Books With the Most Influence - RR161CC148

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Contents

Lesson

Professor: Rushdoony, Dr. R. J.
Title: Books With the Most Influence
Course: Course - From the Easy Chair
Subject: Subject:Conversations and Sermons
Lesson#: 148
Length: 0:58:30
TapeCode: RR161CC148
Audio: Chalcedon Archive
Transcript: .docx Format
From the Easy Chair.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


Dr. R. J. Rushdoony, RR161CC148, Books With the Most Influence, from the Easy Chair, excellent colloquies on various subjects.

[Rushdoony] This is R. J. Rushdoony, Easy Chair number 258, January 8, 1992.

This evening we are going to do something that has been requested many, many times. So I felt rather reluctantly and especially when Joanna urged me to do it since there were such requests, to deal with the books that have most influenced our lives.

I have fought shy of this because, of course, I am constantly reading. In 1991 I read very carefully through 275 books. And perhaps another 100 that I spent an hour to two or three hours browsing in or reading selected chapters. And a great many of the books that have influenced me are an influence for a time and then I grow beyond them. For example, the books that when I was 20 and 25, 30 which most influenced me—with one exception—are not on my list yet. But that doesn’t mean those books were not very important to me.

Let me cite one instance. Someone who profoundly influenced me in the 30s was the Japanese Christian leader Toyohiko Kagawa. Now I was fully aware how Kagawa’s thinking, even though he was a graduate of old Princeton and had studied under some of the great old men, was not all together sound. He was not theologically astute. He was an intense person. But I had a great deal of respect for him because Kagawa, especially in his Songs from the Slums, a slim volume of poems, represented something I felt was lacking in American Christianity. Here was a man who went into the worst slums of Tokyo and began to work among the extremely poor, the prostitutes, the beggars with a passionate dedication to the faith. [00:03:23]

Having read the Bible, having come to believe in Jesus

Having read the Bible, having come to believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, he was determined to carry that faith to people whom no one else was attempting to reach.

Now you can tell me what you want about Kagawa, but at that point I thought he was great. He did have a profound influence in my life so that to this day I can pick up Songs from the Slums and feel very deeply moved by them.

There are a great many other things like that that at a particular point in my life had a very good influence, but that did not mean the books were great or important books. But they spoke to a need I had at that time.

I am saying this because this its he reason why I have fought shy of dealing with the subject of great books which have influenced my life, because the list would be a constantly changing one.

Well, with that introduction, which of you would like to say something? Otto?

[Scott] Well, of course, I don’t think I have read as many books as you have, but I have read a great many more then the average. And the books that affected me most were the books that I read when I was very young. I have now... people have occasionally have asked me for my favorite writers and I don’t have any favorite writers anymore. What impressed me when I was young impressed me because I didn’t have much experience and because when I ran into a talented writer I thought he was really tremendous and it had a big, big effect. Now, of course, I realize that talented writers are... there is an army of talented writers and whole libraries of very sound books and very good books and what may affect me or did affect me wouldn’t necessarily affect anybody else, because it is, after all, what affects you is as personal as anything else in your life.

So when you brought up the subject of 10 books that affected me, it would be hard to remember them. I had to... I had to really stop and think and also I groaned because I hate to discuss books as a general rule. I never engage in literary discussions outside of these tapes and I have always avoided them, because they generally don’t tell me anything that I am particularly interested in learning. [00:06:24]

Right now I have reached the point where I read books

Right now I have reached the point where I read books that fit the projects that I am engaged on and I don’t have time for discursive reading or even for entertainment. I would love to. There are lots of books I would love to read now, but I don’t feel I have the time to because the sand is running short.

So most of the books that I wrote down, those that I remember were fairly light, excepting for me and their impact on me. And I recall that we went into this once before and I talked about some novels, Fortitude and some other books at that time and I don’t... I don’t like to repeat. So I hope that when we do get around to the books and talking about which ones, that I don’t bore the listener with the fact that I have said this before.

[Rushdoony] Douglas?

[Murray] Well, I suppose that it is ... the books that I have read that have impressed me are ones that were suggested to me by various people starting with my father. He was always impressed with Charles Dickens and the Horatio Alger books when he was a young fellow. So he told me that that was must reading on my reading list. And I was very much impressed by Charles Dickens’ books, just getting a glimpse, I think, of what life was like then and what life could be like again. For instance, if the economic situation does turn grim in this country as we suspect and how do people cope with those kinds of situations? How do they survive? How do they feed themselves? How did they... how do they maintain themselves through difficult times?

And I suppose a lot of the Dickens books gave me an insight into how people are able to survive under very difficult situations.

Horatio Alger was always a very hopeful outlook on how a enterprising individual could earn his way, pull himself up by the bootstraps and I have always... it has always been my personal philosophy that you make your ... you... as a young man growing up, I always felt that you pretty much made your own breaks. And so I ... I sort of adopted that as the Horatio Alger outlook when I was a young fellow growing up. [00:09:12]

Later on Arts and Ideas by Fleming which probably for the first time opened my eyes to the graphic arts and sculpture and painting and various philosophies and then branched out into other things. But I think most recently—and I don't mean this in a patronizing way—but in the past few years probably the greatest impact has been books that you men have written that have done what for me as a reader what Otto, you have maintained as a writer that when you read a writer, a good writer will charge the way in which you view the world. And you me have changed the way in which I view the world.

[Rushdoony] Thank you, Douglas. Let me say that one of the requests was we deal with all the most influential books other than the Bible and Van Til’s works, they assumption being that it was assumed that, of course, those were basic and rightly so.

Well, a book that I read came out in 1938 and I think it was about that time I read it, Out of Revolution: Autobiography of Western Man by Eugen Rosenstock Huessy. The book is still in print in paperback.

Now Rosenstock Huessy was not orthodox, but his work was remarkable because what he deals with is the revolution that has taken place in western Europe. It has been a revolution in two directions, one from Adam to Christ, the other from Christ to Adam. In other words, from natural man to supernatural man and from supernatural man and reversing this to natural man, which is the direction of the modern state and the modern academic community, to reverse a whole flow of history.

And he does a powerful work in developing the revolution that has taken place, revolution and counter revolution. And how basic this is to an understanding of our civilization. [00:12:17]

And I am going not come a little later to a book by

And I am going not come a little later to a book by Harold J. Berman, Law and Revolution and Berman rests his thesis, to a great extent, on Rosenstock Huessy’s work and I corresponded with the man who read one of my books, an Ernst Kantorowicz who was one of my professors and Huntsdon, George Huntsdon Williams whose ... who was another of my professors and a personal fried.

So I have been close to some of the seminal thinkers of our time. Williams’ works are in scattered essays. But... well, may I take a few minutes to go into Kantorowicz? Kantorowicz, besides a number of other works, produced the monumental work Frederick II: The Hohenstaufen Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire. It was first published in German and then translated into English in 1957. It was first published in 1931, before Hitler. And it is a remarkable account of the rise of the modern state. Fredrick II was an openly humanistic emperor. The façade of Christianity was very thin. Many regarded him as a secret Moslem. He actually had a harem. His center was Sicily, although German constituted the center of his empire. He presented himself as a humanistic statist Christ. His ostensible birthplace was a small town named Bethlehem and his mother Mary. He created the inquisition, because there could be no dissent from the state. [00:15:02]

The Church borrowed it, but most of the time the inquisition

The Church borrowed it, but most of the time the inquisition was a civil matter. The state likes total control over the individual. And everything we have in the modern state Kantorowicz shows Frederick II (1194-1250) had worked out so that the modern state has been a long time in the making. Its pattern very clearly laid out.

Then in another great work The King’s Two Bodies: A Study of Medieval Political Theology published first by Princeton University Press in 1957 and still available, I believe, in paperback. What he does is to point out how the state has copied and now, of course, it is totally secularized but to a scholar recognizable, the theology of Christ, Christ’s two natures, human and divine. And the Church, as the only corporation originally. The word corporation comes from the Latin corpore and in the mass the word was used, “This is my body,” for the elements and the Church as the body of Christ, a corporation that did not depend on the life of the members, because it had a continuous life.

So the state created itself a corporation. It declared itself to have a human side, but an eternal side. And, hence, the cry over the centuries, “The king is dead. Long live the king,” because while the one king dies, the kingship and the person of the king continues immortally in each successive monarch. And how this political theology went into the making of parliament and, of course, one would say of Congress so that ultimate law comes now from the state, the state is, as Hegel had it, God walking on earth so that what Kantorowicz developed here was the development of political theology. And for most people today the term is a strange one, political theology. But what his point was that theology, which has to do with the doctrine of God is now essentially a matter of politics. [00:18:52]

[Scott] That is very interesting

[Scott] That is very interesting. I suppose you are aware of the fact that a scholar named Kramer has written a book attacking Kantorowicz.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] Because he was German, because he took part in the {?} against the left at the end of World War I and he did not leave Germany or he ... he retired to Germany, I believe.

[Rushdoony] No. He became a scholar at the Princeton Institute for Advanced Studies. He did make trips back to Germany very late I his life.

[Scott] I see. Well, I thought you would be aware of that. And it is an interesting development, because it is an attack upon Kantorowicz as an individual and not on his work.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] Excepting that it does say that he built up Frederick II because he was German and that it was part of the German effort to place the German culture on top of everything else. Well, of course, you might as well say that if I am an American writer I am trying to dominate by expressing American views.

[Rushdoony] Yes. Well, of course, the real objection to Kantorowicz’ thinking was that he did deal with political theology.

[Scott] He pointed it out.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] Very brilliantly, I would say. Incidentally, the Soviets have now come over here to try to rediscover the religious roots of law. Now I don’t know why they picked the United States excepting that this is the country that most benefits might be obtained from, because the Bolsheviks destroyed all law in Russia and it deteriorated into a series of decrees, ultimate with no particular logic at all. And they are trying to put back together the body of Russian law which, of course, was theological to begin with.

[Rushdoony] Well, the first edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica defined the law as the will of a sovereign or Lord for his subjects. Therefore, the source of law in any system is the god of that system, as I have pointed out more than once. And political theology is what prevails today. [00:21:34]

[Scott] Well, we have Polytheism

[Scott] Well, we have Polytheism.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] Which is the Roman system. And, in fact, we are... we have gone past the Christian law into the Roman law.

[Rushdoony] And the modern churchman is a polytheist because he believes that Jesus Christ and the God of Scripture are relevant for the Church, but not for the state, not for the arts, not for any other sphere of life. And this is Polytheism.

[Scott] Well, it is always Polytheism if you accept the idea that there is more than one religion.

[Rushdoony] And more than one sphere with each having its own law, a multiverse.

[Scott] That is right.

[Rushdoony] ... as Clark Herr says.

[Scott] Yes.

[Rushdoony] Well, we have had a remarkable series of scholars dealing with this first Eugen Rosenstock Huessy, then George Huntsdon Williams...

[Scott] Do they teach them in the seminary?

[Rushdoony] No.

[Scott] Do they even make them available in the seminary?

[Rushdoony] I would seriously doubt it and they are not even mentioned in the universities and Berman, whom I will come back to, left Harvard after writing Law and Revolution. He was on the law faculty there and he is at Emory University. I don’t know for sure, but I was told this book was not viewed with favor.

[Scott] Oh, I a sure it wasn’t. Who published it?

[Rushdoony] It was originally published by the Harvard University Press. And I don’t think they realized...

[Scott] They probably didn’t even read it.

[Rushdoony] Yes. But what he does is to put these things together and makes clear that either we go back in the next decade or decade and a half to a real theology or we are finished. Western civilization, which is really Christendom in origin...

[Scott] Yes.

[Rushdoony] ... will be dead and we will have nothing but tyranny.

[Scott] Well, that is... that is the choice. That is the... that is the crisis and the challenge.

[Rushdoony] Yes. Well, I might ... since I have started to go into it, because I think it is so devastatingly important. What he says is that there were a number of theological things that contributed to the western legal tradition, to the law that made Christendom in the West. And basic to it all was the doctrine of the atonement, that God has a law, a justice and where it... when there is an infraction of that law, where there is injustice, there has to be restitution made. [00:24:46]

And man is not capable of making restitution to God

And man is not capable of making restitution to God. Therefore Christ makes it for him. Therefore we are own restored into that legal structure and that legal structure must govern all of society so that if you take the classic doctrine of the atonement, Berman says, then you have the biblical basis for Christendom, for the civilization that is now crumbling around us. And if you have only a sentimental view without any awareness of what the law of God and the covenant and the atonement means and you simply say the blood of Jesus cleanses me from all sin without knowing what the legal meaning of that is, you are a part of a crumbling world, because you no longer understand the foundations. You are simply giving a vague echo of the meaning of Christendom. So he says either by 2005 or 10 we will restore the Christian legal foundations or we are headed for a truly dark age such as the world has never seen.

[Scott] Well, of course, the Russians are now engaged in such an effort.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] Deliberately and consciously.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] And it would be relatively easy to teach this to people in very simple terms that sin brings instant punishment.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] Instant, instant. The instant you sin you feel unhappy. Your life is darkened and you are beginning to pay the price and the more you sin the worst your life becomes. That simple syllogism is absolutely never taught. [00:27:09]

[Rushdoony] Yes

[Rushdoony] Yes. Well, it was in the last century that more than a century ago that Emory Stores warned the people of the English speaking world. He said, “When hell goes out of theology, justice goes out of society.”

[Scott] Well, sin is eternal. Hell, you know...

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Murray] Yes.

[Scott] That is...

[Rushdoony] So we have had some remarkable works in our time.

[Scott] Oh...

[Rushdoony] ...that do lay the foundations for a restoration of Christendom.

[Scott] Well, it is difficult when you get to a certain age, when you become a senior citizen. Let’s put it this way. I hate that term. And when you get old...

[Rushdoony] A golden oldie.

[Scott] Yes. Oh, isn’t that awful? When you get old and somebody asks you about books and you spent your whole life surrounded with them and reading them, let me interrupt you and digress just...

[Rushdoony] No, go ahead. Take over.

[Scott] ... a book that taught me a lot and a terrible book is Ulysses by James Joyce.

[Murray] Oh.

[Scott] I... I... most of my life was unguided. And my reading was unguided and I didn’t have ay advisors. So I had to wander though the fields of literature on my own and some fellow handed me and said, “You may be interested I this book, Ulysses, by James Joyce.” And, believe it or not, I had not heard of it and I was in my 20s. And I bought it and I took it home. I took it to my apartment and I read it. And I read this whole stupid, unbelievable junk which went on for 1000 pages or more, so it seemed. And then finally, of course, it ended in the pornographic recollections of Molly Bloom at the end. And then, of course, I explored to find out what this was all about and I was told it was a great modern masterpiece. And I read all the reviews. And there was a book at that... there was a magazine... a publication at that time called The Bookman. And The Bookman was raving about it. The Bookman was one of the worst... it was one of the worst publications I have ever read. Its... its... its judgments were always insane.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] Lunatic. But they went in for metaphor and symbols and all the rest. I credit James Joyce with destroying all respect for modern writing.

I don’t want to say anything more about Joyce. [00:30:09]

[Rushdoony] Well, I would like to add this

[Rushdoony] Well, I would like to add this. Douglas had to read it when he was in school. I didn’t take one of the courses where it was assigned reading, but I was told so often that no intelligent young man would be ignorant of that or should be ignorant of it. I read it. And I agreed with the judge’s opinion which was included in the preface.

...book. The other great disappointment was Hemingway’s For Whom the Bell Tolls. The students were walking around when that was published with it under their arm reading it at every spare moment. It was the in book. It really was phenomenal in its impact on the students.

Well, I picked up a used copy. I didn’t care much for it, but I stopped reading it, as I have told you before, when I got to the point where Pilar and I forget the man’s name were having sex on the ground and they went through this hocus pocus and they felt the earth shake under them. It was so cosmic an event.

[Scott] It moved the earth.

[Rushdoony] Their... at that point I tossed the book aside. I thought that was the silliest thing I ever read. And when many years later I met Dorothy and found out, subsequently, that she felt the same way about that scene and got no further, I knew she was a very superior woman.

[Scott] Well, it was taken more seriously in New York. It was long awaited. Hemingway went over there and the loyalists, as they call themselves, had... gave him a chauffer. He met Martha Gelhorn there and they... he had a big red carpet all over the place, took him anywhere and showed him everything. And terrible things were going on which Orwell wrote about later.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] Where the equivalent of the KGB was there, the Russians were there. They were executing their own people. I had friends in the Lincoln brigade and I knew an awful lot of party people at that time in New York and they expected great things from Hemingway. He was a sympathizer. He was a fellow traveler. He was very much a part of that whole collective business. And he wrote what, in effect, was a Hollywood soap opera. [00:33:17]

[Rushdoony] Yes

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] There wasn’t a single thing about the issues or the realities of the war at all. It was catastrophic disappointment to me because I greatly admired his style, the directness of it, the simplicity of it, which cut through... I have always liked direct writing. I cannot stand flowery writing. I hate {?} and {?}. Every person Faulkner, anyone who can’t complete a sentence in less than a year I don’t want to be bothered with. And Hemingway destroyed himself in my eyes with that terrible book. And it was fulsomely reviewed.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] Fulsomely reviewed everywhere by professors, by the tabloids, up and down.

[Rushdoony] I never read a thing of his after that.

[Scott] I don’t believe.... I think I read one To Have and to Hold which was very bad, very bad. In fact, his career was a long deterioration.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] And it was an interesting example of what happens to... I think he began as an artist, when success happened. Success is a great challenge. Many, many men fail the challenge of success and he was spectacular at failure.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] ...in that regard.

[Rushdoony] Well, we don’t have that temptation to worry about, do we? Our success is of a different sort, not that type.

Well, Douglas, did you want to add anything now?

[Murray] Well, I had a complete collection of his books. In fact, first editions that I have acquired from used book dealers over time. I just got going on that. And I read all of those books, built I sold the... the whole thing after a while because there was nothing that was really memorable by the time I read, I think, The Old Man and the Sea was one of the last ones that he did.

[Rushdoony] Oh, yes. That is the only one I read of his after that.

[Scott] Well, it was interesting that he never he never let a hero win. They were all defeated in the end.

[Rushdoony] Yes. Like himself.

[Scott] He never let the fellow win and therefore there was no catharsis. There was nothing for the reader but disappointment. And another writer of the same caliber but on a much, I think, better level, although not necessarily a better person was H. G. Wells. All of his ended in the downbeat. And I recall I have a book at home I haven’t read yet. I set it aside for when I have time called A Mind at the End of its Tether. It was his last book. [00:36:12]

[Rushdoony] I read his works one after another in

[Rushdoony] I read his works one after another in high school.

[Scott] I was a great devotee of him when I was in ... at that age, yes.

[Murray] Kind of points up the fact that writers who are not Christians have no hope.

[Scott] That was...

[Murray] And it cost one of their book.

[Scott] That was Orwell’s problem.

[Rushdoony] Yes. Well, I would like to go on to another writer now, one who was a very remarkable man, one of the great men of his century, Martin Selbredies favorite writer, B. B. Warfield.

[Scott] Yes.

[Rushdoony] And it is true that when it came to matters of the Received Text, Warfield was off base and also in his apologetics he did hold to a rationalistic apologetics, but those were not major aspects of his writing and thinking.

His little book, The Plan of Salvation is a gem. He discusses in it Autosotorism or self salvation, Sacerdotalism, Universalism and Calvinism. And if anyone wants to read a very powerful and brief statement of what salvation is about and the contrasting views of salvation, I recommend that.

Then another work, interesting. This was published when it was, I believe around 1931 by the Oxford University Press, Warfield’s two volumes on Perfectionism, a magnificent study.

Now when Warfield made this study it was a very narrow theological work. He confined himself to what happened when Arminianism turned as it logically did not only into Antinomianism, but also into Perfectionism. And the implications of it as he develops it are masterly, because, you see why Utopianism has developed in the modern world as the old premises of the reformed faith have disappeared. [00:39:22]

Now when me begin to see Perfectionism as a goal and

Now when me begin to see Perfectionism as a goal and place their hope in man and man’s development of himself rather than in what man does in God’s service, then we are going to have a society that is Utopian, that is going to be censorious of the past, that is going to believe that all sins are committed by our forbearers and we are the generation that is going to usher in a perfect society and a perfect world. In other words, although Warfield did to go into it, what comes through loud and clear is the vast realm of social implications, of bad theology. And how it leads to bad morality, to a misconception of what life is about and our purpose here on this world.

And as he points out in one telling sentence, we go from simple trust in Christ as our Savior to an imitation of Christ and that this helped kill the Middle Ages and it is, as he saw, killing the Reformation. Man sees himself capable of reproducing in his life what Christ was instead of serving him. So we go from a trust in Christ’s saving work and a service under him to the imitation of Christ.

[Scott] Well, it is a sort of a laundering of reality.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] It is the idea of purifying the world. It is going to be better than what God produced. It is not going to have God’s imperfections. It is going to be properly systematized.

I have forgotten who it was that said if it were up to these types, reproduction would be much more respectable. [00:42:02]

[Rushdoony] Well, there are a couple of other books

[Rushdoony] Well, there are a couple of other books I would like to mention in this context. One by William Carroll Bark, a Stanford professor of a generation ago, Origins of the Medieval World. And William Carroll Bark, whom I knew slightly, calls attention to the fall of Rome. And Rome fell because, among other things, it kept looking for simple solutions. As life grew more complex and the empire grew bigger, the answer to the vast problems the empire faced was to concentrate more and more power at the top so that the empire became totally unwieldy. It should have decentralized progressively in order to maintain itself.

[Scott] Well...

[Rushdoony] But on the contrary it centralized. It tried to simplify everything and it made it all the more impossible.

[Murray] You are talking...

[Rushdoony] ... to do it.

[Murray] You are talking about Congress and their bureaucracy.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] Well, we are doing ... it is a little different. The Romans had a military cast of mind and they really thought of the state in terms of the military organization.

[Rushdoony] Very apt.

[Scott] But what we have done here is that Congress has usurped power, but it has created a bureaucracy to handle the details. And the bureaucracy is trying to centralize every aspect of our life, our economy, which means, of course, our life. The EPA is the final step because it governs everything that moves. That means everything. It is the most Totalitarian measure that has ever been produced in the history of the world as far as I know. We are going to do... we are going to usurp God’s power over the ecology and the environment and we are placed in that environment as another primate.

[Rushdoony] I am grateful to Dr. Bark for something else, too, in that he introduced me to one of the greatest books of history, Salvian’s The Governance of God. Now there are two books on the fall of Rome from a Christian perspective—Augustine’s The City of God—which has had, perhaps, one of the most powerful influences any book has ever had. But Augustine’s book is so meandering. He goes from one thought to another with a connection that is vague.

[Scott] They had a different sense of time then...

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] ...than we have today.

[Rushdoony] His ... he loses the thread of his argument so often in masses of detail. He overwhelms you with masses of detail. And while Calvin is called an Augustinian, Calvin’s writings march logically. You never lose the thread because it is clear, consistent.

And Salvian was that way. He describes the fall of Rome remarkably. He was in Trier in the north of Gaul, when the barbarians first came. And the people would not stop enjoying the games in the arena, the chariot races and other sporting events to take time to defend the city. And after the barbarians passed, the survivors of the city council petitioned the emperor to rebuild the arena, to restore the morale of the people.

[Scott] We are doing that here.

[Rushdoony] Yes. And Salvian says, “Rome is dying, but she continues to laugh.” And the most graphic picture of the fall of a civilization imaginable is in the very clear simple direct language of Salvian the presbyter.

[Murray] We had a very recent local demonstration of that. The mayor of Modesto was on television the other night. He has got... is getting a lot of pressure from the Oakland A’s baseball team to build a new stadium which they use for their practice prior to the regular season. And the mayor says, “Gee, we have got some other problems here that we need to pay for...”

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Murray] “... before we build a new stadium.” They just think it is just automatic. If the major football or baseball team asks for a new stadium for their convenience, why, the local tax payers are just automatically going to put it up.

[Rushdoony] We now have an establishment of sports. The stadiums are built by cities at tax payer’s expense. The ball parks are all that way. I believe the only one is the old Comiskey Park in Chicago. It is still privately owned and not tax payer built. [00:48:21]

[Scott] Well, the sports as in the Roman situation

[Scott] Well, the sports as in the Roman situation, take their minds off reality.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] Their revenues ... they killed a number of people in a crush to break through the barriers and attend a concert in a stadium in New York recently. The English football fans have actually gone out berserk and murdered other people in the arenas of Europe. There was a soccer war started over a soccer game in Central America about 20 years ago in which I don't know how many thousands of people were killed. The business of mass violence...

The Romans had the violence in the pit, but own the violence is among the spectators. And, of course, no newspaper in the United States or magazine will ever print a list of the football injuries at the end of every week.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] Of the number of men that are into the hospital that are crippled and so forth.

[Rushdoony] Or ...

[Scott] Or killed.

[Rushdoony] Or ex football players who for life now are basket cases.

[Scott] Right. That is never printed.

[Rushdoony] No.

[Murray] In high school age, too. A lot of high school kids get terrible injuries and...

[Scott] So the wheel turns around. We are to as remote from these things as we may think.

[Murray] It’s piped in.

[Scott] Yes.

[Murray] Violence is piped into every home now through television.

[Scott] So it is... it is very ... very modern.

[Rushdoony] I would like to take some quick minutes to deal with two or three other items. One of the great books in its influence on me and on others like John Lofton has been Fustel De Coulanges The Ancient City, because what he points out is that in the ancient city, pagan, though it was, citizenship rested on a religious fact, atonement. If you were unatoned for you were an outlaw in effect. And it is an amazing development of that fact.

Then another book which I first read a good many years... well, 15 years ago when it first came out James I: The Foolish King by somebody named Otto Scott. [00:51:09]

[Scott] I thought we weren’t going to talk about

[Scott] I thought we weren’t going to talk about our books.

[Rushdoony] Well, I felt I had to bring it in at the last moment so I picked it up. And the reason for including it is this. Here was a king about whom I had read a great deal when I was a student, book after book. And suddenly I realized that all these tomes by prominent historians were garbage. And the reason was a very, very simple one, because here was a king who was out to destroy the great reformed strategy for Europe, even as other kings were out to destroy the strategy of the counter Reformation. And James was eminently successful. He was a moral degenerate as well. And yet here are two central facts of his life, the one, the very radical effect he had on Christianity so that the Enlightenment was a product, ultimately, of the shift in European civilization that James helped engineer. And yet all these historians wrote in total abstraction of the fact that he was a homosexual, he was—despite the façade of Christianity—anti Christian. And, of course, Otto was criticized for calling attention to James’ homosexuality. And it made me realize how derelict a great deal of our scholarship is today. It is not only derelict, but it has an intense hatred for anyone who brings relevance to a subject. And I think that is why Berman, Kantorowicz and Rosenstock Huessy are not given the attention that they rightfully deserve.

The other book is perhaps a surprising one for me to feel strongly about England Before and After Wesley by J. Wesley Bready, Bready is spelled B R E A D Y and the subtitle is: The Evangelical Revival and Social Reform.

Now the Wesleyan revival was half Arminian—Wesley was Arminian—and half Calvinist and that Whitefield was a Calvinist. But they worked together. They felt there was a country to save and so they buried their differences at this point. [00:54:36]

The social impact of their work we can only call Christian

The social impact of their work we can only call Christian Reconstruction, because there was not an area of life they did not alter. They had a radical effect on the whole of English speaking life, a revolutionary impact.

I am sorry the book has not been reprinted or gained much attention and it is become a rather rare item, but England Before and After Wesley by J. Wesley Bready is a very, very important book.

[Scott] Well, books have a very strange subterranean life. They ... that book Under the Rubble...

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] Under the Rubble the Bolsheviks searched the world for every copy and destroyed it. And they found one copy in Paris. Solzhenitsyn and his friends found one copy and reprinted it. But the reason the Bolsheviks searched it out was because it was an important book.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] And we have... the only credit that I can give the Soviet commissars is that they understood the importance of books.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] And the importance of art. And they tried to govern both.

[Rushdoony] Well, I often wish that somebody besides providing a number of other things, could provide us with money to reprint these and other very, very important books. For example, Christ and the Caesars by Stauffer, extremely important, books that are disappearing. And they are foundational.

[Scott] Well, I just came back from a city and I went through the largest shopping mall in the city and there were more tapes and more video cassettes than there were books by at least five to one.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] There was one book store there, Walden Books, which is trash.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] Badly organized. Although I understand that great big book stores are beginning to appear in various places. [00:57:14]

[Rushdoony] Well, our time is just about up

[Rushdoony] Well, our time is just about up. There are so many other books that come to mind, but I think we have given you an idea of the problem. And I think it would be a good thing if all of you did more reading beginning with our books. We will be very happy to see you buy them, because reformation begins with scholarship that is read and applied.

Well, thank you all for listening and God bless you.

[Voice] Authorized by the Chalcedon Foundation. Archived by the Mount Olive Tape Library. Digitized by ChristRules.com.

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