Rushdoony in Brazil
Secularism, what we see nowadays in Western countries, is also spreading in Brazil, my home country, notwithstanding this nation a few years ago was considered a Catholic country. However, most Brazilian people in general named themselves, when asked, just as “nominal Catholics”. This meant and still means not only that these people do not attend the Sunday masses, but also that their faith is not relevant to their moral lives, and even less to the manner how they perceive the world and life as a whole.
In this Catholic background I was reached by the God’s sovereign grace in 1996, when I was 18, in a Pentecostal church, where I stayed for six years in my life. I only left the Pentecostal theology after a certain time of struggling with the doctrine of the sovereign grace. I came to the know the works of great men such as Charles H. Spurgeon and Arthur W. Pink, and since then I have tried to learn the English in order to read and know more about the pitifully forgotten Reformation undergirding doctrines.
My life and the life of my family was dramatically changed to the better in a new ecclesial community – the Presbyterian church. My three children have had the privilege that me and my wife did not have when child, I mean they have been raised in a covenant community, knowing and believing since their infancy that God is the sovereign over the kings of this Earth.
After a few years, I was in fact acquainted with various authors and theological themes: John Calvin, John Owen, Jonathan Edwards, Benjamin Warfield, Martyn Lloyd-Jones and other. At that time, I founded a website (www.monergismo.com and www.monergismo.net.br) in order to publish some translations of Reformed books and papers. By then I was trying to spread the true doctrine of predestination, thus I made available the translation of the classical book The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination, by Loraine Boettner. And searching further about this author, I have come across with his postmillennialism, specifically its defense in his book The Millenium. On that occasion I was intrigued: I had never heard before about postmillennialism, not even in the Reformed eschatology conferences I have attended. I have replaced my dispensationalism by amillennialism, yet I was not familiarized with other eschatological trends which were consistent with the Reformed theology. Thus, moved by the desire to fill this gap, I translated some chapters from The Millennium. Notwithstanding my thoughts of the beauty and intellectual attractiveness of this eschatological view, I have continued as a amillennianist for a while. That is, time had not yet come for the collapse of my pessimistic and escapist eschatology.
My first contact with the works of Rushdoony was around 2005 and 2006. Although I did not hold to a preteristic line of thought, it was precisely preteristic authors that led me to the Rushdoony books. Impressed by the writings of Kenneth Gentry, which treated about postmillennialism, I have read, eventually, a great deal of his book recommendations and bibliographical references. And through these readings I finally found Rushdoony’s postmillennialism, as well as his defense of the law-word of God. And so I started reading and translating avidly his writings. Soon I was convinced by the mentioned tradition, although, at the time, still guided by a preteristic approach.
Besides, the more I delved in the writings of Rushdoony and that of his “disciples” such as Greg Banhsen, the more I perceived that my Protestantism (either its Pentecostal or its Reformed version) is unfortunately very similar to the specific kind of Catholicism which is common in my country. In contrast to the popular Catholicism, I have learned in the Pentecostal and Reformed milieus the Christian faith is absolutely identified to one’s morality. However, in a similar way to the Catholicism of so many Brazilian individuals, a great segment of Brazilian Protestantism (including even those who boast of being Reformed) denies the relevance of our faith for the whole of the life.
Thousands and thousands of Brazilian Calvinists are not able to perceive any problem in the atheist State schools, in the big State that usurps the place of God, in the inflationary economics of Satan, and in a culture that despises God’s law. Although, of course, many Christians see the tragedy of education, politics and economics in our country, just a few believe that it is our duty, as Christians, to struggle for changing this apostate situation. As a result, there are churches and Christians irrelevant to the society, contented with their pietistic spirituality. There are no financing to promote and built covenant schools or institutions which are able to think God’s thoughts after him, thus claiming the royal rights of Christ.
The pietism in Brazilian evangelicalism can be perceived in the books published by our publishing houses, including the Reformed ones: dozens and dozens of books about praying, worship, fastening and marriage. Brazilian Calvinists, in their majority, advocate – even when they are not aware of this – the infamous “two kingdoms theology”. Well, Christ is the Lord not only over the church, but over the whole world.
This is then the origin of my translation project of Rushdoony works. Once I perceived my Christian brothers needed to know that we are destined to the victory, and that God ordains us to dominate responsibly over his creation until the time of his coming, and that his law-word must sway over the totality of our lives, I concluded that Rushdoony had to speak urgently in Portuguese language. Until then, the papers available in my website were essentially about soteriology, ecclesiology and pessimistic eschatology. This situation changed dramatically when I began to translate several excerpts from the books of Rushdoony, Kenneth Gentry, Greg Bahnsen, Gary DeMar, Gary North, among others. I have become a regular reader of the journal Faith for All of Life, and I have translated to Portuguese a lot of papers previously published in this journal.
After a while, I have come to the conclusion that I could reach more people by means of a publishing house. And not only that: as a bibliophile I believed the treasure I have found deserved to be published. Therefore, in 2008, I publish the first book by Monergismo, my publishing house: God’s Law in the Modern World, by Kenneth Gentry. The second book published came in the same year: I planted the dynamite of God’s Plan For Victory, by Rushdoony, in the bedrock of the pessimistic eschatology of Brazilian protestants. Here is a small recollection of our published books:
Rushdoony’s books translated into Portuguese with links:
Faith & Obedience: An Introduction to Biblical Law
Infallibility and Interpretation
The Atheism of the Early Church
Christianity and the State
God's Plan for Victory
Thine Is the Kingdom: A Study of the Postmillennial Hope (editor) God’s Law in the Modern World
Postmillennialism Made Easy
The Book of Revelation Made Easy
Whoever Controls the Schools Rules the World
Is Jesus Coming Soon?
Ethics & God’s Law: An Introduction to Theonomy
A Conquering Faith: Doctrinal Foundations for Christian Reformation
Other books include The Church is Israel Now (Charles D. Provan), A Postmillennial Primer (Andrew Sandlin), The Victory of Christ’s Kingdom (John Jefferson Davis), A Whole New World (Greg Uttinger), Sacrifice and Dominion (Gary North) and Why I believe in God (Cornelius Van Til).
I published recently the excellent book With Liberty & Justice For All: Christian Politics Made Simple, by Joe Morecraft, III. This book, with a small but powerful introduction by Rushdoony, is a very welcome antidote against the political pluralism advocated even by those Brazilian people who seem proud of their supposedly Reformed theology. May God open our eyes!
In 2016, I met Fabrício Tavares, a Reformed Christian who was finishing his translation of one of Rushdoony’s books. He asked me if I had an interest in publishing it. The question, of course, sounded to my ears like if someone asked: “do you want to earn 1 million dollars?”. However, Fabrício presented me with something greater than his promise: the translation of Intellectual Schizophrenia [Esquizofrenia Intelectual] and Christianity and the State [Cristianismo e Estado]. These two books have already been published, the latter having a presentation by Jean-Marc Berthoud (the English version was published at Faith for All of Life, November-December 2016).
Fabrício is not a theonomist; and yes, the Kingdom growth and expansion are gradual! However, he is a great admirer of Rushdoony's erudition and writings. How could it be different? Only intellectual dishonesty could justify anyone reading any Rushdoony book and not realizing that we are standing before an intellectual giant. Since then, me and Fabrício have made a pact: to translate and publish everything that Rushdoony has already written. Over the years, Rushdoony was assisted by competent people (Mark Rushdoony, P. Andrew Sandlin, Samuel L. Blumenfeld, etc.) who helped him carry out his work. I am grateful to God for the first collaborator with a correct vision, not a myopic view of the Kingdom of God.
Our goal is not a small one: to make the law-word of God known in Brazil. I already have the solution: make Rushdoony “speak fluently” in Portuguese. May God bless our efforts, for the glory of his name, and the exaltation of his Kingdom.
 I am grateful to Susan Burns for facilitate the authorization to publish this and other books.
Topics: Biblical Law, Christian Reconstruction, Church, The, Dominion, Education, Eschatology, R. J. Rushdoony, Reformed Thought, Theology