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Focusing on the Big Picture

By Mark R. Rushdoony
May 10, 2017

My father often quoted the observations of Henry Van Til (no relation to Cornelius Van Til) that culture is religion externalized. In his book To Be as Gods, he noted that, since Darwin, the trend has been toward the repudiation of all morality and fixity, a rejection of any standard as an imposition on man and his evolutionary potential.

Going back further, I can recall as a young boy his rejection of the term amoral. No one is without morals or a moral standard. All men have a standard by which they live. It may be arbitrary; it may be personal, but they do have a moral ethic, good or perverse.

What we see today is the elevation of evil as the new good and repudiation of Christian ethics as the new sinfulness. This distresses us, but not God. Men can no more run from God then they can prevent the passage of time. God will not be mocked, and He has said, “Woe to them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter” (Isaiah 5:20). That last part, by the way is not taste but about the advocacy of evil as a better, “sweeter” way. Satan’s promise, remember, was that life would be better if only Adam and Eve followed his leading.

Those who mock God will be judged, and those Christians who have given up the fight, who presume God has been mocked, will find themselves the least in the Kingdom of Heaven. The fight has been won for us; all we have to do is remain faithful to the victor.

Not many groups approach the Christian ministry like Chalcedon does. Most are focused on particular goals or issues, like foreign missions, pro-life, education, family, etc. We need such narrowly-focused ministers, for certain. Chalcedon’s ministry, however, is much broader. We try to keep Christians focused on the big picture, that our culture, indeed our civilization, has systematic problems because it is operating in terms of the legitimacy of man’s rebellion against God. Such rebellion never succeeds and always progresses to a systematic failure. The answer is to rebuild our culture on the Word of God, beginning with the individual and then extending to his family, church, vocation, and larger associations.

We call this “Christian Reconstruction.” We need to reconstruct because so much is broken, and it needs to be Christian, i.e. Scriptural, in nature or we will merely be erecting another defective edifice.

Christian Reconstruction is not something we can implement, because it is not a program, it’s an understanding of the believer’s role in this life. It is how we live and what we teach. The change it envisions will only come through the regenerating power of God’s Spirit.


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Topics: Biblical Law, Christian Reconstruction, Philosophy

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 www.chalcedon.edu

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 40 years with his wife of 42 years and his youngest son. He has three married children and nine grandchildren.

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