A Think Tank for the Self-Governing Christian

By Mark R. Rushdoony
March 01, 2019

Branding is a buzzword used online, and it’s taken from the advertising industry to describe the position that a business or product holds in the mind of the marketplace. We’re all familiar with major brands, but the idea of “positioning” can affect persons, movements, politicians, and so on—even ministries.

In 1981, Chalcedon was listed in a major news magazine as the think tank for the then growing Religious Right. After that, the “position” this ministry held in the mind of the marketplace was that of a politically-driven organization bent on imposing Biblical law on an unwilling population. If you perform a simple Google search for Chalcedon, you’ll quickly see that that perception is still the predominant one.


One thing that I’ve learned is that you can’t write enough articles or books to eliminate a false perception, and my father himself never bothered with such efforts either because he was not one to let his opponents set his agenda. He simply focused on advancing the mission of Christian Reconstruction.

However, Chalcedon does serve a purpose similar to that commonly held by think tanks with the difference being that we do not write position papers for bureaucrats nor create policies for politicians. That’s because we do not serve the state but rather the self-governing Christian.

Our position papers are for God’s true government in the earth: His people. If we have any policies it’s that of the Kingdom of God and how it should be applied in family, school, work, charity, and more. My father summarized it this way:

The purpose of Chalcedon is to apply God’s word to every area of life and thought and to summon the redeemed to God [and] to their responsibilities in Christ our King.2

Obviously, every area of life includes the civil government, but Christian Reconstruction is hardly desirous of ushering in a Christian utopia by a revolutionary seizing of political power. Quite the contrary. We have a longterm mission when it comes to bringing this world to Christ. Once again, my father states the matter succinctly:

Not revolution but regeneration, not coercion but conversion, is our way of changing the world and furthering the Kingdom of God. This is the heart of Christian reconstruction. The heart of Biblical law is that it makes us the basic government of society in and through our personal and family life, through our vocations, churches, and schools. In Biblical law, civil government is a very limited and minor sphere of rule and power.2


Therefore, what is Chalcedon’s position in the marketplace of ideas and institutions? It is to be a think tank for the self-governing Christian, which means our mission is Christian education in order to “summon the redeemed to God to their responsibilities in Christ our King.”

I recently sent a letter to you about this very purpose and asked you to partner with Chalcedon in the great mission of Christian education by becoming a Chalcedon Underwriter. That letter was not intended for mere fundraising. It was about so much more. If this mission of Christian education is what’s needed at this time, then our support of that mission becomes a duty more than a donation.


In other words, without your regular financial support Chalcedon’s efforts suffer because I am not able to create a predictable budget to accommodate our projects. This is why the role of an Underwriter is so vital to us. The Chalcedon Underwriter is one who commits to the monthly support of this ministry through their tax-deductible giving.

Would you prayerfully consider partnering with Chalcedon today as an Underwriter? We have three levels of support to choose from, and they all come with handsome benefits, although for you what’s most important is supporting a ministry that best represents your beliefs.

Signing up as a Chalcedon Underwriter is easy. You can do it right away at our website by visiting https://chalcedon. edu/give. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

1. R. J. Rushdoony, Roots of Reconstruction (Vallecito, CA: Ross House Books, 1991), xi.

2. Ibid., 281.

Topics: Christian Reconstruction, Dominion

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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