Access your downloads at our archive site. Visit Archive

Defeating Humanism and Creating a Christian Renaissance

Even from the outset of Chalcedon’s humble beginnings, Rushdoony understood the nature and implications of humanism’s effect on every sphere of life.

Chalcedon Editorial
  • Chalcedon Editorial,
Share this
We are now in the last days of this humanistic culture. It has, unhappily, captured vast areas of the church. God’s law-word is despised, and churchmen “recognize only such laws as they perceive within themselves,” and they call this the leading of the Holy Spirit.[1] ~ R. J. Rushdoony

There are two things you can clearly see in the ministry of R. J. Rushdoony, and it really doesn’t matter what book of his you’re reading. You knew what he stood for, and you knew what he opposed. He stood for God’s law and Kingdom, and he opposed humanism in all its forms. Even from the outset of Chalcedon’s humble beginnings, Rushdoony understood the nature and implications of humanism’s effect on every sphere of life.

This is rare in a modern minister. To understand both what he’s trying to establish as well as the enemy he’s trying to defeat is what created the lasting power of the big idea of Christian Reconstruction. For most churches and ministries, they focus on what they’re against in history with little to no vision of what they want to establish. This is an eschatological problem as their only victory lies beyond the grave, so why establish anything in history?

Sponsoring a Counter-Measure to the Prevailing Trend

In his very first Chalcedon newsletter—October 1965—Rushdoony writes of his dual vision of defeating humanism and creating a Christian Renaissance:

What you are doing, in your support of me, is to sponsor a counter-measure to the prevailing trend, to promote by your support, interest, and study, a Christian Renaissance, to declare by these measures your belief that the answer to humanism and its statism is Christian faith and liberty.[2]

Consider for a moment the size of the vision Rushdoony offered to his tiny group of supporters at that time. Defeat the humanism which he said had largely captured scholarship, the arts, literature, lower and higher education, and more? How could that be defeated? And then to build a Christian Renaissance? What would that even look like?

The original Renaissance was “sponsored by wealthy patrons who were the kings, dictators, and rulers of that era.”[3] That is the very same responsibility Rushdoony saw as ours as we are faithful in our tithing to sponsor a Christian Renaissance:

Make no mistake about it: social financing is a necessity. It will either be done by an irresponsible and godless state, or it will be done by godly men, who, through Biblically grounded administration and godly wisdom, will further social order, true churches, Christian education, and a society flourishing in liberty under God.[4]

Faith and Action

For Rushdoony, the issue was faith and action. If we believe in the victorious Kingdom of God in history, then that will be seen in our actions. Christian Reconstruction focuses upon the advancing Kingdom of God, so action must begin again with us. We must continually renew our fervency to the cause of God’s advancing Kingdom by sponsoring the counter-measure to modern humanism in both the world and the church.

We are still in a period where there is a great need for Christian education in the form of scholarship and literature to promote Christian Reconstruction to a wider audience. Rushdoony created Chalcedon for that very purpose, and he saw such organizations as viable agencies for Christian Reconstruction:

We need to assess the need for Christian reconstruction and then conscientiously support those agencies which we believe best further it: a church, an organization dedicated to creationism, or the cause of Christian education, missions, Christian scholarship, and so on.[5]

We simply cannot defeat humanism and begin a Christian Renaissance without significant and regular financing by individual believers and Christian families. Oftentimes, it’s easier to rail against what’s going on in our world than it is to give of our resources. God’s tithe is far more powerful and effective to create change than it is to protest on social media:

The tithe is thus the financial basis of reconstruction. Good wishes, votes, letter-writing, attendance at meetings, all have their place, but they are not enough. Reconstruction requires a financial foundation, and this the tithe provides. The tithe can create the necessary Christian institutions.[6]

Let’s rekindle the flame of passion for Christian Reconstruction in our own hearts, in our families, and in our churches. It’s more than simply making another argument for the validity of God’s law. That is one part of the larger vision of defeating humanism and creating a Christian Renaissance. Let’s inspire others with this grand vision!

And please remember the Chalcedon Foundation this month as you consider your tithes and offerings. Our sole commitment is the cause of Christian Reconstruction, and your tax-deductible gifts will be sown in good, productive ground. We depend solely upon the financial support of our readers, and we desperately need your support at this time. Thank you!

[1] R. J. Rushdoony, An Informed Faith: The Position Papers of R. J. Rushdoony, Volume 1 (Vallecito, CA: Ross House Books, 2017), p. 12.

[2] R. J. Rushdoony, Roots of Reconstruction (Vallecito, CA: Ross House Books, 1991), p. 545.

[3] ibid.

[4] Edward A. Powell and R. J. Rushdoony, Tithing & Dominion (Vallecito, CA: Ross House Books, 1979), p. 5.

[5] ibid., p. 9.

[6] ibid., p. 4.


Chalcedon Editorial
  • Chalcedon Editorial
More by Chalcedon Editorial