The Pretentions of Men

By Mark R. Rushdoony
April 03, 2021

When I first went to school, it was still common for teachers to conduct civil defense drills where we practiced crouching under our desks in order to, supposedly, protect us from nuclear fallout. By the time I was in high school, the threat was world communism. Then it was starvation from overpopulation and a predicted ice age.

If men do not have an imminent threat to fear, they will find one. Humanism is the assumption that man is primary, so man feels compelled to control all things. It does not eliminate the function of deity by rejecting God; it only transfers the providence of God to planning by man. Yet, when men “play God,” they are in over their heads. The attempts will prove more disastrous than any crisis they thought their planning would prevent.

Because we cannot see the future, it is hard for us to understand how “all things work together for good” (Rom. 8:28). We can believe it, be we often cannot see how good will come of the mess we see in our world.

I find it helpful to remember that few men have done much to advance the kingdom of God. The few we remember, like Augustine, Calvin, or Luther, merely pointed men back to faithfulness to God and His Word. They did not advance the Kingdom itself. That is the work of the Holy Spirit in history.

The pretentions of men, whether in Washington, Moscow, or Beijing, will be brought to naught. Anything of value in them will one day accrue to the Kingdom of Our Lord.

It is easy to look around and be discouraged. The number of nuclear warheads in 1960 was, in fact, frightening, but the future was not at the mercy of the “world leaders” of the day. It was, and still is, God’s. He has given us a general scenario of how it will play out. The purpose of that revelation is our encouragement in the work of the Kingdom of God.

Topics: American History, Christian Reconstruction, Church History, Church, The, Humanism, Theology, World History

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

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 43 years with his wife of 45 years and his youngest son. He has three married children and nine grandchildren.

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