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Sept Oct2009

Sept Oct2009

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Published by: Chalcedon Foundation on Apr 26, 2010
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Publisher & Chalcedon President
Rev. Mark R. Rushdoony
Chalcedon Vice-President
Martin Selbrede
Rev. Christopher J. Ortiz
Managing Editor
Susan Burns
Contributing Editors
Lee DuigonKathy Leonard
Chalcedon Founder
Rev. R. J. Rushdoony(1916-2001)was the founder of Chalcedonand a leading theologian, church/state expert, and author of numer-ous works on the application of Biblical Law to society.
Faith for All of Life:
Thismagazine will be sent to those whorequest it. At least once a year we ask that you return a response card if youwish to remain on the mailing list.Contributors are kept on our mailinglist.
Suggested Donation:
$35 peryear ($45 for all foreign — U.S. fundsonly). Tax-deductible contributionsmay be made out to Chalcedon andmailed to P.O. Box 158, Vallecito, CA95251 USA.Chalcedon may want to contact itsreaders quickly by means of e-mail.If you have an e-mail address, pleasesend an e-mail message includingyour full postal address to our office:chalcedon@att.net.
For circulation and datamanagement contact RebeccaRouse at (209) 736-4365 ext. 10or chalcedon@att.net
Faith for All of Life
Sept/Oct 2009
Faith for All of Life,
published bi-monthly by Chalcedon, a tax-exempt Christian foundation, is sent to all who requestit. All editorial correspondence should be sent to the managing editor, P.O. Box 569, Cedar Bluff, VA 24609-0569.Laser-print hard copy and electronic disk submissions firmly encouraged. All submissions subject to editorial revi-sion. Email: susan@chalcedon.edu. The editors are not responsible for the return of unsolicited manuscripts whichbecome the property of Chalcedon unless other arrangements are made. Opinions expressed in this magazinedo not necessarily reflect the views of Chalcedon. It provides a forum for views in accord with a relevant, active,historic Christianity, though those views may on occasion differ somewhat from Chalcedon’s and from each other.Chalcedon depends on the contributions of its readers, and all gifts to Chalcedon are tax-deductible. ©2009Chalcedon. All rights reserved. Permission to reprint granted on written request only. Editorial Board: Rev. Mark R. Rushdoony, President/Editor-in-Chief; Chris Ortiz, Editor; Susan Burns, Managing Editor and Executive Assistant.Chalcedon, P.O. Box 158, Vallecito, CA 95251, Telephone Circulation (9:00a.m. - 5:00p.m., Pacific): (209) 736-4365 orFax (209) 736-0536; email: chalcedon@att.net; www.chalcedon.edu; Circulation: Rebecca Rouse.
From the Founder
Contemporary Preaching: Biblical Preaching vs. Obuscation
From the President
How Christians Worship False Gods 
Reforming or Deforming
Martin G. Selbrede 
The Establishment of Religion
Christopher J. Ortiz 
From Hearers to Doers: The Alpha and Omega of Faith
Andrea Schwartz 
Public School Teacher ‘Professionalism’: A Myth Exposed
Lee Duigon
Christianity as the Universal Reality Template
Bret McAtee 
Kingdom-Driven Daughters
Regina Seppi 
Catalog Insert
Faith for All of Life |
September/October 2009 www.chalcedon.edu
reaching has animportant place inGod’s purpose, and itis basic to the lie andhealth o the church. I the church is alteringor straying, the preaching is clearly atault. I the church is lukewarm, sterile, ordead, the preaching again is at ault. Truepreaching cannot leave men unconcerned:it will either arouse them to repentanceand to godly action, or it will arouse themto ungodly hostility as they see themselvesin the light o God’s Word. While Scripture oten applies termso great importance to the preachers, italso uses very homely language aboutthem. Their unction is compared tothat o a watchdog in one instance, whose duty is to bark a warning, andalse preachers are said to be “all dumbdogs, they cannot bark; sleeping, lyingdown, loving to slumber” (Isa. 56:10).Others are compared to “greedy dogs, which can never have enough, andthey are shepherds that cannot under-stand: they all look to their own way,every one or his gain, rom his quarter”(Isa. 56:11).To illustrate allacious preaching,let us invent a text, and then approachit rom various preaching perspectives.Our text thus shall be, “Man, yourhouse is on re.” This is a good text, be-cause, like all o Scripture, it is an urgenttext, and Scripture as a totality carriesGod’s urgent word to man.Clearly, no one approaches a text with more scholarly seriousness than the
traditionally orthodox 
pastor. He takes
Contemporary Preaching:Biblical Preaching vs. Obfuscation
(Reprinted rom
The Journal o Christian Reconstruction,
Vol. II, No. 2, Winter 1975)
R. J. Rushdoony
From the Founder 
his text with an earnestness that ew others maniest, but it is the serious-ness o the
, not o the worldand lie. The seriousness o the scholaris a necessary one and has its place inthe study, but not in the pulpit, wherethe results, not the mechanics, o study must show. A theory o combustion isan important scientic act, but, with aburning house, something more relevantis needed. The theory o combustionshould tell us,
in the study 
, how to cope with re;
in the pulpit 
we must cope with re itsel.The orthodox pastor, however, car-ries the study into the pulpit. The text,as he sees it, has three key words,
, and
. The etymology o each isgiven, the history o their use in Scrip-ture, their Hebrew and Greek orms,and a survey rom Genesis to Revelationo their usage and development. Theresult is a long and sometimes interest-ing treatise on the Biblical doctrineo 
, and the history o the word.
, too, proves to be a rich word:the house or temple o God, the housesbuilt by man, the house o man’s body,the church as God’s house, and muchmore provide a mine o material or ourthorough preacher.
, too, gives us along history rom Sodom to the Lake o Fire in Revelation. By the time the ser-mon is ended, those still awake know agreat deal about what Scripture teachesabout
, and
, but they have been let too stupeed to get theurgent message,
 Man, your house is on re 
. They leave grateul that they havenot been given a history also o the typeso architecture used in Biblical houses,their foor plans, modes o construction,and much more o like character. They eel guilty, on leaving, because they werebored. Why should a man be bored with God’s Word, the aithul ask them-selves, and answer, perhaps because I amtoo much the sinner to appreciate God’s Word. Meanwhile, their house, city, andcivilization burn down around them.The
modern evangelical 
preachercomes to the text, “Man, your houseis on re,” with a dierent approach.Neither in the pulpit nor in the study has he any desire to be scholarly; sucha perspective is anathema to him. Forhim, it is important to reach man’s heart,not man’s mind. He must speak romhis heart to the hearer’s heart;
 must be stressed, and the personal wit-ness. “I want,” he declares earnestly, “togive you my personal testimony aboutre. Once, when my wie and I werenewlyweds, and our dear little baby had just arrived, our little house, our rstpossession, caught on re. We grabbedour baby and fed into the night andstood helplessly by as the re devouredour house and all our precious thoughhumble possessions. As I stood there inthe chill o the night, watching that ear-ul blaze devour our sweet little cottage, Ielt suddenly ashamed o my tears whenI thought o our precious Lord. How much He gave up or us, and how much we have in Him, treasures in heaven, andhow wrong to weep over a house that isdestined to perish. The house is noth-ing, the re is nothing, I told mysel,compared to what I have in our precious
 www.chalcedon.edu September/October 2009 |
Faith for All of Life 
Faith or All o Lie 
Savior. Why worry about a house whichthe re o judgment will nally consumeanyway? Thus, dear riends, this was aprecious experience. I lost a house and allmy worldly possessions, but how muchmore I gained rom that experience, Icannot begin to tell you. And so, dearriends, i your house is on re, do not bedismayed. Out o this, the Lord may giveyou a more wonderul witness. Are youready to look at the re and say, How good o the Lord to burn my house o  wood and to save my soul; how good o the Lord to give me this joyul witnessin the ace o a burning house. Belovedin Christ, can you say this? Do you havethis witness in your heart?” Thus, orsuch preachers, when your house, city,or civilization burns down, its purpose isto give you a nobler and more spiritual witness.The
preacher comes tothe text, “Man, your house is on re,” with a variety o anti-Scriptural presup-positions. “Fire,” he tells us, “must beviewed very seriously, but not literally. We are here in the domain o holy his-tory, not real history, and we lose the whole point o the text i we insist on aliterally burning re. Fire is a symbol, asign o judgment. Fire has great cleans-ing properties, and the ear o re by the superstitious and the reactionarieshas led to a depiction o a supposed hellas the ultimate in re and burning. Forsome cultures, however, hell is a place o ice and cold, an insight Dante had in hisdepiction o the nal circle o hell. Forthe Eskimos, or example, re is heav-enly and a sign o paradise. Thus, wemust disabuse ourselves o any medievalor undamentalist horror o re. Hellreand damnation preachers should haveembraced what they damned. Above all,re is a symbol o revolution, o purgingand rening. Remember the wisdomo Thoreau: ‘In wildness is the preser-vation o the world.’ Fire is wildness,revolution is wildness, and the aint o heart ear it. We begin to see now why reactionary and ascistic religionists havehad a pathological ear o re. They reuse to live in terms o the uture.They ail to see that the past is dead,and the present must be destroyed. They try to put out the res o revolution, butthey cannot. No man can arrest history.Thereore, the wise man will not seek to halt history: he will welcome it andspeed its course. We must thus see asGod’s Word, as the meaning o history,that the res o revolution must be welcomed. I your house is not yet onre, light a match to it! I your neigh-bor’s house is not yet ablaze, burn itdown!” Thus, such preachers see hopein destruction, and they want total de-struction as the means to reedom, andperpetual war or perpetual peace.The new school o 
reormational  preaching 
is sharp in its denunciation o these other schools, and oten rightly so.Its own answers, however, worsen thesituation all too oten. The so-called re-ormational preacher, as he approaches thetext, “Man, your house is on re,” willbegin by denouncing all other preachers.Now at last we expect to hear the clear word o God. What shall we say aboutthe statement, “Man, your house is onre,” asks the reormational preacher?“First o all,” he assures us, “we are nothere dealing with truth in a propositionalorm. Again, we must not see this as amoralistic warning to save our houses.The Bible is not rationalistic nor is itmoralistic. It is not in the least bit inter-ested in our middle-class virtues and ourVictorian pride in our homes. No! Godin this world crisis is conounding yourhomes. He has raised up the blacks in theghettos, with the cry, ‘Burn, baby, burn,’to put a match to all your middle-classstructures, and you sin against Yahweh i you try to throw water on your burninghouse. You show thereby that you loveyour middle-class possessions more thanthe covenant God!”“Second,” the reormational preach-er declares, “Scripture is an accounto the mighty acts o God, and man’sresponse to those acts. When God setsre to your house and world, say Amen! We have here a law-word o God, but we must not read it humanistically ormoralistically as a warning designedto save our houses. God despises yourhouses and your middle-class virtues!The law must always be read as theconstitution o God’s Kingdom. It is thelaw o justice, and it requires us to helpthe poor, aid the widows and orphans, work or racial brotherhood, and to be aaithul partner to God and our neigh-bor.
The law means love 
. Thus, the word,Man, your house is on re, means thatyour middle-class virtues are on re, when you instead should be on re withlove or everyone (except the orthodoxand evangelical church people whom we detest). The question thus is, whereis the re? I it is not in your heart andaction to create a truly reormed worldo racial and industrial love and broth-erhood, then there will be re in yourhouse. Burn, baby, burn, or
house will burn. We have the match and thegasoline. Where do you want the re?Hear the word o the Lord!” Thesepreachers thus no more declare the word o the Lord than the evangelicalsand the modernists, while the orthodoxdeclare a sterile word. What is aithul preaching? WhenGod says, Man, your house is on re, we declare that, simply and directly,and then we say, with God’s help, let us work to put it out!Instead o endless reinterpretation,explanation, and long-winded analyses,God’s Word needs rather simple anddirect declaration. It summons men tohear and obey, to listen and to act. Any-thing else is preaching that stinketh.

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