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Working with Pygmies: R. J. Rushdoony, Christianity Today, and the Making of an American Theologian

By Michael McVicar
July 01, 2008

R. J. Rushdoony was always an outsider. In the earliest days of his ministry he served as missionary to an isolated Indian community in Owyhee, Nevada; in his later ministry he severed ties with the Orthodox Presbyterian Church in order to write and research freely; as a theologian he didn’t hesitate to draw sharp distinctions between himself and his critics, even if these distinctions cut him off from the institutions and recognition that a less principled man might covet. In short, Rushdoony often found himself on the cusp of the theological mainstream, ready to burst onto the national stage as a major Reformed thinker, only to draw back based on his own principles or to have others collude against him to deny a wider audience for his ideas.

Nowhere is this more clearly illustrated than in Rushdoony’s long-running and often heated confrontations with the neo-evangelical publication, Christianity Today. Through his engagement with “the flagship publication of mainstream evangelicalism,”1 Rushdoony walked a precarious line between national notoriety and grassroots obscurity.

After initially cultivating a relationship fraught with economic and theological potential, Christianity Today covertly worked to suppress Rushdoony’s ideas. When obfuscation failed, the publication turned to outright attack, only to have Rushdoony emerge as a more significant figure. By closely analyzing Rushdoony’s conflicts with Christianity Today and its editors, we can better understand how deftly he cultivated his ideas and succeeded in presenting them to a broad audience in spite of the dedication of his enemies and his own habit of forsaking popularity for theological purity.

Combining the Best in Liberalism with the Best in Fundamentalism

Perhaps no single national Christian publication was more prominent in the mid-twentieth-century struggle to create a coalition of theologically conservative, socially aware Protestants than Christianity Today. Billy Graham and a group of financial supporters founded the magazine in 1956 to “plant the evangelical flag in the middle of the road, taking a conservative theological position but a definite liberal approach to social problems. It would combine the best in liberalism and the best in fundamentalism without compromising theologically.”2 Since its founding, the magazine has consistently popularized a theologically conservative, socially relevant brand of fundamentalism that has since come to be known as neo-evangelicalism.

The publication’s editors sought out theological conservatives and invited articles on any number of issues. They were particularly interested in critics of theological modernism. Not surprisingly, in 1957 associate editor Dr. J. Marcellus Kik sent Rushdoony, then known primarily as a promising young critic of modernism and secular education, a letter announcing the launch of the new venture. Kik invited Rushdoony to write an article for an early issue of the magazine and closed with this solicitation: “I would like to have you suggest articles which you might like to contribute to our new magazine … It is my hope that you will accede to our requests.”3

Rushdoony accepted Kik’s invitation because, like many theologically conservative clergy of his day, Rushdoony perceived Christianity Today as a response to the creeping liberalism embodied in other national Christian publications such as The Christian Century. Thus, although the magazine was not “as Calvinist as I would like it,”4 Rushdoony supported the publication with short articles, book reviews, and freelance editorial work. In return, Christianity Today ran favorable reviews of Rushdoony’s early books, including Freud, Intellectual Schizophrenia, and By What Standard?

As a capable popularizer of the difficult ideas of Cornelius Van Til, Christianity Today’s editors specifically sought out Rushdoony to help edit and clarify the Westminster theologian’s submissions. In one note soliciting Rushdoony’s aid, Kik explained, “Both Carl Henry and myself have struggled with [Van Til’s manuscript] in order to clarify it. Since you have clarified the writing of Van Til previously, I thought the best thing we could do is to send it to you to work over. Please remember 95% of our readers have no knowledge what geschichte is. Anything you can do to clarify will be helpful.”5 Rushdoony fulfilled this request along with many others, but over time his impatience with the editors began to grow.

During the first decade of Rushdoony’s relationship with Christianity Today, he alternately assumed the antagonistic roles of good-cop/bad-cop with the magazine’s editors. In one memorable harbinger of animosities to come, Rushdoony criticized the editors’ decision to publish a favorable review of the writings of the Southern novelist William Faulkner. After citing a vivid inventory of the vulgar evils in Faulkner’s work, Rushdoony concluded, “I maintain that the defense of or liking for Faulkner is a sign of moral and spiritual degeneracy … and that Christianity Today has no moral right to protest filth on the newsstands and then give such prominence to Faulkner. I realize that the editors have probably not themselves read Faulkner or they would not have accepted the article.”6

If Rushdoony meant this final sentence as a rebuke of the intellectual vapidity of Christianity Today’s editors, they hardly noticed. Instead, Kik admitted that he and others at the magazine had never read Faulkner. “If the editors had read William Faulkner’s works,” Kik began, “and they are as you described them, you may be assured this article never would have appeared in our magazine.”7 This embrace of ignorance by the magazine’s editors ultimately led Rushdoony to question its intellectual value. Similarly, the editors grew to resent his outspoken criticism of the magazine, and, more notably, to worry about his growing influence on key theological questions.

J. Howard Pew

J. Howard Pew, the chairman of the Sun Oil Company, a prominent Presbyterian layman, and major financial backer of Christianity Today, had long been an outspoken critic of theological modernism and the Social Gospel. As a noted and wealthy layman, Pew believed it was his duty to, as the historian E. V. Toy notes, “counteract the misconceptions that many ministers had about businessmen.”8 During his tenure as the chairman of the National Lay Committee of the National Council of the Churches of Christ, Pew attempted to combat what he saw as a pronounced socialistic drift in American clergy.

According to one biographer, Pew fortified his Lay Committee as a bulwark against clerical liberalism, both political and theological.9 From 1950 until 1955, Pew used his chairmanship to defend “the principle that the Christian churches should not become involved in economic and political controversy” and to resist any intermingling of the church and the state.10 Indeed, as his defiant final report to the National Council insisted, “Our premise was that, instead of appealing to government, the church should devote its energies to the work of promoting the attributes of Christianity—truth, honesty, fairness, generosity, justice and charity—in the hearts and minds of men. We attempted to emphasize that Christ stressed not the expanded state but the dignity and responsibility of the individual.”11 Although the National Council managed to part ways with Pew’s pesky Lay Committee in 1955, Pew continued his quest to resist theological and social liberalism in the church. To this end, he often used his financial influence over Christianity Today to recruit writers and suggest stories to its editors.

For the first decade of the magazine’s history, Pew maintained a close personal relationship with associate editor Dr. J. Marcellus Kik, a conservative Presbyterian. Pew offered financial backing to Kik’s scholarly pursuits while Kik served as Pew’s loyal theological ally and friend.12 When Kik died in the fall of 1965, Pew went looking for another scholar and minister of similar stature and ability. He quickly settled on R. J. Rushdoony. “Knowing how interested you have been in the history and development of our Church down through the ages,” Pew wrote to Rushdoony shortly after Kik’s death, “I was wondering if you would like to continue Dr. Kik’s work.”13 Rushdoony eagerly responded, “I am honored that you are considering me to continue Dr. Kik’s work, and am greatly interested.”14

While Pew vetted Rushdoony as Kik’s potential successor, he moved to give Rushdoony a prominent national platform in the pages of Christianity Today. On Monday, February 12, 1966, Rushdoony flew from Los Angeles to Phoenix for a private audience with Pew. Though the exact substance of the conversation is unclear, the two discussed Rushdoony’s desire to start a Christian college and Rushdoony’s replacement of Kik. During the meeting, Pew also solicited a series of four articles on the topic of “The Mediator: Christ or the Church?” The articles would, in Pew’s words, address “the need of the church to keep out of economic, social and political affairs.”15 Pew hoped to run the articles in Christianity Today, believing they could counteract the liberal drift he perceived in the journal’s editorial direction.

Failed Mediations

Pew clearly intended the “Mediator” series to highlight the young theologian’s skepticism of clerical activism, and the essays did not disappoint. In an unpublished draft of the first essay in the series, Rushdoony didn’t pull his punches: “The modern attempt to reduce Jesus to the level of political reformer, and the church to the same level, is a denial of Christ’s true Kingship.”16 When Rushdoony submitted the first article for consideration, Pew declared, “I am entirely in agreement with it,”17 and pressured the editors of Christianity Today to publish it immediately. In a letter to Dr. L. Nelson Bell, Billy Graham’s father-in-law and executive editor of Christianity Today, Pew wrote, “Mr. Rushdoony is a scholar and I believe as well equipped to write on this subject as anybody I know … Time is running out and we should get these articles in Christianity Today very quickly.”18

Given both Pew’s and Rushdoony’s combative relationship with the Christianity Today staff, what happened next hardly came as a surprise. Dr. Carl F. H. Henry, Christianity Today’seditor, accepted the first article in the series, but rejected the second. Henry and his editors homed in on a key passage in which Rushdoony interpreted Satan’s Temptation of Jesus in the wilderness as a rejection of socialism. “In the Temptation,” Rushdoony argued, “Jesus has maintained the integrity of his vocation. The First Temptation was to turn the stones of the wilderness into bread. The world was full of hungry men, starving babies, economic problems and Satan demanded in effect that Jesus prove Himself a savior, a compassionate redeemer, by dealing with the politico-economic crises of man …”19

Rushdoony interpreted Jesus’ rejoinder—“Man shall not live by bread alone”—as a categorical rejection of socialism. “Salvation is not in the manipulation of man’s environment: it is the regeneration of man’s heart, and hence … the apostles were clearly forewarned against proclaiming a social (or socialist) gospel in place of the atoning, redemptive work of the crucified and risen Jesus Christ.”20

Henry asserted that Rushdoony’s interpretation of the Temptation was “highly fanciful.” Henry also shared with Rushdoony one of his anonymous readers’ comments. These added further insult to injury by declaring the essay “bizarre,” “laughable,” and accusing Rushdoony of “twisting” and “perverting” Scripture.21 Rushdoony curtly responded to Henry, demanding the return of both essays: “Kindly return my first essay to me. It is one of a series of four, and I have no desire to break up the series. Moreover, it is for me more a liability than an asset to be published in Christianity Today.”22 Henry acquiesced to Rushdoony’s demand, but insisted, with lightly veiled contempt, that he and his editors found the first letter adequate after making “some factual corrections.”23

Ultimately, Henry’s motivation for rejecting the essay may have had more to do with Rushdoony’s budding relationship with Pew than with concerns over Rushdoony’s theological impertinence. Over a year before this conflict, Henry wrote a brief response to one of Rushdoony’s many critical letters, noting, “I’m sorry that about the only time we hear from you in relation to Christianity Today is by way of criticism.” Henry concluded the letter by calling for a more positive relationship between the magazine and Rushdoony: “Now I would like to invite you to become an appreciative participant in the dialogue also.”24 Henry’s willingness to share the snide and personal attacks on Rushdoony’s second “Mediator” essay suggests that Henry’s previous invitation to an “appreciative” dialogue was less than honest. In fact, one is left to wonder if Henry shared the comments of his fellow editor in order to embarrass Rushdoony in front of Pew25 and to force Rushdoony into an antagonistic stance. It is likely that Henry and his editors knew about Pew’s proposal to Rushdoony. Given Pew’s initial strong support for Rushdoony as Kik’s successor, it is likely that Henry and the editors at Christianity Today resented the possibility of a vocal critic becoming a patron of one of the magazine’s major financial supporters.

Regardless of the exact reasons for the essay’s rejection, Rushdoony abruptly ended any hopes of developing a potentially lucrative patronage arrangement with Pew when he made his principled stand. In a letter to Pew, Rushdoony briefly summarized his reluctance to work further with Christianity Today, concluding, “I cannot work with pygmies; you are in a position where you can command them, and I am not … I am sorry that this terminates our association, because I do have a very great respect for you and your faith.”26 There is no evidence that Rushdoony wanted Pew to intervene on his behalf, or that Rushdoony tried to save the relationship by editing the essay. In the end, Rushdoony showed little concern that this exchange ended his chance of securing a nationally prominent position as Pew’s favored Presbyterian theologian.

Enforcing Obscurity

If fractious theological infighting and a nasty clash of personalities between Rushdoony and the magazine’s editors dominated the 1950s and early 1960s, then the late 1960s and 1970s developed into an era of relative peace. Christianity Today’s editors mainly operated as gatekeepers determined to prevent the publication and transmission of Rushdoony’s ideas. Their primary goal seems to have been further to marginalize a figure who was already an outsider. For his part, Rushdoony seemed content to ignore the publication, and instead developed his vision of Christian Reconstruction.

Private editors’ notes suggest that Henry and his associates occasionally considered publishing articles by Rushdoony, but in each case decided against it. Rushdoony himself never personally submitted an article for the editors’ review. Instead, his supporters occasionally sent in unsolicited manuscripts to the magazine only to receive the inevitable rejection. In one instance, Henry prefaced a submission by asking the editor to “[f]orget this is by Rushdoony. Does it have any merit?” The response hardly qualified as constructive criticism of the essay. “This,” the reviewer began, “has the form of scholarship but none of its content … Rush’s theology is not much better.”27 Henry’s initial warning to his reviewer to “forget” who wrote the essay suggests that the magazine’s staff was generally prejudiced against Rushdoony’s work. Later, in a similar 1973 exchange, editors discussed an article of Rushdoony’s submitted by Llewellyn Rockwell, ultimately concluding, “I don’t see that this article takes us anywhere.”28

In a rare exception to the obscurantist spirit of the era, Christianity Today let its guard down long enough in 1974 for Harold O. J. Brown to declare, “Without a doubt, the most impressive theological work of 1973 is Rousas J. Rushdoony’s Institutes of Biblical Law, a compendious treatment of a whole gamut of questions in governmental, social, and personal ethics from the perspective of the principle of law and the purpose of restoration of divine order in a fallen world.”29 This rare acknowledgment of Rushdoony’s mammoth theological work totaled only two sentences and mentioned nothing of his growing influence in conservative Reformed circles.

More commonly in the 1970s, the publication’s editors tried to erase Rushdoony’s influence by ignoring his and his students’ work. The most telling example of this effort to consciously ignore and covertly obliterate Rushdoony’s influence came in the October 24, 1975, issue’s cover story, “The Reformers.” Authored by Terrill I. Elniff, the article discussed Puritan philosophies of government and jurisprudence and detailed their relevance to modern society. The article leaned heavily on Rushdoony’s ideas, but Elniff was shocked when the article appeared in print: all references to Rushdoony, his ideas, and direct quotations from his works had mysteriously disappeared. The author wrote Rushdoony, apologizing for the sudden omissions:

I was embarrassed and not a little shocked when I received my copy of the printed version … and found that most of my direct quotations from your works plus specific footnotes attributing the sources of indirect quotations and sources of ideas had been deleted … If I had realized how the text would be edited, I’d have written more of the documentation into the text itself rather than putting it in the footnotes, but that’s hindsight now.30

Given that the article ran, by the author’s own admission, largely as written, the removal of specific references to Rushdoony pointed to the publication’s concerted effort to simply “unacknowledge” Rushdoony. Christianity Today’s editors felt it sufficient to expunge Rushdoony without engaging in any direct exchange with him or his followers. This stealth strategy of erasure, however, soon transformed into one of direct engagement.

American Heretic

Broad interest in Rushdoony’s work developed slowly over the course of the 1980s. In previous decades, Rushdoony remained content to publish in specialized journals read mostly by like-minded clergy and in libertarian and conservative publications read by movement insiders who longed for coherent, religiously astute analyses of American culture. Further, he narrowly focused his public ministry on small Christian colleges, activist meetings, and Christian schools. This patient, small-scale grassroots work eventually led to higher profile appearances on programs such as Pat Robertson’s 700 Club and D. James Kennedy’s television broadcasts. By the 1980s, Rushdoony’s ideas seemed to be everywhere, even though few in the neo-evangelicalism movement had heard of or actually read his writings. How had Rushdoony managed this slippery end-run around Christianity Today, the “flagship” publication of American evangelicalism? The editors needed a narrative, a carefully constructed tale to redefine its old foe, and once again relegate him to the margins of American Protestantism.

In “Democracy as Heresy” Rodney Clapp settled on the narrative that has since become the controlling discourse on Rushdoony and his concept of Christian Reconstruction.31 Clapp’s exposé portrays a dystopian, twisted nightmare society built on Rushdoony’s ideas. By focusing on the crimes and punishments enumerated in Rushdoony’s Institutes of Biblical Law and the tensions between Rushdoony and his son-in-law Gary North, Clapp’s article presents a theological movement in which violence trumps benevolence and theology is degraded to a generational grudge match. More conveniently, Rushdoony’s focus on theonomy over autonomy and God’s will over humanity’s allowed Clapp to make a rather simplistic but nonetheless compelling argument that Rushdoony’s ideas are anti-democratic. As the editor’s note at the beginning of the story asks, “Do Reconstructionists really want to trade the freedoms of American democracy for the strictures of Old Testament theocracy?” Clapp’s article answers the question with an enthusiastic “Yes!” therefore insinuating that at some fundamental level Rushdoony is not only anti-democratic, but also anti-American. In a single article Clapp distills the spirit of a decades-long theological fight into a fundamental accusation: Rushdoony is a heretic. But Clapp does not charge that Rushdoony is a religious heretic. Instead, in Clapp’s hands, Rushdoony emerges as a political heretic, one who is out of touch with contemporary evangelicalism and, worse still, contemporary American political sensibilities.

To call the article effective is an understatement. Clapp’s cover story laid the groundwork for nearly all of the popular press coverage of Rushdoony and Christian Reconstruction that followed. In effect, Clapp secularized a debate that had previously been irreducibly religious in nature. Secular concepts of force, violence, domination, and political legitimation replaced traditional Christian concepts to become the metrics for measuring Rushdoony’s theology.

In fact, it is reasonable to assert that “Democracy as Heresy” helped expose Christian Reconstruction to the secular media and ultimately helped bring Rushdoony’s ideas to a national audience. For secular reporters like Chip Berlet, Rob Boston, Frederick Clarkson, and Sara Diamond, the article is one of the urtexts of Christian Reconstruction journalism.32 It presents Rushdoony’s thought as a microcosm of a timeless struggle between democracy and religion, theocracy and freedom. In short, it reduces Rushdoony’s ideas to their secular political implications, while studiously neglecting their theological and epistemological foundation.

Conclusion

Given Christianity Today editors’ wont to diminish Rushdoony’s theology, it is all the more ironic that Christianity Today eventually ran the cover story that helped make Rushdoony a national religious figure. At the time of his death in 2001, Christianity Today acknowledged Rushdoony as the “founder of the Christian homeschooling movement and an intellectual catalyst of the Christian Right.”33 While one might be forgiven for thinking that either accomplishment would merit a respectful if critical assessment of Rushdoony’s influence on contemporary American Protestants, Christianity Today editors apparently did not. Yet regardless of Christianity Today’s assessment of Rushdoony, its attempts to suppress his ideas and to portray him as an anti-American theocrat ultimately helped secure Rushdoony’s status as a significant twentieth-century theologian and Christian activist.


1 William Martin, With God on Our Side: The Rise of the Religious Right in America (New York: Broadway Books, 1996), 42.

2 Quoted in Jon R. Stone, On the Boundaries of American Evangelicalism: The Postwar Evangelical Coalition (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1997), 105.

3 J. Marcellus Kik to Rousas J. Rushdoony, 7 February 1956, R. J. Rushdoony Library, Chalcedon Foundation, Vallecito, CA.

4 R. J. Rushdoony to J. Marcellus Kik, 25 February 1959, R. J. Rushdoony Library, Chalcedon Foundation, Vallecito, CA.

5 J. Marcellus Kik to R. J. Rushdoony, 30 January 1959, R. J. Rushdoony Library, Chalcedon Foundation, Vallecito, CA.

6 R. J. Rushdoony to J. Marcellus Kik, 25 February 1959, R. J. Rushdoony Library, Chalcedon Foundation, Vallecito, CA.

7 J. Marcellus Kik to R. J. Rushdoony, 12 March 1959, R. J. Rushdoony Library, Chalcedon Foundation, Vallecito, CA.

8 Eckard V. Toy, Jr., “The National Lay Committee and the National Council of Churches: A Case Study of Protestants in Conflict,” American Quarterly 21, No. 2, Part 1, Summer 1969, 196.

9 Mary Sennholz, Faith and Freedom: The Journal of a Great American, J. Howard Pew (Grove City, PA: Grove City College, 1975).

10 Ibid., 45–46.

11 Ibid., 47.

12 Shortly before his death, Kik demonstrated his dedication to Pew’s cause when he moved to Philadelphia in an effort to help Pew resist changes to the Westminster Confession. (Undated letter from Charles Hays Craig to R. J. Rushdoony, R. J. Rushdoony Library, Chalcedon Foundation, Vallecito, CA.)

13 J. Howard Pew to R. J. Rushdoony, 26 November 1965, J. H. Pew Papers, Hagley Museum and Library, Wilmington, DE. Evidence suggests that Howard E. Kershner of the Christian Freedom Foundation recommended Rushdoony to Pew. In a letter dated 26 January, Kershner wrote, “[Rushdoony] is the man whom I recommended to you as a possible substitute for Mr. Kik. He is very scholarly and sound.” (Howard E. Kershner to J. Howard Pew, 26 January 1966, J. H. Pew Papers, Hagley Museum and Library, Wilmington, DE.)

14 R. J. Rushdoony to J. Howard Pew, 2 December 1965, R. J. Rushdoony Library, Chalcedon Foundation, Vallecito, CA.

15 J. Howard Pew to Howard E. Kershner, 24 January 1966, J. H. Pew Papers, Hagley Museum and Library, Wilmington, DE.

16 R. J. Rushdoony, “The Mediator: Christ or the Church? The Witness of Jesus Christ,” J. H. Pew Papers, Hagley Museum and Library, Wilmington, DE.

17 J. Howard Pew to R. J. Rushdoony, 3 March 1966, R. J. Rushdoony Library, Chalcedon Foundation, Vallecito, CA.

18 J. Howard Pew to Dr. L. Nelson Bell, 3 March 1966, J. H. Pew Papers, Hagley Museum and Library, Wilmington, DE.

19 R. J. Rushdoony, “The Mediator: Christ or the Church? The Witness of the Apostles,” J. H. Pew Papers, Hagley Museum and Library, Wilmington, DE.

20 Ibid.

21 Carl F. H. Henry to R. J. Rushdoony, 5 April 1966, R. J. Rushdoony Library, Chalcedon Foundation, Vallecito, CA.

22 R. J. Rushdoony to Carl F. H. Henry, 19 April 1966, R. J. Rushdoony Library, Chalcedon Foundation, Vallecito, CA.

23 Carl F. H. Henry to R. J. Rushdoony, 26 April 1966, Archives of the Billy Graham Center, Wheaton College Archives and Special Collections, Wheaton, IL, collection 8, box 20, folder 42.

24 Carl F. H. Henry to R. J. Rushdoony, 11 January 1965, R. J. Rushdoony Library, Chalcedon Foundation, Vallecito, CA.

25 Henry carbon copied the letter and editor’s comments to Pew, R. J. Rushdoony Library, Chalcedon Foundation, Vallecito, CA.

26 R. J. Rushdoony to J. Howard Pew, 19 April 1966, R. J. Rushdoony Library, Chalcedon Foundation, Vallecito, CA.

27 Undated exchange between Carl Henry and a reviewer identified as “Jim,” Archives of the Billy Graham Center, Wheaton College Archives and Special Collections, Wheaton, IL, collection 8, box 20, folder 42. The article under consideration, “Christian Social Ethics: Love, Justice, and Coercion,” is dated 2 February 1965, but the letter’s place in the Billy Graham Center’s Archive suggests the editors reviewed the article after the 1966 debacle.

28 “Evaluation of Manuscript,” 8 March 1973, Archives of the Billy Graham Center, Wheaton College Archives and Special Collections, Wheaton, IL, collection 8, box 20, folder 42.

29 Harold O. J. Brown, “Theology, Apologetics, and Ethics,” Christianity Today, 1 March 1974, 70.

30 Terrill I. Elniff to R. J. Rushdoony, 23 October 1975, R. J. Rushdoony Library, Chalcedon Foundation, Vallecito, CA.

31 Rodney Clapp, “Democracy as Heresy,” Christianity Today, 20 February 1987, 17–23. Gary North authored a caustic response to Clapp that addresses many of the article’s criticisms. See North, “Appendix B: Honest Reporting as Heresy,” Westminster’s Confession: The Abandonment of Van Til’s Legacy (Tyler, TX: Institute for Christian Economics, 1991), 317–341. North charges that Christianity Today initially agreed to run an article on Reconstructionism by John Hannah of Dallas Theological Seminary, but eventually rejected it telling him “that they had hoped for an essay that went into the details about the Reconstructionists’ in-fighting” (328). Given Christianity Today’s past relationship with Rushdoony, this is entirely plausible.

32 Rob Boston, “Thy Kingdom Come: Christian Reconstructionists and God’s Law in America,” Church & State, 8 September1988, clearly used Clapp’s article as a source. The two articles share several quotations and bear a remarkable similarity in argumentation and organization. Boston’s essay has been widely cited by Berlet, Clarkson, and Diamond. Clarkson amplified and expanded the gist of Clapp’s article into a major theme of his oft-cited book, Eternal Hostility: The Struggle Between Theocracy and Democracy (Monroe, MA.: Common Courage Press, 1997).

33 “Briefs: North America,” Christianity Today, 2 April 2001, 25.


Topics: Biography, Christian Reconstruction, R. J. Rushdoony

Michael McVicar

Michael J. McVicar's  dissertation exploring the relationship between the ministry of R. J. Rushdoony and the American conservative movement was later published in book form entitled, Christian Reconstruction: R.J. Rushdoony and American Religious Conservativsm. He lectures at various universities in Ohio. McVicar is not a Reconstructionist. He can be reached with questions and comments mcvicar.2@gmail.com.

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