Social Science - RR148E10

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Professor: Rushdoony, Dr. R. J.
Title: History vs. Social Science
Course: Course - Philosophy of Christian Eduction in Christian Schools
Subject: Subject:Education
Lesson#: 10
Length: 1:20:36
TapeCode: RR148E10
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.

{?} for social science. In dealing with this subject, we must, out of necessity, become more theologically-oriented than has been the case up until this point and will be throughout it. But the subject of social sciences is so directly related to theology that I might touch briefly of some theological considerations. I do not want to get involved into a theological discussion and I will not welcome theological questions. I’ve tried to outline the situation as simply as possible.

We are going to begin. There are certain inescapable concepts that no man, in any system of thought, can avoid. If he thinks, he’s going to think religiously, he’s going to think theologically because God has made the mind. God has made the world. Theologians in the past have described Satan as the ape of God. That’s a very good description. Satan can only be imitative, never creative. The creature cannot create. This is why I don’t like the term “creative thinking.” Our thoughts are analogical. We are, at best, only capable of thinking God’s thoughts after Him. All the materials of thought, all the materials of the universe are God-created, God-ordained, God-given. As a result, men cannot escape the idea of God. If they deny the God of scripture, they’re going to make a god out of nature or themselves, or something else. They will worship the creature rather than the creator, but they will have implicit, in their system, a god idea. Similarly, the idea of infallibility is an inescapable concept. I have a little paperback coming out next year on infallibility, an inescapable concept, in which I point out that the unbeliever does not reject infallibility. What he rejects is the infallibility of God, and he replaces it with some other doctrine of infallibility, for something else, something within the universe, something from man, normally. He cannot drop the idea of infallibility. He may keep the idea in the background, but there is, implicit, in every system of thought, a doctrine of infallibility. [00:03:52]

Now, it would be easy to go on down the line and deal...[edit]

Now, it would be easy to go on down the line and deal with the fact that this is also true of a great many other things. But our concern today is with social science, and I’ve used these two; God and infallibility, to illustrate what we’re going to deal with now.

Another inescapable concept is predestination. Now, I’m not going to go into the doctrine except to state this. A basic, a minimal definition of predestination is that the universe is under God’s law, that the ultimate law which governs the universe comes from God. Let that suffice, and I think it’s a clear and basic definition. Now, if we deny the biblical doctrine of God, we are going to assert predestination comes from some other source. We’re going to transfer the source of law from God to something within creation. This is exactly what the Enlightenment did. With the Enlightenment in the eighteenth century, men dropped the sovereignty of God as an operative concept. They became Deistic. They had to have a first cause so they retained God in their thinking as a limiting concept, but as not real apart from that. Thus, God was, at best, the absentee landlord. He had no real function except as an idea, to have a starting point, and subsequently, they dropped Him even in that role.

Nature, with a capital “N” became basic in eighteenth century thinking. It retained that centrality until the middle of the nineteenth century. As a result, now it became predestination by nature and man began to speak, no long of God’s law, but nature’s law. In its extreme form, you had the determinism of scientific thought as an expression of this faith. Ultimate law resided in nature. Therefore, man had to know natural law. Therefore, whether it was in politics or in education, what you saw was the laws of nature governing politics, education, economics, and so on. As a result, you had a revision of everything in terms of nature. Now classical economics looks to nature as its source of law. Previously, under Christian thinkers such as Oresme, going back to the earlier era, early in the Middle Ages, all that we call today “classical” or conservative economics was derived instead from God. The first formulation of Gresham’s law, by the way, was not Gresham, Queen Elizabeth’s adviser, you find it going back through the centuries and it had an especially clear formulation in Oresme. [00:08:16]

Now, with nature as the determiner and god of all things...[edit]

Now, with nature as the determiner and god of all things, you had Rousseau looking to nature for the laws of education, just as others were looking to nature for the laws of economics. Men were looking to nature for the laws of politics, for law in every sphere of life. Indeed, they also formulated doctrines of natural religion. The working god, you see, of western thought, beginning with the Enlightenment, approximately 1660 to approximately 1860, about two hundred years, was nature. If you are curious, I’ll forestall questions in this area as to why I choose the date 1660 and not 1860, let me digress for a moment to explain why I choose those dates. The terminal date, 1860, is the year after Darwin, so it was the beginning of a new era, post-Darwinian, but in 1660, you had dramatic changes take place in Europe. It was the end of the Reformation really, and of the counter-Reformation. It was the beginning of humanism. In 1660, in England, Charles II returned to the throne and the Puritan commonwealth was ended. In England now, there was no longer an attempt to establish society in terms of the faith and of the word of God. In France, Louis XIV was now coming to the throne. In Spain, Philip II had given way to his successor and again, there was a dramatic change. In France, for example, there was still a theological orientation, albeit a Roman Catholic one. With Louie XIV, the center of the palace of Versaille came to be Louis XIV’s bedroom. It was personal intrigue and diplomacy that now governed. Philip II, while we could never agree with his theology, sought to give counter-Reformation theology the foundational position in his reign. As a result, at the center of his palace was a chapel. Also in the palace near the chapel, thus in a position of centrality, were vaults for the bodies of those who had gone before, so that he might see that he, too, was mortal and his life was limited. Thus, while we cannot agree with Philip’s theology, we must say that he was trying to rule theologically.

But after Louis, and after Philip, and after the various German monarchs, and after Cromwell, it was humanism that now dominated the minds of the rulers of Europe. Not God, but nature and natural law, and nature and natural law were seen as exalting man. So, we had two centuries given to the development of that idea, of predestination by nature. [00:12:51]

Then with Darwin, in ...[edit]

Then with Darwin, in 1859, 1860, you had a new source of ultimate law. No longer nature. Darwin saw the whole of the natural world not as a law sphere, but as an area for the survival of the fittest, of chance variations, of meaningless events out of which something would emerge, but there was no longer any order, or law, or purpose or meaning, in the world of nature. Now it is interesting that two of the most excited and readers of Darwin were Marx and Engels. Why? They wrote joyfully back and forth to one another. In fact, Marx wrote to Darwin and offered to dedicate Das Capital to Darwin. Darwin refused because he was afraid it might lead to some embarrassment for him, not because he was in any fundamental disagreement. Why were Marx and Engels so overjoyed at the publication of Darwin’s first work?

Well, the reason should be an obvious one. It made socialism inevitable. Inevitable. Now what is Marxism or socialism in any form? It is predestination by man. It says that there must be central planning and control by man over men. This is why, if you accept the doctrine of Darwin, of evolution, it is only logical to go on from there to socialism. This is why, if you look around in so-called evangelical circles, and you find that there are evangelicals who are socialistic in their thinking, you can be sure that in almost every case you will find them fuzzy on the doctrine of creation. They will deny six-day creation, they will insist they believe in creation by God, but they’ll call it creative evolution or some other name, or they will call it progressive creation. One way or another, it winds up as evolution, and it horrifies them that people will be primitive and crude to believe that God actually created the world in six days. Of course, that is what scripture teaches us. When you tamper with that, as so many of these men do, these pseudo-evangelicals, you’re going to get the kind of politics that so many of their spout today; socialism, because now you have, in effect, denied the sovereignty of God in the government and the creation of the world. You have eliminated nature by adopting Darwin. You cannot escape, remember I said the God-concept, infallibility and predestination are inescapable ideas. [00:17:16]

So, now you’re going to say ultimate planning and control...[edit]

So, now you’re going to say ultimate planning and control, law. The source of law comes from man, and that’s socialism. That is socialism. This is why the humanists feel they have to control you. After all, you can’t have a disorderly universe. There has to be a source of planning and control, and it is assumed that that central source will be because it is the center, because it is the god of the system, will be benevolent.

Now, social science has, as its basic premise, the study of man in order that we might better plan and control man and society. That is what social science is about. The planning and control of man and society by men. There are thus two basic premises in addition to all we have heretofore discussed to the social sciences. First, history and society must be studied scientifically, in terms of purely naturalistic considerations, without reference to God or any eternal law of God. With this kind of methodology, there is only one kind of conclusion possible, and it is anti-Christian. It means that you have determined in advance that the only motives for history can be within history. This means that God cannot act in history. Even more, that history cannot be the act of God.

Then second, the scientific method must be applied to the study, the planning, and the control of society and man. Now, since the experimental method is so basic to the scientific method, it means that society must be an experiment in scientific planning. The inescapable results of such a perspective is totalitarianism. Freedom has no place in the laboratory of society. [00:20:38]

If any of you have ever heard me speak before, you...[edit]

If any of you have ever heard me speak before, you have perhaps heard me use the illustration that I’m about to use, but it is such a gem that I shall never be able to forget it. In the middle of the sixties, I spoke in San Jose, California at a forum in which there were three speakers; a Mr. Paulsen, Dr. Drokovich of the Hoover Institution, and myself, and the state senator from San Jose was the chairman. We dealt with education and I spoke strongly against state control of education and for Christian schools. It was a large and well-filled auditorium. The questions were hot and heavy, and towards the end, this one young woman who turned out to be a school teacher kept waving her hands in the back trying to be recognized, and there were just too many questions. We could have gone on till morning. So, the state senator adjourned the meeting and invited people to come up the speakers and ask their questions directly. This young woman came charging up with blood in her eye. She accused me of being a quack and of misleading the people by talking about freedom, Christian truths, freedom in education, because, she said, these are her exact words, “In the modern world, freedom is obsolete.” In the modern world, freedom is obsolete. What did she mean by that? That in the modern world, God and nature now being exploded ideas, the only source of law is man’s. Therefore, there can be no freedom when you have scientific experimentation. An experiment is not valid if any aspect of the experiment can go its own way.

Since society is an experiment, and since it must be scientific, there is no place for freedom in the modern world. As a result, because of this perspective of the social sciences, history, as it is taught by the social scientists, is the story of man’s struggle to liberate himself from God and from superstition, and to find himself in terms of science and this world. History is the liberation of man by science.

For example, Brun and Hanes, in their book The World’s Story, a textbook used by some Christian schools, and it’s more conservative than most, begins, “To pack a suitcase for a journey is more fun than to fill a box with odds and ends and put it into storage. When you prepare for a journey, you have a purpose.” What is that purpose? They go on to say, “In this course, you will survey the march of humanity from earliest times to present, and learn about the great triumphs and tragedies of mankind. In other words, you will make human experience available to you.” Out of this human experience and out of the developing sciences, you will develop a purpose for man and you will govern man’s future and his social order. In passing, they note the Ten Commandments as one attempt by man to govern and to rule society, an early and a primitive one. Law as revelation is denied, and now law is seen as something, “To promote the welfare, the harmony, and the cooperation of men in society.” A purely humanistic {?}. [00:25:39]

As a result, wherever you have social science, you...[edit]

As a result, wherever you have social science, you will have, whether explicitly or implicitly, an anti-Christian philosophy of education. It will work to undercut the Christian faith, to deny the priority of God and of His revelation. It will insist on total planning and control by the only agency left in the world to do it; man. This is why the social sciences are so basic to the modern educational scheme of things.

Now, for us, we must say emphatically that history is not a social science but a theological science. It does not manifest man’s experimentation with various things, but man’s response or refusal to respond to the word of God and his rise and fall in terms of that. If we had an honest world history, one of the things we would very quickly realize is that the idea of man having evolved and having been a primitive man, and then little by little finding civilization and advancing to the glorious plane where we are now, is ridiculous. This is not the way history has been. Man, in the past, has often reached very great heights, and collapsed.

For example, go to some of the reports, and there are a number of excellent volumes about this, on the excavations and the works with regard to ancient Minoan civilization. Crete. What have they found there? Well, for one thing, the palace which has been excavated, when you see photographs of it it will amaze you. Many of our modern palaces barely compare with it. Moreover, and this is an amazing thing, they found that the palace there had hot and cold running water and flush toilets. Now, that culture disappeared around 1400 B.C. Interesting, is it not? Hardly an indication that man was primitive at the time. [00:29:10]

As a matter of fact, the closer you get to the date...[edit]

As a matter of fact, the closer you get to the date of the flood, the higher the civilization is. So very obviously, Noah brought, from the world before the flood, the Antediluvian world, an advanced knowledge of science. Man, as he progressively departed from God and worked towards a humanistic faith, lost also a great deal of that which he had brought with him through Noah, so that we have a decline, and over and over again in history we have had that sort of thing. History is not the growth of primitive man to modern man. Rather, it is the rise and fall of man in terms of his response to the word of God. Thus, we must declare emphatically, that history is a theological science, not a social science, and that basic to it, is man’s response to God.

Then second, we must go back to the older usage and see that darkness in history has not been a result of primitivism, but sin. With the Renaissance, men began to speak of everything before the Renaissance as the Dark Ages. The original meaning of the term Dark Ages meant everything from the Fall of Rome, the triumph of Christianity to the rebirth of humanism with the Renaissance. Incidentally, the term Renaissance is a modern one. Nobody called it that until a French scholar called it that in 1815, approximately. Renaissance means rebirth, the rebirth of the natural man as natural man. Up until that time, scholars saw what we call the Renaissance not as a rebirth, but as an age of tyrants, which is exactly what it was. It was a time of unparalleled totalitarianism, brutality, savagery. We need to recognize that the term Dark Ages belongs in our vocabulary in the older Christian sense as used by the early Christian church. The term Dark Ages means any area outside of Christ. The people around us are living in the dark ages.

The so-called Dark Ages of the early era of Christendom were not really dark. William Carroll Bark, Stanford historian, in his Origins of the Medieval World, has said that at that time, the frontier thinkers of western civilization laid down the basic guidelines for the western world and its freedom. The theologians of that era helped create the world of freedom that we still, to a degree, enjoy. [00:33:42]

Moreover, in the so-called Dark Ages, you had one of...[edit]

Moreover, in the so-called Dark Ages, you had one of the greatest technological revolutions in the history of the world, second only to the Industrial Revolution, at the beginning of the last century. Consider one thing alone, one invention alone that revolutionalized agriculture, commerce, transportation and much more in Europe: the horse collar. Now, just imagine what it was like before the day of the horse collar. The amount of any freight that horses or oxen could pull was very limited because they were pulling against their windpipe and therefore, they could transport very little. Well, once the horse collar was invented, there was a tremendous burst of economic activity and a revitalization of agriculture. Now it can be said that many of these inventions that marked the early years of the so-called Dark Ages were lying around unused, but the fact is that it was the Christian thinkers of that time that picked these ideas up from far off China to the far corners of the world, and brought them together, and developed them and put them to use. Just as in the Industrial Revolution, whether it was in France where it was the Huguenot survivors or in England where it was the old Puritan element, it was that element which was emphatically Christian that was responsible for the Industrial Revolution. Here again, is an aspect of history that we are not very often given.

As a result, we cannot use the term Dark Ages in anything but a Christian sense. We are living today in a dark age. The Christian school is a part of the world of light, and must see itself as a bringer of light in the dark ages. It must see the state school as an instrument of the dark ages which is spreading darkness. It must see the social sciences and the social scientists as high priests of darkness. [00:36:33]

This follows, of course, from our first premise, that...[edit]

This follows, of course, from our first premise, that history is not a social science but a theological science. It is a theological science because it is not man who is sovereign in history, but the Lord, and we must be {?}, history is the work of God. There are some scholars who have said that the book of Acts is an unfinished book, and they’ve thrown out the idea {?} but nonetheless is has kind of merit to it. But perhaps it was left in a sense unfinished without any kind of conclusion other than leaving Paul in Rome, in order that we might see that God’s work did not end there, it continues in and throughout, not on the same level but still unmistakably, so that we have today, the continuing acts of the apostles, and we must see our place in history as a part of the continuing acts of the service of the Lord, Jesus Christ.

Then we must say next that the Christian view of history rests on a concept of absolute truth, a personal truth, Jesus Christ. Not on relativism. Modern historiography is relativistic to the core. A young Christian, doing graduate work in history wrote to me recently asking, “Where should I stand in the debates here on which school of historiography I should belong to?” Anyone into the two schools {?} you don’t belong there, either one, you’re a Christian. The premise in both cases is humanistic. Ultimately, in both cases, there is a basic relativism. There is no truth outside of man. All truth is in man, and so a Christian belongs to none of the existing schools. He must develop a differing perspective. [00:40:00]

It is my hope that, in the years ahead, we will develop...[edit]

It is my hope that, in the years ahead, we will develop Christian historiography, that men will begin to write with theological principles in mind as they write. This is why the work of one of our very close friends and associates, Otto Scott, has been so exciting to us. His two books, especially James I, and also Robespierre, The Voice of Virtue, represent a systematically and Christian theological approach to history. He sees history as the handiwork of the Lord. I strongly commend those books to you. They are published by Mason Charter in New York.

Then, for us, our basic textbook is the Bible. We very much underrate the centrality of the Bible as a book of history. Secular scholars as they deal with the ancient world, cannot provide a chronology of ancient history without the Bible. The Bible gives them the framework in terms of which they very carefully and systematically fit in everything they find in ancient history. They construct their chronology of Assyria, and of Babylon, of Egypt where there are serious problems that are unresolved, but they reconstruct what they do reconstruct there and elsewhere in terms of biblical chronology. Do not despise the chronology of the Bible. It is a God-given outline of history. There are some excellent books that have dealt with biblical chronology. Rehwinkel, a Lutheran scholar, has written a book on biblical chronology, a little paperback, and many years ago, Philip Mauro, wrote on biblical chronology. These will be most helpful. They take the chronology of the Bible seriously, as we should. It is with biblical chronology that we can therefore begin to fit in all of ancient history and make sense of history. Scholars have done it. [00:43:05]

Incidentally, a very important work in the area of...[edit]

Incidentally, a very important work in the area of biblical chronology has been reprinted. It was originally printed by the University of Chicago Press. I don’t know who reprinted it, but it was by Thiele. {?} numbers of the book of Kings. In this study, the writer points out that, up until recently, all scholars saw the chronology of Kings as a hopeless myth, and therefore dismissed what the Bible had to say as historically worthless. Now, by spending a great deal of time trying to understand how did the Hebrews reckon the dates of reign. He came to understand the dating that is given in the book of Kings, and found it to be the most accurate and clear chronology imaginable, so that since the publication of that book about ten, twenty years ago by University of Chicago Press, it has been extremely important by its careful chronological work for historians of the ancient world. Do not underrate the value of the Bible as an historical book. Secular scholars, even though they are not always paying tribute to it, depend on it. Why in the world should we not depend on it for history then? The history of revelation, and the basic history of the world for most of history. Thus, we need to use the Bible extensively as we deal with ancient history.

Now, I spoke earlier of the idea of infallibility as an inescapable concept. Let me add that the Enlightenment used the idea of infallibility and it spoke of the omnipotence of criticism. Scientific criticism was given by their actual terminology the role of omnipotence. Last night, a question was asked about academic freedom and I expressed myself, I think, very plainly on it, perhaps a little too plainly to make all of you happy. Well, let me make you a little more unhappy. The idea of academic freedom goes back to the concept of the omnipotence of criticism. The Enlightenment said that the scholar, and by scholar it meant someone who was not a Christian, someone who began with the ultimacy of man and man’s mind. This scholar, sitting in judgment, represented a kind of law over society. He therefore, had to be immune from any and all restraint. Men like Didero{?} and Voltaire, and others felt that, because they represented the omnipotence of criticism, no one had the right to touch them. If they were working for someone, it meant that they had the right to be insolent to the person who was paying them. In fact, it was virtually a principle with some that, in particular, you were insolent to the one who way paying you to indicate that you were really independent. [00:47:39]

This is the background, in part, of the doctrine of...[edit]

This is the background, in part, of the doctrine of academic freedom. The champions of academic freedom believe in the omnipotence of the intellect, that it must be free from all kinds of restraint and control. Therefore, if you are within a framework you criticize that framework to demonstrate your academic freedom. If you’re an American scholar, you’re always contemptuous of America. If you’re a scholar in a Christian college, you are very witty and cynical about what your school has as a creed. Wherever you are, you assert your independence by being skeptical, critical, and thereby, supposedly independent. This is why academic freedom insists on the right to be above the law.

The university professors today are most vigorous about championing academic freedom, which means they are above the law if they maintain their hostile, critical stance. However, they will not extend academic freedom to anyone who does not maintain that omnipotence of criticism and is not critical of things as they are. Thus, as one of you know who passed on to me an account of a professor at Fresno State University in California, an episode I had seen references to in the papers. Professor O’Brien was the top professor in the school of business administration. One of the required courses that he was assigned to teach was on business ethics. He made a mistake. He brought in Christian ethics, among other things, into the courts. So, he was transferred, since he was tenured, to another department, where he is not qualified to teach in order to break him and compel him to resign. Neither the university nor anyone else sees any issue of academic freedom there, which should not surprise us, because academic freedom in its essence means the freedom to be negative, to be hostile, the freedom to undermine. It is through and through a humanistic doctrine. It goes back, as I indicated, to the Middle Ages, the divine right of kings, the divine right of the University of Paris and so on, but more immediately to the eighteenth century of the doctrine of the omnipotence of criticism, which was a stage in its development from the days of the University of Paris to the modern university. We cannot believe in academic freedom. [00:51:43]

We, of course, have a similar version of the idea in...[edit]

We, of course, have a similar version of the idea in the ministry today. Now, I do not believe that a congregation has the right to dismiss a capable pastor as long as he is preaching the word of God. I think they sin against the Lord when they do. But neither do I believe that a pastor has the right to teach what he sees fit, as though he has no responsibility to the Lord and the congregation. He has a duty to preach the word of God and nothing else. If he departs from that, he should be kicked out. If he doesn’t, of course, I think it’s very wrong for him to be dropped if he didn’t call enough on this church officer’s wife when she was in the hospital, which was the case in one situation, and the fact that he was sick in bed wasn’t enough excuse. Now that’s trifling with the ministry, but of course, modernism has promoted the doctrine of academic freedom in its clerical form with regard to the ministry. Wherever it appears, it is a dangerous concept. It is anti-Christian to the core. The Christian has a responsibility under God to be faithful to the word of God, and to be faithful to those in authority.

If, St. Paul, for conscience sake, required obedience to Nero from the Romans in his epistle, I think we could put up with some things from Christians, could we not?

But social science, you see, puts priority on man. All of society is to be planned and controlled by man, and so it does create the kind of attitude in which every man seeks to play God. The book of Judges culminates with the statement which is its theme verse, over and over again, “In those days there was no king in Israel.” God was not the king, and every man did that which was right in his own eyes. Social science fosters that kind of attitude, because it places the priority in history in the hands of man. In social science classes, commonly projects are assigned, the jist of which the children should start rethinking this or that aspect of society, and in terms of humanistic considerations. Social science thus, is a discipline which says that total planning and control can come neither from God nor, as the Enlightenment held, from nature, but only from man. In every history which reflects the social science perspective, you will find imbedded this philosophy. It is a revolutionary philosophy, it will create rebellion, it will undermine the philosophy and faith of your Christian school. It is best to avoid it at all times. Are there any questions now? Yes? [00:56:10]

[Audience] {?} about earlier {?} prehistoric caveman {?}

[Rushdoony] The question is do I think that there were caveman a la the evolutionary theory such as they had been presented to us. The answer is, emphatically no. For one thing, very clearly, there are not enough caves in the world to have been important enough, even in the evolutionary picture of the history of man. Secondly, the drawings we find in the caves, and whatever fragments have been located there, indicate not a primitive man, but a highly sophisticated man. So, that the drawings themselves are not primitive. They’re very sophisticated. Thus, very obviously, you did not have a primitive man living in the caves. Now, what was it that led to some people being in caves? And there are only a handful of situations where you had caves and drawings, and what not. Well, let us assume for a moment, that the kind of climate you probably had before the flood was a fairly even one throughout all the earth, with a canopy over the earth, a great deal of humidity, and sometimes it could get very unpleasant, and after the flood, apparently, there was that lingering humidity in many areas. Where, during a hot spell, would people who were, say, vacationing of living in the area, like to go to find some refuge from the heat? A cave would be a very logical place? You probably, at one time or another, wet and hot and you’d been on the farm, say, you’ve gone out and slept outside or you’d gone out and taken your bedding and slept under the trees close to the house. Now everything seems to indicate that the cavemen were not permanent cave dwellers. It was a temporary place of refuge, and they were an advanced and sophisticated people. Yes? [00:59:27]

[Audience] {?} American Revolution {?}

[Rushdoony] The second question is with regard to the American Revolution. Now here we have nothing but myth, by and large, surrounding us, and I intend to deal with this at length when I get around to working further on an American history text. There was no American Revolution. There was an American was on independence. We were never under England. The colonies were crown colonies. England was the mother country, but there was no legal tie between the various colonies and England. The kings of England were kings of England, Ireland, Wales, and Scotland, king of New York, Virginia, and so on. Their relationship to each of the colonies was a chartered, or constitutional, or contractual relationship. Each of the colonies had its own legislature, its own system of taxation, its own courts, and the like. It was subject to certain vetoes in certain areas by the crown. Parliament had no jurisdiction. Parliament was not over the colonies, but was like the colonies, similarly under King George. England had its own parliament, or legislature, just as each of the colonies did. Now, what happened was, that, Parliament began progressively to take over the powers of the crown, and to assume that it had the right to tax the colonies and it passed certain taxes. By analogy, if the British Parliament passed a tax on Canada, it would be the same thing. Canada would say, “Look, we have our own Parliament. We’re not under the British Parliament, you have no right to tax us.” And if Parliament then said, “We’re going to dismiss all your judges, your courts, and your legislatures, and declare them null and void because we’re going to take over,” it would give you the parallel situation. Then what they did was to pursue the matter further by sending in troops to quarter them on Americans. Now that was, of course, the crowning offense, because in those days, quartering troops meant that they had to be housed by the local population. Where they were housed, they were the law. This is how Louis XIV broke the Huguenots. They either fled the country if they could get out, or had to convert to Rome, because when the troops were quartered, they had absolute control, which meant they took over the women. It meant massive rape, and there was no punishment for it. [01:03:21]

Now this was the course that the crown took...[edit]

Now this was the course that the crown took. The Declaration of Independence, if you will reread it never once mentions Parliament. Indirectly, it speaks of the pretended authority of Parliament without mentioning it, but it is a declaration of independence from King George III, the only one who had authority over them, for violations of the charter. The Declaration was legal. It was a legal document. The prologue is a general statement made to appeal to the governments of Europe in order to get foreign aid, but the substance of the Declaration of Independence is everything else after the first paragraph, in which the violations of the contract between king and people are cited to say that, therefore the relationship is now null and void. If you and I enter into a contract together, and I consistently violate the terms thereof, you have a right to declare that the contract is null and void. If we had any sense, we would declare that the Helsinki agreement with the Soviet Union is null and void. They have violated every agreement made therein. You see, a contract, or a charter, is a two-way street. So, the war of independence was not a revolution. It was a resistance to an armed invasion by a foreign power which, tragically, happened also to be the mother country. But legally, it was a foreign power. So that, scripturally, we would have to say that, there was every warrant for what they did. They were resisting a foreign power. They had every legal right to do so.

Now why don’t we get this picture that I have just given you? Incidentally, one of the bests statements of that came very early before any of the fighting began. It came from the Fairfax Resolves, which is a long and detailed legal document, at a meeting chaired by George Washington, in Fairfax, Virginia. Very important. Well, as I started to say, why don’t we get these facts in our history books? Well, there is a very good reason. The Federal Government, in a sense, duplicated what the British Parliament did in 1860. As a result, there was a progressive suppression, and a rewriting of the war of independence to justify what happened in 1860, so we have a revision of our history in terms of that. Yes? [01:05:44]

[Audience] What would you say should be the place of...[edit]

[Audience] What would you say should be the place of the {?} public library {?} Christian schools?

[Rushdoony] The question is what should be the place and the use of the public library and its encyclopedias in the Christian schools. Well, I know there are some who feel that we do not favor any such institution as the public library, and some Christian schools simply do not favor their use by their students. I respect such an opinion, I don’t entirely share it. The public library, of course, is increasingly a weaker and weaker institution, and its usefulness is waning tremendously, but in spite of that, we cannot be so perfectionist. We must go out of this work, as Paul said. I indicated the libraries are changing. It used to be that the public library was a place for research for students. I recall when, if you wanted to read a popular novel or a detective story, or the life, any popular kind of writing, you went to a lending library, and you paid two or three cents a day to borrow a book and read it. The public libraries got into the act and now, one of the best places I find to buy some excellent books is to go to a library sale of major libraries, because they are getting rid of basic reference works increasingly, to have the trash that is in public demand. So, the usefulness of the public library, is to any practical purpose, beginning to wane. I’m sorry, I can’t answer more specifically than that. Yes? [01:09:04]

[Audience] I have two questions...[edit]

[Audience] I have two questions. First one is, {?} principles of economics. {?} I have {?} economics, but I don’t know what Christian economics is, {?} and then secondly, I’d like to know what you think about public school{?}

[Rushdoony] Yes, question is what do we mean by public schools and what do we mean by Christian economics. To answer the second part of that first, public schools, we really should say state schools. They are schools owned and operated by the state and its subsidiary branches of government. Their basic function is to support and advance the purposes of the state. They are humanistic agencies. Their purpose is not so much education as political. Christian economics is an area of study that has not yet really been developed more than very primitively. We have someone on our staff who is collecting material to work on a textbook in the area of Christian economics. Economics means household management in its root meaning. So, economics is how to manage your property, your money, your assets. The first premise of a Christian economics is that God is the absolute Lord and owner of all things, and therefore, the management of all things is a stewardship under God, and so, in a strictly Christian economics, we study the management of property and of money in terms of a stewardship under God. That, very briefly, is a definition. Yes?

[Audience] I assume that what you said today, that social studies is {?} application of social sciences. Is that true? Also, are there any textbooks that you would recommend on an elementary level that are from a more true biblical perspective?

[Rushdoony] No, I don’t go into recommending textbooks. I don’t feel that’s my task. Yes?

[Audience] {?}

[Rushdoony] What do I think of Usher’s chronology? I think by and large, Usher’s chronology is sound. I thin we can differ at minor points, and say that perhaps it was off by fifty years, or sixty years, or a hundred, but I believe that Usher’s chronology is basically sound in its premises, we have to agree with. It takes the Bible seriously. Yes?

[Audience] {?} [01:13:13]

[Rushdoony] Yes, very good...[edit]

[Rushdoony] Yes, very good. That was the key aspect. One of the things that Parliament was thinking about was sending bishops over to control the religious life of the colonies. Now, that, of course, was like waving a red flag to the colony. There is a book that deals with that; Carl Bridenbaugh. Mitre and Scepter, and in it, he deals with this threat, and the impact of it on the colonists. It’s an interesting thing, Bridenbaugh is a thoroughly humanistic scholar, and his other works are of very mediocre content from my perspective, but this is the one book that has hurt him. When he wrote that, why, many scholars felt he was going into territories where any sensible scholar would not tread, because, of course, he brought out an important facet of the Christian perspective at the time. Any other questions? Yes?

[Audience] {?}

[Rushdoony] On the relationship between humanism and the neo-evangelical movement? Yes. The neo-evangelical movement and humanism are very closely related. One of the things that the neo-evangelicals want is respectability intellectually, and they work for it. They also exalt the primacy of the human mind, the autonomous human reason, over the word of God, so that they have made a basic concession to humanism and to critical thought that really throws away the faith. To give an illustration, one of the key neo-evangelicals in recent years was Edward J. Carnell. Carnell, like the other men at Fuller Seminary, was a neo-evangelical, and in one of his books he makes the statement, with regard to scripture or any other so-called revelation, “Bring on your revelations. If they meet the criterion of an intelligent human mind and the law of contradiction, then they are worthy of acceptance.” In other words, whether it’s the so-called Buddhist revolution or the Bible, let man stand in judgment over it, and if he passes judgment, then you can believe it.” Well, my mind is not the judge over scripture. Scripture is the judge over my mind. Moreover, if I may take a moment because I think it’s an important point for you to know. When Carnell speaks of the Bible as one among many ostensible revelations, he’s totally wrong. There is no other word which claims to be a revelation, except a couple that are imitative of scripture, but if you go into the ancient world, If you look at India or China, or any of the religions of Antiquity, there is nothing comparable to the Bible, no word that claims to come from God. The only place you find an ostensible revelation, or a book that gives revelation is in the Koran, which imitates the Bible, and the Book of Mormon which again, imitates the Bible, and their imitative role is so obvious it’s pathetic. Now, why are there no other revelations? Because in no other religion, and let me add in both cases, the Bible [mistake] and the Koran fall short as far as claiming to be a revelation. They are not the sufficient word. In Islam, there is a possibility of Mahdis, arising to give a further word. In Mormonism, the twelve apostles can speak a continuing infallible word. There is no once and for all word given, no final word. So that revelations in terms of those religions can be contradictory to something given yesterday, so you have no idea of revelation. [01:18:50]

Now, basic to the Bible is this...[edit]

Now, basic to the Bible is this: It is the word of the living God who is sovereign, omnipotent, and infallible. No other religion has such a god. The only word that the God of scripture can speak is an infallible word and none other. It is not possible for God to lie. Ours is the only faith, therefore, that has an infallible word. Now, the neo-evangelicals have, in effect, denied that fact. They say there is an equal word on all sides and it’s up to us to stand in judgment on these words and we’ll determine what can pass as a good word. I don’t like the term neo-evangelicals. They are apostates in most cases. [01:19:58]

End of tape.