As a Christian Reconstructionist pastor, teacher, and author, I am deeply grateful for the life and ministry of R. J. Rushdoony. His impact on me has been enormous, both directly (through his writings, personal correspondence with me, and friendship) and indirectly (through the writings and ministries of others who have been influenced by him). Anyone entering my office will quickly notice a collage of photographs on my wall. In that collection of pictures, I have photos of me standing with three of my favorite Christian scholars: Dr. Cornelius Van Til, Dr. Greg L. Bahnsen, and Dr. R. J. Rushdoony.
Rushdoony is rightly deemed the "Father of Christian Reconstruction." His enormous body of writings have cogently and faithfully framed in a distinctly Biblical worldview, endorsing and promoting a theonomic ethic, presuppositional apologetic, Calvinistic soteriology, covenantal commitment, and postmillennial outlook. These cornerstones of the neo-Puritan Reconstructionist theology are well-established by Rushdoony's keen insights. His influence in our circles is so enormous that when someone mentions "The Institutes" we have to ask: "Whose? Calvin's or Rushdoony's?"
I was introduced to Rushdoony by my seminary professor, friend, and co-laborer, the late Dr. Greg L. Bahnsen. I must declare without hesitation, that the four most important contemporary theological influences on me and my ministry have been: Dr. Cornelius Van Til, Dr. Bahnsen, Dr. John Murray, and Dr. R. J. Rushdoony. They have enormously and indelibly impacted my life and ministry.
In addition to my growth in understanding the full implications of the Christian worldview through Rushdoony's tapes, articles, and books, I had the joy of speaking on the same platform with him on several occasions in the 1990s, a couple of times in Rush and Dorothy book-buying in U.K. in early 1990s. Sacramento and once in Atlanta. He was always challenging his hearers faithfully to interpret the world and life from the perspective of the sovereign God who reveals Himself in His inerrant and infallible word of truth, the holy Bible.
As one who was uniquely gifted as a Christian interpreter of human culture and thought, Rushdoony will be greatly missed. However, we can take heart in the Lord's blessing his servant with many faithful disciples, and that Rushdoony has left a goldmine of writings as his long-standing legacy to Reformed Christianity. In addition, we can take comfort in the well-established ministry of the Chalcedon Foundation which is destined to take Rushdoony's influence into the future, to the glory of the Triune God Who saves us from all our sins and establishes us in righteousness.
Rushdoony will be missed, but not forgotten.
- Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr., Th.D.
Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr., holds degrees from Tennessee Temple University (B.A.), Reformed Theological Seminary (M. Div.), and Whitefield Theological Seminary (Th. M.; Th. D). He also attended Grace Theological Seminary for two years. He is Research Professor in New Testament (Whitefield Theological Seminary), a theological writer, and conference speaker. He has written numerous books and articles on issues such as theology, ecclesiology, eschatology, theonomy, six-day creation, presuppositionalism, worldview, Christian education, and more. He also offers a Christian writing correspondence course. He is the Director of GoodBirth Ministries, a non-profit religious educational ministry committed to sponsoring, subsidizing, and advancing serious Christian scholarship and education. He is a retired Presbyterian minister holding his ordination vows in the Reformed Presbyterian Church, General Assembly.