history, therefore, we will proceed with its study.”

Now, we cannot teach history from the same perspective. {?} bear in mind that if we believe history has a purpose, God’s purpose, and what is the point of social sciences then but to retrace history. The social sciences have as their purpose the predestination of man by man. And {?} God’s predestination govern the universe they are saying we must have government and therefore it will be man’s government and man’s predestination of the universe. It’s the science of human control. This is why the social sciences teach social wisdom, totalitarianism, {?} control of many by the state. Several years ago, I was in a symposium in northern California, I believe it was in San Jose or somewhere like that, or Palo Alto. At any rate, Dr. Brockovich of the Hoover Institute, no {?} Bradley from San Jose was presiding. Dr. Brockovich was one of the speakers and I forget the third speaker. And I spoke about Christian schools as the necessary mandate for all Christians and as a great bulwark for freedom, and I appealed to all those who were there who had any element of conservatism in them that you’re not going to defend freedom in this country without the Christian schools. Well, it was very quiet in the auditorium, and naturally, everybody who was there had strong feelings one way or another, and not all of them could get their questions asked of make their statement. When it was over, this one woman, I find out she was a teacher, I think fourth grade, about thirty years old, came charging up to me with blood in her eye, and she accused me about being a crack and misleading the people and so on by talking about freedom. Why? These were her exact words. “In the modern world, proven is obsolete.” Well, [?} she was a very intelligent and a very logical woman, and granted her presuppositions, she was right. The only way you can have any government in the universe is through {?} because there’s no god to give a purpose. [00:35:01]

Therefore, the only way man can govern is through scientific...[edit]

Therefore, the only way man can govern is through scientific control of man’s society. You cannot have a planned scientific experiment in society unless you control all factors. Therefore, in the modern world, freedom is obsolete. You see, you cannot {?} between two opinions. If God is God, if Christ is Lord, then you must separate yourself from everything that constitutes secular education. You must not only have a Christian school, but you must have Christian philosophy for every subject. And we’re not going to see any future for Christianity apart from the Christian school that is systematic in its application of Christian principles to every subject.

You’re all familiar, of course, with the fact that now a days spelling and grammar are despised in many of the avant gard public schools, and they tell us that such things are purely arbitrary. Are they? Do you know there are theological foundations to grammar? Some day I hope we can get somebody who will do some good writing on that subject. What are the theological foundations to grammar? Do you know there are many languages that have no past and future tense? They’re {?} languages. It’s only a {?} You go through an {?} circumlocutions to state that something happened yesterday or something’s going to happen tomorrow. There’s no clear cut past tense and future tense. {?} languages and cultures that were once great. {?} the future because we’ve become relativistic. China, for example, was a world leader long before Europe was, was even remotely civilized while they were having human sacrifices as a routine thing all over Europe, but China drifted into a relativistic existential philosophy and it became stagnant{?}. [00:37:56]

Logic and theology are basic to ...[edit]

Logic and theology are basic to {?} Your faith works itself out in your language. It creates a structure in terms of that language. We have a language that is theological. It’s been shaped by fifteen, sixteen, eighteen centuries of Christianity, been molded by it, and it’s become a superb instrument for Christian thinking. It has to be preserved.

Incidentally, let me put in a plug here for the King James Version. It’s a very important aspect of education. Why? Because the King James Version, which I believe was a translation of the best text of the Bible, and if you’re interested in the subject I can recommend an excellent book, also chose a language that was as old fashioned when the King James original was first published as it is now, perhaps more so then, but it was a basic English, with the fundamental structure that would give a character to the language. Now, what do modern translations do? Well, there are hints that some of the socialist/Marxist countries may favor some of the modern translations up to a limited point. They certainly don’t take to the older one. The minute you, for example, in the United States, destroy the reading of the King James, you destroy the ability of the child to read Milton, Shakespeare, or any of the great literature in the English language. Now, we’re doing that stupidly{?} and unconsciously. In the Soviet Union, they’re doing it deliberately. They’re separating people from their Russian Bible, or the Armenian Bible, or whatever translation, the Hungarian Bible and so on, because those old basic type translations, which aimed for fundamental language, and which {?} the language through the years, are also key to the heritage of the past, that a great reference of the past, to the theology of the past, so when you destroy the Luther’s Bible in the King James Version, replace them with others, you close the door to yesterday and you create a rootless, existential man. Beautiful, very {?} isn’t it? [00:41:17]

Or the teachers of literature...[edit]

Or the teachers of literature. I was speaking at a Christian school not too long ago where they were having a great deal of trouble with the minister’s daughter who was teaching literature, and she was trying to bring into the school some humanistic classics. Very lovely girl, very impressive, but unaware of {?}, what is a classic? Well, the definition of a classic changes in terms of one’s faith. Men, through the centuries, have changed their ideas of what constitutes a classic. Dead works have been revived and very important works have died, because the classic work was something that epitomizes the faith, a word of life, a view of life. Recently, I read what was one of the great classics of the world according to many scholars, {?} A Vietnamese classes, {?} Very, very moving, and it’s {?} beautiful, but very dangerous because the fundamental thesis of that work is God is cruel and heartless, the world is an ugly place, man is a victim, the {?}, and what it encourages in someone because it’s a very moving work, is a tremendous self-pity, a tremendous self-pity. You can see how a book like that, which is known to everyone in Vietnam would mold the national character, and it’s still {?} defeatism. Perhaps it’s good that Marxism is taking over in the providence of God, {?} that’s so basic to the Vietnamese. There are {?} inferior people there, remarkable people, but the philosophy that is there is one that is {?}.

Now, two classics we can instill a dangerous philosophy. We want the truth. We have to be careful. For example, a writer that I like, although that I disagree with emphatically is Jack London. Jack London’s books are very often used in public schools and in Christian schools. He is a interesting writer, and a tremendously exciting man. I like his life story. Incidentally, he was also beginning to lose his socialism in his old age, and that’s why, he never really got old, he died before he was really old, but the socialists burned down his new home when he started to quit financing everything they did and he may have been poignant about it. Jack London, however, in all his writing, and they’re exciting books, Call of the Wild mainly, has a fundamental philosophy: Darwinism. The conflict of interest. Dog eat dog universe, every man and every dog for himself. Once in awhile there is somebody who will be friendly out there and give you a pat, but you stand alone. It instills a very dangerous philosophy. Robert Louis Stevenson was not Christian in any evangelical sense, but he was brought up in terms of old fashioned Calvinism, so the theme you can never get away from if you like his novels is, he has a doctrine of predestination woven through everything {?}. Everything works out. You don’t feel bitter at the end if somebody gets away with something. You all have read Treasure Island, no doubt. Do you feel upset that Long John Silver {?} some of the gold at the end? No, because it leaves you with the feeling that there’s a judgment and everybody’s going to get his from God sooner or later. Now Stevenson did that in spite of himself. He couldn’t get over his basic {?} He was brought up in a very strictly Christian atmosphere, Christian schooling and so on, so he could never get away from it. You see what I mean? You’re teaching a faith {?} the books you have found for children. Be careful with that {?}. The book will never take a stand against the Lord, but the Call of the Wild teaches a totally different {?} and so Jack London isn’t on our side. I personally like him better than a great many like Robert Louis Stevenson {?} on our side, and it develops into a root {?} instill the wrong philosophy. [00:47:16]

But it continues...[edit]

But it continues. Our faith says that every area of life and thought is the Lord’s. “The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, the world and they that dwell therein.” {?} we can never think politically, economically, or in any field apart from the world of God. Now this means, of course, we have to develop textbooks in all these areas from a Christian point of view, and we don’t have that. The Christian school is handicapped at this point. This is one thing we hope to encourage and get down as the Lord provides the means. {?} some can help me in it because history is his field, to write a history of the United States from a Christian point of view, because the Christian {?} Christian {?} is very clear in American history. At the very beginning, there were two kinds of people {?}. Those who said, “We are here to establish God’s dominion, God’s {?},” and usually it’s the basis for the conversion of the whole world. And we have been the great missionary nation of all history, haven’t we? There were others who said, “This is the new world where we will find then unspoiled {?} the Indians by sin {?} Christian teaching, and this could be the basis for a new Garden of Eden without God, and without Christ.” A naturalistic paradise. Both motives are very prominent in American history. They’ve been at war. They can be easily traced, but this is a part of our history that is ignored.

It’s interesting, somebody wrote ma and I just answered the letter today, about the Christian aspects of the War of Independence, and I recommended Allen Heimert, The American Mind, but this is for advanced reading. They asked, “Is there any book written other than Carl Bridenbaugh Mitre and Sceptre about the Christian background?” Bridenbaugh isn’t the best writer in the world. He {?} very boldly that the religious aspect is basic to an understanding of the War of Independence, that one of the real reasons why we went to war was to resist the idea of {?} being imposed on them from England. He wanted to know why Bridenbaugh hasn’t written more on the subject, and I said, “Well, Bridenbaugh didn’t write more because he spent it turning out the kind of thing the academic community wanted.” Well, another professor whose been on a faculty or two with Bridenbaugh, I had learned from two years back, that Bridenbaugh hoped that his alma mater, Harvard, would invite him, and only when he gave up hope and was near {?} virtually that he finally produced a book that told the truth about a little aspect of our history, and how important the Christian motivation was. Most{?} won’t touch it, they won’t do with it at all. It has to be dealt with. [00:51:18]

I said at the beginning that basic to the confession...[edit]

I said at the beginning that basic to the confession that Jesus is Lord, it’s {?}. It means that every aspect of life is under the Lord, he is the umbrella that covers everything. So, if you cannot think in any sphere of life or thought, any of the arts or sciences apart from biblical principle, that you have to apply it systematically. On the other hand, humanism says in every area, we must affirm the lordship of scientific man, the scientific, socialist planner. He represents the plan for every area. This is why ultimately, it will be a battle for the survival for the Christian schools. It’s either {?} or else Caesar will play finally no one has any right, no one, to teach any children except the state. {?} there was a symposium on this matter of legal aspects of education and the freedom of Christian education in the United States at the Law School of the University of Notre Dame. I was one of the, I think, three speakers there. The audience was the law faculty, the students, and a number of professors and lawyers from here and there who came to the meeting. The evening address was to be given, summing up the conference, by a Supreme Court justice. He declined, and every other judge they asked decline and they all had a common reason. They said in the next decade, we expect that this will be the major kind of case we will be trying. Cases with regard to will the Christian school be allowed to exist or not, and therefore, for us to take part in this meeting and to make an address would be to disqualify ourselves at a later date.

Now, you had better realize where the battle line is. Far more important than the church to the future of our faith is the Christian school. It’s the critical thought. This Ohio case is being followed all over the country, not by the press but by educators. I learned about a month and a half ago that, in one state, a state senator made the statement that in every state, the departments of education were following the Ohio situation and if the Ohio Department of Education won, states across the country would move against the Christian schools. The sad fact is, in Ohio, only about 70-75 of the schools {?} stand. The others are ready to compromise. Oh, you can still teach Bible. What they’re saying is, “We’ll teach two religions; humanism and Christianity.” They’ve already denied Christ. Jesus is Lord, not {?} The old church died for that faith, and this is why we have the freedom that we do. [00:55:32]

{?} in his book on the orphans of the Medieval world says that the {?} thinkers of western civilization were some of those early church fathers. It was because of this faith, Jesus is Lord. Now, the question is, will we stand in terms of that? Will we say with our whole heart, mind, and being, that our preaching, and our school, in every area of life, Jesus is Lord? Are there any questions now? Yes?

{Audience} Do you think {?} Christians are {?} it seems among the Christian people there’s more of, of a wall against Christians {?} than there are among people in the world.

[Rushdoony] {?} so these Christians are against Christian schools. They do not want to be involved because {?} make us make a stand. It’s enough just to sit and church and play at being a Christian, but if you make us feel guilty of our children and {?} in Christian schools, we’re not supporting Christian schools, then we’ll have to take a stand and we may find ourselves outside the faith. You see, today church people are compromising in every area. They’re compromising with regard to Christian schools, they’re compromising with regard to abortion, they’re compromising with regard to the sexual revolution, and let me say that that’s one of the most fearful things, the number of letters I get regularly from people because the sexual revolution is being taught in evangelical churches. It’s alright if it’s between Christians who love each other. And homosexuality, that’s another issue they’re not taking a stand on. On politics, on economics, you name it. They’re ready to compromise with other things and still claim to be Christ. In fact, I’ve encountered quite a {?} of people across country who say if you believe in Jesus Christ, that makes you a Christian. It doesn’t. Our Lord said, “By their fruits shall ye know them, a good tree brings forth good fruit.” We’re supposed to judge those who don’t make the stand and say, “You’re not of the Lord,” and if they say, “Oh, well {?} judge.” Our Lord said, “With what measure you mete out, it shall be measured unto you.” Don’t use your own standards, but our Lord also said, and I’ve never {?} this quote by anybody. “Judge righteous judgment.” You see. So, these Christians, so called, that oppose Christian schools are really saying, “Don’t make me stand in terms of the faith, because I won’t.” Yes? [00:59:31]

[Audience] Would you explain to Genesis ...[edit]

[Audience] Would you explain to Genesis 1 {?} mandate, because I don’t think a lot of people really understand what that is, that’s kind of one of the things, I think, you covered it in a way, I think you covered it from creation and, the fall, and talked about ?

[Rushdoony] Genesis 1:26-28 the creation of man and God said, “Let us make man in our own image,” and then man’s calling to exercise dominion and subdue the earth, and man fell from that calling. When he fell from that calling, the {?} was, this was the temptation of Satan, “Ye shall be as God,” {?} and the word {?} in modern language, you can render it, “determining for yourself what constitutes good and evil.” In other words, every man his own god, determining good and evil for himself. Therefore, what man tried to do in the fall was to say, “I am going to exercise dominion and create a kingdom upon the face of the earth in terms of myself, not in terms of God. My words, not God’s words. Now God created the entire world, we are told in Genesis 1 and said, “Behold, it is very good.” But {?}was {?} out, you see. Why? God planted it, made it a model. Man was the {?} he was to till it and keep it. Now, Adam, Eve, this is the way the whole world is to be. Here’s the pattern for you to learn. The garden is to be kept, it is to be developed, and this is the way the whole then shall be made. {?} driven out of that. Now Cain, when he created the first city, was trying to make it the new Garden of Eden, a {?} fenced in, it was, basically not walled, but fenced, and {?} at first, but he {?} and he said “Here I’ve created a Garden of Eden, that in the Song of {?}, you have a {?} of that, the kingdom of man which is every man for himself, and death to anybody who stands in my way. My will be done. He conquered for Christ, including the church by the way, which needs reconquering. We have to make politics godly, we have to make economics the family {?}, the arts, the sciences, every area must be fought under the kingship of Christ. One of the verses often quoted in scripture, was that verse from Isaiah which says that, “At the name of the Lord, every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess that {?}”

The New Testament cites this and says it is Jesus Christ of whom Isaiah spoke, and this is our calling. Why else then, does Paul tell the Corinthians that they shouldn’t go to the ungodly. “What? Know ye not that the saints shall judge the world?” Now, the word “judge” there is the same as in the book of Judges. It means govern. You’re going to govern the world, that’s your calling. That’s right now. Govern your family. Govern you work. Establish your dominion as God’s man wherever you are. Paul wasn’t talking to the Corinthians about something that’s going to happen at the second coming. He tells us right now, settle it yourself. Right in your own midst, learn how to govern yourselves, because you’re going to govern the world, and this is good training ground, your problems between yourselves. So, the creation mandate means that the Christian, in our Lord’s words, is to occupy till I come. {?} occupy every area of life and thought form, and in our time, their critical place is the Christian schools. Yes? [00:01:04]

[Audience] My question is, going back to ...[edit]

[Audience] My question is, going back to {?} I know how a lot of us, I know myself, have been, had gone to an elementary school {?} teaching methods in school, the pragmatic part of, okay the biblical {?} are there, but I {?} history, how do I practically work out the curriculum that is, {?} divorce myself from the humanistic {?} attitude, and go back to Bible, there aren’t any textbooks. Where do you begin?

[Rushdoony] I have a book The Biblical Philosophy of History. That’ll help you to see some of these things in perspective. Then second, begin by reading Genesis 1. That’ll upset them a bit. Even in a Christian school, they are going to have American history or whatever it may be, and you say, “History begins here, that God created all things in the beginning.” He has a purpose. Known unto God are all his works in the foundation of the world scripture says. Alright, He had a purpose then before the foundation of the world and decreeing that America was going to come in existence. He has a calling for this country. He has a calling for us. Now, as we go through American history, we’re going to see that men began at that purpose, they’ve lost it, and periodically take them back to that fact. God had a purpose in all of this. Where have we gone wrong and what have we done right? If you begin with that and then remind yourself, you can type out a little memo of some of these verses, “Known unto God are all His works from the foundation of the world,” from the council of Jerusalem in Acts 15, as well as “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth,” and so on. So that it’ll be a reminder to you to bring these points into the minds of the children, and it’s not only American history that God created in terms of His sovereign purpose, but then, each one of them, they have to find themselves in terms of that. Yes? [01:07:27]

[Audience] Do any ...[edit]

[Audience] Do any {?} or whatever our political input {?} incurred that the world is {?} and further that we’ve heard, I haven’t shown up in court, and due to the fact I was admonished by a popular speaker at one time, {?} religious philosophy {?} I knew for a fact who admonished a group of my friends and I who were taking philosophy classes, the philosophy itself {?} was something that was of the world along with all of the other {?} and that I was wondering could you comment, you brought up the term philosophy quite a bit, so apparently you think that there could be, that there is a Christian philosophy, that philosophy in itself is not wrong, it’s that you must have Christian presupposition, and secondly, do you know, design a philosophy as a foundation for every discipline is {?} philosophy of Christian education {?} and could you perhaps comment on that and offer some sources or material on that?

[Rushdoony] Alright, first of all, Paul warns again vain thought, not against philosophy as such, as we have too much careless reading of scripture by ministers. In fact, one of the things that has always irritated me is that you actually find churches that warn against the wearing of gold ornaments, and they cite Peter, forbidding such things, the plaiting of hair, the wearing of gold ornaments. My wife has the gold ornament there that I gave her. Now, that’s a silly reading of the text because the text also goes on to speak of dress. What’s the answer? Go nude? That isn’t what Peter was talking about. What he said was that a woman should not put her trust in the hairstyle, or in her gold ornaments, or her clothing. He didn’t say “Strip yourselves of all these things and go around naked, and then you’re a properly humble Christian woman.” You see what this kind of silly exegesis, or isogesis it is turning scripture into nonsense. Now, philosophy has a very central place. What is philosophy? It is simply taking the premises of scripture and working out their implications for every realm. There are two kinds of philosophy that you can have. The great names here from the Middle Ages are Anselm and Abelard. Abelard the rationalist said, “My autonomous mind is basic. I must understand before I believe so that all things must be judged by me. My mind.” He made himself god. All modern philosophy stems right out of Abelard. Abelard took that principle out of Greek and Roman philosophy, but what did St. Anselm say? He said, “I believe in order that I may understand.” So he said, first, I come to philosophy with a presupposition of the word of God, as the word of the infallible God. Believing that, then I can understand everything. If I don’t believe that, then I can understand nothing. Now, in my word {?} which is a philosophical study of epistemology, which is the theory of knowledge, I deal precisely with this point. And all I do is to begin with Descartes and come to the present, so that the whole stream of modern philosophy until {?} by beginning with Abelard in effect, they end up saying we can know nothing. When you deny God, ultimately, if you’re honest, you cannot know anything. You’re just locked up in your own mind and the world out there isn’t even real anymore. [00:12:32]

Jean Paul Sartre is the logical conclusion of such...[edit]

Jean Paul Sartre is the logical conclusion of such a philosophy. Existentialism. The only thing that is real is my existence and I don’t even have a nature. There is no law except my will, my lot. So, Sartre has to say, between two existentialists, one a prime minister of a country and the other a wino, the wino is the better existentialist, because he doesn’t care about anything outside of himself. Sartre condemned himself really. He said, “For me, my neighbor is the devil.” If I’m god, my neighbor has to be the devil, you can’t have two gods. And in one of his plays, he titled it “No Exit.” Existentialist man is in a world all by himself. There is no exit. He is in hell. You can’t get out, he doesn’t know whether the door is locked or unlocked. There are several of them there, and they’re all talking to each other. That’s the perfect picture of hell, no community. Total existentialism.

[Audience] But isn’t one talking with you {?} that you should just get away from the world, instead of having dominion, you could get away from it and {?} the church because they will say we can minister to one another and think about Christ’s coming, and work on our piety, and some people call it our prayer {?} isn’t that {?}

[Rushdoony] That’s very commonplace, and I’ll tell you what it is. It’s medievalism. A catholic political scientist, Count Eric von Conaltladim{?} has said that the best examples of medievalism today are Protestants. Bible believing Protestants. Why? They turn the church into a convent and monastery. The only difference between the medieval monks and nuns is that they’re married. That they withdraw from the world and into the church and say, “Don’t bother us with anything like Christian schools, or with any problems, or with politics, or with economics, or with the sexual revolution. Everything’s alright as long as we are here in the monastery or the convent. That is not Christianity. I don’t believe the Medieval monks and nuns by and large are Christians. In fact, most of them were put there because their families didn’t want to provide money for the girls to have a dowry and get married, and the boys were put there because they didn’t want them to have a portion of the inheritance. They wanted just the one son to have the inheritance undivided and they put the younger son into a monastery, or make priests out of them. So, believe me, they didn’t have much faith. Yes? [01:15:32]

[Audience] {?} Christians over here {?} were talking about Christian education, {?} fine arts, like art and drama, and in a Christian context all of the presuppositions are {?}. The hard part for me is that practical outworking of, you’ve got people in a spiritual Oh, that’s the world, you can’t have that kind of school, and the world says, Oh well you can count me out {?} Bible verses in it. Where do we radically oppose the world and show the Christian {?} that {?}

[Rushdoony] It isn’t easy because you’re pioneers, you see. But you mentioned art, for example. The artist in the modern world is the substitute for the prophet in the Bible. He’s a lawless man because law means nothing. He’s above the law. He has the new infallible word. In the Middle Ages, the Christian artist was not an artist. He was an artisan. He was a Christian whose business or calling happened to be sculpture or painting, or something else. There was nothing flighty about him. He was a Christian doing his business. Now as we teach art, for example, we have to stress the fact that the artisan, it’s a business, it’s a calling. We’re not here trying to inspire men or anything. We’re here to do our work as God wants us in this particular field. Yes?

[Audience] As you look at Christian reconstruction, do you see a puritan attempt to reform and stay within as {?} or do you see perhaps a pilgrim, I think of separating and starting over. I say in terms of {?} idea of are we going to go back as reformed, or are we going to move out and declare ourselves separate and start over?

[Rushdoony] In what sphere? Are you talking about the church or . . .

[Audience] Primarily the church at this point. The school {?}

[Rushdoony] The school you’re already separated.

[Audience] Right.

[Rushdoony] Yes. In essence, that’s what you have to do. The public school, you can’t reform. Its presuppositions are statist and they’re humanistic. Now, with the church, by and large the churches of today are humanistic. In some cases, it’ll depend on the local church. You can possibly reform it. In the majority of the cases, I’m afraid it’s going to mean rebuilding. I’m not happy about saying that. I know some churches that were better than average and some very fine young men who went in there and tried to do something, were kicked out. In fact, we know very well one closely associated with us, who speaks for us occasionally, and he was teaching the college age class in this particular church. The problem in the class was, the problems in the class were sons of the church officers who were on pot, and he plainly told the church officers and the pastors that their sons needed converting, and he was told he didn’t understand. They were converted as far as the parents were concerned and it was none of his business to question. He was being Pharisaic and {?} He said, “Well, I cannot reconcile a profession of faith with boasting about being on pot, and being a problem in a Sunday school class,” so he got kicked out. Now he wasn’t trying to separate himself but he had to. The ironic fact is he is now assistant pastor in an ultra modern church. Two-thirds of that they only want to be assistant pastor, one was a fundamentalist Baptist church and the other an ultra modernist Methodist church, both big churches, and he said there’s going to be an explosion at either place. But he said, ”At least when I speak in the Methodist church, they’ll know,” and the first meeting he went there, they had a picnic and the youth were singing dirty songs, and the pastor and the others didn’t see anything wrong with it, and he said, “At least they’ll know when I open my mouth the first time they’re not Christians, and that’ll be a big step forward.” {?} very often, we will have to separate ourselves, but not always. Yes? [01:20:57]

[Audience] You know, I think, too, in answering that...[edit]

[Audience] You know, I think, too, in answering that question, you’re kinda coming out with a tradition known as Calvinism, and you’re kind of telling us a little, in essence, what that meant, and some of us aren’t Calvinists and really know very little about it, so not to run back to the churches and separating, you’ve got to have reasons. You have to have a reason for starting a Christian school. There’s more than just, you know, we’re starting a Christian school because the world’s messed up out there, there’s {?} biblical presuppositions . . .

[Rushdoony] Yes, I’ve had to separate myself from a Calvinistic church and most of them are scared to death of me, and Dorothy and I knew we would ultimately have to leave, but we said let them do the pushing, let them do the pushing. Well, it was really funny the excuse they found to try to kick me out. The grounds were that I was teaching the word of God outside the church on the Lord’s Day. Can you imagine a more fearful offense? A person couldn’t make it stick and they looked so silly in the process they had to acquit me and then I walked out, which made them very angry because they wanted to find something to condemn me, and then they could say I was a condemned man, you see, and a bad character. But still saying it, but they don’t have a good conscience, I suspect. So, I didn’t make the break in that case. They did. So, I had to break with my background {?} They were Pharisaic, they were self-righteous, they thought they had a corner on the truth and nobody else did, they were ready to mouth the right doctrines but never to apply them. They were hearers, not doers. Yes?

[Audience] First, {?} questions. First of all, {?} is more critical than, more critical area, as Christians{?} even more critical than family or church, and I know you probably, {?} could you put down a perspective, and a second part of the question is what did the early church do, in other words, {?} by means of example to us, their goal, how did they operate . . {?}

[Rushdoony] Excellent questions. Let’s see, what was the first part of it now?

[Audience] {?} [01:23:38]

[Rushdoony] Alright...[edit]

[Rushdoony] Alright. Let me answer that and we’ll take the second about the early church. In case I forget the second part, be sure to remind me because they’re both important. First of all, in terms of scripture, the basic institution is the family. Not church, state or school. It’s the family, and I’d like to go into what the scripture says about family because it’s never taught normally, but I’ll do that on another occasion if you’d like come up again. So, we’ll plan to go into the basics of biblical law as they affect the family and society. Now, in our day, however, it isn’t that the school has become more important than the family, but in terms of the {?}, it’s the school that is the critical point. It’s the school which is going to help save the family and the church and Christian society as a whole. It is the cutting edge. It’s the battalion, it’s the army. So, in terms of the battle of our day, of this turning point of history, this is as important and more important, our era than the Fall of the Roman Empire and the end of the Middle Ages. We are in on the biggest and most important era of all history, and the Christian school, in terms of that battle, is the key institution. Yes?

[Audience] Okay, so granted {?} this comes right along with another question, too. Okay, so the early church then, I mean, the school then is the cutting edge institution.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Audience] How is this, how is this consistent with the early church. In other words, do you {?} I’m not trying to be catholic, but {?} school. The second part of that is that {?} a very battle for survival approach, you know, sort of a very life and death matter. Is it hopeless, or what do you see? In other words, is it potentially assured?

[Rushdoony] I think in a short run, let’s say in the next ten/fifteen years, it’s bleak. But beyond that, I think we’re going to win. I believe the modern era, the age of the humanistic state is collapsing. It’s dying all around us. Now, we can go into a dark age if we, as Christians, don’t stand up and make a fight, but the modern era of humanism is so bankrupt, if we do anything, people are going to come to us. Why in the world should a college professor who is an important figure as well, involved in politics in Scotland, want to come all the way over here to {?}, and why is a member of Parliament writing to me every so often and very important people all over the world? Because we have something to say about the world collapsing, and what God’s solutions to it are, and they’re hungry. I’ve found it easier to talk to congressmen, I don’t get a big crowd out, forty or fifty of them, but they’re the best audience of all because they see how desperate it is, and they’re badly fighting, they’re upset by what they’re seeing. Everything is so insane, and one of the congressmen at the last meeting was sitting across, he is going to be a senator soon, a table from me, and he kept telling a lot of stories, and he said, “You know, I’m always hunting for good jokes, and what not, because,” he said, “if I didn’t have something to laugh over, I’d go crazy.” The situation is so bad, and so sickening, that people like that are ready to hear. [01:27:54]

Now, the early church, we don’t appreciate how deep...[edit]

Now, the early church, we don’t appreciate how deep the roots of the early church in the Old Testament are. First, the early church was mainly a Jewish church. For the first century, most of the members were Jews, so they carried over the Old Testament law and practices into the church. The elder, like the elder in the Old Testament, was a ruler in terms of the law. The elders remain. They were strong for {?}. They were strong for taking care of strangers, hospitality. You read about that in the New Testament. We know that Rome finally legislated against the Christians because one of the ways they were growing was to rescue babies that were abandoned. If they couldn’t abort them soon enough, they couldn’t get rid of them, and they would, after they were born, take them and deposit them under the bridges of Rome, or in other cities elsewhere, to die, and the Christians would go rescue them and rear them. It was a good way of having the church grow by leaps and bounds, so it became an embarrassment to the Romans. “You know, the Christians are doing something we don’t do.” So, they finally forbad it because it was so embarrassing but they couldn’t make it stick. They were taking care of their own, and sometimes were helpful to outsiders as well. So, they were acquiring a reputation as the only people who could do anything. They were also, they didn’t have, we don’t know much about their education, so we don’t have sufficient information but they did have some method or other of seeing to it that their children were brought up in the faith and given a basic education. Now, the evidence there is very fragmentary but they did apparently take care of them. It would be possible to go on and cite one area after another where they were very, very important. First of all, by the shear fact of their character. They made themselves useful even to those who were persecuting them. Now, Tertullian, when he wrote to the Emperor telling him how wrong it was to persecute the Christians said, “We are the most honest taxpayers, the best soldiers, the best public servants you have.” St. Paul writes, in Romans, and sends his greetings to them that are of Caesar’s household, do you remember that? You can translate household better as . [01:30:51]

End of tape.