A Time for Honor: What I’ve Learned from R. J. Rushdoony and Other Giants of the Faith

By Rebecca A. Sheats
May 04, 2017
“Thou shalt rise up before the hoary head, and honour the face of the old man, and fear thy God: I am the LORD.” (Lev. 19:32)

In a day when rebellion is the fashion and contempt for previous generations seems to be a prerequisite for acceptance in society, Leviticus 19:32 appears strangely out of place. “Honor?” we ask; “What an archaic thought!”

Being a young person in America, it’s easy to see that my generation and those following it are marked by a lack of reverence. Honor for the aged does not come easily for us; our sins of pride and entitlement are far too deeply engrained to permit such reverence. Even in religious realms our contempt for our forefathers is readily apparent. As Rushdoony noted, “All too commonly on the current scene, contempt for godly authority is seen as a mark of intellectual and religious freedom.”1 We pride ourselves in our freedom—a freedom from what we too often consider the intellectual and religious “bondage” of previous generations. Little do we realize how blind we are.

Considering our immeasurable indebtedness to our forefathers, we ought to be one of the humblest generations of all time. We certainly have little to pride ourselves in, and how vast is the debt we owe to our fathers in the faith!

I was a toddler when R. J. Rushdoony spoke at my local church in the early 1980s. I don’t remember him, but he made such an impression on my father that he purchased the first volume of the Institutes of Biblical Law (the only volume of the set available at the time). As a child, I always had a fondness for that volume because it had been a part of the household almost as long as I had, though it would be many years before I began to understand the importance of the matter contained within its pages.

My parents took education seriously, and as a young teenager I read Calvin’s Institutes for the first time. John Owen and other Puritans were old friends, and Merle D’Aubigne’s History of the Reformation was yet another collection on the shelf demanding to be picked up and read. As I grew, books filled the spare hours of the years. Through them the Spirit worked, slowly disciplining my thoughts and imperceptibly deepening my understanding of the truths of Scripture and the God who gave us that truth. Looking back, I cannot point to one book or even one author and say, “This man was most instrumental in shaping my understanding of God in this particular regard.” I know it’s not always easy to remember who first introduced me to an idea, or to identify when that idea changed to a conviction and became a part of my being. But I can recognize that God in His providence has greatly used men of old to mature me in His truth and to spur me on to greater godliness.

Whether it was Owen, Rushdoony, Calvin, Viret, or a score of others, the Lord has shaped me through the proclamation of His truth as recorded in the writings of those saints who have gone before me. Were they perfect men? No. They were broken vessels, just as we are. But they were men God used, men who left a legacy. And because of that legacy the next generation stands upon their shoulders as they continue to seek the Kingdom of God and His righteousness above all (Matt. 6:33).

To these men who have gone before me I owe more than I will ever realize, and far more than I could express in this article. But I’d like to set down just a few truths that I have gleaned from the writings of Rushdoony and others—three jewels from Christ’s vast treasure house that I might not know or recognize if it were not for the faithfulness of these men in Christ’s cause.

God’s Law: A Revelation of His Goodness and Love for Mankind

The first truth I’d like to note is the beauty and blessedness of God’s character revealed in His law, and the joy and blessing man obtains in the keeping of that law.

In 2015 Dr. Michael McVicar published Christian Reconstruction: R. J. Rushdoony and American Religious Conservatism, the “first major scholarly work”2 on Rushdoony. Within the first chapter of this volume McVicar discusses Rushdoony’s early ministry spent on the Duck Valley Indian Reservation in Owyhee, Nevada. When recording Rushdoony’s initial reaction to life in Owyhee, McVicar makes a very interesting point:

When Rushdoony arrived in Owyhee, he found a mission in “deplorable” condition … “Lawlessness prevails,” Rushdoony wrote a friend, reporting “extensive drinking, gambling (legalized), fornication, rape, adultery, and extremely widespread illegitimacy.” The “lawlessness” cited here is significant because many of the “crimes”—drinking, gambling, and illicit sex—were in fact legal on the reservation; Rushdoony was appealing to the higher demands of his religious office and saw it as his duty to enforce God’s laws, not man’s.3

As McVicar notes, Rushdoony looked to a higher standard of morality than that offered by the civil law enforcement on the reservation. In doing this it might appear that Rushdoony sought to restrict the “freedom” and “happiness” the community at Owyhee enjoyed under man’s law by calling them to the more stringent standard of God’s law. But is this truly the case? Was the liberty and pleasure of the inhabitants of the Duck Valley Reservation endangered by this view of Rushdoony’s? The answer must be found by raising the question: is true freedom found in man’s law or God’s? And is man’s happiness greater when he conforms his life to God’s law or to man’s?

In his Commentary on the Laws of the Ancient Hebrews (1853), E. C. Wines wrote: “Law is man’s truest friend, and, next to the divine providence, from which indeed it cannot be rightfully separated, his greatest benefactor.”4 But which law is man’s truest friend: man’s or God’s?

Good Gods and Good Laws

Interestingly enough, Augustine addressed this very question in the fifth century. In his magnum opus, The City of God, Augustine sought to convince his readers that the Roman gods were not gods. One of the arguments he employed to prove his case was the issue of divine law. Assuming that one of the marks of a true God is the fact that He would give His people a law order that would be for their good, Augustine used this fact to prove that the gods of Rome were not divine because these gods did not give good laws to their people:

First of all, we would ask why their gods took no steps to improve the morals of their worshipers … [W]hy did those gods … issue no laws which might have guided their devotees to a virtuous life? Surely it was but just, that such care as men showed to the worship of the gods, the gods on their part should have to the conduct of men … [It was] incumbent on these gods, who were men’s guardians, to publish in plain terms the laws of a good life, and not to conceal them from their worshipers.5

Augustine noted that it was the duty of a true God “not to conceal” the secret of “a good life” from man, but rather to reveal it to His worshipers. If the Roman gods had been true gods and had truly sought the good of their worshipers, they would certainly have instructed the people by giving them good and righteous laws by which they could dwell in peace among themselves and enjoy freedom and happiness. Therefore, Augustine concluded, because these gods did not give their people good laws, they most certainly were not gods.

Man’s True Happiness

Augustine’s understanding of the beneficial nature of divine law was reiterated by the sixteenth century Swiss Reformer Pierre Viret, who also recognized man’s desire for freedom and happiness as well as his inability to find it outside of God’s created order. In a work he penned discussing the principal points of the Christian faith, Viret instructed his readers by a conversation held between two fictitious characters, Matthew and Peter:

Matthew: What is it that men naturally desire most in this world?
Peter: To be perfectly happy.
Matthew: And what is it to be perfectly happy?
Peter: It is to be delivered and free from all evil, to live in perpetual peace and joy, and to enjoy every good thing.6
But how is this happiness to be found? Viret answered that man finds true happiness only by fulfilling the purpose for which he was created: by glorifying God. In doing this, man will find both eternal freedom and true pleasure. But how is God to be glorified in man? Viret’s character Matthew asked the same question:
Matthew: What is the true means by which God can be glorified in and through man?
Peter: By the true knowledge of [God], which leads man to honor Him as his God and Creator with the true honor due Him, which He requires of man …
Matthew: What honor does God require of man?
Peter: That he worship God by submitting entirely to Him through true obedience to His holy will.7

Thus, according to Viret, man’s whole-hearted obedience to God is the best thing that could ever happen to man. True happiness, true freedom, and perfect liberty come only through full submission to God his Creator. Why? Because God’s structure of the universe and the perfect laws He has given are all for man’s eternal good. As Creator, God should certainly know what is best for His creatures. On this Rushdoony noted: “If man is his own maker, then man can be his own principle of definition. If, however, man is a creation of God, then man can only be defined by God and in terms of His purpose.”8

In his commentary on the Ten Commandments, Viret again addressed this issue in a conversation regarding the purpose of the preface to the law: “I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage” (Exod. 20:2). On this verse Viret’s characters Timothy and Daniel note:

Timothy: Before God begins to give His commandments, He first employs a preface …  Therefore I would like to better understand its meaning and the causes and reasons why God gave it thus, and how it applies to us … Why did He also say, “thy God?” …
Daniel: He adds this title to address Himself more personally to us. By this He provides us with His most intimate instruction, which induces us to willingly receive Him as our Father, for by this we procure nothing but our good and salvation (John 1:16; Eze. 18:4; 1 Tim. 2:1–5). Therefore He not only says “God,” but “thy God,” which is a manner of speaking which, according to the style of the Holy Scriptures, carries with it His favor and grace. For, firstly, the name of God Moses here employs [Elohim] means in Hebrew power and powers, to declare to us that He has the power to aid us and that He is not only God for Himself—that is, who wishes to retain all good within Himself without communicating and distributing it—but that His own role is to communicate these blessings to men, and to show Himself gracious and favorable toward them.
… Nor is He severe and harsh, as a judge toward wrongdoers, but gentle, benign, favorable, and merciful, as a good father toward his children (Gen. 15:15; Ps. 103:8–13). Thus, when He said, “thy God,” it calls to mind all He has already spoken, that He had chosen this people as His own inheritance and as a special treasure above all people (Exod. 19:5; Deut. 4:1–5; 10:15, 21–22) …
Timothy: And why did He then add: “I have brought thee out of the land of Egypt”?
Daniel: He added this in order that they might better understand what I have just now explained, and in order to keep this great blessing in mind which was recently received from Him, by which He openly declared Himself to be their God, taking them for His own peculiar people in a manner distinct from the Egyptians and all other peoples (Lev. 26:1; Deut. 7:6–9). Therefore, because of this singular favor, Israel had good occasion to believe that such a good God and Father would only wish to set forth teaching that would be greatly profitable to them (Matt. 19:17).
Because of God’s benevolence and friendship shown toward them, and because of His double right of lordship over them—first, that of creation, and second, the new act of deliverance which was like a new conquest, in which He delivered them anew from the subjection of a cruel tyrant to make them His well-beloved, the firstborn of all peoples—He revealed Himself as a loving God whom His people could readily receive and embrace.9

God’s Law: Ordained to Life

As Viret noted, God, out of tender love for His creation, has given us a law by which we might know Him and glorify Him—all while enjoying Him in true freedom, liberty, and pleasure. The law of God is the best law imaginable for mankind. This theme is truly at the heart of Rushdoony’s writings. In his commentary on Romans, Rushdoony noted:

The commandment to the redeemed man is ordained to life, because it is the way of justice. . . . The law was not given to Adam … as Adam’s way of salvation but as the means of protecting and furthering Adam’s life in God. Now, as redeemed men, we do not take the law as our plan of salvation but as the God-given way to protect and develop our lives and to be blessed of God.10

Just as the Jews of Nehemiah’s day recognized, God has given mankind “right judgments, and true laws, good statutes and commandments” (Neh. 9:13).

But, if submission and obedience to God brings man the greatest good, what would bring man the greatest harm and evil? Would it not be a rebellion against God and a refusal to submit to and obey His holy will? When man abandons his greatest good, he immediately finds himself upon the path leading to the greatest evil imaginable. Wisdom in the book of Proverbs notes: “He that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love death” (Prov. 8:36). A refusal to submit to God is a love of death. Rushdoony writes:

By rejecting the Lord, unregenerate man is not only sentenced to die, but he is marked by a love of death, a suicidal urge which leads him to frustrate and destroy all his own plans and hopes … Sin forfeits life, because it denies and works against God’s justice or righteousness.11

Rebellion against God’s law brings death, but the keeping of the law is so beneficial to man that it brings him “unspeakable relief,” as Abraham Kuyper explained by the analogy of breathing (or respiration):

When our respiration is disturbed, we try irresistibly and immediately to remove the disturbance, and to make it normal again, i.e., to restore it, by bringing it again into accordance with the ordinances which God has given for man’s respiration. To succeed in this gives us a feeling of unspeakable relief. Just so, in every disturbance of the normal life the believer has to strive as speedily as possible to restore his spiritual respiration, according to the moral commands of his God, because only after this restoration can the inward life again thrive freely in his soul, and renewed energetic action become possible.12

With God’s love so clearly displayed in the giving of His law to mankind, man’s only sensible response is a joyful keeping of that law out of love to the Divine Lawgiver. Man, however, is anything but sensible, and instead of embracing the law he rebels against it in suicidal destruction. But—thanks be to God!—the Lord did not leave us in our self-induced blindness, but by redemption and the indwelling of the Spirit has opened our eyes and showed us the beauty, blessedness, and the true nature of the law. Scottish theologian Patrick Fairbairn concluded:

“God sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us who walk not after the flesh, but after the spirit” [Rom. 8:3–4]. He who is replenished with this spirit of life and love, no longer has the law standing over him, but, as with Christ in His work on earth, it lives in him, and he lives in it; the work of the law is written on his heart, and its spirit is transfused into his life.13

True Liberty—A Fruit of the Truth

A second truth I have learned from Rushdoony is that liberty—true liberty—cannot be found outside of Christ and full submission to Him. In other words, liberty cannot be found by seeking it. Liberty is not an end in itself; it is rather a fruit of man’s obedient submission to his God-ordained role upon earth. Dr. McVicar notes of Rushdoony: “since the ultimate truth is the reality of the Christian Trinity, then liberty must be a fruit of this truth and cannot be presupposed without Christ. It is in this distinction between liberty as truth and liberty as a fruit of the truth of Christ that Rushdoony located the uniqueness of his own social and political mission.”14

Outside of Christ and His law, liberty can never be safely assumed. Without a conscious recognition of the Divine Lawgiver, man’s liberties are tenuous at best and nonexistent at worst. Rushdoony noted:

The question of freedom is first of all a question of sovereignty and of responsibility. Who is sovereign, and to whom is man responsible? This source of sovereignty is also the source of freedom. If sovereignty resides in God and is only held ministerially by men, then the basic responsibility of ruler and ruled is to God, who is also the source of freedom. But if sovereignty resides in the state, whether a monarchy or democracy, man has no appeal beyond the law of the state, and no source of ethics apart from it. He is totally responsible to that order and has only those rights which the state chooses to confer upon him.15

God’s Liberty or Man’s Tyranny

When liberty is divorced from submission to God, tyranny is the outcome. Lenin recognized this in the early twentieth century, and therefore worked systematically to divorce God from politics in Russia. Historian Paul Johnson writes:

[Lenin removed] the notion of an external, restraining force in the idea of a Deity, or Natural Law, or some absolute system of morality … Church, aristocracy, bourgeoisie had all been swept away. Everything that was left was owned or controlled by the state. All rights whatsoever were vested in the state …

Lenin was encapsulating his lifelong contempt for any system of moral law. Just as, a few years later, Adolf Hitler was to justify his actions in accordance with what he termed “the higher law of the party,” so Lenin laid down the “revolutionary conscience” as the only moral guide to the use of the vast machine for slaughter and cruelty he had brought into existence.16

No freedom is secure if the existence of the transcendent God is denied. If man does not see himself as accountable to a divine authority, he will either rebel against all authority and seek to make himself god, or he will submit himself to a human authority in an attempt to recreate God in his own image. Both choices are devastatingly ruinous to mankind and will end in destruction. An example of the first choice is clearly portrayed in Adolf Hitler’s rise to power, while the second choice (submitting oneself to a human authority in place of God) was tragically pictured in the response of the Hitler Youth to the freedom promised them by their Fuehrer. Historian Francis Miller writes:

[To the Hitler Youth] home and religion were expected to count as nothing. Devotion to the party was the culmination of all ideals, the giver and taker of all love and emotion, the provider of life itself, and the institution to which life was a debt to be repaid in blood …

Cases on record reveal that children who thought themselves weak were still devoted to Hitler and ready to die for him in the Hitlerkammer (Hitlerchamber). Thus the will to live was actually degenerated into a desire to die for the Fuehrer’s glory.17

The kingdom, and the power, and the glory are always the goals that mankind seeks first. The only question is: whose kingdom, power, and glory is man seeking? If Christ’s lordship is not acknowledged and sought by man, there will be neither freedom nor liberty no matter how men may seek it. Rushdoony concludes:

[Christ defines] slavery as a religious fact: “Whosoever committeth sin is the servant (or, slave) of sin” (John 8:34). The reference to committing sin means to continue in sin; where sin becomes second nature to us, we are in slavery to it. Our freedom then is gone, and an outside power is needed to restore it …

Our Lord not only grounds truth on morality but on His Person as God incarnate, as the truth of all creation, of all being. There can be no freedom in God’s creation except on God’s terms, so that every effort to find freedom and truth apart from the triune God is a step towards death. The truth alone can make us free and alive, because Christ, the Truth, is life.18

Nothing New Here

A third truth clearly evident in the writings of Rushdoony and the faithful men of old is that there exists a continuity in the faith. Because God does not change, man can rest in the knowledge that God will always preserve His truth (Mal. 3:6).

Often when I speak of reading Rushdoony, I receive a response that sounds something like this: “You read Rushdoony? I don’t think he can be trusted. He has so many new ideas. He thinks that God’s law still binds us, and he’s trying to lead the church in a totally new direction.”

The accusation of novelty is nothing new for the church. When Calvin published his Institutes in 1536 he was forced to defend himself against this same charge, writing: “They do not cease to assail our doctrine and to reproach and defame it with names that render it hated or suspect. They call it ‘new’ and ‘of recent birth.’”19

Despite the charges of novelty leveled against Rushdoony, the idea that God’s law is still valid for our day and that Scripture applies to every aspect of our lives and reality is not an idea Rushdoony invented. Over 450 years ago, in 1564, Viret published his commentary on the Ten Commandments. In the introduction to that work he raised the question, “How shall man be governed?” With insightful discernment Viret described the depressing truth that, no matter what form of government is chosen—monarchy, oligarchy, democracy, etc.—man will find no safety or happiness in being ruled by men, for all men are fallible. The only solution to man’s dilemma is a law that transcends humanity’s fallen nature:

For this reason God wished to give the Law Himself to serve as a rule to all men upon earth, to rule their spirit, understanding, will, and emotions, both of those who govern others as well as those who must be governed by them. And He did this in order that all together might acknowledge God alone as their sovereign Ruler and Lord … who must all one day give an account before the throne of His majesty. Now He has indeed included in this Law every moral teaching necessary for men to live rightly. And it contains even more—incomparably more—than all the philosophers in all their books, both in their ethics as well as their politics and economics, and than all the legislators who have ever been, and who are still alive, and who shall yet live, in all their laws and ordinances.

Thus, whether we wish to be well instructed in order that we might know how to conduct and govern ourselves in our own persons and individual characters according to right, reason, and justice, or how to govern our households and families, or how to govern in the civil realm, this Law shall supply us with true Christian ethics, politics, and economics, if it be well understood.20

​ The Rule of Life

Two hundred years after Viret penned his commentary on the Ten Commandments, William Blackstone published his four-volume Commentaries on the Laws of England (1765). Like Viret, he addressed the issue of the origins of civil law and the authority of Scripture on mankind. And, like Rushdoony and the sixteenth century Reformers, Blackstone reminded his readers that law proceeds from God, and was given for the good of man:

As therefore the Creator is a being, not only of infinite power, and wisdom, but also of infinite goodness, He has been pleased so to contrive the constitution and frame of humanity, that we should want no other prompter to enquire after and pursue the rule of right, but only our own self-love, that universal principle of action. For He has so intimately connected, so inseparably interwoven the laws of eternal justice with the happiness of each individual, that the latter cannot be attained but by observing the former; and, if the former be punctually obeyed, it cannot but induce the latter.21

Natural law, Blackstone notes, is merely God’s law written upon our hearts.22 But, because man’s heart and mind is tainted by sin, man cannot trust himself to properly understand and interpret natural law:

If our reason were always … clear and perfect, unruffled by passions, unclouded by prejudice, unimpaired by disease or intemperance, the task would be pleasant and easy; we should need no other guide but this. But every man now finds the contrary in his own experience; that his reason is corrupt, and his understanding full of ignorance and error.23

What is the solution to this evil? Blackstone answers unequivocally:

This has given manifold occasion for the benign interposition of divine providence; which, in compassion to the frailty, the imperfection, and the blindness of human reason, hath been pleased … to discover [i.e., reveal] and enforce its laws by an immediate and direct revelation. The doctrines thus delivered we call the revealed or divine law, and they are to be found only in the Holy Scriptures.24

The idea that man should employ the Scriptures as the rule of life is indeed no new thing. To call it new simply displays an ignorance of church history and the Scriptures themselves. Calvin concludes:

First, by calling it “new” they do great wrong to God, whose Sacred Word does not deserve to be accused of novelty. Indeed, I do not at all doubt that it is new to them, since to them both Christ himself and his gospel are new. But he who knows that this preaching of Paul is ancient, that “Jesus Christ died for our sins and rose again for our justification” [Rom. 4:25], will find nothing new among us.25

​ A Time for Honor

Arnold Dallimore, in his work on George Whitefield, quotes J. Ernest Rattenbury to remind his readers that faithful men of the past must not be idolized: “It is of real importance not to undervalue the human side of great saints … The spirit which apotheosizes a man destroys the man, and it is just the man, of like passions with ourselves, as he struggled and conquered, lived and served, who is really a heritage and inspiration.”26 God indeed works through fallible men. We have no perfect saints to look to, and no man of God is without his sins and shortcomings. Nevertheless, this does not negate the fact that God works through fallible men. In His grace, He has redeemed and called us to be joint heirs with Christ. He has given us the solemn privilege and joy of seeking His glory and His Kingdom above all. And, in His ever-merciful kindness, He has given us an incalculable inheritance passed down from faithful saints of old—an inheritance that assists us in glorifying Him and extending His Kingdom. Again, Rushdoony notes:

An inheritance, material and spiritual, must not be depleted or ended with us without great transgression. Rather, it must be developed and advanced, because it is not we who are the goal of history but Christ and His Kingdom. In God’s plan, nothing ends with us. We are to be workers and transmitters. Failure to see our responsibilities to the future is presumption.27

And, I would add, failure to acknowledge and honor our fathers in the faith is suicide. Proverbs speaks of “a generation that curseth their father, and doth not bless their mother,” and issues the solemn warning: “The eye that mocketh at his father, and despiseth to obey his mother, the ravens of the valley shall pick it out, and the young eagles shall eat it” (Prov. 30:11, 17). Here indeed is a true portrayal of the present generation—a generation devoid of honor and reverence. We have mocked our fathers and despised our mothers, and we now walk in moral and spiritual blindness because the ravens have plucked out our eyes. If we continue on this path, our life will truly end—as Solomon warns us—in deep darkness (Prov. 20:20).

It’s time to repent of our pride and self-centeredness and recognize the immeasurable debt we owe to the generations of faithful men and women who have preceded us. It’s time to reverence the hoary head that is found in the ways of righteousness (Prov. 16:31). It’s time to sit at the feet of our elders—literally and figuratively—and glean the wisdom God has given them. It’s time to honor.

1. Rousas John Rushdoony, Systematic Theology, vol. 2 (Vallecito, CA: Ross House Books, 1994), p. 723.

2. Martin G. Selbrede, “First Major Book about R. J. Rushdoony,” Faith for All of Life (May/June 2015), p. 4ff.

3. Michael J. McVicar, Christian Reconstruction: R. J. Rushdoony and American Religious Conservatism (Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2015), p. 26.

4. E. C. Wines, Commentaries on the Laws of the Ancient Hebrews, with an Introductory Essay on Civil Society and Government (Powder Springs, GA: American Vision Press, [1853] 2009), p. 91.

5. St. Augustine, The City of God (trans. Marcus Dods, D.D.), II:4.

6. Pierre Viret, Simple Exposition of the Principal Points of the Christian Faith, trans. R. A. Sheats (Tallahassee, FL: Zurich Publishing, 2013), p. 5.

7. Viret, Simple Exposition, pp. 5–6.

8. Rousas John Rushdoony, Revolt Against Maturity (Vallecito, CA: Ross House Books, 1987), p. 144.

9. Pierre Viret, Instruction Chretiénne, Tome Deuxième (Lausanne, Switzerland: L’Age d’Homme, 2009), pp. 53–56. My translation.

10. Rousas John Rushdoony, Romans & Galatians (Vallecito, CA: Ross House Books, 1997), p. 113.

11. Rushdoony, Systematic Theology, vol. 1, p. 345.

12. Abraham Kuyper, Lectures on Calvinism (, 2010), p. 51.

13. Patrick Fairbairn, The Revelation of Law in Scripture (Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishers, 1996), p. 282. Emphasis added.

14. McVicar, Christian Reconstruction, p. 61.

15. Rousas John Rushdoony, This Independent Republic (Vallecito, CA: Ross House Books, 2001), p. 14.

16. Paul Johnson, Modern Times: The World from the Twenties to the Eighties (New York: Harper & Row Publishers, 1983), pp. 84–86.

17. Francis Trevelyan Miller, War in Korea and the Complete History of World War II (Armed Services Memorial Edition, 1959), p. 77.

18. Rousas John Rushdoony, The Gospel of John (Vallecito, California: Ross House Books, 2000), pp. 104–106.

19. John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, vol. 1, trans. Ford Lewis Battles (Philadelphia, PA: The Westminster Press, 1960), pp. 14–15.

20. Pierre Viret, The Christian and the Magistrate, trans. R. A. Sheats (Monticello, FL: Psalm 78 Ministries, 2015), p. 20.

21. William Blackstone, Commentaries on the Laws of England, Book 1 (1765), p. 40.

22. Blackstone, Commentaries, pp. 41–42.

23. Blackstone, Commentaries, p. 41.

24. Blackstone, Commentaries, pp. 41–42. Emphasis added.

25. Calvin, Institutes, Volume 1, pp. 15–16.

26. Arnold A. Dallimore, George Whitefield, Volume One (London: The Banner of Truth Trust, 1970), p. 178.

27. Rousas John Rushdoony, The Institutes of Biblical Law, vol. 2, p. 196.

Topics: Biblical Law, Christian Reconstruction, Church History, Church, The, Dominion, R. J. Rushdoony, Reformed Thought, Theology

Rebecca A. Sheats

Rebekah Sheats is the author of several historical works, including a biography of Pierre Viret, the Swiss Reformer, entitled Pierre Viret: The Angel of the Reformation. She is also engaged in translating Viret’s writings. Her latest work, Thou Shalt Not Kill: A Plea for Life, is a translation of Viret’s commentary on the sixth commandment.  Other translations include Letters of Comfort to the Persecuted Church, The Christian and the Magistrate: Roles, Responsibilities, and Jurisdictions, and Simple Exposition of the Christian Faith.

Rebekah is grateful for the godly home-education she received, and has designed several curricula to assist parents in the education of their children, including Biblical Greek and Biblical Hebrew for Children (Psalm 78 Ministries).

More by Rebecca A. Sheats