2022: Year End Letter
“The intensely powerful religious force of humanism, with all its hatred of God and God’s world of law and order, can never be defeated by people whose ground of operation is vaguely Christian and largely humanistic.”
~ R. J. Rushdoony (Faith & Action, Vol. 1, p. 540)
Dear Friend of Chalcedon,
When I was younger, humanistic statism seemed so formidable, and although my father spoke and wrote continuously about the victory of God in history, he often came up against resistance by the church to his postmillennial optimism. Amillennialism held sway within Reformed churches and premillennial dispensationalism ruled in mainstream evangelicalism. They both believed that defeating humanism would require the Second Coming.
I believe that’s a big reason for the state of our world and the state of the church. When the Kingdom of God is not advancing on all fronts, humanism fills the void. And when you control nearly all the centers of power and institutions, you can appear ominous and unshakeable.
Fast forward to today, and we are witnessing what my father long ago saw coming: the death of humanism. In fact, in a 1970 issue of the Chalcedon Report he wrote, “Humanism is dying because its faith is false, and its promises bankrupt.” Only a man who takes the sovereignty of God and the veracity of the Scriptures seriously can make such claims, and his confidence never wavered.
The Work and the Enemy
From the very start of Chalcedon, my father clearly saw the work that needed to be done as well as the enemy to overcome. The work was Christian Reconstruction, and the enemy was humanism. Of course, he understood full well St. Paul’s identifying our battle ultimately being with the powers of darkness—and not flesh and blood (Eph. 6:12)—but the apostle also wrote that the prince of the power of the air “now worketh in the children of disobedience” (Eph. 2:2). As children of light, we must always contend with the children of disobedience (1 John 3:10).
This is why ideas are important, because ideas are what determine future action, and humanism itself is a religious idea that can only be countered with a religious idea. If Christianity itself is humanistic, then it will continually lose ground in the culture war, and this is where we are today.
Therefore, I rejoice in the decline of humanism, but I know the failure of humanism won’t lead to something better if Christians continue as they are. The collapse of humanism doesn’t automatically lead to Christian order, therefore we have to build up that base of faithfulness and understanding if we want something better. That’s why my father said this work requires a strong remnant of faithful Christians who are committed to this long-term vision of victory.
We Must Distribute Ideas
The essential issue is that Christians are still unclear about what obedience to God looks like. They’ve shunned Biblical law, and therefore God’s covenant, and they do not expect victory for the Kingdom of God to come outside of an apocalyptic end of times. Therefore, the failure of humanism that we are witnessing now is setting the stage for the disillusionment of large numbers of people, and hopefully, the moving of the Holy Spirit and a revival of Christian faith.
We will therefore have a period of transition for which we must be prepared. This is why I believe the term “Christian Reconstruction” is so apt, because it best describes a Christian’s responsibility in times like these. And no Christian ministry is better prepared to share that message than Chalcedon.
If you recall, Christian Reconstruction grew because of the publishing and distribution of books, newsletters, lectures, and sermons, and this is why I’ve devoted myself to ensuring all of my father’s writings are published in both print and digital formats.
As you know, “digital” can mean ebooks, mp3s, videos, and more, and that’s a lot to prepare when you have a library as vast as ours. And with a tiny staff as we have, I’m still amazed at what we’re able to accomplish each year.
Just this year, our very own Jill Rouse published numerous ebooks such as God’s Plan for Victory, Romans & Galatians, Thy Kingdom Come, and The Word of Flux along with six volumes of the Journal of Christian Reconstruction. All of our ebooks are available via Kindle, Nook, Google Books, and iBooks (Apple).
More and more we’re seeing a demand for our books and journals to be made available for mobile devices, and Jill has tirelessly worked on this project for a few years now along with her other duties handling customer service, web development, and more.
Jill has also worked closely with Jeremy Walker of RushdoonyRadio.org and Nathan Conkey who are creating dozens of audio versions of our books. You can read more about this project in our April 2022 issue of the Chalcedon Report.
We all wear many hats here at Chalcedon, and for many years now, Andrea Schwartz has labored faithfully in multiple areas helping women, children, and families discover the teachings and writings of R. J. Rushdoony. Recently, she shared a powerful testimony with our staff from someone outside the U. S.:
Although I am currently unknown to you, you have become an integral part of our home and family over the past few months! My husband and I came across your book, The Biblical Trustee Family, in our search for guidance regarding the purpose of God for our family and more specifically homeschooling…
We deeply desire to have a marriage, a family and a home built securely on and by the Word of God. Our sincere pursuit of this lead us straight to you and by extension Chalcedon and the work of Dr. Rushdoony. We have subsequently spent many evenings listening, reading and discussing many of the fundamentals we have been lacking and need to change. The only logical course of action and simultaneously saving grace seems to be CTTI.
Andrea runs the Chalcedon Teacher Training Institute (CTTI) where she disciples homeschooling mothers utilizing my father’s books through online courses. Some of her courses include Institutes of Biblical Law, Systematic Theology, In His Service, The Cure of Souls, Revolt Against Maturity, The Foundations of Social Order, and Law and Liberty.
Andrea also continues to host her weekly podcast, Out of the Question, where she interviews Christian activists, pastors, and thought leaders who are making a difference in our world. To date, she’s completed over 200 episodes!
She also finds time to host the discussion on our monthly Chalcedon Podcast featuring Martin Selbrede and myself. We recently recorded our 28th episode.
As I mentioned last year, due to your financial support, we were able to hire Martin Selbrede on a part-time basis to help us with our ongoing book publishing. Martin is the vice-president of Chalcedon as well as our resident scholar, but it’s been his work as an editor this year that has truly helped to move our book projects along.
This year has brought challenges to our publishing timeline because paper shortages have brought significant delays to each publishing project, adding several months to the amount of time it takes to go to press. Many books that were slated for publishing this year are being pushed into 2023 because of these delays.
Despite that, we’ve taken as much time as was needed to make sure our indexing and editing process was as thorough as possible, and again, this is where Martin’s assistance has been most effective.
It’s not simply bringing new titles to print but republishing older titles that needed better indexes or required additional editing. I’ve been amazed at Martin’s scholarly detail which has not only corrected grammatical errors but also amended countless footnotes and citations. As I mentioned, this takes time, but it’s been worth the investment to ensure we publish the best versions possible.
Recently, we republished God’s Plan for Victory: The Meaning of Postmillennialism which Martin helped to expand by selecting additional writings by my father on postmillennialism which are included in this latest version. This edition is currently available in both print and ebook versions.
There are a couple new books by my father which are soon to go to press—coming out in 2023—including his long-awaited Sermons on First and Second Corinthians and his Sermons in Zephaniah, Haggai & Zechariah. I’m excited to finally see these volumes come into print.
Other volumes in process right now are important reprints which require extensive editing, indexing, and then new layouts and cover designs such as Christianity and the State, The Foundations of Social Order, Messianic Character of American Education, By What Standard?, Politics of Guilt and Pity, and Institutes volumes two and three.
I should mention that great headway is being made on my forthcoming book Rousas John Rushdoony: A Brief History of the Life and Ministry of My Father which I’m working to have published some time in 2023.
Of course, I can’t forget the unrelenting writing of Lee Duigon whose fourteenth volume of the Bell Mountain series entitled Behold! will go to press before the end of the year.
Let’s Finish Strong!
As I wrote above, we are a small team wearing many hats, but it’s the power of ideas that will win in history, and it’s my desire to capitalize upon the decline of humanism and the corresponding disillusionment in order to help more Christians discover the great solution that’s found in Christian Reconstruction.
I know this is your desire as well, and I’m honored that you continue to support Chalcedon in this mission. I’m writing you today because I’d like to encourage you to prayerfully consider sending Chalcedon the most generous financial gift you can before the end of the year.
It’s year-end giving that really determines what’s possible for the following year, and we want to be as aggressive as we can be because the times demand it. Remember, all your donations to Chalcedon are tax-deductible, but I know you’re motivated by the greater purpose of advancing Christ’s Kingdom.
But please do what you can today. We rely upon your financial support to continue our mission of Christian education during such tumultuous times. Please donate online today at https://chalcedon.edu/donate. I look forward to hearing from you soon!
In His Service,
Mark R. Rushdoony
P. S. The circumstances are right for a great transition in modern Christianity. Humanism is failing and Christians will be looking for solutions beyond politics. Chalcedon is positioned to meet them, and you can help us do that. Please donate to Chalcedon today!