Book Reviews - EC373

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Contents

Lesson

Professor: Rushdoony, Dr. R. J.
Title: Book Reviews
Course: Course - Easy Chair Series
Subject: Subject:Conversations and Sermons
Lesson#: 71
Length: 0:55:14
TapeCode: ec373
Audio: Chalcedon Archive
Transcript: .docx Format
Easy Chair Series.jpg

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


This is R. J. Rushdoony, Easy Chair number 373, October the 30th, 1996 and I have with me, as usual, Douglas Murray, Andrew Sandlin and Mark Rushdoony.

Before proceeding with our discussion this evening, I would like to pass on to you something that calls for your cooperation. We have had suggestions about a somewhat different format. One thing that was requested that we do more book reviews and we are going to do that this evening. Another that we give you the opportunity to send in questions that are not hour long discussion material, but a question whether it is about anything current or biblical or theological that can be answered, let us say, in five or 10 minutes. So please if this meets with your approval—and it does with some of you, we know—do send in those questions. If you have any other ideas about what you would like us to do on these Easy Chairs, let us know. We are here to try to help you in any we can and at the same time promote a particular faith and perspective.

Well, before beginning tonight with some books, I would like to read something to you that is totally unrelated to anything I am going to say for the rest of the evening. But it really startled me when I read it earlier today. It comes from Art and Antiques a magazine, November 1996. And this is the item.

“Until his death in 1993, A. K. Miller and his wife lived in a farm house in East Orange, Vermont without plumbing or electricity. On her death bed earlier this year Mrs. Miller told a neighbor to check under the floor boards. State appointed estate administrators found 800,000 dollars on gold bullion stashed there. They also found in several dilapidated barns on the property a collection of 45 vintage motor cars which Christies auctioned off on the premises this past September seven and eight, the biggest seller a circa 1920 {?} bear cat sold for 173,000 dollars. Proceeds from the 2.2 million dollar sale, that is just for the automobiles, will go toward paying many years back taxes,” unquote. [00:03:17]

That really baffles me

That really baffles me. Imagine living in a cold, isolated farm house in Vermont without plumbing, without electricity and having all that wealth. I don’t know how to account for it. But they will find no such bear cats in any building on our premises when I die or any money under the floor boards.

[Murray] The yuppies call that deferred gratification. It sounds like they deferred it to the extreme.

[Rushdoony] Yes. Yeah. Well, some interesting things have been happening the last few years in the field of biblical studies that we hear too little about. Now with the Enlightenment the hostility to the Bible and to the New Testament became very vocal. Some of the earliest critics attacked the Old Testament and the New Testament equally. Behind this there was a veiled hatred. The attack on the Old Testament and treating it as a collection of myths—and the same with the New—was a part of the hostility to the Jews of Europe. Then the attack on the New Testament was a part of the increasing hostility to Christianity on the part of the Enlightenment.

One scholar of the last century went so far as to say that the idea that Jesus had ever lived was a myth. There was no such person as Jesus. The whole of the New Testament was a collection of inventions and myths, fables embodying supposedly a lot of things from other religions. One person wrote about a supposedly 27 or more crucified christs in other religion, all of was nonsense.

Well, this kind of thinking was very prevalent in the universities beginning in Germany, but spreading elsewhere. In fact, a great deal of the cynicism began with the Deists in England and spread to the continent and later concentrated on biblical studies in Germany. [00:06:21]

When I was a seminary student the JEDP hypothesis was

When I was a seminary student the JEDP hypothesis was, of course, dominant and still is in most seminaries in the United States and abroad. According to this thesis the Pentateuch or the five books of Moses really are a compilation of four different strands spread out over a period of, perhaps, a thousand years. And the redactors took these four strands and wove them together.

Since then, of course, they have insisted that these four strands were made up of many more strands. So it has become an endless thing. In fact, at least one prominent professor required every student to go through the Pentateuch, the five books of Moses and with different colors of crayon mark each verse whether it belonged to J, E, D P. And some belonged in part to all four so that supposedly a single sentence or a single verse in the Pentateuch was just picked up out of four different documents over a period of about 1000 years.

Well, of course, the whole idea is ridiculous. There is no such expert textual criticism. We know that Shakespeare had collaborators in some of his plays, men with a very different style of writing, dramatists all of them. Nobody can go through the plays we vaguely know had other collaborators and say, “This line is Shakespeare’s and this is not or this speech is authentic Shakespeare and this one involves Fletcher or somebody else.” They cannot do it. But supposedly they can do it with near infallibility where the Bible is concerned, which makes clear how false the whole premise is. [00:09:07]

I recall years and years ago when I was a student reading

I recall years and years ago when I was a student reading one account by, I believe a British scholar of note published in the Hibbert Journal which said that there had been no Jesus, the whole of it was made whole cloth when Stephen was martyred and they wove tales around Stephen and made him ultimately the Jesus and the Savior.

Well, this kind of thinking has captured all the main line protestant churches and it has conquered Eastern Orthodox churches and, of course, the Roman Catholic Church which back in the 50s and in its... then through its Pontifical Institute for Biblical Studies made clear as a starting point that the first 11 chapters of Genesis were not historical so that what Pope John Paul II recently stated, namely that Darwin is right and evolution is true, is simply a logical development of something that began in the 50s. But certain things have been happening that you won’t hear too much about.

One of our staff members, David Estrada in Spain together with William White, Junior, in 1978 through Thomas Nelson published the book The First New Testament. And the book was a very, very important one because what they found was that as scholars had begun to examine a few little strands of old manuscripts, particularly O’Callaghan, his research, they found that the style of writing, the script used, the paper and more indicated a very early date because it was during the first century that there were changes in writing and in production of books. So instead of these scraps being ancient forgeries coming from the end of the first century, or inventions, they came from the New Testament era at the time of the resurrection and shortly thereafter. [00:12:31]

This meant that the fragments that O’Callaghan studied

This meant that the fragments that O’Callaghan studied and which Estrada and White wrote about had to have been written shortly after the resurrection. They had to have been very, very clearly eye witness accounts so that the old attitude was no longer tenable. Of course... and O’Callaghan located a number of these fragments that were here and there in museums and had never been evaluated. But the attitude of scholars towards O’Callaghan was as though he had ceased to be a scholar, as though he had committed some kind of forgery. And so they insisted on sweeping the results under the carpet.

Well, these scrolls that he deals with in this book were written in a style that at that time, AD 50 to 70 was already past its prime. So by the providence of God there was a stylistic change then. So everything about these manuscripts indicates they are extremely early.

Well, now along comes another work, a very important one, just published in 1996, published, in this case, by Doubleday, written by Carston Peter Thiede, T H I E D E, a German scholar and Matthew D’Ancona an English editor and the title Eyewitness to Jesus: Amazing New Manuscript Evidence about the Origin of the Gospels. [00:15:01]

The blurb on the book cover begins by saying, ...

The blurb on the book cover begins by saying, “Christmas eve 1994 would have come and gone like any other had it not been for three tiny papyrus fragments discussed in the Times of London’s sensational front page story. The avalanche of letters to the editor jarred the world into realizing that Matthew D’Ancona story was as big as the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls. The flood of calls received by Dr. Carston Peter Thiede, the scholar behind the story, and the international controversy that spread like wild fire give us an inkling as to why the Magdalen papyrus has embroiled Christianity in a high stakes tug of war over the Bible. And Thiede and D’Ancona boldly tell the story of two scholars a century apart who stumbled on the oldest known remains of the New Testament, hard evidence that Saint Matthew’s gospel is the account of an eye witness to Jesus.

Well, you can imagine how this upset the whole theological establishment and the scholars were very, very much upset, upset with these two men, upset with their conclusions and determined to... well, ridicule them out of existence, although they could come up with no hard evidence.

The gist of this was that the gospels were written by eye witnesses shortly after the events they described. Anyone who has read the gospels knows from a reading of them that—and of Acts as well and of Revelation—that they assume that Jerusalem is still standing. It was destroyed in the war e of 66 AD. They give very specific and precise locations as to where this or that was.

Well, the manuscript evidence confirms the authenticity of what Matthew, Mark, Luke and John had to say from an historical point of view. [00:17:59]

Now the two scholars who wrote this book are not orthodox

Now the two scholars who wrote this book are not orthodox, unlike Estrada and White. In the latter part they make qualifications about the orthodox faith which indicates that they are not a party to the same theology as Estrada and White. But although this book has been featured by a book club in the United States, it has not gotten much in the way of reviews. And I suspect like Estrada and White’s book, it will be quietly forgotten as quickly as they can forget it, because they do not like the implications of it. It tells us that the gospels are exactly what they claim to be, accurate eye witness accounts of the events they describe.

So it will be interesting to see what happens because this kind of evidence is only going to mount up. It is interesting that in both cases the evidence was fragments of manuscripts of the New Testament discovered in the last century in one instance. But they weren’t interested in pursuing anything that would call attention to them and their authenticity apparently. So at the time when Christians are too ready to surrender this and that to the opposition, here we have a remarkable account in these two books that tells us the gospels are what they say they are.

Any questions or comments about that?

[Sandlin] I think we need to understand that those people that employ that historical, critical method have a moral problem, not basically an intellectual problem.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Sandlin] They are always saying, well, we can’t accept the evidence, you know, because we are intellectually unconvinced. Well, of course, that is not true. According to Romans chapter one the truth of God in his existence is impressed on the very frame of man’s being as... as Van Til would say. The problem is that they don’t want to submit themselves to the truth. And therefore they invent theories just as Charles Darwin another Evolutionist invented that theory which has nothing to do with evidence. It has to do with presuppositions. And that is exactly the problem.

I recommend, too, Gerhard Maier’s book The End of the Historical Critical Method which demonstrates this truth, that if you begin with the presuppositions of the historical critical method, you are going to end with an evisceration of the entire Bible. And therefore it is not even appropriate to deal with the inspired Word of God in that way. [00:21:17]

[Rushdoony] Yes

[Rushdoony] Yes. Some time back I called attention to the death of God school of theology and their presupposition. They didn’t care whether there is a God or not. That question for them was irrelevant. Their whole point was, as far as we are concerned, God is dead for us. We are not interested in him. So as far as our modern world and our perspective on life, he is dead. We could not be less interested in him.

So this is the same attitude that the critics of the Bible manifest. It cannot be true because for us it is not true. Therefore, we will not consider the evidence.

[M. Rushdoony] One of their evidences when they get to the prophets that they ... they have to take the... the prophets and they have to date them much later than what Scripture would, says, “Well, this foretells something specific that happened, so obviously we have to date it after the prophecy was fulfilled, because there is no such thing as prophecy, because if there were some prophecies that actually prophesied the name of a king...

[Sandlin] Yes.

[M. Rushdoony] ... hundreds of years before the king reigned.”

[Sandlin] That is right. Well, they want to approach the Scriptures as though the Scriptures are like any other book. And a ma who did an excellent job refuting that idea was Edward F. Hills and his book...

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Sandlin] ... Believing Bible Study, which I don’t think is still in print. But now he demonstrated that if the Bible is, in fact, the Word of God as we Christians believe it is, we cannot approach the Word of God as we would approach the Word of man. It certainly is written in human words and it is susceptible under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, illumination of the Spirit to understanding, but nonetheless, it is the very inspired and infallible Word of God. It can’t be treated as... as other human literature, as human literature, merely human literature is treated. For it is, in fact, the Word of God. But, of course, that is precisely what happens in the case of the ... the so called higher critics and also the ... the espousers of the so-called lower criticism, too, textual criticism.

[Murray] Well, I just wanted to delve for a moment into the ... the people who do this criticism. Are these professors at theological seminaries or universities that write papers and so forth and pass judgment on whether or not the Bible is true?

[Sandlin] Yes and...

[Murray] {?}

[Sandlin] Yes, in fact there is a group here in California, Rush, that you are aware of. It is the so called Jesus seminar, the group of scholars...

[Rushdoony] Yes... [00:24:13]

[Sandlin] Mostly so-called New Testament scholars

[Sandlin] Mostly so-called New Testament scholars. We had an article in the Chalcedon Report here a few months ago dealing with one of them, Marcus Borg, who essentially deny the existence of the Lord Jesus, most of them do. He is a mythical figure and all that sort of thing, very well reputed scholars and I think annually they have a meeting and it is carried... their meeting and the results are carried by newspapers all over the world. There are great pronouncements by these men on the historical nature of Christianity and the fact that Jesus Christ never really existed. Or, if he did, he certainly was not the Son of God. But, yeah, that is...

[Murray] Who pays them?

[Sandlin] Yeah, that is a good question.

[Rushdoony] They are well endowed.

[Sandlin] Well endowed.

[Rushdoony] Lots of money behind them.

[Sandlin] But do you know what is really annoying, Douglas, that is a good point. What is really annoying is that there are Bible believing Christians in certain denominations that send money to the denominations and their denominational seminaries, their denominational seminaries that support those professors and we understand how liberal would natural support liberals, but why would conservatives want to pay the salary of these theologians, but that is precisely what happens in the mainline denominations. There are Christian people who stay there, put their money in the denomination and the denomination takes a slice of that money and gives it to these people.

[Rushdoony] Here is an interesting statement and the books are both rich in comments like this. This is from Eyewitness to Jesus about Matthew or Mark. No, it is about Matthew, but he says about Mark, and I quote, “Saint Mark slightly more interested in linguistic subtleties than the other gospel authors, from time to time he uses Latin, Greek and Aramaic technical terms, always with translation, offers an illuminating snippet of information in 7:26. The Greek text means and the woman was Greek speaking. Thus, Saint Mark informs us, almost in passing, that her ensuing conversation with Jesus was conducted in Greek. A similar usage appears in Saint Mark 12:13-17, the incident of Jesus and the Pharisees debating the tribute to Caesar. The German archaeologist and New Testament scholar Benedict Schwang demonstrated some time ago that this conversation must have been conducted in Greek.”

Now that is very interesting. We don’t appreciate the fact that in that part of the world then and today because there are so many cross currents of peoples and different languages for business, most people speak more than one language so that it was not uncommon for people in Palestine then to speak three languages and possibly more with equal fluency. [00:27:27]

My Father, I believe knew five languages and it was

My Father, I believe knew five languages and it was not unique for him. It made it a bit difficult for me as a child because when my folks did not want me to know what they were talking about they would switch to one of these other languages, whereas I had only two, Armenian and English.

Well, if the Christian community that claims to believe the Bible from cover to cover does not follow through on the leads these men are providing, they will be answerable to God. They have to followed through on David Estrada and White’s book. At the time I gave away about 20 copies to various scholars, never heard a reaction from any. But this one, Eyewitness to Jesus I hope will get a better reception. In fact the other book needs also to be brought back into print. I wish we had the money to bring back into print some of the very, very important works that are beginning to disappear.

So I urge you to try to get Eyewitness to Jesus. It is a bit technical at points, but it is very important reading and anyone who has an interest in Christian scholarship by all means should get and read Eyewitness to Jesus.

Another book that I would like to have us consider is an important one published in, I believe, 1991, Signs of the Times: Deconstruction and the Fall of Paul De Man, written by David Lehman.

Paul De Man was a scholar who was originally in Belgium and then brought over to a major American university. He was the father with Derida of Deconstructionism. Deconstructionism in effect says there is no meaning. The idea of meaning is irrational. And therefore to insist on meaning is really absurd. When you read something make up your own meaning so you can read Shakespeare and make him mean something that is totally contemporary. [00:30:34]

Their premise is that meaning is Fascist

Their premise is that meaning is Fascist. Meaning is Fascist. Why? Well, meaning implies that here is an overall governing truth, an overall governing meaning. Well, if you deny God, you are going to say the universe is meaningless and therefore you invent your own meaning.

Paul De Man was, himself, a Nazi who concealed his background very definitely anti Jewish and yet after his death and the exposure of what he was, scholars were busy making excuses for him.

Now before we go into Deconstruction and De Man, I would like to call attention to an article also in Art and Antiques about Jasper Johns, an American iconoclast whose art is Deconstructionist. Now he doesn't use that term, but it is a denial of meaning. Everything in his art is in contempt of meaning. In fact, his idea is to make people have a sense of life. And I quote, “You may have to choose how to respond and you may respond in a limited way, but you have been aware that you are alive,” unquote.

I have never been unaware that I am alive. And that is the kind of gobbledy gook that follows. He goes beyond Jackson Pollack who said, “Look, any paint mark is ok.” In other words it is art.

So what Jasper Johns has done is to work to create an art that is Deconstructionist, that works against the idea of meaning, of an overall truth, of any connection between reality which is denied and ... and the art. [00:33:29]

One artist says about Jasper Johns, ...

One artist says about Jasper Johns, “We sense there is a code there that we might unravel if only we look long enough.”

Among the kinds of art that Jasper Johns has produced has been the skin prints in which he coats his body with oil and lies down on paper. These are highly prized work of art.

You didn’t know you could be a great artist, did you? And one scholar, Elizabeth Murray, praises him and I quote, “As at a d... as a deep doubter who raised questions on every level.”

In other words, you are profound nowadays if you question everything no matter how childishly you do so.

[Murray] Every generation of university students has a certain percentage of campus windbags who spew this irrational garbage. And I don’t care what generation it is. All you have to do is walk around any campus.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Murray] And you hear these people soap boxing, making these irrational statements. And I think the guy that parodied this the best was that comedian. I can’t remember his name. Professor Irwin Corey. You know, he would start off in these long rambling dissertations and one got nowhere. I mean, it was a verbal Winchester mystery mansion. He ... you know. And it ... it was just a perfect parody of these campus wind bags who launch on these senseless, irrational, useless, intellectually useless dissertations.

[Rushdoony] Well, it is almost impossible to go to a college and university today and escape the influence of deconstruction.

[Sandlin] That is right.

[Rushdoony] Let me quote from David Lehman the author on page 52. He is writing about the MLA, the Modern Language Association, which, when I was a student, was a very scholarly organization. Their papers on the great writers, the poets and all were gems of careful research and no paper ever got printed or was delivered by them that wasn’t on a very high level. All right.

But listen to this. And I quote, “It is a common place wisdom among job seekers at MLA conventions that, as one told me at a recent gathering, if you want to make it in the criticism racket, you have to be a Deconstructionist or a Marxist or a Feminist.”

[Sandlin] That is right. [00:36:47]

[Rushdoony] “Otherwise you don’t stand a chance

[Rushdoony] “Otherwise you don’t stand a chance. You are not taken seriously. You are on the fringe. It doesn't matter what you know or don’t know.”

[Sandlin] That is right.

[Rushdoony] “What counts is your theoretical approach and that means knowing the jargon and who is in and who is out.” His companion agreed adding ominously that “To be a white male in academia today is like being a leper in the middle ages.” Then the two went off to attend a session on the muse of masturbation. There would be papers on clitoral imagery and masturbation in Emily Dickinson, something called clitoral hermeneutics is in and on desublimating the male sublime auto erotics and erotics and corporal violence in Melville and William Burroughs. I asked another conventioneer to help me decipher clitoral hermeneutics. I said that I could grasp the clitoral part of the equation, but the implications for hermeneutics, that is the interpretation of texts, struck me as elusive. My informative and affably non doctrinary Yale graduate told me that a syllabus for this adventure in critical methodology is ovarian hermeneutics. “It is,” she said, “championed by those Feminists who want to {?} the clitoris rather than the vagina as a binary opposition of sexual discourse. Other Feminists,” my guide explained, “Deride the concept as pseudo fallo centric since an emphasis on the clitoris might arouse old bug bears such as a view of the clitoris as an inadequate penis.” I still wasn’t sure what any of this had to do with literary criticism or the teaching profession, but took it on faith that the speaker in the conference hall was making some sort of theoretical statement when she declared that Emily Dickenson’s poetic style was clitoral. Gender now amounts to a formal dimension of a work of art, or so I gathered in the corridors of the MLA convention,” unquote. [00:39:24]

[Murray] You almost coined a new term there, theoroticism

[Murray] You almost coined a new term there, theoroticism.

[Sandlin] Yeah, heard that. I was thinking the same thing. Write that one down.

[Rushdoony] Well...

[Murray] Does anybody listen to these people outside of the campus crowd?

[Sandlin] Well, it is... it is... I mean, this is so pervasive.

[Murray] Yeah.

[Sandlin] You know, Christians are mistaken who think that it is in the science departments, biology and so forth that there is the greatest undermining of Christianity, although certainly it is there with Darwinism. It is... today it is in the humanities departments. I have been in them before and those people are ... are fully self conscious, epistemologically self conscious perverts who want to destroy language, who want to destroy God, who want to destroy everything that is good and right and proper, especially anything that is biblical.

[Murray] Yeah, well who listens to them outside ...

[Sandlin] Well, they... they... well, they do.

[Rushdoony] Not only are they holding well attended conventions and every job seeker has to go and pick up the language, but they are influencing other areas of thought. In the world of the media most of them would not know some of the terminology that is used by the Deconstructionists, but the idea of Deconstruction has seeped throughout the media community. They do not believe there is an overall meaning. They do not believe that there is a right and wrong. It is all now relative and that is the basic premise of Deconstruction.

[Sandlin] Rush, it should not be lost on our listeners, too, that almost every one of those Deconstructionists expresses indebtedness to Friedrich Nietzsche.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Sandlin] They tend to be very Nietzschian. Veritas says it plainly.

[Rushdoony] Yes. And Nietzsche said, “Very often a lie is more valuable and more useful than the truth.”

The person who told David Lehman that meaning is Fascist went on to explain the logic of his position. Let me read.

“We inhabit,” he said, “An indeterminate universe. That is, there is no fixed character or meaning. Everything is mediated entirely through language. The only way we can know anything is by using words. And the words of any discourse constantly shift their meaning. Everything depends on interpretation and no interpretation is more correct than any other,” unquote.

[Sandlin] Yes. [00:42:16]

[Rushdoony] Now if you want a practical example of

[Rushdoony] Now if you want a practical example of this kind of thing, look at the world of business. There is no integrity, no honesty increasingly in the newer circles. And older men who have been in business for some time are just baffled by the new world that they are facing.

[Sandlin] That is right.

[Murray] Well, the legal profession is the same thing. Attorneys used to be able to make verbal commitments to one another. Now they can’t trust each other. They have to... even among attorneys they have to get agreements in writing.

[Sandlin] When this... when this is pointed out to Derida and others it is... this is self defeating. What does this do to their own writing? They acknowledge that. They say, “We are down in the old dirty abyss of non meaning and we want to drag everybody else down with us.” That is essentially their idea.

[Rushdoony] Well, listen to this sentence from Lehman. I quote. “Meaning is delusory and the Deconstructionist refuses to be taken in,” unquote. There is no truth. There is no meaning. Everything is totally relative and so you live in a world that is devoid of any character, any meaning.

[Murray] Well, how do they justify publishing books if there is no meaning?

[Rushdoony] They are trying to get the rest of us to wake up.

[Sandlin] Yeah, they are... they are very elitist. They are the enlightened and those of you that still believe that there is meaning, that attach objective meaning attached into texts, you are just ... it is the old way of thinking, you know. It is very faddish. It is really perverse.

[Rushdoony] Here is an interesting statement, again from Lehman. “In 1992 the incoming president of the Modern Language Association will be,” this was written in 91, “Houston A. Baker of the University of Pennsylvania whose most famous pronouncement is that there is no difference, choosing between Virginia Woolf and Pearl Buck, between high literature and the middle brow sort is no different from choosing between a hoagie and a pizza. Baker told a New York Times reporter, ‘I am one whose career is dedicated to the day when we have a disappearance of those standards,’” unquote.

[Sandlin] yes.

[Rushdoony] Well, this tells you what the public schools are about.

[Sandlin] That is right.

[Rushdoony] They are working against standards and for their destruction. So all around us we see the world of destruction, Deconstruction.

Perhaps you can think of some from your experience. [00:45:16]

[Sandlin] A prime example of that is the assault on

[Sandlin] A prime example of that is the assault on the literary canon, that there is an established canon of books and let’s say, British, American literature that people should read. But some will say graffiti is just as good as Shakespeare.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Sandlin] And there is no canon. They say that was imposed by white Anglo Saxon protestant males to enslave everybody else.

[Rushdoony] One person actually went so far as to say the Bible of our times is written on toilet walls. In other words, graffiti is the truth of our time, if you want to have talk about truth.

[M. Rushdoony] Well, our Supreme Court has been Deconstructionist.

[Rushdoony] Oh yes.

[M. Rushdoony] Most of this century.

[Sandlin] Yes.

[Rushdoony] Yes, it is saying there is no objective meaning in the Constitution and it is exactly what we say it is.

[Murray] I guess that is the... this is where the outcome based education came from.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Sandlin] Well, if it is the ... one of the final states of apostasy. When men deny God, where is the end? The end is lack of any meaning whatsoever, Rush, as you have... what was it in By What Standard you talked about Van Til and going into the abyss. What does he call it, the...? You know what I am talking about.

[M. Rushdoony] Integration.

[Sandlin] Integration.... integration into the void and so forth. That is... this is... this is... we are living in the times of the... the... the culmination of this sort of ideational apostasy. This is where it leads.

[Rushdoony] Well, the other night I was waiting, I forget what... for what. And I had a little time and I didn’t want to start studying something because I get too involved, so I was flipping the TV and something struck me because it was a total lack of common sense, of reality. It wasn’t in a real world. It was assuming that anything and everything is possible. And I realized how far from reality our so-called realism on television is. Realism means that evil is the truth. And they will propagate any kind of evil idea and any kind of nonsense because everything is possible for them except God. [00:48:06]

[M. Rushdoony] Well, what is generally called classical education is far from perfect, but even that is being destroyed today. The standards even of the so called Greco Roman classical education...

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[M. Rushdoony] ...are being thrown aside in favor of this.

[Rushdoony] Well, we are seeing a loss of reality increasingly. I... I think it is rather startling that so many, many of our young people are out of touch with the real world. Their real world tends to be television and it seems to influence them more than the Bible, more than their parents, going past a high school at lunch time is an experience nowadays. It isn’t the world that we knew at one time.

[Sandlin] You know, Rush, they have all of these filters that insulate them from life. That is a very good point.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Sandlin] TV is an artificial phenomenon. So much of the radio and music are artificial, in the modern era are artificial phenomena that insulate them from reality. That is a fair...

[Rushdoony] It is not only television and the films, it is also liquor and drugs.

[Sandlin] Yeah.

[Rushdoony] The extent to which youth today has no touch with reality is becoming appalling. We are regularly given statistics that seem to indicate the drug scene is a little better, but then two or three years down the road we were told it was very bad back then. But now it is improving. What can we believe anymore? The truth means nothing to anybody.

[Sandlin] You know, it is really seeing where we are taping this in the ... in the political season. It is really seen in the political sphere, is it not, where the important thing is not substance, but perception, you know.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Sandlin] Reporters will speak that way. Well, the important thing is not the way it is, but the perception is this way and the perception of what you said is this, because that is the way people, people think and reason in terms of what they see and what goes on in their own mind, almost like Kant, you know. It is all up here. Everything... all reality is... is between your two ears. That seems to be the era in which we are living. It is very frightening actually.

[Murray] Every time I hear one of these guys on television it is just as if there was a subtitle on there that says, “This individual is an overpaid wind bag.” I mean, that is the first thing that pops into my head, you know, I go to another channel. It is not worth your time.

[Sandlin] That is right. If there is anything favorable at all about all of this is that I think that it is forcing, or it should at least force Christians to wake up to the battle that we are facing so that they won’t be lulled to sleep anymore by just slight deviations. We have here a very serious, severe deviation from the faith. I mean, almost its opposite. And one hopes that Christians will ... will wake up and... and enter the battle of pressing the crown rights of Christ in all areas of life. [00:51:27]

[Rushdoony] Well, Deconstruction has one goal, the

[Rushdoony] Well, Deconstruction has one goal, the death of meaning. And the death of meaning is really the death of life. Man is a meaning oriented, God created person. And if you destroy meaning you destroy life.

[Murray] And you also destroy sanity.

[Rushdoony] Yes. That is why we are seeing sanity endangered.

[Murray] Well, it is why young people commit suicide. It is why...

[Sandlin] That is right.

[Murray] ...people are killing themselves with alcohol and food. They are looking for any kind of a ... of a narcotic to free them from this insanity.

[Rushdoony] If you are alive and you are in God’s universe, you can take a great deal of grief and trouble, horrors and survive because you know there is a basic and ultimate meaning that will override everything.

[Sandlin] That is right.

[Rushdoony] That Romans 8:28 is true that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. But not so if there is no meaning. Then your life is going to be a long, long flight from reality, because you can’t face the world as it is and Proverbs 8:36 is right. All they that hate me love death. And we are seeing the love of death increasingly manifest in our culture and that is why we are going to win.

[Sandlin] That is right.

[Rushdoony] We are the people of life. We are the people of victory. This is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. So we can go through a great deal in the way of troubles. But we are the survivors.

[Sandlin] Our enemies are on the path of destruction and we have the promises of God. That is the difference. I mean, they engage in self destructive thinking and self destructive behavior, but, Rush, you indicated the future is bright for Christians because we will ... we will out live them and our covenant seed will out live them. [00:54:02]

[Rushdoony] Well, our time is nearly over, but let

[Rushdoony] Well, our time is nearly over, but let me say this. I think it is ironic and fitting that we who are the Christian Reconstructionist now have so obvious an enemy, the Deconstructionists.

[Sandlin] That is right.

[Rushdoony] And the term Deconstruction is a combination, self consciously, of two words. Destruction and construction. So they are Deconstructionists. What has been constructed, they are going to destroy.

Well, thank you all for listening and God bless you and don’t forget if you have questions, please send them to us. Thank you and God bless you.

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