Christian Reconstruction (biography of Rushdoony)

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BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Clerk
McVicar, University of North Caroline Press.

Let’s get one thing clear. Rushdoony’s last name is spelled “Rushdoony.” There is no “e” in it. If you want to be Armenian about it, you can spell it Rushdouni, as in his father’s name. His family’s history is really neat. His father, Y.K. Rushdooni, was connected to the Armenian Orthodox Church until the Turks (like they do today) slaughtered his village in 1886. The elder Rushdouni later converted to Presbyterianism.

Whatever Rushdoony’s other problems were, you can’t fault his reading of the Bible. He learned to read English by reading the King James under kerosene lamps. By the time he was a teenager, he had read it through many times.

This book is outstanding. If you hate Rushdoony, you will love this book. If you love Rushdoony, you will love this bio.

Vickers notes the difficulties Rushdoony and his first wife, Arda June, had. Arda wasn’t meant for mission life on the reservation. Rushdoony’s journals give some evidence of the “Wild West” life:

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Introducing Chalcedon

While Rushdoony’s interpretation of Chalcedon omits several key aspects--okay, he avoided almost all of the key metaphysical concerns--his political interpretation isn’t entirely far-fetched. Ancient man would never have separated ontology from politics.

Funny Problems with Christianity Today and Faulkner

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Observations

* Rushdoony was one of the first to galvanize the “militant conservative housewife” population.

* While I am severely critical of much of his theology, Rushdoony on capturing the “dominion” aspect of the imago dei is pretty good.

Rushdoony and Bahnsen

It seems Rushdoony threw Bahnsen to the wolves after the RTS debacle.


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Tyler Theology

Downplayed the family and emphasized the church. They were also concerned with material survival in the post-apocalyptic world. However, the Tyler church had a habit of “excommunicating dissident members.”

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While Gary North had his own problems to deal with, it is ironic that Rushdoony accused the Tyler guys of “blasphemy” and urged “they recant their positions.” This coming when Rushdoony had divorced himself from the church and fed himself communion.
 

Reformed Covenanter

Cancelled Commissioner
It seems Rushdoony threw Bahnsen to the wolves after the RTS debacle.

I actually think that there was some wisdom to how RJR counselled Greg Bahnsen on this issue. Some people need to be told to move on from certain situations and leave them to the Lord. Okay, maybe Rush could have been more diplomatic in his language, but he seems to have had a point.
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Clerk
I actually think that there was some wisdom to how RJR counselled Greg Bahnsen on this issue. Some people need to be told to move on from certain situations and leave them to the Lord. Okay, maybe Rush could have been more diplomatic in his language, but he seems to have had a point.

That's a huge part, to be sure. Bahnsen didn't know how to deal with the Deep South Aristocracy. Had RTS attacked Bahnsen on his professionalism, they would have had a case. They made the mistake of attacking him on logic and theology and he wiped the floor with them.

I think Rushdoony was more bothered by the fact that Bahnsen's having students meant those students weren't donating to Rushdoony's ministry. He alludes to as much in his opposition to the Tyler Crowd.
 

bookslover

Puritan Board Doctor
I have this book. I should dig into it.

Full information:

Christian Reconstruction: R. J. Rushdoony and American Religious Conservatism by Michael J. McVicar (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2015), xiii + 309pp.

McVicar was (as of 2015) Professor of Religion at Florida State University.
 
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