R. J. Rushdoony was a prolific writer. He wrote so frequently that, during his lifetime, chapters and manuscripts piled up—just waiting for the funding to come along and enable them to be published in book form. When Dr. Rushdoony passed away in 2001, new books continued to be released for years to come. (In fact, there are still some books in the hopper that haven’t seen the light of day!)
Rushdoony also wrote and published hundreds of articles, primarily in the Chalcedon Report. For all practical purposes, these articles were lost to the average book-buyer who hadn’t stocked up on the Chalcedon Report over the decades.
The Roots of Reconstruction, published in 1991, was an early attempt at making these articles available for the larger Chalcedon family. However, the volume only included articles up through 1991—and Rushdoony continued writing for another ten years.
A few years ago, we began a long, two-legged project to bring these random articles—roughly seven hundred in total—back into print in an organized, clear way. The project would finally make this large portion of his work accessible to the researcher and scholar, as well as to the casual reader. Once completed, it would far surpass and supersede the Roots volume.
The first leg of this project was An Informed Faith: The Position Papers of R. J. Rushdoony. This chunky set weighed in at just under one thousand pages, and included all 239 of Rush’s “Position Paper” column over the years. This set was published in three hardcover volumes in 2017.
The second leg of this giant project is the long-awaited Faith & Action: The Collected Articles of R. J. Rushdoony from the Chalcedon Report, 1965–2004, spanning three hardcover volumes, totaling 1,500 pages, with four indices.
We believe that God requires us to put our utmost into the quality of the work we do. Publishing good work in a way that honors our Creator is not a quick or easy task. To that end, I’d like to take a few paragraphs and explain to you the process we have gone through with these two sets so you can better understand the tremendous value we place on presenting Dr. Rushdoony’s work with excellence, as well as doing so in a way that honors you, the reader.
The first step in the process required us to put the articles in an order that was easy to navigate. This involved taking stock of all the articles we had, reading every one of them carefully, grouping them in terms of common topics, and then ordering them such that each article led to the next.
Then, on the computer, we formatted the text, using a font that was academic yet readable. We carefully implemented proofreaders’ corrections to the text. During this time, we also designed the book covers for the set.
The next major step was to index the volumes. We give Rushdoony books four indices.
1. A “General Index” is a list of the topics Rushdoony discusses, organized in alphabetical order, with the page references provided. Despite sounding straightforward, this is the hardest index to build and requires someone who knows Rushdoony and Christian thought.
2. A “Scripture Index” is just that: a list of all the Scriptures quoted or referenced.
3. A “Works Cited Index” is similar to a bibliography, but more helpful in that we list every document Rushdoony references, and which page it occurs on.
4. The last index, a “History Index,” is a listing of all historical mentions, events, persons, books, that Rushdoony references—but this one is listed chronologically, so the reader can not only see God’s hand in history and how ideas developed, but so that homeschooling parents and other Christian educators can repurpose the material for history lessons.
The very last step of the process is for the proofreader to very carefully check every last page, sentence, paragraph, and word—and to catch any errors or typos—before the set goes to press and the hardcovers are printed and bound. This is the current status of Faith & Action.
We at the Chalcedon Foundation are working to finalize this set in the coming months so that it can be printed and then delivered right to your door—ready for reading and research. This set will be some of the finest publishing the Chalcedon Foundation has been blessed to offer, and we are very excited to release it shortly. May the Lord be pleased to use it to further His Kingdom.
- Kyle Shepherd
Kyle Shepherd is a designer of mobile apps and books, living in Alabama with his growing family. He and his wife Shelby have worked with the Chalcedon Foundation in the development of several projects, including the Rushdoony legacy anthologies An Informed Faith and the upcoming Faith and Action. Kyle is currently studying and developing a covenantal understanding of abuse and suffering, as well as building an innovative evangelical publishing company.