One meaning for the word empower is to “make (someone) stronger and more confident.” When it comes to Christian Reconstruction, the need for empowerment is significant because the mission is a long-term one requiring great faithfulness and fortitude. Fifty-five years ago, R. J. Rushdoony knew full well what was required and then spelled it out in plain, direct speech in his first issue of the Chalcedon Report:
This movement [humanism] has been a long time in developing: it cannot be defeated overnight. It cannot be defeated by short-sighted people who want victory today or tomorrow, and are unwilling to support long-term battle.1
Therefore, the purpose of Chalcedon was to create what Rushdoony called “a countermeasure to the prevailing trend, to promote … a Christian Renaissance,”2which he soon after referred to as Christian Reconstruction.
Such a long-term approach requires faithfulness—especially in the face of the great cultural decline which we are seeing today. Rushdoony predicted much of this so we feel doubly prepared to address it.
It’s during such periods that the truth has an even greater opportunity to shine because Christians aren’t finding solutions in church growth, revival, or politics. And since the rapture also did not come, they’re asking the question, “What now?”
The solution is always the Kingdom of God which means reconstructing every area of life in terms of God’s revelation in Scripture. Awakening the church to this fact requires teaching on such doctrines as creationism, covenant, law, soteriology, Christology, and eschatology from a dominionist perspective, but as you probably know, there aren’t many churches, ministries, or seminaries doing so.
Since 1965, Chalcedon has labored within the fields of the church in order to push forward the message of Christian Reconstruction, and we believe that our times are affording us greater opportunities for even greater outreach.
The temptation is to try and seize upon current events in order to appear more relevant, but the truth is that nothing is more relevant than the work of the Kingdom in family, church, and society. In addition, current events are only revealing the consequences of sin, and our calling is reconstruction more so than critique.
In other words, better than critiquing our tax or monetary systems is to invest our time and tithes in serious works of reconstruction that we can take action on now such as Christian education, the family, small business, charity, apprenticeship, and the like. Such emphases will work to strengthen and prepare a new Christian governing class.
Summoning the Redeemed
We feel we are very much in line with the course that was set by Rushdoony when he began Chalcedon:
The first report in 1965 announced my concern, the need for Christian reconstruction, and the term was there first used. It was much criticized at the time, and by some still is. The term, however, sets forth the purpose of Chalcedon, to apply God’s word to every area of life and thought and to summon the redeemed to God to their responsibilities in Christ our King. The irrelevance of too many churchmen to the dominion mandate has made the church irrelevant to our time.3
We are to “summon the redeemed to their responsibilities in Christ our King,” and that means Christian Reconstruction which will always be a hard sell to a people whose current theology is looking for handouts from God and not hard work for God.
This is where the crises of our times come in because without revival, rapture, or the Religious Right, Christians will be more open to alternative solutions. We have that solution in reconstruction, so that is the sole purpose of the ministry of Chalcedon:
The purpose of the Chalcedon Foundation is the reconstruction of all things in terms of the word of God.4
The point is that the message of reconstruction is the same, but we must make it more clear and distribute it to more Christians. We feel that is both the present and ongoing responsibility of Chalcedon, and in order to achieve those goals—with limited resources and personnel—it requires utilizing and maximizing the powerful technological tools that are available today.
Rushdoony Led the Way
What’s interesting is that because Rushdoony always operated outside the system, so to speak, he was always creative and cutting edge with his use of “do-it-yourself” media. For example, before there was blogging (taken from “weblog”), Rushdoony was writing his “Random Notes” section in each issue of the Chalcedon Report. If he were writing those today on a blog, it would probably be the most visited section of our website!
And long before there was podcasting, Chalcedon was producing a regular series of audio discussions called The Easy Chair in which Rushdoony and other Chalcedon staff members would have lengthy discussions on current events, Biblical topics, books, and more. Cassettes of The Easy Chair were regularly sent to supporters.
Rushdoony was blogging and podcasting before they were cool!
Now that we’re past the era of cassettes and CDs, we can now stream a regular Chalcedon podcast which will represent a return to the successful model of The Easy Chair.
New Ways to Reach New People
Podcasts are easily distributed with the powerful sharing features of social media. Many don’t recognize the significance of this, but if you recall, prior to social media, you had to hope someone found you in a search engine, but now, with social media, you can target a specific audience best suited for your content.
So, we’re excited about the possibilities of both empowering our own subscribers as well as giving you the content that you can then share with your own family and friends.
In addition, the podcast is hosted on popular podcast streaming services such as iTunes, Stitcher, and Spotify as well as a video version for both YouTube and Facebook.
Of course, all of this will also be hosted on our own website where you can find links to all the respective podcast players.
The podcast is hosted by Mark Rushdoony, Martin Selbrede, and Andrea Schwartz, and the door will be made open for guests in the future. Learn more at Chalcedon.edu.
1. R. J. Rushdoony, Faith & Action: The Collected Articles of R. J. Rushdoony from the Chalcedon Report, 1965-2004 (Vallecito, CA: Ross House Books, 2019), p. 1201.
2. ibid., p. 1202.
3. R. J. Rushdoony, Roots of Reconstruction (Vallecito, CA: Ross House Books, 1991), p. xi.
4. R. J. Rushdoony, Law and Society: Volume II of the Institutes of Biblical Law (Vallecito, CA: Ross House Books, 1986), p. xiii.
Taken from the April 2020 issue of our bi-monthly Chalcedon Report printed newsletter. Receive your subscription to this newsletter along with our bi-monthly Arise & Build all for just $20/year. Click now to subscribe.