A Great Shaking

By Mark R. Rushdoony
January 21, 2023

When I was younger, each new year was ushered in with optimistic hope for its potentialities. Much of such talk was part of the general humanistic confidence that we were on the brink of a better world.

There was the cult of science. The moon race was seen to represent our potential to accomplish the seemingly impossible through technology. Medicine was then seeing great leaps forward which increased life expectancy. People still had a great confidence in government and the political process. “Progress” was the word commonly used.

Technological and medical advances have continued, but there is very little optimism about the future expressed these days. Few have any real confidence in the political process; it is now transparently seen as merely the province of those who have a lust to exercise power over others.

The confidence in the humanistic hope that man is solving his problem has disappeared. The opposite seems to be self-evident truth – man’s self-imposed problems are causing systematic cultural problems. Humanists are no longer giddy about the brave new world they are creating. They are angry, shrill, and vindictive towards any who point out their mess.

It is wise to read Hebrews 12:18-29 on a recurring basis. It describes the inter-advental era we are in by comparing it to the shaking of the mountain when Moses received the Ten Commandments. The people were afraid because it was so obviously a manifestation of God’s power, against which no man could stand.

The point was that the same power is at work in history now, and God is shaking all things so “that those things which cannot be shaken may remain” (v. 8). God eliminates evil men, institutions, and even empires. He shakes them out, yet His Kingdom remains and grows. God shook out the Soviet Union, and Russia, its heir, is even now being shaken out. China is juggling many crises right now and faces nothing but problems in the coming years.

Exactly what comes out of all this in the short or long term we cannot say with precision, but we do know that “all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to his purpose” (Rom 8:26). Note that this is only hopeful to the people of God. It is only the humanist whose world is collapsing around him.

Topics: American History, Church History, Culture , Statism, Technology, World History

Mark R. Rushdoony

Mark R. Rushdoony graduated from Los Angeles Baptist College (now The Master’s College) with a B.A. in history in 1975 and was ordained to the ministry in 1995.

He taught junior and senior high classes in history, Bible, civics and economics at a Christian school in Virginia for three years before joining the staff of Chalcedon in 1978. He was the Director of Chalcedon Christian School for 14 years while teaching full time. He also helped tutor all of his children through high school.

In 1998, he became the President of Chalcedon and Ross House Books, and, more recently another publishing arm, Storehouse Press. Chalcedon and its subsidiaries publish many titles plus CDs, mp3s, and an extensive online archive at

He has written scores of articles for Chalcedon’s publications, both the Chalcedon Report and Faith for all of Life. He was a contributing author to The Great Christian Revolution (1991). He has spoken at numerous conferences and churches in the U.S. and abroad.

Mark Rushdoony lives in Vallecito, California, his home of 43 years with his wife of 45 years and his youngest son. He has three married children and nine grandchildren.

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