‘The Smiling Face of Evil’

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How do you tell the Devil is evil when he doesn’t look evil?

R.J. Rushdoony wrote this essay back in 1986, but it has a very long shelf life.


Bad enough that Satan deceives us; but how many are there who want to be deceived? As Rushdoony put it, “people earn hell.” They work for it, sacrifice for it, they’re always reaching for it. They think it’ll be a God-free zone where they can do anything they want and it’ll all turn out just fine.

I think of the grins on the faces of certain politicians… and then I think I understand precisely what Rushdoony meant.


‘Jumping Off a Cliff’ (Mark Rushdoony)

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God doesn’t have to punish every sin; a lot of them punish themselves. Hence the title of Mark Rushdoony’s essay, Jumping Off a Cliff. The consequences of a sin, or a folly, provide the punishment.


We have pursued “a foolhardy course for several generations,” Mark writes, and by now the degradation of our culture has grown painfully obvious. It’ll take more than just elections to fix it. Whole-hearted Christian reconstruction is our only hope to repair the damage.

Even as breaking God’s laws brings on its own punishment, so does keeping them bring on its own blessing.

And we are very much in need of blessing!

Fantastic Rushdoony Quote!

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Changing your lives… with your money!

In a 1978 essay on the crusading mentality, R. J. Rushdoony hit the bullseye with this quote.

“Crusaders want to accomplish great things with other people’s lives and money…” (https://chalcedon.edu/resources/articles/crusading). Really, what more needs to be said?

A lot of us are just not made that way. We want to live our lives in peace, get on with our business in peace, and enjoy our families in peace. We don’t understand the insatiable lust for power over others.

I wonder what Rushdoony would say if he were here to write about the goings-on in 2022. But that duty has been passed on to us who are here today.


‘Science and Magic’ (Rushdoony, 1996)

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Our culture was already in trouble when R.J. Rushdoony wrote this essay in 1996. It has not gotten better since.


One thing has changed, though, that wasn’t so glaringly apparent in 1996:

Science nowadays is heavily politicized–almost to the point where it isn’t “science” at all. Can you say “Climate Change scam”? Transgender movement? “Vaccines” that don’t work but earn a lot of money? “Green energy” that costs a nearly infinite amount of public money but doesn’t work? I mean, just for starters…

That’s all what happens with “science” and politics wind up in bed together. They corrupt each other–and they weren’t exactly squeaky-clean to start with.

Rushdoony believe that Christians have to work to build a Christian culture. Like humanists labor unceasingly to build a Godless humanist culture. They work at it. We haven’t. And it shows.

R.J. Rushdoony: ‘Our Man-Centered Folly’

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Who needs God’s word when we have rulers like these?

You can sum it up, as Rushdoony did, in just a single sentence:

“Without the God of Scripture, we have the collapse of all values into totally subjective opinions.”


He wrote that in 1995. I don’t think he’d be surprised, almost 30 years later, to see crazy governments and apostate, um, “churches” pushing “transgender” as if their lives depended on it. First they get rid of values; then they start tossing facts aside. The fact of male and female, for one. We now have a Supreme Court justice (!) who claims she doesn’t know what a woman is.

The problem with many of our totally subjective opinions is that they’re sinful, stupid, absurd, selfish, and half-baked. Other than that, they’re fine.


‘March to a Dumping Ground’ (R.J. Rushdoony)

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No one was more on the ball than R.J. Rushdoony. The trends he analyzed in this 1976 essay were all but invisible to most observers at the time. It’s taken 50 years for us to see how right he was.


You start with secular humanism, the worship of man; you get rid of Christianity, the worship of All-righteous God; and by and by, with one failure after another, your humanism slides into existentialism, into despair… and your humanism becomes anti-humanism. You also revolt against reality. Voila.

How did Rushdoony see so clearly?

Through the lens of Scripture, and with the assistance of the Holy Spirit.


Rushdoony: ‘Perfection Versus Maturity’

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Before we get wrapped up in any nooze…

We consistently misunderstand what the Bible means by “perfect,” R.J. Rushdoony wrote.


“Perfect” in the Bible does not mean sinless, pure, ideal, nothin’ wrong here. No–it means “fully matured.” And it comes at the end of a long process. It’s not just imposed by self-anointed sages or a bloodthirsty political party. “Perfect” is the end result of work, planning, vision, sacrifice, and life itself. The sin of Adam and Eve can certainly be viewed as the decision to cheat and take a short cut to perfect: “Ye shall be as gods.”

So you don’t just get out of bed one day resolved to be “perfect” from now on. (Sheesh, how many of us have made that mistake?) You do the best you can and trust in God to do the rest. There is some humility involved.

If only we had some in our business and our politics!

Rushdoony: ’20th-Century Plans of Salvation’

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R.J. Rushdoony wrote this essay over 20 years ago, as that lamentable 20th century was winding down.


In a very few words (quite an achievement!), Rushdoony summed up that century’s “heritage of failure” as worldly schemes for salvation, one after another, had their days in the sun and went promptly belly-up. We tried everything we could think of–except God’s word–and it all failed us: politics, education, money, and war. Even a pagan like Robert Graves saw his own 20th-century world as an unholy alliance of Mars, the god of war, Pluto, the god of wealth, and Mercury, the god of thieves.

But the answers, Rushdoony knew, were to be found in the same place where they’ve been always found–in God’s own enscriptured word.

‘Our True Citizenship’

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Mark Rushdoony’s essay today, “Our True Citizenship,” reminds us that we have a higher citizenship in Christ’s Kingdom, above and beyond our earthly citizenship in the United States of America.


And if we were good citizens of both, the two would not conflict!

One line stands out: “[N]o matter what men do, the cause of Christ will move forward.”

Can we have an “Amen!” to that? It is, after all, the message of the Resurrection.

R.J. Rushdoony: “This Is The Victory”

The Chalcedon website (www.chalcedon.edu/) has a raft of new audiobook inserts for you to listen to. But I want to share with you a 1993 essay by R.J. Rushdoony, “This Is the Victory.”


Rushdoony was concerned, 30 years ago, with what he saw as the Church’s drift into irrelevance; and this, he said, was not the world’s fault but the Church’s–“the church did it to itself.”

Our faith, he said, must rest on Jesus Christ the King of kings: “To believe anything less is not to believe in Him.”

The key, for the Church–which is all of us, not just any denomination but all of us, all God’s people–is not to be waiting passively for the rapture, but to be working for Christ’s Kingdom: “Occupy until I come” (Luke 19:13). To this message he devoted his long and productive ministry.

But it’s hard to sell people on work–isn’t it?