The Shovel Work of Christian Reconstruction


The Shovel Work of Christian Reconstruction

By Mark R. Rushdoony – bio

Category: Articles

“Our progress in the past usually came slowly, and our recovery will come slowly. It will come as men, each in their sphere of action, begin the task of reconstruction. Reconstruction begins with our lives and God’s grace; itextends to our vocations, our institutions, homes, and society. Life and progress are made up of a great number of little things; we cover a mile by small steps, and the surest move forward is that small step rather than a giant day dream.”~ R. J. Rushdoony (Rootsof Reconstruction, p. 752)

Dear Friend of Chalcedon,

Sometimes I think we’re neutralized by the grand vision of a future glorious Kingdom of God made manifest in history. It gives us hope, but like any sizable goal, it highlights just how far we are from its realization, and that can stifle our enthusiasm to work in the present. The end result is that we’re not as effective in applying our faith.

As my father noted in the citation above, our surest move forward is always a small step. This is unglamorous, but it’s true. Since 1965, Chalcedon has made progress through small steps making one convert at a time through one book or article at a time. Yet, our work represents only a tiny portion of what needs to be done. The rest of the work is up to our individual responsibility as Christians.

The Shovel Work of Christian Reconstruction

Remember, a shovel turns over more earth than a wrecked tractor. Our religious, civil, and educational institutions are largely like wrecked tractors today. It is time then for shovel work, a great and exciting time when new foundations shall be laid, a world recaptured, and a future established by those who will work for it. (Roots, p. 752)

I think you and I can agree that 2016 represented one of the most violent, divisive, immoral years we’ve seen in a long while with the loudest voices being heard from revolutionary, humanistic groups and virtual silence from Christian Conservatives. To us, this represents a great opportunity because obviously the Religious Right is lacking answers for the social, cultural, and political changes we’re seeing, but Christian Reconstruction has a great deal to say.

Chalcedon is well positioned to speak to these matters, because we’ve been doing the “shovel work” in these areas since 1965, and as you’ll read in just a moment, this year has been a productive one in our “field” of Kingdom labor. There’s so much more to do, and we need your help in doing it. I pray you’ll join us in the great shovel work of Christian Reconstruction!

Rushdoony Centennial

Let me start by saying that this year marked the 100th birthday of my father, R. J. Rushdoony, and in honor of it, I embarked on a series of articles in our magazine Faith for All of Life presenting a history of my father’s life and ministry. Although most of our readers know the basic story of my father and Chalcedon, these articles are different. I’m delving into events and seasons that were not pleasant to him or us as his family as well as highlighting some victories you’ve probably never heard. Drawing from the personal testimony of myself and my siblings—as well as harvesting from my father’s letters and journals—this article series will help to demonstrate even further the remarkable work of providence in my father’s life and in the history of this ministry.

The Investigative Journalism of Martin Selbrede

This was also a busy year for Chalcedon Vice-President Martin Selbrede who contributed several extensive articles—15 total and more coming—to the ongoing story of Dr. Punyamurtula Kishore, a Massachusetts physician specializing in addiction recovery who had his dozens of clinics shut down (52 across the state) by the Attorney General of Massachusetts and $4 million of his assets frozen.

The charge? Medicaid fraud, but as Martin’s investigation revealed, the persecution of Dr. Kishore was an elaborate campaign of legal trickery and smear tactics that would even land Kishore in jail. Truth be told, Dr. Kishore is one of the greatest pioneers in the treatment of substance addiction. He is also a Christian.

Dr. Kishore’s treatment program out-performed the state’s treatment programs at significantly lower costs, and therefore, Dr. Kishore represented a threat to the state-controlled addiction programs which are fueled by billions of dollars of replacement drug therapies supplied by big pharmaceutical companies.

Martin began his investigation of Dr. Kishore’s situation in December of 2013 making a few trips to New England for firsthand testimony and then returning to his home in Texas to write. I felt this story was too important, so I agreed to Martin’s extensive investigation. Our desire is to publish it as a book upon completion. You can help us with that.

Partnering with Great Commission Films to Tell Dr. Kishore’s Story

In North Carolina, a Christian filmmaker and friend of Chalcedon, Joaquin Fernandez (Great Commission Films) was eagerly following Martin’s story of Dr. Kishore, and expressed an early interest in filming it. Fernandez felt Dr. Kishore’s story deserved documentation on film, and after working out the logistical and financial details, filming began in Wake Forest, North Carolina, in June of this year.

Both Martin’s investigative journalism, and Chalcedon’s partnering with Great Commission Films to document Dr. Kishore’s story, represent new extensions to our ministry.Although Christian education is our calling, we feel projects such as these represent new ways to communicate truth by providing real-world examples of faith in action. Both the book on Dr. Kishore’s story, as well as the film, are slated for release some time in 2017. As you might assume, your financial support will go a long way in bringing these projects to light.

The Special Work of the Schwartz Family

By now you’ve probably noticed the name Andrea Schwartz in our publications. She is no newcomer. Since 1986, Ford and Andrea Schwartz have faithfully served Chalcedon as both volunteers and staff with Ford operating as a Board Member of Chalcedon and Andrea serving as our in-house education expert. In Andrea’s case, there just isn’t a title broad enough for all that she does for this ministry, and the Lord has done great things through her labors this year. Let me share just some of them!

Andrea has a passion for teaching, and this year she launched an additional class on Biblical law bringing her to four total group studies along with one-on-one studies and mentoring. She is also continuing with a missionary outreach to high school students in Puebla, Mexico, using R. J. Rushdoony’s multi-volume seriesA Word in Season: Daily Messages on the Faith for All of Life. She’s presently up to volume 5 with the students!

Equipping Strong Women for Kingdom Service

Related to these efforts, Andrea also recently launched a revised version of her Chalcedon Training Institute website (ctti.org) along with the help of our staff member—and my niece—Jill Rouse. The sole purpose of CTTI is “equipping women to serve the Kingdom of Christ.”

Equipping women is an important focus of Andrea’s work, and I was delighted to publish another one of her books recently, Empowered: Developing Strong Women for Kingdom Service. If you have some time, please visit our online store (ChalcedonStore.com) and order a copy. We feel that the answer to feminism is strong Kingdom women!

Chalcedon Virtual Master Class Webinar Series

In October, Andrea launched the first episode in a new series of interview-based webinars designed to inspire and instruct the next generation of Christians to pursue areas of interest and ability and connect them with potential mentors and guides as they seek to serve Christ and His Kingdom. For example, the special guest on the first episode was Lee Duigon, author of the now eight-volume Bell Mountain fantasy novel series. During this webinar he shared his thoughts on being a writer and fielded question from young people.

Men’s Roundtable Discussions

Another exciting development in relation to the Schwartzs is Ford’s heading up—along with the help of Chalcedon supporter, Chris Zimmerman—a new Men’s Roundtable Discussions for our ministry underwriters. This is a live, ongoing, weekly meeting where the treasures of my father’s lectures, and the application of God’s Word, are hammered out in a way that will better equip Christians for faith and action. If this is something you’re interested in learning more about, please email chalcedon@chalcedon.eduto request information.

The New Chalcedon Website

As you can see, the internet remains an important frontier in our efforts, and at the center of those efforts is our ministry web site. Our last major site revision was eight years ago, but a lot has changed since then, and with a unique research-based site like ours—with ever increasing content being added—it’s imperative that we update our extensive web site to better handle the massive amounts of written and recorded content as well making it searchable and easier to navigate.

To that end, I commissioned Chalcedon staff members, Andrea Schwartz and Jill Rouse, to begin the long process of working intimately with our web development company to redesign our web site and online store. Again, the main function of our site is for research, so it was important to me that most of our published materials—in print, audio, and video—were made as accessible as possible.

Achieving this required a lot from us in that we have to meticulously go through thousands of items to make them keyword searchable. To date, our team has made searchable 113 of our audio albums, 1,000 MP3s (there’s still 1,000 more to go) as well as nearly 1,500 magazine articles, and 1,000 research articles. The web development company expressed awe at the amount of content we’re featuring. A beta version of the new site will launch in December of this year.

Don’t Forget Books!

 When it comes to book publishing, most of 2016 was spent on preparing large, multi-volume book series for print, but in the meantime, we were able to publish the seventh volume of A Word in Season: Daily Messages on the Faith for All of Life; an updated version of The Philosophy of the Christian Curriculum; and a special new book, Faith & Wellness: Resisting the State Control of Healthcare by Restoring the Priestly Calling of Doctors. This powerful book is a collection of articles and essays by my father on medicine, healthcare, and the religious calling of doctors.

As I’m writing this letter, the three-volume set An Informed Faith: The Position Papers of R. J. Rushdoony is soon to go to press and much progress is being made on the other three-volume set in our Legacy Publications entitled Faith and Action, which contains all my father’s articles from the Chalcedon Report. We’ve also started production on a multi-volume series entitled Good Morning Friends, a huge collection of transcribed radio talks my father did in the early 1950s. Additional works to be mentioned are two special projects: a small volume Sermons in Zephaniah, Haggai, and Zechariah and the long-awaited Sermons in I-II Corinthians—both by my father.

Lastly, Jill Rouse continues the long, meticulous work on creating ebook versions of all of our books, and there are just too many to list here. Let it be known that this is a vital addition to our publishing efforts and it represents an effective means to getting these books into as many hands—or devices—as possible!

Who Makes the Difference? YOU!

Do I need to say that we need your help? The truth of the matter is that all of this is only made possible by the generous financial support of our faithful ministry partners, and the only way we can continue into the future is if you stand with us. We depend upon the generous year-end giving of our supporters to create our budget for the ensuing year. In other words, if we don’t receive the needed funds, we have to cut back on our work. This must not happen.

That’s why I’m writing you today. Chalcedon cannot function without your help, so please take a few moments today to consider sending the most generous tax-deductible gift you can to Chalcedon no later than January 31, 2017. Only you can make the difference, and I need your partnership to help us continue in our fruitful labors in 2017. Thank you for all your prayers. I look forward to hearing from you before the end of this year!

In His Service,

Mark R. Rushdoony

P. S. The “shovel work” of Christian Reconstruction must continue, because it is our small steps of faithful Kingdom work that will ultimately bring the changes we desire. Our faith demands it! Please send your most generous tax-deductible gift to Chalcedon before January 31, 2017. We desperately need your support!


Rev. Mark R. Rushdoony is president of Chalcedon and Ross House Books. He is also editor-in-chief of Faith for All of Life  and Chalcedon’s other publications.

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