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Chalcedon Staff: November 2003 • Issue 457 Faith for All of Life

Rev. R. J. Rushdoony (1916-2001)

was the founder of Chalcedon and
a leading theologian, church/state The Decline of the West 2 The Origin of Allah 19
expert, and author of numerous R.J. Rushdoony Samuel L. Blumenfeld
works on the application of Biblical
Law to society.
The Future of Our Culture and The Household of Faith:
Rev. Mark R. Rushdoony is the Future of the kingdom 4 church Histories and
president of Chalcedon and Ross Mark R. Rushdoony Covenant Evangelism 21
House Books. He is also editor-in- Roger Schultz, Ph.D.
chief of the Chalcedon Report and How Christianity Needs to
Chalcedon’s other publications. Position Itself in the New Privacy, Tolerance,
Susan Burns is Chalcedon’s execu-
Millennium 7 and Social Morality 23
tive assistant and managing edi- Ian Hodge Rev. Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
tor of the Chalcedon Report and
Chalcedon’s other publications. East and West 9 Prayer Warriors:
Greg Uttinger Virginia Military Institute and the
Rev. Christopher J. Ortiz is the Legacy of Francis H. Smith 25
Director of Communications for Christianity in Collapse:
Chalcedon and Ross House Books.
R.G. “Rick” Williams, Jr
Can Christianity Become
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For circulation and data management ©2003 Chalcedon. All rights reserved. Permission to reprint granted on written request only. Editorial Board: Rev.
contact Rebecca Rouse. Mark R. Rushdoony, President/Editor-in-Chief; Walter Lindsay, Assistant Editor; Susan Burns, Managing Editor
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Contact her at (209) 736-4365 ext. 10 Pacific (209)736-4365 or Fax (209) 736-0536; email;;; Circulation;
or Rebecca Rouse.
Founder’s Column
R.J. Rushdoony

The Decline of the West

M ost people of our time are existen-
tialists, even though they may
never have heard of that philosophy, nor
The Dregs of Society
At the bottom levels of societies, it
is not uncommon to find depravities,
of any kind, he held to be disguised
forms of Christianity. Not surprisingly,
in the 20th century, the Marquis de
of existentialist thinkers from Kierkeg- perversions, a contempt for law and Sade has been openly hailed as a great
aard through Camus and Sarte. The order, hostilities to the church, state, thinker and psychologist for his open
old observation is accurate, that armies school, family, industry, and more. The avowal of, and even practice of, every
march because of the ideas and philoso- resentment harbored by the failures in form of perversion.
phies of men unknown to them. Most a society is as old as history. As long as As Otto Scott has pointed out,
people do not know what presupposi- those above their level retain a living before the French Revolution, it was still
tions of the modern world have been faith, they can effectually govern the the concept, however battered in some
and are, nor what the world’s direction lawless and disorderly element. Such areas, of Christendom which prevailed.
is, nor why it is near death culturally. failed persons can be the objects of After that flood-tide of evil, the idea
As Henry Van Til noted, culture charity, but their opinions are usually of the West, or the Western World,
is religion externalized. As that culture in history of no consequence, and their replaced it. This meant Europe and the
develops, the old order often continues lawlessness is generally controlled. Americas. It also meant the white race.
in the new, rebaptized into respectability Racism has been a major result of the
What happened to the West is that,
by inclusion. Rene Descartes, the father idea of the West. Prior to that, religious
as Christendom receded, and as the
of the modern age, shifted the intellec- differences were basic, but all men were
church became marginal in its relevance,
tual world from the triune God to the potentially converts to Christ, and the
and as modern philosophy undermined
supposedly autonomous mind of man. goal was to bring them all in.
values and faith, the lowest elements’
The medieval criterion had com- With World War I, this began to
thinking became that of the overlords.
monly been, “What say the Fathers of the decline. Modernism infiltrated the
Underground man became the social
church?” or “What says the Holy Father?” “main-line”churches and captured their
For the Reformation, it was, “What say model for many. The “hippy” and
related movements saw the children and pulpits, colleges, and seminaries. Chris-
the Scriptures?” The modern world, being tianity was seen in white and Western
Cartesian, responds with “Well, I think,” youth from the “best” families model
themselves after the dregs of society in terms, and it was damned for this by the
or, “In my opinion,” or, “As far as I am world at large as well as by churchmen.
concerned,” and other like egocentric speech, dress, and behavior.
statements, and especially since the Ro- The Enlightenment had enthroned A Brave New World
mantic era of the modern age, “I feel” has the Cartesian premise of the sovereignty The West, having abandoned Christ
been determinative for many. of the autonomous mind of man, it had and Christendom, has dreamed great
No man has written more devastat- brought God and the Bible to the bar dreams of a “brave new world” and of
ingly of the fallacies basic to the empha- of man’s reason and had found them an ideal “new world order.” For some
sis on man’s supposedly autonomous wanting. Max Stirner (1805-1856) had centuries, the knowledge and devel-
reason than Cornelius Van Til. Modern held, in The Ego and His Own, that opment of tools has been underway,
man begins by insisting on the necessity since there was no God, there could be making possible the first Industrial
for rationalism in all discourses but ends no moral law. He despised the atheists Revolution of the 1800s, and the second
up with nothing except itself. All else is who were closet Christians because they one with computers, etc., after World
finally swept away. Man’s reason is a very refused to practice incest within the War II. Given the premises of human-
jealous and exclusive god! family. Morality, monogamy, restrictions ism, the world should very quickly

2 Chalcedon Report November 2003

Faith for All of Life
become a paradise. Everything on the The Will to Death and annoyances.
technological side is in order. Instead, The West has collapsed internally, To turn on one’s television set is to
however, the world since World War II, and this is a forerunner of external col- witness mindless and senseless plots,
and especially since 1960, when Presi- lapse. Richard Sennett has pointed out people determined to supplant God’s
dent John F. Kennedy presided over the that, whatever men may doubt, “Belief reality with their evil imagination, and a
fairytale Camelot which was in reality a remains a fundamental social condition, determination to waste life on trifles. Of
moral cesspool, we have had, not heaven nor is the will to believe erased, even as course, the insanity of modern politics
on earth, but hell. The schools are moral mankind loses a belief in gods.” Belief is good evidence also. The old proverb
and educational failures; the world of has been transferred from the super- is true: “Whom God would destroy, He
politics has become war zones in con- natural to “the immediate life of man first makes mad.”
flicts between rival gangs. The West is himself, and his experience as a defini- The West is declining because it has
dying and does not understand why. tion of all that he can believe in.” As lost the will to live: it is eaten up with
The failure began with Descartes, man has “demystified” the gods, he has self-hatred, and it has a will to death. CR
and with all the men of the Enlighten- mystified himself.1
(Abridged from The Journal of
ment, and all who have followed them. Alexis de Tocqueville foresaw this
Christian Reconstruction: Symposium on
Christianity and Christendom see withdrawal of public man into himself,
the Decline and Fall of the West and the
man as a sinner, a fallen and depraved a retreat from a common culture into an
Return of Christendom, No. 2, Vol. XIII,
creature needing salvation. Calvinists anarchistic individualism. The result is
1994, pp. 61-73)
have held that man is totally depraved, narcissism. It has taken over the West,
i.e., that every aspect of his being is af- and Protestantism also. “Nothing is real 1. Richard Sennett, The Fall of Public Man
fected and governed by sin. Man’s need if I cannot feel it, but I can feel noth- (New York: Alfred A. Knoph, [1974] 1976),
therefore is salvation by the atonement ing.”2 Man as his own god defines his p. 151.
of Jesus Christ. Apart from Him, man own reality, and he reduces the world 2. Ibid., p. 335.
will replicate his sin in every area of life into his own mind or feelings. Civil-
and thought. As a redeemed man, the ity then begins to wane and disappear,
Christian has a duty to bring all things because civility is a recognition of social
into captivity to Christ, every sphere obligations, a realization that there is
and every activity. more to the world than our own feelings
The governing thesis of Western
man is that the problem in man and so-
ciety is not sin but a lack of knowledge. R.J. Rushdoony had a lot more
Western thinkers have replaced man
created in the image of God with ratio- to say about the Law of God…
nal man. At the same time, however,
they have undermined man’s rationality
Discover the Intent of the Law in Volume 3
by reducing man to an animal and a of the Institutes of Biblical Law.
product of evolution. Darwin’s puzzled Rushdoony tackles the Intent of the Law
question remains: how can we trust our in detail with special emphasis upon the
thinking if we are not more than an case laws and the practical implications
advanced ape? of theonomy. You’ll learn:
Technology thus has not led to
• The Necessity • Law as Warfare
paradise on earth, because man himself
cannot live in peace with himself or $25.00 of Biblical Law • The Law for
• Laws of Sacrifice all the World
with anyone else.
252 pages, indices • Tithes & Social • Theonomy vs.
Not only is the West dying, but in Financing Tyranny
Ordering is easy
the process it is denying its own heri- • The Dietary • Law as Liberty
Simply utilize the order form on
tage. In universities, required Western page 18 or visit Laws • Much more…
Civilization courses are now damned as
Eurocentric and hence evil.

November 2003 Chalcedon Report 3

From the President
Mark Rushdoony

The Future of Our Culture

and the Future of the Kingdom
W estern civilization has, since
the 17th century Enlighten-
ment, shifted its philosophical base
ing its Jewish core from the errors they
brought into the faith. Rather than
defining themselves in terms of the nar-
first, not primarily to confront the state,
but as its ultimate authority. The apos-
tolic epistles are filled with exhortations
from Christianity to the rationalism of row confines proposed by the Roman that served as lawful commands in the
autonomous man. The evidence of this government and culture or emerging name of the King to the church, both
shift has become increasingly apparent Judaism, Christianity began building in then and now. The authority ascribed
in the last half century. Also apparent, terms of a paradigm seemingly too large to the apostles and the elevation of their
however, has been the decline of cohe- for its small numbers. Christianity saw writings to canonical status very early
sion in the West, of any sense of purpose the world in terms of the reality of the clearly shows that their readers saw the
or direction in society. The greatest incarnate God, ascended into heaven faith as more than a moral direction. It
unifying factor of post-Enlightenment and now seated on His throne. As was a law of life and an entrance into a
mankind has been its repudiation of all Christians address the 21st century, we communion and community that had
things Christian. need to again see our calling to build on law and oversight.
Every such victory over Christian- Jesus Christ as the foundation (1 Pet. 2: The church avoided challenging
ity brings Western culture closer to its 5-8). Christ proclaimed that His gospel Rome, though it did not hesitate to
own collapse, for the West has departed was of a kingdom to be proclaimed to disobey when obedience would have
from its Christian past to the point of all the world (Mt. 24:14). The church violated duty or loyalty to the kingdom
cultural poverty. The accomplishments thus did not seek to conquer or reform of God. Christians rather exercised gov-
of post-Enlightenment man’s rebellion Roman culture. It sought to build the erning powers in various areas, avoiding
against Christ and Christendom are a kingdom of God and His Christ on a state control for self-government. They
succession of horrors. Once promoted more sure foundation and call men to it. rescued infants abandoned to death
by philosophers and poets, it has, since It is time for Christians to again think in (the accepted “abortion” practice in the
the days of Robespierre, increasingly terms of building the kingdom of God. empire) and adopted them as covenant
progressed by means of revolution, war, Paul told the church at Philippi children. They formed networks for
and statist action. (Phil. 2:9-11) that God had exalted Je- works of charity (Paul mentions such
Many times my father noted in sus Christ and given him a name above collections on his behalf and for needy
these pages that the post-Enlightenment all names, to which every knee should believers in Jerusalem several times in
West is a dying order, and that ours is bow and every tongue should confess. his letters). Christians settled griev-
a time of decay and collapse that will We do not have to approach the world ances, so that even unbelievers came to
bring out the worst in evil man. But it is of sin and death with hat in hand. We prefer their justice to Roman courts.
also a time of opportunity and an excit- are ambassadors of the King of Kings As Christians moved into Europe, they
ing time in which to live. and Lord of Lords. When Paul told be- founded hospitals, schools, and centers
lievers to pray for kings (1 Tim. 2:1-2), of commerce. This model caught on
Kingdom Advancement he spoke of the Roman emperors, men and merchants and tradesmen estab-
in the Early church who claimed to be gods. For Christians lished their own codes of law.
Advancing the kingdom of God was to pray for such men was a recognition Christians broke the back of the
a much more daunting task to the early that ordinary saints were, in fact, equal ancient model of unified government,
church than it is today. The early church to or higher than these kings and that formally rejecting the religious premise
faced an entrenched political empire, a their prayers were to a higher authority. of this idea at the Council of Chalce-
pagan culture, and the task of redirect- The early church put God’s law don, where Christ alone was recognized

4 Chalcedon Report November 2003

Faith for All of Life
as the only Mediator between God and of God must begin in the hearts and destructive influence of such a culture,
man. There have been repeated attempts minds of believers, but its dominion and those who fight such battles are
to recreate the pagan model of unity, must be extended to families, work- to be commended for fending off the
but our Christian history allows us eas- places, churches, and associations. The consequences of a collapsing order. But
ily to recognize the evil goals of men like kingdom of God must begin with the the church must build on a better foun-
Napoleon, Hitler, Mussolini, Mao Tse regeneration of the individual, but its dation, as did the early church. Thank-
Tung, Lenin, and Stalin. The ancient end must not be limited to the indi- fully, in the areas of creation science and
world’s unity came by putting absolute vidual or our limited range of vision. It education, the church has taken this
religious and political power together is the narrowing of our concept of the major step toward advancing the king-
in the state. No opposition was pos- kingdom of God and its limitation to dom in spite of an opposing culture.
sible. Today, by eliminating Christianity heaven and the millennium that has
crippled the modern church’s ability to The Creationist Warriors
from public life, the state is again trying
address the needs of our culture. The When most churches had turned
to be the de facto definer of morality.
modern church must address its failures their backs on the Genesis account of
Even the nominal acknowledgement of
over the past few generations, for “judg- creation, a few courageous scientists
God in the Pledge of Allegiance or the
stepped forward not only to defend the
memory of the Ten Commandments are ment must begin at the house of God”
Biblical account as literal history, but to
abominations to this humanistic statist (1 Pet. 4:17).
rethink the naturalistic assumptions of
The First Step Forward modern science. A generation later, such
Kingdom Advancement Today To extend the kingdom of God, its men are still ridiculed, but by starting
Civilizations dedicated to a par- citizens must first acknowledge that they over on a sure foundation, they have
ticular religion can have direction and are the beneficiaries of Christ’s salvation built up, in a short time, an impres-
definition, and thus often have a staying and the children of the King of Kings, sive body of data and research. They
power. But they may not necessarily that they obey His law because it is Hisl have also attracted a large following of
have progress, as witness Islamic and law and live and act in terms of a justice believers, emboldened and encouraged
Hindu cultures. The West is in crisis that is based on the righteousness of that by their stand. Creationist scientists and
precisely because it is based on a philos- law. While the wicked frame mischief organizations abound, all outside the
ophy that cannot give it positive direc- by laws (Ps. 94:20), the citizens of God’s closed halls of naturalist academia. The
tion or growth. As the West abandoned kingdom must live in terms of and kingdom of God has been advanced in
Christianity, it shifted to humanistic direct others to God’s standard. As the the area of science because of the stand
gospel of grace is the power of God unto of faithful men against post-Enlighten-
rationalism. Though consistently hostile
salvation, the law of God is His standard ment naturalism. The progress in real
to Christianity and its divine super-
for our lives as new creatures in Christ. science and real understanding was only
naturalism, Western thought since the
possible because Christians were willing
Enlightenment has splintered into many The corruption of the Renaissance
to step outside the lines of respectability
directions. Human autonomy makes revealed the poverty of its moral offering
that their artificial culture had drawn
every man his own god (Gen. 3:5) and and sowed the seeds of the Reforma-
around itself and to build on the law-
is a road map to anarchy. The reaction tion and the Counter-Reformation. The
word of God and His Christ.
to anarchy is always toward statism, and fruits of the 17th century Enlighten-
both revolutionaries and reactionaries ment, first apparent in the executions The Educational Warriors
have, since the Enlightenment, increas- of the French Revolution, now seem to Similarly, it was the courageous ef-
ingly resorted to force to impose their have a chokehold on the West. Ulti- forts of a few educational pioneers who
rule of “reason.” Violence or coercion is mately, rationalism leads to irrationalism chose to exit the government school
thus a recurring element of the modern and autonomy to anarchy. Autonomous system in order to produce something
world. man must defy all law and ethics, if for better that has created the modern
The kingdom of God (or heaven, or no other reason than to prove himself Christian education phenomenon. The
Jesus Christ) will move forward despite autonomous. Self-destructive lifestyles Christian school movement then gave
the mess men make of their cultures. and a suicidal culture result. rise to the homeschool movement.
The kingdom of God may be defined Political or judicial recourse may Together these bold initiatives have bol-
as wherever God reigns. The kingdom be necessary, at times, to help stem the stered countless families, a benefit that

November 2003 Chalcedon Report 5

Faith for All of Life
has been compounded now to multiple these two areas alone, Christians are The decline of the West is a conse-
generations and has spread outward to advancing their culture. Now they do quence of rebellion against Christianity.
support churches and Christian en- so as pioneers, but such bold action has Its decline and death will bring dire
deavors. The kingdom of God and His developed into a critical mass. consequences, to be sure. The Christian
Christ has been extended in education must not place his hope in the delicate
not by those who sought accommoda- Marching into
balancing act of such a failing culture.
tion in the government schools, but by Our Glorious Future
Rather, he must seek first the kingdom
those who rethought education in terms The advances made in creation
of God and His righteousness (Mt. 6:
of their faith and built anew on the science and Christian education must
33) and call others to do the same. In
foundation that is Jesus Christ. be emulated in other areas. Even our
this there is a glorious future. In this we
In both science and education the churches, in some cases, must be re-
claimed. Salvation is the starting point must invest our energies. The future of
kingdom of God has advanced. The
of the Christian message, not its end. man’s rebellion against and indepen-
kingdom has advanced because these
endeavors praise God and His law- The church must call redeemed men, dence of God is always bleak; the future
word. And science and education have women, and children to an understand- of the kingdom of God is as bright as
advanced. The irrationality of Dar- ing that they have been restored to God His promises. Choose sides. CR
winism has been exposed and literacy so that they might serve Him with joy
and character have been cultivated. In and gladness.

Over 20% Off on These New Testament Commentaries

by R.J. Rushdoony. Special Year-end Pricing!
The Gospel of John Romans and Hebrews, James
Rushdoony maps out Galatians and Jude
the gospel of John, From the author’s Hebrews states: “Let
starting from the introduction: “The us go forth therefore
obvious parallel to great problem unto him without the
Genesis 1 (“In the in the church’s camp, bearing his
beginning was the interpretation of reproach” (13:13).
Word”) and through Scripture has been its This is a summons to
to the glorious conclusion of Christ’s ecclesiastical orientation, as though God serve Christ the Redeemer-King fully and
death and resurrection. Jesus Christ has speaks only to the church…. God speaks faithfully, without compromise.
destroyed the power of sin and death. John in and through His Word to the whole When James says that faith without
therefore deliberately limits the number man, to every man, and to every area of works is dead, he tells us that faith is not a
of miracles he reports in order to point to life and thought…. To assume that the mere matter of words, but it is of necessity
and concentrate on our Lord’s death and Triune Creator of all things is in His word a matter of life.
resurrection. The Jesus of history is He and person only relevant to the church is Jude recalls us to Jesus Christ’s apostolic
who made atonement for us, died, and was to deny His Lordship or sovereignty. commission. Jude’s letter reminds us of
resurrected. His life cannot be understood If we turn loose the whole Word of God the necessity for a new creation beginning
apart from this, nor can we know His onto the church and the world, we shall see with us, and of the inescapable triumph of
history in any other light. with joy its power and glory.” the kingdom of God.
Hardback, 320 pages, indices, $26.00 Hardback, 446 pages, indices, $24.00 Hardback, 260 pages, $30.00

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6 Chalcedon Report November 2003

Faith for All of Life
How Christianity Needs to Position Itself
in the New Millennium
Ian Hodge

I n the period before

Christ, the nation of
Israel was unique. Of all
because they would not recognize the
ultimate authority of the Roman state.
the moment are not willing to put into
practice these beliefs. Change will only
occur when Christians practice the belief
the nations of the world, The Church’s Status as a Nation system of Christianity. One Christian
it was handpicked by Over the centuries the church acting in isolation will not make an
God, established by His carved out a unique position for herself. impact until others join him.
providence rather than the will of the She refused to be taxed, and today
local political rulers, and governed by a many of our western churches are What Christians Need
set of laws of divine origin. Even though fighting to stave off the taxing power For Christians to act with coordi-
Israel failed to follow those laws, that, at of the nations. The tax-exempt status nated effort will require not just good
least, was the intention. of the church is no different than the ideas, but excellent leadership. Leaders
The coming of Christ did not tax-exempt status of foreign embassies must harness the combined power of
change Israel’s uniqueness, with one in a host country. The local authorities individual Christians and coordinate
exception. Israel’s borders were to be do not tax them, for to pay a tax would efforts to bring Christian ideals to the
enlarged. She was now to encompass acknowledge that they are under the fore. Historically, this leadership has
the whole world. She would no longer jurisdiction of the taxing power.
come from the institutional church, for
be called Israel, but the church. And it is Historically, the church has un-
it was the church and its leadership that
the church, as heir to God’s promises to derstood the issue and established
stood against the powers of kings and
Abraham, whose task it is to work until her independence from local national
earthly authorities and said to them,
all Christ’s enemies have become His authorities, a legacy she may soon lose.
The church, the unique nation founded “Thus far and no further.” People could
by God, has her own taxing laws. She take refuge from the national authori-
The Nation Without Borders has her own “Constitution” that sets out ties, not only mentally with the ideas of
In this sense, the church is a nation the delegated powers and authorities of Christianity, but physically behind the
without borders. Yet in all respects it is a all mankind, including political leaders. closed doors of the local church.
nation that can be defined. The church And this makes her offensive to those If the church is to have an impact
is clearly established by God, not man. of every nation whose belief system lies in the new millennium, she must first
Its laws are (or at least should be) of elsewhere. of all regain her status as God’s unique
divine origin. And because of this, it earthly kingdom, the new Israel. Those
stands head-to-head in competition Christianity Will Fail Until… who join this “nation” must realize that
with every other nation on planet earth. If Christianity is to have an impact
they have become treasonous to the
The early Christians understood in the new millennium, it must chal-
spirit of the nation in which they live,
this, as did the political rulers of the day. lenge the reigning beliefs of the nations
because they no longer recognize the
The Christian church, said the Ro- of the world that there is no law other
supreme authority of the political order.
man rulers, could exist under its power than what they decree, and that all must
umbrella. “No thanks,” said the Chris- bend the knee to their own gods. That position belongs to God alone.
tians. “To the contrary, it is Caesar who Our problem is that, at the mo- But the real challenge is to those
rules by the grace of God, and for the ment, Christianity cannot challenge this who become leaders in God’s new
church to recognize its existence as an idolatry because it is a set of beliefs, a kingdom, for it is their task not only to
act of Roman grace would be to deny way of life. And beliefs, at the end of the lead His people and to build them up
the faith.” As a result, Christians were day, need to be manifested in the world in the faith, but also to protect and care
tortured and killed as political criminals through action. But many Christians at for them.

November 2003 Chalcedon Report 7

Faith for All of Life
Citizen Warriors love Jesus. The church, largely feminized It will take a new style of leadership
Our bishops, elders, and deacons do by the lack of men in attendance and to battle against all powers and princi-
not have a good track record at keeping its sentimental belief systems, needs to palities that set themselves up against
at bay the wolves of the political order recapture a masculine theology that will King Jesus and His legitimate rule of
and its desire to rule everything in the re-establish a dominion-seeking Chris- the nations. That new leadership must
place of God. A legacy of the Reforma- tianity. When the soldiers of the cross show individual members how to live
tion has been the increase in power and again stand up under competent and faithfully, must protect their flocks, and
authority of the nation-state. But today, effective leadership we might see the must protect the God-given right of the
Christians concentrate their efforts on church gaining instead of losing. church. This is how the West was won
personal salvation, designed to make And we have several centuries of in the past. And the West has been lost
people feel good about themselves rather losses to overcome. These losses have to the extent that the church has failed
than bring them into a kingdom at war devastated the church and her influence. to maintain her opposition to all forms
with the kings of this earth. And it will take a very great miracle to of idolatry and false religion.
The old battle hymns of the church bring about these changes. Christianity, To regain the West it will be neces-
proclaimed well the need for active however, is the religion of true miracles, sary to re-establish the church. This
spiritual warfare. But Onward, Christian and there are signs of a new stirring should be our goal in the new millen-
Soldiers! has given way to Oh, How I within Christian churches. nium, and we must pray that God
will give us success in our endeavours
for Him. CR

Ian Hodge, AmusA, Ph.D., is Director

of International Business Consulting
for the Business Reform Foundation
( a ministry that
teaches how to apply the Bible to business
and provides consulting services based
on Biblical principles. He writes a weekly
Commentary at
Institute for Theonomic Reformation When he is not business consulting, Ian
enjoys exercising a ministry in music with
Empowering the Christian Community his family (
for Cultural Dominion
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8 Chalcedon Report November 2003

Faith for All of Life
East and West
Greg Uttinger

S everal years ago,

while teaching
my systematics class,
world the Greeks knew. In other words,
the Greeks were in touch with mineral-
rich America.
farther west. If we callously ignore Byz-
antium and Russia, it is easy enough to
chart a course of empire that continued
I explained a point of There is a more likely reason, how- westward into Medieval and modern
difference between the ever, that the Greeks were enchanted times. Thus, Bishop Berekley wrote:
Eastern and Western with the West and connected it with Westward the course of empire
churches. Something caused me to stop bliss. The original Paradise was in the takes its way;
and ask, “You do know what I mean by West. At least one could only enter it by The four first acts already past,
Eastern?” A young man answered care- going west. When Adam and Eve were A fifth shall close the drama
fully: “You mean, like, South Carolina?” expelled from the Garden through its with the day;
The boundary between East and West is one gate, they went east (Gen. 3:24). Time’s noblest offspring is the last.
a matter of perspective, it seems. When Cain was banished from God’s Here America takes the place of
The ancient Greeks drew the presence, he went still further into the Messiah’s kingdom as the end and glory
boundary at the Bosporus. For them, East (Gen. 4:16). of history. Much of the millennial
the Trojan War was the first major This geography remains significant thinking of the 18th and 19th centuries
conflict between East and West. The throughout the Old Testament. Wor- likewise looked westward.
Greek historians portrayed Persia as an shippers entered the Tabernacle and It is no accident, then, that Tolkien
example of degenerate Oriental despo- Temple by going west through a single set his Atlantis, which was Númenor,
tism. Humanist writers ever since have gate. That is, their approach to worship and the Undying Lands in the Far West.
followed suit. Actually, the Medes and pictured man’s return to Paradise. Of He was responding to more than the
Persians were descended from Japheth, course, the Promised Land was utmost political boundaries of his day or a sen-
who inherited Western Europe, and West since only the sea lay beyond it. timentality that had to connect Hobbits
the Bible shows its early kings and The children of Israel entered Canaan with England. As a classicist, he knew
their treatment of subject nations in a by journeying westward across the Jor- that the West meant nobility, freedom,
remarkably good light. dan River. The exiles returned from the and vitality. The East was slavery and
East, and Ezekiel saw the glory of God darkness.
The Myth and Image enter the visionary temple by the East
of “The West” Gate (Ezk. 43:1-5). As late as the gospel Drawing the Boundaries Again
That the Greeks should think of of Matthew, the wise men come from The words West and East are heavy
themselves in terms of compass points is the East. Matthew could have named with connotation, then; definition is a
perhaps odd. But the West occupied a their country of origin had he wished, bit more difficult. Defining words and
special place in Greek literature and reli- but the Biblical themes of East and West drawing cultural boundaries is, after all,
gion. The Garden of the Hesperides and carried more import. a religious enterprise.
the Elysian Fields lay in the Far West. The prophecies of Daniel forecast a Secularists, for instance, have
Plato set Atlantis there as well, and that westward movement of empire, as God begun their definition of the West with
may have done more to perpetuate that would hand the care of His people from ancient Greece, seeing in it the birth-
particular myth than all of Plato’s actual one kingdom to another (Dan. 2:7). place of their own secular religion. But
description. One modern writer equates Babylon gave way to Medo-Persia, a Ja- the philosophy of ancient Greece bears
the Greek Underworld with the geo- phetic people, whose conquests reached some striking resemblances to Hindu-
graphical West in an ingenious, if dubi- to the Aegean. Persia fell to the armies ism, right down to the transmigration
ous, fashion: the curvature of the Earth of Greece, which lay in Europe. The of souls advocated by Pythagoras.
actually places the West underneath the Greek states fell to Rome, which lay still Moreover, Greek philosophy idolized

November 2003 Chalcedon Report 9

Faith for All of Life
the state, the polis, and made man’s con- Nearer East point in theology, but over a thousand
nection to the state the definition of his The Near East is religiously and years, its effects have been profound. For
humanity: “Man is an animal who lives politically unitarian: the goal of all the West, the Father and Son breathe
in a polis,” Aristotle wrote. Alexander’s culture and social order is submission the Holy Spirit to each other, and the
attempt to build a cosmopolitan state to the will of Allah (Islam). Islam suffers love and will of each coincide in the
(kosmos-embracing polis) should be an from all the philosophical and practical activity of the Spirit. Western theol-
adequate testimony to the Greek fond- limitations of unitarianism. Rushdoony ogy leads easily to true communion,
ness for statism. Athens’ flirtation with noted: coordinate authority, and a harmony
an elitist and envy-bound democracy of doctrine and life, and of word and
Since plurality has no ultimate reality in
hardly counts as a vote for liberty. Spirit. But for the East, the Father
Mohammedan thought, the freedom of
We would do no better to begin the many is an academic question; the begets the Son and unilaterally breathes
with Rome or pre-Christian Britain. one will of Allah governs all reality. The forth the Spirit. The Son and Spirit
The truth is that ancient East and West tendency of Mohammedan thought, have no immediate relationship to each
were alike pagan, and that nobility, free- when not arrested by statist action, to other, and the Son does not return the
dom, and vitality, when they blossomed run into mysticism is an obvious and
Father’s love. Eastern theology presents
in the ancient world at all, were gener- natural one.…Since the one alone has
ultimacy, the one alone has freedom.
an authoritarian image of communion;
ally historical “accidents”; that is, they
it leads to a dichotomy between Spirit
were the fruits of common grace or a
The Muslim emphasis on submis- and doctrine; and it makes room for a
spill-over from God’s blessings on Israel.
sion is useful in driving armies and Word-less mysticism. It is, moreover,
It is Christianity that brought truth
erecting dictatorships; it is less useful in easily amenable to a top-down system of
and life to the ancient world, and the
generating personal initiative, creativ- order and government.
best of what we call Western Civiliza-
ity, and responsibility. When Islam is Writing in 1984, correspondent
tion is the fruit of the gospel. Creedal,
not busy devouring the fruits of other George Bailey traced the conflict be-
trinitarian Christianity reshaped Europe
cultures by military conquest, it tends to tween the Soviet Union and the United
and planted there the seeds of politi-
be culturally barren and stagnant. States to the ancient conflict between
cal decentralization, personal liberty,
technological development, and histori- Byzantium and Rome. He specifically
Eastern Christendom
cal optimism. We should not hesitate There is another East. It began in mentioned the Filioque dispute. He saw
to confess that the true West is, or was, Byzantium and flourished for a thou- clearly the contrast between the with-
Christendom. We will map out the sand years; it blossomed again in impe- drawn spirituality of Russian Ortho-
boundaries between West and East, not rial Russia, and is still a potent force in doxy and “the dynamic involvement in
with lines of longitude, but with ques- what was once the Soviet Union. We worldly affairs characteristic of Catholi-
tions about God. must be careful and charitable here. cism and, to an even greater extent, of
This East lies well within the borders of Protestantism….” The Latin church
Farthest East Christendom. For the Eastern church is was active in secular affairs; the Eastern
For the Far East, God is the uni- church was withdrawn. However, “The
trinitarian, and it confesses the Christ of
verse; that is, there is no personal God. Scripture. Its departures from Biblical Orthodox church brought with it also
All is one. This is pantheism or philo- Christianity are numerous, however, the dream of empire, of world domina-
sophical monism. Having no personal and one of these constitutes a clear tion.” Mysticism in the church and
God, the Far East has no revelation from boundary between Eastern and Western imperialism in the state: this is an ac-
God. The universe is silent. Because all Christendom and points West. In fact, curate picture of Russia before and after
is one, material diversity is an illusion; the Eastern and Western churches origi- Lenin. Bailey may have exaggerated the
history is cyclical; truth is irrational. nally split over this issue. cause and effect, but we may not safely
Love and cruelty are equally valid. Man’s The West confesses a double proces- ignore his observations. In defining and
inclination to make rational and moral sion of the Holy Spirit, a procession rebuilding the West, we must be certain
distinctions rises from his failure to from the Father “and the Son” (filioque that our trinitarianism is Biblical.
understand the nature of reality properly. in Latin). The East sees the procession continued on page 20
The fruit of such monism is cultural of the Spirit as the act of the Father
stagnation and political totalitarianism. alone. This seems a minor and obscure

10 Chalcedon Report November 2003

Faith for All of Life
Christianity in Collapse:
Can Christianity Become the Moral Force
of Western Civilization Once More?
Curt Lovelace
F rom the conversion
of Constantine (312
A.D.) until the middle
clergy and marriage rites for homosexual
parishioners have long trumped doc-
trinal debate as fodder for the annual
homogenize all experience, to make life
easier and more palatable for the masses.
R.J. Rushdoony, 40 years ago, warned
of the 20th century, meeting of most church groups. Main- of the logical conclusions of human-
western civilization and line churches advocate the availability of ism. He wrote, “In all religious faiths,
Christianity have been abortion services, but few argue against one of the inevitable requirements of
viewed as virtually synonymous. How- the growing Sunday youth soccer logical thought asserts itself in a demand
ever, though commentators disagree on schedule. Sunday school curriculum, for the unity of the godhead. Hence,
its point in history, Christianity has lost where any at all is used, is often infused since humanity is god, there can be no
its influence in society. with the Values Clarification thinking of division in this godhead, humanity.
Sidney Simon.3 This philosophy teaches Mankind must therefore be forced to
Christianity Has Lost Its Saltiness that there are no right or wrong values.
For example, psychohistorian Ru- unite.”5 “The goal,” Rushdoony adds,
We simply must be clear as to what our “is not communion but uniformity.”
dolph Binion writes, “Christianity lost individual values are.
its credibility by and large in the course This lemming-like march toward
Robert Bork, in Slouching Towards
of the eighteenth century.”1 In a volume sameness, he asserts, leads to a “pro-
Gomorrah, captures the decline of the
replete with historiographical resources, one-world” philosophy that pursues
influence of Christianity this way:
Binion makes a fine argument for what pacifism, yet actually requires war, “in
he calls “Christianity in collapse.” It is not helpful that the ideas of salva- that it insists on irreconcilable and
tion and damnation, of sin and virtue, contradictory things.”6 This crying of
Through extensive literature analysis which once played major roles in Chris-
and polling data, Binion asserts that “peace, peace” where there is no peace is
tian belief, are now almost never heard but one indication that humanism is a
though western society retains links to in the mainline churches. The sermons
historic Christian doctrines, it has shed flawed replacement for the Christianity
and homilies are now almost exclusively
itself of belief. about love, kindness, and eternal life. of our fathers. Rushdoony insists that
In a more recent publication That may be regarded, particularly by Christians must resist this “leveling.”
Charles Colson and Nancy Pearcey the sentimental, as an improvement in Referring to the concept of a United
claim, “[T]oday’s culture not only
humaneness, indeed in civility, but it Nations, the outgrowth of humanism,
also means an alteration in the teaching he writes:
is post-Christian but is also rapidly of Christianity that makes the religion
becoming postmodernist, which means less powerful as a moral force.4 First, it insists on uniting a world and
it is resistant not only to Christian truth leveling all differences…. Second, it
claims, but to any truth claims.”2 Humanism Is seeks to create a super-state which must
Evidence that Christianity has lost the New Religion of the West increasingly coerce every state, civil
its leadership role and moral influence government, and person into line with
Despite the demise of Christianity
its dream of messianic power. Third, it
in western culture can be found without as its moral anchor, western civiliza- seeks to arrest history and freeze it into
difficulty. We need look no further than tion is still associated with a religion. a particular mold in terms of Enlight-
the church. Denominational debates That religion is humanism. In a religion enment thought. Inevitably, this faith
seldom focus on doctrine today. Discus- that is self-centered, there is no room is anti-Christian, and a conflict with
sion will more likely center on social for a God who asks for repentance or Christianity is requisite to its being.7
policy. The ordination of homosexual obedience. There is only the drive to [Emphasis added.]

November 2003 Chalcedon Report 11

Faith for All of Life
Reasserting Christian Influence Party. Branding the other party “liberal,” hold, and establish it once again as the
In order for Christianity to reas- Christian leaders have allowed them- great life system and cultural force that
sert its proper place in western (and selves to be co-opted by the political acknowledges the Creator as sovereign
eastern) culture, it must first reclaim the leaders of their party. Yet, many of the over all.”9
churches. Orthodox Christian theology elected officials and political operatives Christianity has lost the West, not
indicates, of course, that Christianity of the Republican Party openly stand for to invasion or military conquest, but
will never be “dead.” Certainly, how- abortion rights, homosexual marriage, to self-centeredness and smugness. We
ever, it is in need of doctors — spiritual and other anti-Christian policies. have “claimed to be wise” and “ex-
doctors. The condition of the patient Some Christians have simply opted changed the glory of the immortal God
has worsened because of the malpractice out of politics altogether. This would for images made to look like mortal
of the spiritual doctors. The world does seem a foolhardy approach, since man and animals and reptiles” (Rom.
not know or understand Christianity Christians are called to positively affect 1:22-23). All is not lost. God will use
because we have not taught it. The lead- the society in which they live. Rather, a even the weakest of His creatures for
ership of the church needs to extricate careful assessment of candidates, on an His glory. “For the foolishness of God
itself from the many “isms” and “pro- individual basis is a more reasonable ap- is wiser than Man’s wisdom, and the
grams” it is following down the path to proach than endorsement of a platform weakness of God is stronger than man’s
humanism and reassert the primacy of full of humanistic platitudes. Failing to strength”(1 Cor. 1:25). CR
Scripture. The very fact that mankind find candidates who are willing to stand Curt Lovelace is a small town pastor and a
will not allow the Christian memory for truth and justice as expressed in student of history. He has finally moved to
to die confirms the fact that a spiritual God’s Word might just require Chris- Maine where, when asked if he would like
thirst still exists. Seeking some kind of tians to find better candidates — or run to declare a political affiliation on his voter
spiritual fulfillment, men and women for office themselves. registration card, he politely declined.
are casting about trying to find some Neither political party is the party 1. Rudolph Binion, After Christianity (Du-
good news. of God. Neither is the Christian party. rango: Logbridge-Rhodes, 1986), p. 9. No
An acquaintance with Biblical As attitudes and beliefs ebb and flow, friend of Christianity, Professor Binion of-
doctrines is the surest inoculation politicians adjust to the shifting sands fers much food for thought and an absolute
against runaway humanism. In his plea beneath their feet. If Christians are goldmine of historiographical resources.
for preachers who will preach to the to retake the moral and political high 2. Charles Colson and Nancy Pearcey, How
heart, Sinclair Ferguson stated, “When ground, and reassert Christian moral- Now Shall We Live? (Wheaton: Tyndale
there is the exposition of the Scriptures, ity and practice in this land, they need House Publishers, Inc., 1999), p. 22.
an enlargement and opening of the to be wise in their choices and not go 3. Values Clarification, written by Sidney
preacher’s heart, and the exposing of the along with the “moderates” in the alleg- B. Simon, Leland W. Howe, and Howard
hearts of the hearers, then the majesty Kirschenbaum, is available in numer-
edly conservative party.
ous editions. One reviewer of this book
of the Word of God written will be self-
Proclaim His Wondrous Deeds described it this way: “This important guide
evident and the presence of the Word of presents numerous strategies for analyzing
God incarnate will stand forth in all His Christianity will not magically
values without teaching a particular moral
glory.”8 When we get the relationship become the ethos of the land once more. viewpoint. Through more than 75 intrigu-
between the Creator and His creation Christians must be willing to work to ing and stimulating question-and-answer
right, we can hardly continue to place bring it back to prominence. We are exercises, this book makes readers aware of
man in the position reserved for God. to be the first to model our repentance their individual feelings, ideas, and beliefs so
and obedience to the law of God. We they can make choices based on their own
Avoiding Entangling Alliances should pray for our land — for our value systems.”
A second step toward the reposition- family members, neighbors, and strang- 4. Robert Bork, Slouching Towards Gomorrah
ing of Christianity within the society is ers. We are called to work on behalf of (New York: Regan Books, 1996), p. 293.
to take the advice of President George the fatherless and widow, and to seek 5. R.J. Rushdoony, This Independent Repub-
Washington, who warned the fledgling justice. As Colson and Pearcey put it, lic (Vallecito: Ross House Books, 2001), p.
United States to avoid entangling alli- “We must be men and women who will 130.
ances. In recent years conservative Chris- dare to wrest Christianity free from its 6. Ibid., p.131.
tians have bonded with the Republican fortress mentality, its sanctuary strong- continued on page 27

12 Chalcedon Report November 2003

Faith for All of Life
Whither America?
Tom Rose

H istory records
the rise and fall
of many empires. The
Any greater economic freedom
enjoyed by ordinary people in ancient
times was simply because of a differ-
Blessings and Curses
Just before entering the Promised
Land, Moses instructed the people:
general story of most ence in the technology of control. Mod- [I]f thou shalt hearken diligently unto
empires begins with ern technological advances have cer- the voice of the Lord thy God, . . . [He] will
the rise of a strong and tainly led to great rises in productivity set thee on high above all nations of the earth:
energetic people who achieve wealth and thus to a higher standard of living. And all these blessings shall come on thee
and prosperity by militarily overcoming But the use of high-powered computers (Dt. 28:1-2).
weaker nations. In the process, the rul- today has also made it much easier for God promised that economic,
ing elite gradually oppresses and enslaves rulers to record and minutely keep track cultural, and political blessings would
the lower classes of society. After a of citizens, and thereby to tax and regu- result when His people faithfully adhere
period of time, the victors eventually late every aspect of their lives. Ancient to His word. But He also promised that
become complacent because of opulent rulers lacked the dangerous capability of curses would come from failure to do so
living and a decline in virtue. Finally having so much personal information (Dt. 28:2-68).
that empire either collapses from within about individual citizens, and so thus Later, after God had given the
or is conquered by a stronger nation. they also lacked the fearsome ability to Israelites all the land He promised them
This is the story of the ancient empires care for citizens from the cradle to the and had richly blessed them, Joshua told
of Assyria, Persia, Egypt, Greece, and grave, which has become a modern form the Israelites:
Rome — all of which were ruled by of idolatry that has turned the state into [B]ehold, this day I am going the way of
autocratic individuals or regimes. This a “secular god.” It is also much easier all the earth: and ye know in all your hearts
rise and fall has continued throughout today for central banks like the Federal and in all your souls, that not one thing hath
history all over the world. Usually, the Reserve to debauch the currency to rob failed of all the good things which the Lord
fall is preceded by spiritual decline, high citizens rather than using the slower your God spake concerning you; all are come
levels of taxation, debauchment of the and more laborious process of “clipping to pass unto you, and not one thing hath failed
currency, and the rise of homosexual- coins.” So, from the aspect of personal thereof. (Jos. 23:14)
ity among the ruling elite. Do we see economic freedom, there were some Then the Israelites entered the
this same historical process of decline in advantages to living in ancient times! period of the Judges, a time when God
America today? God blessed Israel when the people continued to bless the nation richly, but
In ancient times, the degree of and their leaders walked faithfully in “there arose another generation after
economic freedom which ordinary His ways, and He disciplined them them, which knew not the Lord, nor yet
citizens were able to enjoy, in spite of when they disobeyed. America has been the works which he had done for Israel”
autocratic rulers, was sometimes higher growing more unfaithful with each new (Jud. 2:10). Time and time again the
than today. Why is this so? It certainly generation, and it is ripe for a fall. In Israelites failed to follow God’s Word.
wasn’t because ancient rulers held ordi- this essay we will consider periodic rises So God periodically punished them by
nary citizens in higher esteem than their and declines in the people’s economic raising up invaders to oppress them,
modern counterparts do today. No, not freedom and welfare in Old Testament especially economically and politically.
at all! For there have been political rulers Israel and compare it to America today. But when they repented, God raised
in every age who have regarded citi- I will state in advance the lesson to be up deliverers to rescue them (Othniel,
zens as nothing more than pawns to be learned: The economic and political Ehud, Deborah and Barak, Gideon,
moved about the chessboard of life and welfare of a nation is largely determined Tola, Jepthah, Samson, and Phinehas).
as “subjects” to be taxed and expended by the faithful adherence to Biblical Economic progress continued during
“for the benefit of the State” at the will precepts by the people and their leaders the period of the Judges; it was Israel’s
of the elite. (2 Cor. 3:17). growing economic wealth that enticed

November 2003 Chalcedon Report 13

Faith for All of Life
invaders to rob and oppress the Israel- rabidly anti-Christian. Tax-supported sian troops in the only currency they
ites. The gradual process of enrichment education gradually became less Bibli- would accept, heroin. This developed
continued through economic develop- cal with each succeeding generation eventually into the clandestine ferrying
ment of the land. When the people until, today, it is openly anti-Christian. of thousands of tons of drugs into our
again fell into spiritual declension Tax-supported education is America’s country every year by the CIA to finance
because of corrupt leaders, they asked most ubiquitous experiment in outright their covert activities, with the full
for a king like other nations. God told socialism and is responsible for alienat- knowledge and oversight of our high-
the prophet Samuel to give them their ing each upcoming generation from est-placed political leaders, including the
request, but to warn the people that their parents. Tax-supported educators, White House. It produced at least two
the king would become tyrannical and because they regard children as wards of generations of drug addicts beginning in
abuse his power over them (1 Sam. 8). the state, actively undermine parental the 1960s and led to the perfidious “War
Most of the kings who ruled Old control of children. on Drugs” program which has produced
Testament Israel were bad kings, except the widespread tyranny of “property
The Effects of War
for a few in the southern kingdom of confiscation” by the federal government
Wars always generate results that
Judah. Even King David, who is noted under the RICO law.
ordinary citizens fail to foresee. The eco-
in Scripture as a good king, ordered Every subsequent war and foreign
nomic effects of war are always increased
faithful Uriah to be murdered in an military involvement by the U. S. has
deficit spending, monetary inflation,
attempt to hide David’s adultery with been unconstitutional because of the fail-
subsequent rises in price levels, and
Bathsheba. King Solomon multiplied ure of Congress to declare war. And each
oppressive government controls over
horses and wives to himself and heav- foreign military engagement that has
individual citizens and business firms.
ily taxed the people, who later rebelled followed has been based on lies told to
The War Between the States (1861-
against Solomon’s son Rehoboam when the American people (Korea, Vietnam,
1865) served as an historical watershed
he refused to lower taxes. To accomplish Kosovo, the First Iraq War, the Afghani-
that began to change our nation from a
the rebellion, God raised up Jeroboam stan War, and the Second Iraq War).
decentralized republic into an autocratic
as an intermediate magistrate to free the Congressman Ron Paul of Texas
unitary state with centralized controls
people from tyranny (1 Kin. 12:24). — a constitutionalist and free-market
over the economy.
My point in bringing out these voice in Congress — had this to say
The Spanish-American War (1898)
facts about Old Testament history is to on July 10, 2003 to the U.S. House of
started our country down the road to
emphasize two crucial truths: First, in a Representatives:
international imperialism, which we Various organizations and publications
nation’s rise and fall, the spiritual faith-
see in its full martial array today. Public over the last 30 years have played a
fulness or rebellion of the leaders and
support for the war was gained by significant role in the rise to power of
the people is always both the forerunner
special interests in cooperation with an the neoconservatives . . . .
and cause of what later occurs in the
eagerly cooperative newspaper press. It is no secret, . . . how they gained
economic, political, and cultural spheres
Our political leaders lied to the influence and what organizations were
of life. Second, it is not safe for citizens
American people to involve us in World used to promote their cause . . . they
to put trust in civil rulers because they,
Wars I and II. The Lusitania did indeed agitated for their beliefs through publi-
like all men, are also sinners (Ps.118:9,
carry arms, contrary to the claims of cations like The National Review,
146:3). The Weekly Standard, The Public Interest,
the Wilson Administration. The U.S.S.
America Today Sussex, which Wilson claimed was sunk The Wall Street Journal, Commentary
This brings us to America today. It by German U-boats and which provided and The New York Post, . . .
is quite evident that America has been the proximate cause of our declaration of The Defense Policy Board, chaired
in spiritual decline for many decades, war on Germany, was never sunk. And by Richard Perle, played no small role
dating back at least to the early 1900s, President Franklin D. Roosevelt did in- in coordinating the various projects and
think tanks, all determined to take us
but really almost a century earlier. And deed conspire with Churchill to induce
into war against Iraq. It wasn’t too long
many of our civil rulers have been in the the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, before the dream of empire was brought
forefront leading the way. which cost the lives of 2,900 soldiers and closer to reality by the election of 2000
Tax-supported education came sailors. And during WWII, the Ameri- with Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Cheney
upon the scene in the 1830s under the can OSS (Office of Strategic Services, and Donald Rumsfeld playing key
leadership of Horace Mann, who was forerunner of today’s CIA) paid Malay- roles in this accomplishment. The plan

14 Chalcedon Report November 2003

Faith for All of Life
to promote an “American Greatness” What Should Christians Do? b) Remove television from our
imperialistic foreign policy was now a What I have just written is already homes, or at least carefully shield
distinct possibility. Iraq offered a great known by a very small number of read- children from the growing number
opportunity to prove their long-held of evil programs that promote
ers, but it is highly “politically incorrect”
theories. This opportunity was a conse-
to write about such things (John the feminism, homosexuality, human-
quence of the 9-11 disaster. . . .
Baptist was “politically incorrect” in ism, statism, and international
. . . Let there be no doubt, those imperialism.
his time!), so it will no doubt be quite
in the neocon camp had been anxious
shocking to most readers. But let me c) Develop a careful reading
to go to war against Iraq for a decade.
They justified the use of force to ac- assure you that every bit of what I have program for our children that will
complish their goals, even if it required written is absolutely true! For readers foster their spiritual discernment.
preemptive war…. who would like to check on my veracity Be sure to hold family Bible studies.
Of course, a threat to us had to exist and do some interesting and enlighten-
ing reading on their own, I will send 5. We can enhance our personal
before the people and the Congress
would go along with war. The majority them, upon request, sources of informa- economic security and ability to be
of Americans became convinced of this tion. a beneficent influence in society by
threat, which, in actuality, never really What can Christians do to correct saving money instead of spending. We
existed. Now we have the ongoing the problems mentioned above and to can invest in gold and silver, which will
debate over the location of weapons of restore our Christian Republic? retain their purchasing power in the
mass destruction. face of the inflationary and deflationary
Where was the danger? 1. We can pray that the Lord will give monetary policies of the federal govern-
Was all this killing and spending
us humility to change our minds when ment and the Federal Reserve. This will
necessary? others show us to be wrong and to give serve to increase the healthful influence
How long will this nation-building
us the fortitude to do spiritual battle of Christian savers in rebuilding the
and dying go on? with the forces of darkness that have economy after the deflationary periods
When will we become more
been undermining our Republic for so that inevitably follow credit bubbles.
concerned about the needs of our own long.
6. We must not depend on the regular
citizens than the problems we sought in 2. We can pray that the Lord, who is news media for truthful information
Iraq and Afghanistan? able to turn the heart of kings, will because all such “news” is carefully
Who knows where we’ll go next change the hearts of our political lead- designed to obfuscate instead of inform.
– Iran, Syria or North Korea? ers. Failing that, pray that the Lord will Rather, we should rely on the internet,
It’s of interest to note that some remove them from office and from posi- short-wave radio, and the few “alterna-
large Christian denominations have tions of influence and replace them with tive” publications and newsletters that
joined the neoconservatives in promot- His godly people; or raise up intermedi-
ing preemptive war, while completely
try to present the truth that is carefully
ary magistrates under whom the people kept from the public (but be discern-
ignoring the Christian doctrine of a Just
can rally to oppose the growing tyranny ing). And we should oppose all govern-
War. [T]he neocons sought and openly
welcomed their support. in our country. ment efforts to “protect the public”
Neocons, anxious for the U.S. to 3. We can pray that the Lord will under the guise of “protecting chil-
use force to realign the boundaries and protect and preserve godly intermediate dren” from the evil that really is on the
change regimes in the Middle East, magistrates like Judge Roy E. Moore internet, because that government line is
clearly understand the benefit of a and confound those who are attacking simply a clever ruse to gain control over
galvanizing and emotional event to rally them. all information available on the internet.
the people to their cause. Without a Protecting children from the internet is a
special event, they realized the difficulty 4. We can be more observant in dis- parental responsibility.
in selling their policy of preemptive covering the forces of darkness that are
war where our own military personnel working to alienate our children from 7. We must encourage pastors and
would be killed. Whether it was the parents and to make them unknowing elders to educate and inform their
Lusitania, Pearl Harbor, the Gulf of captives of secular, humanistic forces: congregations about freedom, like the
Tonkin or the Maine, all served their clerical “black brigade” did for their
purpose in promoting a war that was a) Take our children out of tax-sup-
sought by our leaders. ported school systems. continued on page 27

November 2003 Chalcedon Report 15

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The Biblical Philosophy of History The One and the Many
By R.J. Rushdoony. For the orthodox Christian By R.J. Rushdoony. Subtitled Studies in the
who grounds his philosophy of history on Philosophy of Order and Ultimacy, this work
the doctrine of creation, the mainspring of discusses the problem of understanding unity
history is God. Time rests on the foundation vs. particularity, oneness vs. individuality.
of eternity, on the eternal decree of God. Time “Whether recognized or not, every argument
and history therefore have meaning because and every theological, philosophical, political,
they were created in terms of God’s perfect or any other exposition is based on a
and totally comprehensive plan. The humanist presupposition about man, God, and society—
faces a meaningless world in which he must strive to create about reality. This presupposition rules and determines the
and establish meaning. The Christian accepts a world which is conclusion; the effect is the result of a cause. And one such basic
totally meaningful and in which every event moves in terms of presupposition is with reference to the one and the many.” The
God’s purpose; he submits to God’s meaning and finds his life author finds the answer in the Biblical doctrine of the Trinity.
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end, humanistic philosophers have produced that faith. Now the creeds and councils of the
endless books and treatises which attempt to early church, in hammering out definitions of
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Systematic Theology
need to be exposed and reproved.
(in two volumes)
In this volume, Dr. Rushdoony clearly enunciates each major By R. J. Rushdoony. Theology
philosopher’s position and its implications, identifies the belongs in the pulpit, the school,
intellectual and moral consequences of each school of thought, the workplace, the family and
and traces the dead-end to which each naturally leads. There is everywhere. Society as a whole
only one foundation. Without Christ, meaning and morality are is weakened when theology is
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penetrating yet brief volume provides clear guidance, even for application of theology, too often
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Paperback, 180 pages, index, $18.00 mentality, picking and choosing that which pleases them. This
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The Philosophy The Messianic Character
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By R.J. Rushdoony. The Christian School By R.J. Rushdoony. Rushdoony’s study tells
represents a break with humanistic education, us an important part of American history:
but, too often, in leaving the state school, the exactly what has public education been
Christian educator has carried the state’s trying to accomplish? Before the 1830s and
humanism with him. A curriculum is not Horace Mann, no schools in the U.S. were state
neutral: it is either a course in humanism or supported or state controlled. They were local,
training in a God-centered faith and life. The parent-teacher enterprises, supported without
liberal arts curriculum means literally that course which trains taxes, and taking care of all children. They were remarkably high
students in the arts of freedom. This raises the key question: is in standard and were Christian. From Mann to the present, the
freedom in and of man or Christ? The Christian art of freedom, state has used education to socialize the child. The school’s basic
that is, the Christian liberal arts curriculum, is emphatically purpose, according to its own philosophers, is not education in the
not the same as the humanistic one. It is urgently necessary for traditional sense of the 3 R’s. Instead, it is to promote “democracy”
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were hardly considered a viable educational Edited by Gary North. These are essays
alternative. But this book and the author’s developing the implications and meaning of
later Messianic Character of American the philosophy of Dr. Cornelius Van Til for
Education were a resolute call to arms for every area of life. The chapters explore the
Christian’s to get their children out of the pagan public schools implications of Biblical faith for a variety of
and provide them with a genuine Christian education. Dr. disciplines.
Rushdoony had predicted that the humanist system, based on Paperback, 355 pages, indices, $24.00
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worse. Rushdoony was indeed a prophet. He knew that education
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By What Standard?
produce the educational disaster and moral barbarism we have
By R.J. Rushdoony. An introduction into the
today. The title of this book is particularly significant in that
problems of Christian philosophy. It focuses
Dr. Rushdoony was able to identify the basic contradiction that
on the philosophical system of Dr. Cornelius
pervades a secular society that rejects God’s sovereignty but
Van Til, which in turn is founded upon the
still needs law and order, justice, science, and meaning to life.
presuppositions of an infallible revelation
As Dr. Rushdoony writes, “there is no law, no society, no justice,
in the Bible and the necessity of Christian
no structure, no design, no meaning apart from God.” And so,
theology for all philosophy. This is Rushdoony’s
modern man has become schizophrenic because of his rebellion
foundational work on philosophy.
against God.
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18 Chalcedon Report November 2003

Faith for All of Life
The Origin of Allah
Samuel L. Blumenfeld
H ow many times
have you heard
it said that Christians,
their generations for an everlasting covenant, to
be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee.
And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after
and there is no salvation through the
blood of Christ, for Jesus was merely a
Jews, and Muslims all thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all In addition, Islam forbids Muslims
the land of Canaan, for an everlasting posses-
worship the same God, from accepting salvation through Jesus
sion; and I will be their God. (Gen. 17:2-8)
and that spiritually and Christ. Recently, in Palestine, a Muslim
morally the three religions are all based But God did not include Ishmael accepted Jesus Christ and went to a
on the same concept of God? It is true in the covenant. We read in Genesis 17: mountainous region to study the Bible
that Ishmael, the father of the Arab na- 19-21: and listen to cassette tapes. He was
tion, was the son of Abram and Hagar, And God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear murdered, and his body, cut up into
Sarai’s maid. But that was before God thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name four pieces, was returned to his wife and
made His covenant with Abram and Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with two children.The family believes that
changed his name to Abraham. Con- him for an everlasting covenant, and with his this was meant to warn other Muslims
seed after him.
cerning Hagar and Ishmael, we read in against accepting the gospel of Jesus
As for Ishmael, I have heard thee: Behold
Genesis 16:11-12: I have blessed him, and will make him fruit-
And the angel of the Lord said unto her, ful, and will multiply him exceedingly; twelve Allah, the Moon-god
Behold, thou art with child and shalt bear a princes shall he beget, and I will make him a Allah is not the Jehovah of the Old
son, and shalt call his name Ishmael; because great nation. Testament. In fact, Allah is a version of
the Lord hath heard thy affliction. And he But my covenant will I establish with the Moon-god, a pagan god in Arabia
will be a wild man; his hand will be against Isaac, which Sarah shall bear thee at this set who was worshipped during pre-Islamic
every man, and every man’s hand against him; time in the next year.
times. And that is why the Crescent
and he shall dwell in the presence of all his
Muhammad’s Anti-Semitism moon is the symbol of Islam, and the
In other words, God made His cov- month-long Ramadan fasting begins
And true to God’s word, the de- enant with Isaac and not with Ishmael. and ends with the crescent moon.
scendants of Ishmael have plagued the And that may be why Muhammad The evidence of this can be found
civilized world for centuries with piracy, so despised the Jews. He had read the in the extensive archeological digs in the
extortion, murder, terrorism, assassina- Bible, and it is quite clear that Ishmael Middle East over the last 100 years. A
tions, suicide bombers, kidnappers, was not a descendant of covenantal temple of the Moon-god was excavated
hijackers, and slavers. Abraham but of pre-covenantal Abram. in Ur by Sir Leonard Woolley. The
Despite this, Muslims claim that examples of moon worship which he
Abram and Ishmael found can now be seen in the British
Abram was 86 years old when Ishmael was a descendant of Abraham.
Muslims also reject the idea that God Museum. In the 1950s, a temple to the
Hagar bore Ishmael. But it was thirteen Moon-god was excavated at Hazer in
years later, when Abram was 99, that the gave Canaan to Abraham’s descendants
as a gift. That is why they refuse to ac- Palestine. Two idols of the Moon-god
Lord appeared to him and said:
cept modern Israel’s right to exist. were found. Each was a statue of a man
And I will make my covenant between me Also, and most important of all, the seated on a throne with a crescent moon
and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly. carved on his chest.
God who established a covenant with
And Abram fell on his face: and God talked Also in the 1950s, archeologists
Abraham was also capable of begetting
with him, saying, as for me, behold, my cov-
a son, Jesus Christ, whose mission it excavated sites at Qataban, Timna, and
enant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father
of many nations. Neither shall thy name any was on earth not only to save mankind Marib. Thousands of inscriptions from
more be called Abram, but thy name shall be from its sinful nature but to extend the walls and rocks in Northern Arabia have
Abraham; for a father of many nations have I covenant beyond the seed of Abraham also been collected. Reliefs and votive
made thee…. And I will establish my covenant to all of mankind. But according to bowls used in worship of the “daughters
between me and thee and thy seed after thee in the Koran, God did not have a son, of Allah” have also been discovered. The

November 2003 Chalcedon Report 19

Faith for All of Life
three daughters, al-Lat, al-Uzza, and tred and death are the dominant themes Samuel L. Blumenfeld is the author of
Manat, are sometimes depicted together in modern Islam. The religions of the eight books on education, including NEA:
with Allah the Moon-god represented Bible and Islam are clearly opposite each Trojan Horse in American Education, How to
other. Islam’s pagan origin has made it a Tutor, Alpha-Phonics: A Primer for Beginning
by a crescent moon above them. The ar-
Readers, and Homeschooling: A Parents Guide
cheological evidence demonstrates that religion of Satan. It is not derived from
to Teaching Children. All of these books are
the dominant religion of Arabia was the the God on high who spoke to Moses. available on or by calling
cult of the Moon-god. It is pagan in concept, pagan in practice, 208-322-4440.
The oldest name of the Moon-God and pagan in results. That is why no
was Sin, of Sumerian origin. Hence, Muslim nation has ever experienced or
Sinai, or the wilderness of Sin. While achieved the freedom and general pros-
the Arabs worshipped 360 gods at the perity that are found in nations based
Kabah in Mecca, the Mood-god was on Christianity.
the chief deity. The Moon-god was Communism produced poverty and
Uttinger, East…continued from page 10
also called Il or Ilah, which eventually murder. Islam does the same. Millions
became Allah. of Muslims have been led to believe that Conclusion
theirs is the true religion. Which only The East stresses the unity of God.
Muhammad’s Monotheism proves that millions of human beings But monism and unitarian theology
Muhammad was raised in the can be led down the path of misery and lead to mysticism, imperialism, and cul-
religion of the Moon-god Allah. But he submission, enslaved by a religion of tural stagnation. The One swallows up
went one step further than his fellow superstition, violence, and ignorance. the Many. Given enough time, Eastern
pagan Arabs. While they believed that All one has to do is look at a Muslim Orthodoxy’s defective understanding
Allah, the Moon-god, was the greatest mob shouting and screaming, ranting of the Trinity bears similar fruit. If we
of all gods and the supreme deity of and raving, to know that Muslims are do not maintain the full equality of the
them all, Muhammad decided that Al- driven by appeals to their emotions and Father and the Son, we fall back towards
lah was not only the greatest god but the not their minds. unitarianism and all that that involves.
only god. Thus, he added the trappings It is only because they sit on an Western civilization is the product
of monotheism to his concept of the ocean of oil and have more money than of Western Christianity, of a thoroughly
Moon-god. In other words, Allah is not they know what to do with that they trinitarian faith. Individual freedom,
Jehovah. have become a mortal danger to us. personal responsibility and initiative,
And this becomes obvious when This is what happens when a religion and a commitment to earthly domin-
one hears of the murderous rantings of death and hatred has the financial ion rest upon true diversity in the one
of Imams in the mosques preaching means to spread its murderous philoso- true God. As the West departs from its
genocide against the Jews, encouraging phy across the globe. Their wealth has trinitarian moorings, it will cease to be
children to become suicide bombers, not provided philanthropy, but terror. the West. For the West is not a geo-
promoting jihad against the infidels. But there is an even more cogent graphical designation. Nazi Germany
reason why the Koran cannot be consid- was farther East than, say, the Byzan-
The followers of Jesus Christ largely
ered a furtherance of Biblical monothe- tine Empire. And Berkeley in the 60s
conquered the western world by offering
ism. For we are told in Revelation 22: was probably much farther East than
salvation, forgiveness of sin, and eternal
18-19: South Korea is today. In truth, the line
life after death. They conquered by the
For I testify unto every man that between East and West runs through
Word of God, by the gospel, by the love
heareth the words of the prophecy of this every human heart. The issues are reli-
of Jesus Christ. Islam conquers by the
book, If any man shall add unto these gious and creedal, and any attempts to
sword, by enslavement, brutality, and
things, God shall add unto him the shore up or rebuild the West had better
tyranny. A non-Muslim can only live
plagues that are written in this book; and reckon with these boundaries. CR
in a Muslim country by accepting an
inferior status. if any man shall take away from the words Greg Uttinger teaches theology, history, and
of the book of this prophecy, God shall take literature at Cornerstone Christian School
Antithesis away his part out of the book of life, and in Roseville, California. He lives nearby in
While love and life are dominant out of the holy city, and from the things Sacramento County with his wife, Kate, and
themes in Christianity and Judaism, ha- which are written in this book. CR their three children.

20 Chalcedon Report November 2003

Faith for All of Life

The Household of Faith:

church Histories and Covenant Evangelism
Roger Schultz, Ph.D.

S ome five years ago as

I visited my child-
hood home church in
convictions. Obviously, no church is
perfect. (“And if you ever find a perfect
church,” my grandmother used to tell
past. Memories may not be perfect, and
you may have to check perceptions and
confirm facts. Interviews are also an
north-central Minnesota, me, “leave it right away... so you don’t excellent way of getting acquainted with
a retired pastor stood ruin it!”) No family is perfect, either, people who might ordinarily be outside
up during the evening but we love our families and are inter- of your circle in church. People love to
testimonial time. “I’d like to sing a little ested in their histories, because they tell share their experiences and tell stories,
song my mother used to sing to me,” he us about our past and reveal what makes and collecting oral histories will be en-
said, proceeding to sing a spiritual lul- us tick. joyable for you and your children.
laby in Swedish. It seemed pretty corny, Have a variety of questions ahead of
until I looked around and saw tears Preserving Our Spiritual Heritage
The Bible reminds us of the value time. When did the church start? Who
glistening in the eyes of elderly members were the pastors? When — and why —
of the congregation. Rev. Bernstrom had of our spiritual roots. Christians are
charged with remembering and emulat- were the sanctuary and other buildings
reminded them of their roots. constructed? (I recall one frail woman in
ing their worthy leaders: “Remember
Temple Baptist church in Brainerd, her nineties telling me with vivid detail
those who led you, who spoke the word
Minnesota, is a Swedish Baptist church. and great emotion how the beautiful
of God to you; and consider the result
The names I remember from my youth family church across the road burned
of their conduct, imitate their faith”
were mostly Swedish — Bloomstrom, down in the 1920s.) What were the
(Heb. 13:7). Paul urges Timothy to
Olson, Johnson, Norr, Torkelquist biggest events in a church’s past?
continue in the doctrines of the faith,
— and the older folks spoke with a “knowing from whom you have learned
pleasant Scandinavian lilt. The first Church Histories
them” (2 Tim. 3:16). Histories of the
time my German grandfather visited Three years ago, while interested in
church and faithful leaders, then, can be
the church in 1926 for a special service, God-ordained ways of rooting us in the Billy Sunday’s ministry, I was fascinated
he was surprised when the evangelist covenant community and securing us in to learn that my next-door neighbor had
preached in Swedish (but he felt too em- the faith. gone forward at a Sunday crusade. N.A.
barrassed to leave).1 My favorite youth Christians can do much to preserve Taggart was just a boy in 1917 when
club speaker was Myre Skoog, a Nor- their spiritual heritage by researching Sunday came to Chattanooga. “Tag” re-
wegian immigrant who told fascinating and writing church histories. Doing membered the long streetcar rides with
boyhood stories of fishing way out on history will automatically teach lessons his parents to the revival; he liked the
the ocean and climbing the mountains about theology and history. Doing his- preaching (Sunday was “some preacher”)
in the old country to go skiing.2 For tory is a good way of serving the local and went forward to shake Sunday’s
better or worse, the church had its roots congregation, and it will make you feel hand; but he especially liked the music
in the pietistic, free-church movement more connected and involved. Do- of the revival (he’d never heard anything
of Scandinavia. ing church history is also a wonderful like it since). I knew a fair bit about
We all have church roots and con- homeschool project that parents and Billy Sunday, and had formed differ-
nections, and they help shape us. It children can work on together. ent ideas about the wildly popular and
was at my home church that I learned It is easy to start with oral inter- flamboyant Presbyterian revivalist. But
stories about the Bible, heard the Gospel views. Visit with the pastor and older nothing caught my attention like my
preached, and framed basic evangelical members to learn about the church’s neighbor’s remembrance.

November 2003 Chalcedon Report 21

Faith for All of Life
Printed material, if available, will be law. Some have proscriptions against interested in Lutheranism could research
helpful. Older churches often have an- alcohol or tobacco or movies. The basic the twenty-some distinct Lutheran de-
niversary collections or histories. It may question is: “How does the church nominations in America.4 It would be
be possible to use records of sessions and expect you to live?” (Or, how does the interesting to document and categorize
presbyteries, although the material may church think that God wants you to the Baptist communions and the issues
be cumbersome for amateur historians live?) “Cultus” refers to special religious and personalities that created them.
and access may be restricted because of observances or sacraments. “Com-
munity” refers to the way churches The Dividends of Research
the sensitivity of the material. I have
establish an identity or draw the circle of The research can pay dividends.
found some excellent church-related
membership or fellowship. According to Doing history is a learning experience,
materials in public libraries, county
the church’s teaching (either explicit or and an opportunity to serve the church.
historical societies, university archives,
implicit), who are the “good guys” and And few things are as fun as finding a
and special collections. The Washington
who are the “bad guys”? historical gem in a microfilmed docu-
County Historical Society in Abingdon,
ment or buried in a musty, forgotten
Virginia, for instance, has a wealth of Ask questions to “place” a congre-
file. And those historical gems can be
material on early churches in southwest gation. What issues really matter to
spiritually uplifting.
Virginia. For those living near Asheville, my church? What seminaries do the
A few years ago, while doing
North Carolina, the Montreat Historical pastors come from? What theological
genealogical research, my daughter
Foundation is a phenomenal resource or devotional books are recommended?
stumbled upon material about my wife’s
for Presbyterian history. Even newspaper What missions does it support? Who
great-great grandfather, Joseph Roof
microfilm can be a rich source. Newspa- are the church’s heroes?
(1799-1894). Born in Switzerland, the
pers commonly gave extensive cover- For years I have been a member of eight-year old Roof was orphaned when
age to city-wide revival crusades in the Westminster Presbyterian church (PCA) a shipboard cholera epidemic killed his
early 20th century. (I have followed the in Kingsport, Tennessee. The church parents during their voyage to America.
progress of Billy Sunday’s Bristol crusade started in 1973 from a Bible Study Roof, who lived to be 95 and had three
in 1920, for instance, simply by reading led by Joe Morecraft. Special speakers wives and twelve children, became a
the day-to-day coverage of the paper.) over the past dozen years have included Lutheran minister, and preached in
As with most kinds of research, the big- Morecraft, R.J. Rushdoony, Greg Bahn- both German and English. During his
gest chore is trying to find out where the sen, Ken Gentry, Steve Schlissel, and 43 year ministry, according to the local
material is. Steve Wilkins — church’s historian, he preached 4,082
Deal with questions of substance in a veritable “who’s who” of conservative sermons, administered 1,268 baptisms,
addition to the simple chronological or Presbyterians. The speakers give a solemnized 1,100 marriages, and con-
factual elements. One religious historian sense of the mission and focus of the ducted 1,300 funerals. A veritable lion
argues that you can understand church- congregation. of the faith, he “stood like a stonewall
es by asking questions about the “4 Cs”: Ask and research “differentiating” in defense of pure doctrine and scrip-
Creed, Code, Cultus and Community. questions. How does a church dif- tural practices.” It was a meaningful trip
“Creed” refers to the doctrine or beliefs fer from other denominations? More for my family, then, to visit St. Paul’s
of a church. All churches have a creed or interesting, how does a local church Evangelical church outside of Ashe-
some integrating principle of belief. It differ from other churches in the same ville, Ohio, where the Rev. Grandpa
may be a formal statement of doctrine denomination? Presbyterians in Bristol, Roof served for most of his ministry. In
(such as the Westminster Standards), Virginia, where I used to live, were describing Roof ’s tragic migration to
or some vague religious commitments within driving distance of dozens of America and his life as an orphan, the
(e.g., “think highly of Jesus and be nice Presbyterian churches and eight differ- faithful church historian had simply
to each other”). The trick, of course, is ent Presbyterian communions. Their put it this way: “the covenant-keeping
to find out what a church really be- choices included the PCUSA, PCA, God... was exercising over him a watch-
lieves. “Code” refers to behavioral and OPC, RPCGA, ARP, EPC, BPC, and ful care!” It was a wonderful reminder
ethical requirements. Churches used to even two Independent Presbyterian of our spiritual roots, and it was enough
endorse the Golden Rule and the 10 churches. One could get a good lesson to bring a tear to my eye.
Commandments, for instance, although in American church history by study-
many today are squeamish about God’s ing the origins of these bodies.3 Those continued on page 24

22 Chalcedon Report November 2003

Faith for All of Life
Privacy, Tolerance,
and Social Morality
Rev. Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr

G reenville, South
Carolina, located
in the deep south Bible
tion “restrained” (Beth Padgett, Deputy
Editorial Page Director, Greenville News)
and a “mild expression” (Tom Inman,
The Right to Privacy
Those who fear this resolution as
an “invasion of privacy” by “senseless
belt, and home to Bob Editorial Page Editor, Greenville News). government intrusion” seem unaware of
Jones University, has Yet at the same time they and several current legal realities. The resolution did
only fairly recently others have vigorously attacked it as little more than reaffirm current South
experienced the homosexual revolu- “intolerant,” an “invasion of privacy,” Carolina state law. What is more, govern-
tion. On April 19, 1996 Greenville’s “disrespectful of diversity of opinion,” ment is already (and necessarily) involved
first ever “Gay Rights” march was held and a “senseless government intrusion.” in private moral concerns. The liber-
— encouraged, directed, and attended Well over a hundred letters to the editor, tine ideal that asserts the primacy and
by Atlanta and Charlotte gay rights dozens of counter resolutions by liberal inviolability of privacy rights has never
advocates. Even the conservative South churches, the Chamber of Commerce, existed in America. We have many laws
and fundamentalist dominated cities are Furman University, and other organiza- restricting the private acts of consenting
not immune to the moral decline and tions, and numerous public pronounce- adults, including laws against polygamy,
degradation of our culture. Having ex- ments have lashed out at the County prostitution, incest, illegal drug use,
perienced the birth of these tragic moral Council and its resolution. bestiality, consensual sado-masochism,
events in my city, I thought it might be suicide, and more.
Unfortunately, the whole contro-
of historical and theological interest to We also have anti-privacy laws
versy is a study in muddled ethical
the readership of the Chalcedon Report. demanding compulsory education,
thinking, contradictory assertions, slo-
A firestorm of controversy exploded overriding private family convictions
ganeering, and outlandish charges. The
in Greenville over a May 21, 1996, regarding medical treatment (e.g., forced
resolution, though deemed “mild” and
County Council resolution regard- blood transfusions), forbidding cruelty to
“restrained” by the editors of the local
ing homosexuality. The controversial animals, and so forth. Privacy is only one
resolution reaffirmed “established state paper, has been ridiculed as: “a breach
value among many other competing val-
laws regarding gay lifestyles” by stating of the separation of church and state,” ues. At points of collision, privacy values
that “lifestyles advocated by the gay “Nazism,” “menacing authority,” “an must give place to other values such as
community should not be endorsed by atrocity,” “right-wing extremism,” “poi- justice, security, and human life.
government policy makers.” As one who sonous,” “ayatollah-like,” “warped,” “a Private morality cannot be a matter
supports the resolution and current state return to the dark ages,” “frightening,” of public indifference. If civil law fails
laws prohibiting homosexual conduct, “appalling,” “a witch hunt,” and more. to witness against the abnormality of
I would like to respond to some of the Consequently, the dispute exposes our homosexual conduct, then governmental
charges, both local and national, being inability to think through moral issues. authority will allow a progressive degen-
hurled against evangelical Christians But public socio-political discourse is eration of moral values in society. This
and social conservatives. The same sorts not the place for such moral confusion. is detrimental to society’s moral stabil-
of charges have recently been levied So for these reasons, even if for no ity, government’s legal substructure, the
against Cobb County, Georgia, Spartan- other, the methodology of the moral dignity of human life, the monogamous
burg, South Carolina, Winston-Salem, charges levied against the council state- foundation of all civilized societies, the
North Carolina, and other localities that ment demand careful analysis. I will ability of parents to raise their children in
have adopted similar resolutions. focus on the two highly charged issues a stable moral environment, and more.
Several prominent Greenville oppo- so prominent in the debate both locally The issues relative to privacy are of gigan-
nents of the resolution called the resolu- and nationally: privacy and tolerance. tic proportions and poorly understood.

November 2003 Chalcedon Report 23

Faith for All of Life
The Toleration of Diversity law is rooted in morality, and morality is Schultz, Household…continued from page 22
The call for “tolerance” is a moral based on ideas of ultimacy and value that Dr. Schultz is Chairman of the History
demand. That being the case, it must are intrinsically religious conceptions. Department at Liberty University, teaches
come from within a particular moral Consequently, all law is fundamentally church History at Christ College, and is the
system. And the system that best sup- religious in character. Historical evidence homeschooling father of nine children.
ports and gives meaning to public, of this has been noted by the Supreme
1. Northern Minnesota was settled in the
universal, invariant moral principles Court in Abington v. Schempp (374 U.S. late 19th century and there are strong con-
must be recognized and defensible. This, 203 [1963]): “Nearly every criminal nections with the old countries. The Finnish
then, requires public moral discourse law on the books can be traced to some Lutheran church a couple blocks away from
that cannot preclude the Christian sys- religious inspiration.” Temple Baptist maintained services in the
tem at the outset, as so many try to do. Greenville County Council’s resolu- mother tongue until the 1970s. My grand-
In fact, on historical grounds this “one tion is justified as a concern for the parents always referred to local churches
nation under God” that asserts “In God moral well-being of the community. by their country of origin: the Norwegian
This concern is warranted not only by Lutheran church, the German Lutheran
we trust” should not disallow Christian
America’s continuing moral decline in church, the Swedish Lutheran church, etc.,
moral values. The U. S. Supreme Court
which was confusing for a youngster who
has noted in Zorach v. Clauson that “we general, but by recent national debate
had yet to learn the power of ethnic identity.
are a religious people whose institutions seeking to expand homosexual influ-
2. Myre’s son “Whitey” played professional
presuppose a Supreme Being” (343 U.S. ence by legally endorsing same gender
basketball for the Minneapolis (now L.A.)
306 [1952]). Neither may the Christian marriages. As Edmund Burke warned Lakers, so we boys were always in awe of the
sit idly by, for he must “have no fel- long ago: “The only thing necessary for Skoog family.
lowship with the unfruitful works of the triumph of evil is for good men to 3. One helpful annotated website on Ameri-
darkness, but rather expose them” (Eph. do nothing.” CR can Presbyterianism is
5:11). Dr. Gentry is the author of thirteen books churches.html.
In addition, though the term is and a contributor to eight others, from 4. Valparasio University (
carelessly tossed about, “toleration” has publishers such as Zondervan, Baker, lutheran/LutheranChurchBodies.html)
limits. Those limits must be defined by Kregel, P & R, and American Vision. He maintains a website with connections to all
moral considerations, not loud asser- is the editor of a forthcoming title from the Lutheran bodies. It is interesting to see
Ross House Books: Thine Is the kingdom: what prompted the start of these churches.
tions. The tolerance of all opinions
A Summary of the Postmillennial Hope. Was it theology, church polity, ethnicity, so-
would lead to moral relativism, which cial issues, or personalities? Or was it some
He has spoken at conferences and on
would undermine a stable and just so- combination of these factors?
radio across the nation and runs a website
ciety. Tolerance also becomes self-refut- for Reformed educational materials:
ing in that it destroys any and all moral
objection to any actions, including the
call to tolerance. The very existence of
an orderly society of men and laws mili-
tates against absolute moral toleration.
Social rectitude and civil justice, rather
Givler Engineering, Inc.
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of someone’s religious values, in that all

24 Chalcedon Report November 2003

Faith for All of Life
Prayer Warriors:
Virginia Military Institute
and the Legacy of Francis H. Smith
R.G. “Rick” Williams, Jr.
“There is no part of my life that I look back upon with
more real pleasure than the cadets’ prayer meetings.”
Major-General Francis H. Smith, LL.D. – First Superintendent of VMI 1
“Whether [the cadets] agree with the prayers or not, they are exposed to these prayers and they, in fact, are encouraged in a
heavy-handed fashion in this religious exercise.”
Steve Benen, spokesperson for Americans United for the Separation of church and State2

V irginia Military
Institute has, since
its founding, enjoyed a
supper. The prayer mentions God, but
not Jesus Christ. VMI lost the challenge
before Judge Norman K. Moon of the
Patton and George Marshall has lost
much of its uniqueness. As Bob Munno,
42, a New York businessman and 1981
reputation for being one U. S. District Court, Western District of VMI graduate so appropriately asked,
of the most outstanding Virginia, then appealed to the 4th U.S. “Why would anybody go there now?”3
military schools in the Circuit Court of Appeals, which duti- Good question. The question is akin
United States. So well revered was this fully refused to hear the case and left the to one I hear many Christians asking
reputation, especially in Virginia, that it lower court’s ruling to stand — we’ve themselves today — “Why even try to
was common knowledge that a graduate heard it all before, haven’t we? Of save the culture?” Another good ques-
of VMI had a ticket to just about any course, Virginia’s Attorney General Jerry tion. And we have a good answer — the
career he desired. I said, “was.” Though Kilgore promises to fight this all the way witness and testimony of Scripture gives
the school’s academic standards and to the U.S. Supreme Court. Frankly, I us hope, not to mention the command-
military atmosphere are still worthy of doubt there’s much hope there, but it is ments of God.
admiration, it’s not the school it was just “It is history that teaches us to
Kilgore’s duty and my prayers (which, I
ten years ago. hope,” Robert E. Lee once wrote. The
guess, are still legal) are with him. So,
history of the church and the gospel
Geldings in recent years, arguably one of the best
throughout the ages is one of constant
Over the past decade, the school schools in the nation has had two of
struggle: evil vs. good, dark vs. light,
has come under increasing fire — and its most prominent and long-standing
Christ vs. Satan. As with much going on
this time it’s not from Union soldiers, traditions tossed out like rotten garbage. in our culture today, it is always instruc-
though I would argue it is from their In with girls, out with God. As C.S. tive to look at history and see how and
spiritual heirs. But that’s another Lewis observed in The Abolition of Man: when certain practices and traditions
article. First the feminist groups, along “We castrate and then bid the geldings originated. Knowing history will better
with George Bush the elder’s justice to be fruitful.” equip us to defend and apply our faith
department, successfully persuaded It is indeed a very sad thing to to every aspect of our lives. The his-
the Supreme Court to force VMI to observe a once great culture crumble tory of the church and its epic struggle
enroll women in 1996. Now that VMI — one institution at a time. It would will give us hope. The story of VMI is
has been neutered and feminized, the almost seem more merciful if it just but a microcosm of this conflict and
ACLU has turned its guns on VMI’s all happened overnight. Slow death is represents an excellent case study of how
“non-sectarian” mealtime prayers. The painful. Christians have forgotten their heritage.
whole dispute began when two students The great school that once pro- Our courts, along with most pres-
were “offended” by the blessing over duced men of the caliber of George ent day historians, are revolutionary in

November 2003 Chalcedon Report 25

Faith for All of Life
nature. They are rewriting our history in vestryman. Smith would serve VMI for which further exposes our courts’ con-
order to discredit and defame Christian- fifty years as superintendent, and his tempt for Christian influences.
ity and the wisdom of our Fathers. It is influence is still felt today. While it is In the early 1840s, Smith, along
our duty to combat this with historical true that VMI was not founded specifi- with Major Preston, instituted “Bible
truth in order to combat evil and win cally as a Christian school, it is impor- recitations” every Sunday, along with or-
the hearts of others. Christ embodies tant to remember that Christianity was ganized prayer meetings for the cadets.
truth (Jn. 14:6) and despite what we so much a part of American culture in These meetings were conducted every
may think or see, we know the truth the 19th century that certain duties and Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, “and
will eventually triumph. So what of the responsibilities regarding Christianity sometimes on Sunday” in Smith’s office.
spiritual history of VMI? More specifi- were assumed, especially when it came Smith’s dedication to these prayer meet-
cally, what, if any, association has this to the moral conduct of the young: ings and the principles of Christian edu-
Spartan military school had with Chris- “There is no part of the duty of the cation bore much fruit over the years as
tianity, and what can we learn from this superintendent which weighs so heavily Smith indicated: “Great good was done
grossly modernized institution? upon his mind and heart,” Smith wrote to the young Christian by strength-
in the 1859 annual report, “as that con- ening the sense of his duty to God.
Grand Beginnings
nected with the control… of the moral Others were brought into the meeting,
Although the mealtime prayer was
conduct of those committed to his and some of these made a profession
not officially instituted until the 1950s,
charge.”7 Smith took his duty seriously, of religion.” There were also at least
VMI’s spiritual moorings were well es-
instituting the tradition of mandatory five “seasons of revival” at VMI. Smith
tablished at its founding. John Thomas
(unless excused by parents) church at- makes particular note of the revival that
Lewis Preston, a brother-in-law and
tendance on the Sabbath: occurred in 1869, writing that, “…
close confidante of Stonewall Jackson,
was the primary impetus for the found- By the regulations of the Virginia some eighty cadets made a profession
ing of VMI in 1839. It was Preston who Military Institute, it was enjoined that of religion.” Smith writes further of the
named the school and who served as “Duties appropriate for the Sabbath, fruits of the prayer meetings: “Through
including attendance on Divine service, the influence of these meetings nearly
the school’s first teacher of languages.4
which shall be imperative, shall be 250 cadets have been brought into the
Preston was a prominent attorney and prescribed by the Superintendent, and
businessman in Lexington. He was church, some of whom entered the min-
each cadet shall be required to conform
also a committed Christian and fellow istry, and have made useful members of
thereto.” 8
churchman of Jackson’s.5 Preston served Gospel ministry.”10
Smith was of the opinion that VMI Though some of the local staunch
as the Sunday school superintendent
was an extension of the home and that: Presbyterians opposed Smith’s “pros-
of the Lexington Presbyterian church,
and it was Preston who helped Jackson … [T]he school stood in loco parentis, elytizing,” Smith noted that the meet-
and must enjoin all those duties for ings were “purely voluntary, and in no
undertake the Confederate General’s
the Sabbath, which, in a well-regulated respect compulsory.” Many local citizens
now famous Sunday school for blacks
Christian home might properly be re- supported the efforts, including Mrs.
in 1855. The idea for VMI was born in quired by the parent…. Thus the foun-
the heart of a believer. Moreover, VMI’s Robert E. Lee, who sent gospel tracts
dation was laid for systematic religious
first superintendent, Frances Henney instruction, under the authority and
for distribution among the cadets.11
Smith, conducted daily Bible studies in sanction of law; and upon this foun- Parents, too, were appreciative of Smith’s
his office and introduced the tradition dation without varying the slightest efforts as some of Smith’s correspon-
of handing out Bibles to each graduat- particular, the cadets have been trained dence indicates he kept them informed
ing cadet; a tradition that continues year by year, and class by class, in the of their sons’ spiritual progress. One
to this day. (That practice is probably nurture and admonition of the Lord. 9 letter in particular poignantly illustrates
on the ACLU’s radar as well.) Smith It is worth noting that U.S. Dis- Smith’s sincerity in reaching the cadets
would often inscribe the following trict Court Judge Norman K. Moon, with the gospel:
words in these Bibles: “I have prayed who ruled against VMI, used the word A most wonderful work of divine
for thee, that thy faith fail not.”6 Smith “indoctrination,” i.e., “brainwashing,” grace is in progress at this time among
was a devout Episcopalian believer and when referring to the simple mealtime our young men. Among those under
was also instrumental in founding the prayers. That term is in stark contrast to conviction is your son. He has been
church where Robert E. Lee served as the word “instruction” used by Smith, regularly attending our prayer meetings

26 Chalcedon Report November 2003

Faith for All of Life
of late, and I have an appointment with ization.” I’ve read dozens of editorials Rose, Whither…continued from page 15
him…on the momentous question, and news articles about the court chal-
“what shall I do to be saved?”12 lenge to prayer, many from conservative congregations in the pre-Revolutionary
Christian writers. But I’ve yet to see War period. We should encourage them
Current Cultural Trends to support homeschools and Christian
one writer mention this aspect of VMI’s
As readers of this journal know,
history and the stalwart Christians that schools.
history unerringly shows that Christian-
were instrumental in its founding. Is it 8. We must discipline our children ac-
ity produces a higher caliber institution
any wonder we continue to lose these cording to Biblical guidelines. Each new
and culture. Since its founding, VMI
battles? We Christians must know our generation is always only one step away
has been able to produce the “citizen
history. Only by arming ourselves with from spiritual chaos, which can be offset
soldier” committed to “duty, honor,
the truth of the gospel and the truth by careful spiritual instruction in God’s
country” because of the rich Christian
of our nation’s Christian heritage, can law (Ps.119:97-104).
heritage that God blessed it with. This
we hope to influence the culture in any
is the story behind the attack upon Remember that the Christian life
meaningful way. For it is history that
VMI. It is an attack upon Christian- has always been one of intense spiritual
teaches us to hope. CR
ity, though most involved are not even warfare against the forces of darkness.
aware of the shadowy forces at work Rick Williams is a businessman, publisher But don’t despair; God is in control!
here (Eph. 6:12). Of course, VMI is, (, freelance
We already have victory through Christ
and has always been, a state supported writer, and formerly served as a Magistrate
(Eph. 6:10-12; Ps.2)! CR
institution and most would argue that is for the Commonwealth of Virginia.
the problem. Since the courts now wor- © Tom Rose, 2003
1. Francis H. Smith, History of the Virginia
ship the inviolable (though unknown Military Institute (Lynchburg: J.P. Bell Com- Tom Rose is retired professor of economics
to our nation’s founders) legal creed of pany, 1912), p. 257. and author of nine books and hundreds of
“separation of church and state,” any 2. Jason Pierce, “Court Rules No Prayer at articles dealing with economic and political
fight to establish any “official” Christian Supper for Military Cadets,”, issues. Rose’s latest books are: Free Enterprise
influence in a state supported institution January 25, 2002. Economics in America and God, Gold, and
of any kind is sadly, but predictably, a 3. Chris Kahn, “VMI Alumni Upset About Civil Government. Phone: 724-748-3726;
lost cause. The courageous Chief Justice Prayer Ruling,” Richmond-Times Dispatch, Website:
Roy Moore of Alabama is just the latest January, 26, 2002.
example of how entrenched this ideol- 4. Henry A. Wise, Drawing Out the Man Lovelace, Collapse…continued from page 12
ogy has become. Even I was shocked at – The VMI Story (Charlottesville: University
7. Ibid.
how quickly “conservative” Christians, Press of Virginia, 1978), p. 11.
8. Sinclair Ferguson, “Preaching to the
commentators, and others who claim 5. Preston also fought with Jackson for the
Heart,” in Feed My Sheep (Morgan, PA: Soli
to believe in “original intent,” sancti- Confederacy.
Deo Gloria Ministries, 2002), pp. 196-7.
moniously spouted off about the “rule 6. Edwin L. Dooley, “Gilt Buttons and the
9. Colson and Pearcy, p. 36.
of law” and left Judge Moore twisting Collegiate Way.” Virginia Cavalcade, Sum-
in the wind as they ran off to the next mer issue, 1986, 34.
Republican fund-raiser. 7. Dooley, p. 33.
One of the reasons this sad state of 8. Smith, p. 83.
affairs has come about is because of the 9. Ibid.
general naiveté of professing Christians. 10. Smith, p. 256.
I dare say that 90% of those reading this 11. Ibid., p. 258.
piece were not aware of the extent of 12. VMI Archives: Letter (March 1, 1856)
VMI’s Christian heritage. The truth has from VMI’s Superintendent Francis H.
always been there, but its being distort- Smith to the mother of Cadet John J.
ed, covered up, hidden. I grew up and Smith, in which he discusses Cadet Smith’s
now live only a half-hour from the VMI religious awakening.
campus, so I’ve had a keen interest in
what has happened to the school since
the radical left targeted it for “modern-

November 2003 Chalcedon Report 27

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28 Chalcedon Report November 2003