Back in the late 1980s, Bill Moyers of PBS tackled the topic of the influence of religion in modern America. In the course of preliminary research, his producers discovered that many influential Christian leaders and pastors (from varied backgrounds and denominations) all had books by RJ Rushdoony on their shelves. This common thread, along with an eventual one-on-one personal interview, led Moyers to the conclusion that, although hardly a household name, Rushdoony held a significant role in the shaping of Christian culture. Here is an excerpt from that interview.
- R. J. Rushdoony
Rev. R.J. Rushdoony (1916–2001), was a leading theologian, church/state expert, and author of numerous works on the application of Biblical law to society. He started the Chalcedon Foundation in 1965. His Institutes of Biblical Law (1973) began the contemporary theonomy movement which posits the validity of Biblical law as God’s standard of obedience for all. He therefore saw God’s law as the basis of the modern Christian response to the cultural decline, one he attributed to the church’s false view of God’s law being opposed to His grace. This broad Christian response he described as “Christian Reconstruction.” He is credited with igniting the modern Christian school and homeschooling movements in the mid to late 20th century. He also traveled extensively lecturing and serving as an expert witness in numerous court cases regarding religious liberty. Many ministry and educational efforts that continue today, took their philosophical and Biblical roots from his lectures and books.