A Christian Survey of World History
From Renaissance (Humanism) to the Reformation, II
*This is an unedited and unoffical print version of R.J. Rushdoony’s lecture.
R.J. Rushdoony: 00:01 … be the ruler. His interest in theology remained all his life. A very devout, Roman Catholic in his theology. As a matter of fact, he gained the title, Defender of the Faith, for his book against Luther. That title, Defender of the Faith, was given to the English Crown as a hereditary thing by the Pope. It has now been dropped by Elizabeth, which is very interesting.
R.J. Rushdoony: 00:34 You used to find the Latin abbreviation for a Defender of the Faith on many of the coins, including Canadian coins, until not too many years ago. But it’s been dropped.
R.J. Rushdoony: 00:53 Now, Henry’s problem was this. He was brilliant. He was intelligent. He was a humanist, a renaissance scholar. He had learned his lesson well, and what he realized was, “I have all this power. I am the philosopher King. I can do as I please, and there’s no law that can bind me.”
R.J. Rushdoony: 01:20 It was Henry’s very intelligence that took him the course that it did. Men of lesser intelligence would have been less ready to throw aside laws. Now, his father had been a hard money man, who made England very, very wealthy with his emphasis on gold. Henry thought, “Well, if man makes laws and I can make any law I choose, why not copper coins with a little bit of gold wash on them to get by with the people.
R.J. Rushdoony: 01:59 Of course, those coins began to wear out very quickly and since, with his image on them, the nose was that which was most prominent. The gold wash would wear off on the nose first, and so they began to call him, looking at those images, old copper nose.
R.J. Rushdoony: 02:20 He debauched the currency, and it wasn’t until Queen Elizabeth’s day when Gresham told Elizabeth what was wrong with the money and the economy of England, that they went back to a hard money as a result of Gresham’s advice. We know now, it’s Gresham’s law … It was not original with him … which is that bad money drives out good money.
R.J. Rushdoony: 02:52 But, because Henry had this power, he utilized it in every area. He did some things that were gross, that were brutal. But it was because this superb mind believed that, “Now I can do as I please, and on the earth, there is no one who has any right to oppose me, nor can.” He did become a tyrant.
R.J. Rushdoony: 03:28 The danger of Henry VIII is precisely the danger we have in our day. Men again, are without faith, in fact having far less faith than Henry. And the more intelligent the man in government who has this humanistic perspective, the more readily he will use power without any scruples.
R.J. Rushdoony: 03:57 Now, Henry VIII, we are told, divorced Catherine in order to marry Anne Boleyn, with whom he was having a flaming affair, and this is why he got his divorce. This is not true. Anne Boleyn was probably only seven years old when he filed for the divorce.
R.J. Rushdoony: 04:22 The action took a number of years. It was not because he didn’t love Catherine any longer. As a matter of fact, the one queen he perhaps loved right to her death was Catherine. Catherine was quite a remarkable woman. She had a neurotic streak, which ran in the family. She was a daughter of Isabella of Spain, and her sister was known as Joanna, the Mad, another queen. She was not mad. She was framed by her father, Ferdinand, who was a vicious, ugly character … That’s another story … but there definitely was a neurotic streak in the family.
R.J. Rushdoony: 05:09 She was extremely devout and she was heavily used by her father, so that through her chaplain, who was being instructed by Ferdinand, and through various counselors and advisors, she was giving pro-Spanish ideas to Henry so that more than once in foreign policy, Henry did things that were damaging to England to help out his father-in-law, who then would leave him in the lurch and betray him.
R.J. Rushdoony: 05:44 But, even then, Henry never lost his respect for Catherine, although she made a fool out him more than once, to please her father. The [inaudible 00:05:58] reason was this. Henry’s father had not been a prince. He had gained the crown as a result of a long struggle, the civil war in England. There was a danger that there would be another civil war, a bitter struggle to gain power, if there were no male heir.
R.J. Rushdoony: 06:20 And so, Henry felt, “I’ve got to have a male heir. I’ve got to have one,” and this was the issue that he presented to the pope. He said, “England is faced with great dangers. One of the dangers is that the Reformation can sneak in here from Germany if I don’t have a male heir, and if a civil war develops, Catherine is past the time for child-bearing. Therefore, I need an annulment of the marriage to her, so I can have a male heir. There’s only a sickly daughter, Mary,” and she was sickly and she died after not too many years as queen.
R.J. Rushdoony: 07:13 The pope was sympathetic to Henry. He agreed with him, but there was a problem. Italy was run by Spain, and was the Spanish Crown going to see one of girls of the family set aside and not take it out on the pope? So, he had a practical problem. He said, “I can’t give you an annulment. They’re right on my neck,” and of course, finally the sack of Rome did come about at a later date, worse than the one by the Barbarians when Rome fell in 410 AD.
R.J. Rushdoony: 07:49 So, the pope’s suggestion was, “Don’t divorce her or have the marriage annulled. Just take a second wife. I’ll make polygamy legal in your case.”
R.J. Rushdoony: 08:01 Well, Henry thought it over and he didn’t like the idea. He said, “No, I don’t want a polygamous marriage. I just want one woman, but I want a younger woman by whom I can have a son.” Now, that was the real issue, and that’s what he kept hoping for, a son that he could leave the realm to.
R.J. Rushdoony: 08:24 Edward VI was born subsequently … I think of the fourth or fifth wife, who died subsequently, but Edward also was a sickly child. The only healthy child of the three that he had was Elizabeth, who was quite vigorous.
R.J. Rushdoony: 08:44 This, then, was the key to Henry’s acts. He was not a sentimental fool. He, who was going to tear the country apart because he loved a woman. This is the modern perspective, reading it back into history. He was concerned about the future of the kingdom and he wanted a male heir.
R.J. Rushdoony: 09:12 He did not want a reformation. Cranmer wanted it. This is why Henry VIII burned the Protestants during his reign, as heretics, but he hung the Catholics as traitors. It was a point he was very insistent on. He never burned the Catholics. They were not heretics. The Protestants were. So, he hung them, or beheaded the Catholics as traitors, but he burned the Protestants as heretics.
R.J. Rushdoony: 09:53 The English Reformation, thus was a very, very difficult one. The Puritan movement was a part of the movement within the English church. We don’t have time to go into that now. The English church finally was broken for some time to come under Charles II.
R.J. Rushdoony: 10:21 Under Charles I, before Cromwell, the Laudians and Charles, of course, and his queen, Henrietta, wanted to return the church to Rome. Charles II was a secret Catholic, and James II an open one, and what they did was, first to drive out the Puritans, and that led to the formation of the Presbyterian church. The Presbyterian Church of England came right out of the Episcopal, or the Church of England.
R.J. Rushdoony: 11:00 And then they drove out the non-juror bishops, so that the men of faith on both sides were driven out, and only political bishops left, or created, in order to lead the church back to Rome. But of course, then you had the revolution of 1688. William and Mary came over. But the Crown control of the church remained … This has been a chronic problem in the Church of England … so that the future of the Church of England is still questionable as far as any kind of real future, in terms of its basic faith, 39 articles, and the prayer book are concerned. It will probably have to be a new movement of some sort, which will then revitalize what is existing. We’ll go into later, the similar decay in the Lutheran and Reformed Churches.
R.J. Rushdoony: 12:14 Very briefly, to pass on, because our time is limited, in Scotland, the Reformation was led by John Knox, who had gone to Geneva and learned Reformation doctrine there. Scotland had long been a problem to England, and Scotland by and large was very close to France. The Scotch and the French, throughout the middle ages, were usually in alliance as against the English.
R.J. Rushdoony: 12:49 Scotland represented a politically difficult kingdom. Very few kings died a natural death because the clan organization of Scotland was more basic than the Crown, and this led to a highly undisciplined situation. Very, very commonly in the history of Scotland prior to the Reformation, the Scotch, who could usually wipe out any English army, began to falter after Edward I and Edward II began to train, discipline, organized English troops.
R.J. Rushdoony: 13:37 This was the failing of the Scotch throughout that entire area. The lack of discipline. They were given to wild charges, and as a result, England very frequently dominated Scotland. With the Reformation, however, the wild nature of the Scots, the most feared people of Europe because they were regarded as almost impossible with their wildness. It was the country of the real barbarians as far as the rest of Europe was concerned, because of their continual switching of sides. Became the most disciplined area of Europe. They became the empire builders for Britain. They became the backbone of the Imperial armies of the British Empire.
R.J. Rushdoony: 14:40 You’ve perhaps heard the remark of one British general when Canada was taken from the French. He put the Scotchmen up in the front lines because Her Majesty’s enemies were always expendable. However, this policy only led to victory over and over again, and the Scotch became the empire builders.
R.J. Rushdoony: 15:12 An anthropologist has said that the two people who have done more, in more parts of the world, accomplished more than all others by a considerable margin, are the Scotch and the Jews. There’s scarcely a part of the world where you can go without finding the Scotch and the Jews, and very much running things.
R.J. Rushdoony: 15:35 Moreover, another interesting fact that goes along with that, people can go to different countries and lose their accent, and learn the language, and become very much one of the people, except for the Scotch. They never lose the Scotch burr when they emigrate. Racially, anthropologists say the Scotch to this day have maintained their ancient, Celtic distinctiveness. They have never fully become integrated, as it were, with any of the other peoples.
R.J. Rushdoony: 16:23 Scottish history is a very, very remarkable, and an interesting story. It would be tempting to take time to go into it, but our time is short. Let us go on now to the Counter Reformation, and the Council of Trent. Now, the Counter Reformation within the Church of Rome, is very important for us to understand.
R.J. Rushdoony: 16:56 Why had the Reformation come about, and what was the problem? Well, as the medieval period developed, more and more within the Roman communion, alien doctrines began to creep in, against which, of course the reformers protested. But even more, that which developed was the increasing power of the Vatican, so that you had both in Church and State, the devoutment of the Doctrine of Divine Right, the Divine Right of Kings, the Divine Right of the Popes, or the Papacy, so that the folks progressively claimed to speak for God, and to speak infallibly.
R.J. Rushdoony: 17:47 Papal Infallibility was a doctrine that developed in the medieval period. This papal power prevented grassroots reform during the medieval period progressively. Earlier, there had been all kinds of false doctrines that had crept in again, and again, and again. But, repeatedly there had been grassroots reform within the medieval church.
R.J. Rushdoony: 18:19 Now, it had been stifled. Let me say parenthetically, this is the problem in Protestantism today, as well, is it not? Power has gone into the hands of general assemblies, and denominational authorities, or bishops, and so on, not in the hands of the local church as it was in the early medieval period.
R.J. Rushdoony: 18:48 And as a result, the possibility of reform has been stifled. It’s been choked off. And this is why, just as with the Reformation, it had to be a movement outside the old church. Again, reform will have to be outside the established structure of the church, because the control chokes off the possibility of inner Reformation. Well, this is what the Vatican had done. It had choked off any possibility of reform. Its control was so thorough.
R.J. Rushdoony: 19:29 But the Reformation gave Catholics a chance, because with northern Europe and England and Scotland having gone with the Reformation, the Holy Roman Emperor could say to the Vatican, “Look, this is all because you’ve done nothing to bring about a reform. We’ve got to have a general council of the church to reform things.”
R.J. Rushdoony: 19:59 Now, the Vatican did not want one, but the Emperor forced the calling of the Council of Trent on the Vatican. A counter-reformation was only possible when this was done.
R.J. Rushdoony: 20:18 Now, the Council of Trent was some years in session because the pope was doing everything to frustrate it. What it did do, was to clean up a lot of the immorality of the priests and a lot of the misconduct, and the Vatican, as well. The Council of Trent did bring about a moral Reformation within the Catholic church.
R.J. Rushdoony: 20:45 However, it established those dogmas that had grown up during the medieval period, so that it was not a return to the faith of the early church, or to biblical faith. It was simply confirming the faith, but they did give priority to that faith over the pope. In other words, what Trent emphatically said is, that the faith, however wrongly they interpreted it, is prior to the pope.
R.J. Rushdoony: 21:23 As a result, the Vatican and the papacy declined in power from the Council of Trent to the time of Napoleon. What happened? Well, Napoleon destroyed the Emperor of Austria, who was the Holy Roman Emperor, Francis, the son of Maria Theresa, who didn’t have the common sense that his mother did. He was a good man, but he lacked his mother’s common sense.
R.J. Rushdoony: 21:57 And again, and again, when Napoleon gave them every chance to be at peace, he allowed England and others to push him into action, and he would take the first beating. So, the Holy Roman Empire collapsed.
R.J. Rushdoony: 22:16 Now, the Hapsburgs had controlled the Vatican. They kept it from getting out of line. Their concern had been to keep the Catholic Church pure of moral corruption, and to keep the Vatican from trying to dominate the churches. So, the local churches all had a great deal more freedom.
R.J. Rushdoony: 22:42 Then, Napoleon, as ruler, controlled the pope. He even took the pope prisoner. But, when Napoleon fell, the Vatican was free, and the pope was free. What happened?
R.J. Rushdoony: 22:57 Within a half a century, the Vatican was ready to move, and it called the first Vatican Council. And what did they do? They defined papal infallibility. In other words, they hadn’t learned a thing. They went right back to that doctrine with which they had corrupted and virtually destroyed the church.
R.J. Rushdoony: 23:23 Now what did Pope John and Pope Paul do? Vatican II. Now, the whole point had been at Trent, the priority of the faith over the pope. What did Vatican II do? Well, it subverted the Council of Trent, in other words, the Counter Reformation.
R.J. Rushdoony: 23:51 The [inaudible 00:23:53] Catechism, which is the Tridentine or Trent Confession and Catechism, is not in print since Vatican II. Father Nugent in Kentucky is going to republish it so that conservative Catholics can have it. But you see, it was war against Trent by the Vatican. It was dropped immediately.
R.J. Rushdoony: 24:19 The Latin mass expressed the theology and the faith of the Council of Trent. Now, to all practical intent, that is suppressed. The few priests who perform it are usually bootlegging it, and they are being threatened by bishops.
R.J. Rushdoony: 24:44 It all adds up, you see, to war against the Council of Trent. And the changes, what’s their purpose? To subvert everything that a traditional Catholic has affirmed. But out of it all, you see, what will remain is loyalty to the pope, and this is the issue that is being fought out in Catholic circles.
R.J. Rushdoony: 25:07 You have to be loyal to the pope no matter what he says. This, then, is the direction that is now being taken. And of course, loyalty to the church, the same thesis that led to the Reformation and which today Vatican II has in effect reaffirmed, and the Vatican is affirming.
R.J. Rushdoony: 25:36 The various Protestant churches, Episcopal, Lutheran, Reformed, are emphasizing loyalty to the church, not loyalty to the faith. This is why there is the systematic desecration in all these communions, Lutheran, Episcopal, Presbyterian, Catholic, of that which long was regarded as essential to those particular churches. They’re going to break them of any loyalty to that and replace it with loyalty to the church. As a result, we must recognize that today we are again in the same position as the people in the years before Luther were.
R.J. Rushdoony: 26:42 This time, the paganism goes deeper, the totalitarianism in our part of the world does not go as deep as it did then, but it may. And again, the hope is, first that scholars working to make again the faith relevant to all of life, may find among the people an answering response so that again there can be a true Reformation.
R.J. Rushdoony: 27:17 This is why the Christian movement is important, because it can create that answering response in the hearts of the people of the years ahead.
R.J. Rushdoony: 27:33 Let us bow our heads in prayer.
R.J. Rushdoony: 27:37 Almighty God, our heavenly father, we give thanks unto thee that thou art on the throne, and we beseech thee that now again, as man desecrates thy church, thou wilt again revive thy people as of old. And reestablish thy church and make again the supremacy of thy word and of faith to be paramount in the hearts of people. Use us, we beseech thee to this purpose. In Jesus’ name, amen.
R.J. Rushdoony: 28:17 An announcement before we have our questions. We will not have a class next week because of Christmas, but we will meet two weeks from tonight, and continue our study-
Class Member 1: 28:34 [inaudible 00:28:34] … New Years. [inaudible 00:28:38] … week before New Years.
R.J. Rushdoony: 28:41 Yes. The week before New Years. It will be … Let’s see, 29th? Something like that.
R.J. Rushdoony: 28:48 All right. Any questions now?
R.J. Rushdoony: 28:55 Yes.
Class Member 1: 28:56 [inaudible 00:28:56] today, where the ministers are dropping out a roll council or a national council of churches they call [inaudible 00:29:07] … again? But, actually they’re still … They can be a minister and still [crosstalk 00:29:19] fundamental [crosstalk 00:29:19]
R.J. Rushdoony: 29:18 Yes. Right. Yes. Oh, yes. Right. Right.
R.J. Rushdoony: 29:21 Yes.
Class Member 2: 29:28 Do I understand in Luther’s book on the Bondage of the Will, there’s a proper discussion of predestination of the Lutheran Church, that doesn’t follow today?
R.J. Rushdoony: 29:41 It does not follow it today. No. There are some Lutherans who will believe in predestination, but most do not. Luther’s Bondage of the Will is a great all-time classic on the doctrine of predestination. Luther formulated it, worked out the scriptural analysis of it. Calvin did not add much to it. It’s a great work. If you haven’t read it, it’s well worth reading, tremendous study.
R.J. Rushdoony: 30:18 Yes.
Class Member 3: 30:22 [inaudible 00:30:22] similar when the reform church is [inaudible 00:30:27] what had happened that the control is no longer at the parish, but in the general [inaudible 00:30:38].
R.J. Rushdoony: 30:40 Right. Right. A friend of mine, now a professor in this country, is an ordained minister of the Church of England, and he has not transferred to the Episcopal Church in this country, and he said the Orthodox churches and the Church of England today, those which are under local patronage, that is, from the early medieval period, they are controlled by a local guard, or a local township, or a local foundation, which provides the funds and has the power to call the minister.
R.J. Rushdoony: 31:27 And these are the Orthodox ones, he says. And he said the bishops are very unhappy about these, because the ministers are all Orthodox. Very few of any of the others are. They cannot touch them to this day.
R.J. Rushdoony: 31:47 And he feels that the hope for the future there is out of these particular churches.
R.J. Rushdoony: 32:08 Yes.
Class Member 4: 32:10 All I was trying to say was, that there’s always a remnant left. There always has been. Is that true? [crosstalk 00:32:10]?
R.J. Rushdoony: 32:09 Yes. The question is, “Isn’t there always a remnant left?” Yes, there is, but we must beware of assuming that that remnant is necessarily within, you see.
Class Member 4: 32:24 Oh, [crosstalk 00:32:24]
R.J. Rushdoony: 32:23 Very often, the remnant separates itself in order to rebuild, and then to influence again, the church.
R.J. Rushdoony: 32:35 Yes.
Class Member 5: 32:36 I’d just like to comment, [inaudible 00:32:38] thought about [inaudible 00:32:38] I was always told [inaudible 00:32:42] the Church of England [inaudible 00:32:44] The Church of Ireland was all [inaudible 00:32:55] and then [inaudible 00:32:56] in name, maybe only, but [inaudible 00:33:02].
R.J. Rushdoony: 33:01 Yes. That’s very true. Some of these churches have retained some of the more conservative aspects longer than the Church of England.
Class Member 5: 33:25 Yes. The Church of Ireland always calls [inaudible 00:33:28] never [inaudible 00:33:31] is not considered priestly. Oh, and even in Canada, which is the church I went to [inaudible 00:33:41] I believe [inaudible 00:33:51] and they always put it aside [inaudible 00:33:57] and the people had access directly [inaudible 00:34:03] In today’s practice, we [inaudible 00:34:13] open access [inaudible 00:34:13] significant.
R.J. Rushdoony: 34:14 Well, for example, it was the Church of England and the church in America that led the other Episcopal churches in dropping the Athanasian Creed, and other things from the prayer book. So, the others were far more conservative and you can see it to this day in the Canadian prayer book, which is-
R.J. Rushdoony: 34:36 Yes. Yes.
Class Member 6: 34:42 There was a picture, a Man for all Seasons, and [inaudible 00:34:58] the conflict between Sir Thomas Moore and Henry VIII, and would you comment on that?
R.J. Rushdoony: 34:58 Yes. The question is about the play, The Man for all Seasons. I saw it in stage form, rather than the movie, and it was a very beautiful, a very powerful story, except that it was not historically accurate. The moral point, of course, was sound, the point that was made there. But St. Thomas Moore, as he is now called, was not being moved primarily by Christian considerations, but rather by humanistic ones. Thomas Moore was one of Henry’s teachers, as well as advisors, and he had both advised him against being too loyal to the pope earlier, and in favor of asserting his power more independently.
R.J. Rushdoony: 35:53 Moreover, Thomas Moore was a communist to the core. He wrote Utopia and Utopia is a vision of a communist society. He was, moreover, instead of being the fine sensitive person that he’s portrayed in the play, I think a very crude and coarse man. Thus he, in his book suggests that the best way to pick a wife is to examine her in the raw, in the nude. And so when Sir Thomas Roper said he was interested in marrying one of his girls, and suggested the same policy, he took him into the bedroom where the girls were sleeping and their nighties had come up under their armpits, so Thomas Moore just flipped back the bedding and they were lying on their back, and they woke up and rolled over, so Thomas Moore had a look at both of them on both sides, and he reached over and slapped one in the fanny, and said, “I’ll take that one,” and that’s how the marriage was arranged.
R.J. Rushdoony: 37:10 Now, the only reason Thomas Moore was made a saint and is magnified by Catholics today is for political reasons. Here was someone who fought against the English Crown, you see, not for the right reasons. So, let’s make a saint of him and very early he was promoted as an anti-royal [inaudible 00:37:39].
R.J. Rushdoony: 37:38 If they really wanted someone who would qualify in terms of Catholic standards for piety, and all, Henry VIII’s first wife, Catherine, would’ve far more readily qualified. She was a woman who’d spend four to six hours on her knees in prayer every morning, and for years, Henry did it with her, by the way, something very few people realize.
R.J. Rushdoony: 38:04 So, it was a beautiful play, and I’m sure it was a beautiful picture, and the point was the sound one that a man should stand in terms of the faith. And it is true that Thomas Moore said a number of very moving things during the trial, and later, but he was good at that sort of thing. But, basically, in his writings you see the man he is, and he was nothing. He was a rather contemptible character.
R.J. Rushdoony: 38:39 Yes.
Class Member 7: 38:41 I think that from your analysis, then, that the play and the picture were really propaganda for anti-royalty.
R.J. Rushdoony: 39:01 No, it’s a part of the myth and Catholics are convinced that if the church says a man is good and holy, he is. Now, I read one book of the works of Moore with a preface by a couple of Catholics who kept saying, “Well, don’t take him too seriously when he says this,” and “Don’t take him too seriously when he says that,” as though the man wasn’t telling us what he meant, when he was very emphatic about it. And he certainly wasn’t kidding.
R.J. Rushdoony: 39:34 He said what he meant, and he did have a vision of a communist order. He was an egghead par excellence, and like all eggheads, he felt life could be planned on paper and the trouble with kings and politicians is that they don’t follow the plans we have so wonderfully developed.
R.J. Rushdoony: 39:57 In other words, he was the kind of person I dislike. I thought I’d better add that in case you hadn’t gotten the idea.
R.J. Rushdoony: 40:06 Yes.
Class Member 8: 40:11 As I understand this, the difference between [inaudible 00:40:20]
R.J. Rushdoony: 40:26 Luther often was concerned with the law, but then he was not a systematic thinker. He often contradicted himself. He didn’t develop his position in terms of an overall theology, you see, in which things tied in together.
R.J. Rushdoony: 40:45 Thus, we often encounter people who are very good on one doctrine, and then they’ll have some weird idea, and they won’t put things together to make a unified picture. And you try to tell them, ” Well, you’re right in holding to that, but don’t you realize that this, that you just said, contradicts that?”
R.J. Rushdoony: 41:06 They won’t think systematically, consistently. Luther was a great man at fighting on an issue, rather than seeing through to the totality of the picture. So, he was a very wonderful, very lovable person, but he was also very emotional and somewhat unstable person, too.
R.J. Rushdoony: 41:34 He was the kind who would get quite intensely worked up, sometimes with very good results, but sometimes very foolish. For example, he learned very early that it was the place to learn Hebrew the best, was from some of the rabbis. So, he went to them and was taught, and he enjoyed their company very much. They were very friendly, so there was a lot of rapport.
R.J. Rushdoony: 42:04 So, he thought, “Oh, we’re getting along so beautifully. I’m going to convert them.” Well, when he couldn’t, he became so angry with them, that he denounced them in language that would have delighted Hitler, you see.
R.J. Rushdoony: 42:19 Now this is the way he was, and a great deal of some of Luther’s writings are very intemperate, because he was the kind of man who would lose his temper very readily. And when you read Luther, you’d better forget about outlining what he says, because a good deal of the time, he starts on something, and it reminds him of something else, and he goes from there to something else, and from there to something else, and from there to something else, so that he goes into every possible subject before he comes back to his original one, or he might forget his original point.
R.J. Rushdoony: 43:01 He was this way, tremendous insights, powerful, great mind. In the Bondage of the Well, there he marshalls arguments systematically and goes through he could do it. But, it wasn’t his emotional temperament.
R.J. Rushdoony: 43:17 Yes.
Class Member 9: 43:29 How has the liberal trying to see the reason for his pains and obviously [inaudible 00:43:29] instead of saying what he really feels [inaudible 00:43:32]-
R.J. Rushdoony: 43:29 Yes. That’s right.
Class Member 9: 43:29 Did you see that play on television?
R.J. Rushdoony: 43:29 No.
Class Member 9: 43:32 It was a couple of years ago. [inaudible 00:43:32].
R.J. Rushdoony: 43:31 Yes. Well, it’s easy to do that to him, but he was a very great and a very lovable man, and as I say very often, in his emotional outbursts, he would say some very stupid and very foolish things. So, it’s very easy for people who dislike Luther, to go to him and make a fool out of him.
R.J. Rushdoony: 44:01 But very often, out of the spontaneity, come some of the most charming things. I like the letter he wrote after his marriage to a friend. You know, the story of his marriage is a delightful one because after he began the Reformation, a lot of nuns left convents and it was a difficult life for them, because very often their families, still being devout Catholics, would not have anything to do with them. But they, having seen corruption in the convent, and having read Luther’s writings, would run to him.
R.J. Rushdoony: 44:40 So, he always had a lot of nuns on hand, and he had a place to house them, and he would very quickly try to find husbands for them, and so on, and to get them rehabilitated in some area. And since the nuns in those days tended to be the daughters of prominent families, these were no ordinary girls.
R.J. Rushdoony: 45:02 So, there was this one girl, Katharina von Bora-
Rev. R.J. Rushdoony (1916–2001), was a leading theologian, church/state expert, and author of numerous works on the application of Biblical law to society. He started the Chalcedon Foundation in 1965. His Institutes of Biblical Law (1973) began the contemporary theonomy movement which posits the validity of Biblical law as God’s standard of obedience for all. He therefore saw God’s law as the basis of the modern Christian response to the cultural decline, one he attributed to the church’s false view of God’s law being opposed to His grace. This broad Christian response he described as “Christian Reconstruction.” He is credited with igniting the modern Christian school and homeschooling movements in the mid to late 20th century. He also traveled extensively lecturing and serving as an expert witness in numerous court cases regarding religious liberty. Many ministry and educational efforts that continue today, took their philosophical and Biblical roots from his lectures and books.
Learn more about R.J. Rushdoony by visiting: https://chalcedon.edu/founder
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