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Reconstruction for Life

By Chalcedon Editorial
October 05, 2019
Humanism is dying, if not dead. Living with a corpse is no pleasant matter. It does not require documentation to tell us that a corpse is far gone. The answer to our problem lies elsewhere, not in documentation on death, but in reconstruction for life.[1]

Rushdoony has noted elsewhere that when men were declaring the “death of God” the reality was that humanism itself was dying, but in the 1960s, it wasn’t as readily seen. Now, we can more clearly see the decline of humanism, but what is not as clear is what lies ahead.

Until now, much of contemporary Christianity has seen itself in social and political opposition to humanism and secularism, but that battle has not yielded the desired results. However, this polarized outlook gave Western Christianity an identity, but only in terms of knowing what they were against but not what they were for. In other words, Christians are against sins in the social order, but they are not for godly reconstruction.

After the sanctioning of gay marriage, the predicted “slippery slope” brought a landslide of even more heinous sexual deviancy and confusion. Added to this is the resurgence of revolutionary socialism and the rabid war against every tradition whether faith, family, or national. The moral of the story? The Kingdom cometh not by politics.

Make All Things New

As Rushdoony wrote, “The answer to our problem lies elsewhere, not in documentation on death, but in reconstruction for life.” In other words, the solution lies in Christian action specifically the establishing of a “new creation” of sorts:

Humanism is dead, but the triune God lives and rules, sovereign over all. There must be reconstruction, godly reconstruction. Let the dead bury the dead. The living have work to do. All things shall be made new; new schools, new social orders, new institutions, renewed family life, in every area the principle of godly reconstruction must be applied.[2]

How is this not an exciting thought? How is this not a vision to inspire every Christian in the West to devote their time, money, and energy into developing new schools, new social orders, new institutions, and a renewed family life?

We have the people, the energy, the resources, and even the money, yet all of this is not devoted to godly reconstruction, but our hope at Chalcedon is that the rapid decline in culture will help Christians to consider another look at godly dominion.

A New Vision

The dead will bury the dead, and we need not spend our time documenting the death of humanism any more than we should document conspiracies. A new vision should captivate us, and it’s one that is much easier to wrap our collective heads around than hoping for a worldwide revival or some political savior. The new vision is godly reconstruction, and we can begin that work now with our labor, prayers, and tithes.

We cannot wait for taxes to be lowered. We must begin now, not merely to tithe but to begin Christian Reconstruction with our tithe, to reestablish the necessary social functions as Christian action.[3]

Over the years, many Christian leaders and theologians dismissed Christian Reconstruction because they believed the complete renovation of the world was an impossible task even for regenerate men, but they missed the truth because they critiqued only the rhetoric.

First, no Christian stands and works in their own strength for we are all empowered by God’s Spirit in fulfilling His decrees. Second, postmillennialism is a long-term vision of victory, yet this does not divorce us from participation and responsibility. Like David, we must serve our own generation by the will of God (Acts 13:36).

Third, the blessing of dominion is ultimately the end result of faithfulness to God’s covenant and law, and we are enabled to fulfill this in the very New Covenant itself (see Ezek. 36:26-27).

Lastly, Rushdoony only focused on the more immediate task of reconstruction which was utilizing the tithe and Christian action to create alternative means of government and to build new institutions—to renew our total way of life, church, school, and family first, and then other organizations corresponding to our most urgent social needs.

All of this is a realistic vision and hardly represents a grand utopia ushered in by political takeover. This is something all Christians can do whether they’re five-years-old or ninety-five-years-old. We can all work. We can all tithe. We can all be obedient.

We’ll leave with you a fine example of Rushdoony’s remarkable faith and optimism when facing the decline of the humanistic social order. This citation deserves multiple readings:

In terms of godly reconstruction, the future is a most promising one. The progressive failure of laws and controls to solve man’s economic, cultural, and political crises only underscore the failure of humanism and its age of the state. The times are strongly clouded with threats and storms, and disasters are clearly ahead, worldwide in their scope as never before. These future events also mean the collapse of the statist hope and the world of values. They offer the promise, if we but use the opportunity and build in terms of our faith, of a more free society and a richer one. This is a time of unequalled opportunity, the greatest age of the frontier man has yet seen. The new frontier is the challenge of a new civilization, of the most sophisticated and intensive pioneering the world has yet seen. It is a time of times, an exciting time to be alive, a time to build and a time for advance. To be most alive is to be alive when and where it counts most, and this is the day. Get with it![4]

[1] R. J. Rushdoony, Faith & Action: The Collected Articles of R. J. Rushdoony from the Chalcedon Report, 1965-2004, Volume 1 (Vallecito, CA: Ross House Books, 2019), p. 193.

[2] ibid., pp. 193-194.

[3] R. J. Rushdoony, Faith & Action: The Collected Articles of R. J. Rushdoony from the Chalcedon Report, 1965-2004, Volume 3 (Vallecito, CA: Ross House Books, 2019), p. 1266.

[4] R. J. Rushdoony, Faith & Action, Volume 1, p. 317.


Topics: Biblical Law, Christian Reconstruction, Culture , Dominion, Education, Government, Justice

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