Van Til Tool

Using the Van Til Perspective as the tool to discover what life means and how it ought to be lived.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Chalcedon Editorial -- The Great Need For Christian Pioneers

The Great Need for Christian Pioneers
Chalcedon Editorial
We are very much in need now of Christian pioneers. This means a people who are zealous to grow and to exercise dominion in Christ.[1]~ R. J. Rushdoony
Have we lost our zeal to grow in our dominion calling and to exercise it in as many spheres as possible? Typically, newcomers to the message of dominion and Christian Reconstruction get excited, buy a lot of books, share the message incessantly, but then eventually settle down. Zeal no longer consumes them, because the mission is a daunting one, and it’s much easier to scratch the itch in online discussion groups.
Theological discussion, however, is not godly dominion. It can certainly lead to dominion, but Rushdoony’s message was more direct: theology is for faith and action.
For me theology means the total mandate of God through His word. What I have written only scratches the surface; it is an introduction to the subject, and it is written to move men to faith and action.[2]
Our Theology Demands of Us Faith and Action
Is it that we as Christian Reconstructionists never truly understood Rushdoony’s overall thesis? Are we more concerned with technical questions about ecclesiology, eschatology, or doxology than we are the application of the faith to every sphere of life? The late David Chilton once mentioned in a sermon that he received innumerable questions about the difficult mysteries of the Bible but was never asked, “How can I better serve God?” Doctrinal truth is vital to the church, but not at the expense of the Kingdom of God. We are called to godly dominion.
Granted, much ground was taken in the area of Christian education by way of the establishing of Christian schools and the untold numbers devoted to Christian homeschooling. No doubt, this is one of the most important developments in modern Christianity, and its full implications have yet to be seen, but that pioneering spirit must expand:
Some are already doing this. They are establishing Christian schools, Christian homes for the delinquent, Christian medical missions in needy areas, and more. All this is Christian pioneering, and we need more of it.[3]
There has been great progress, but we’ve yet to scratch the surface. And as we watch the lights go out on the world system, we are reminded that we are truly pilgrims in a strange land, but our theology demands of us faith and action, and our doctrine calls us to godly dominion. We are not sojourners looking to escape, but rather God’s established holy nation—a city set on a hill.
Heaven Is Our Home, but the World Is Where We Work
The New Testament word “pilgrim” means a person sojourning in a strange land, away from his people and his original home. As Christians, heaven is our home, and this world is the place where we do our pioneering, an area we work in for Christ and His Kingdom.[4]
Heaven is our home, yet we’ve never been there. How can this be? We are “born of the Spirit” (John 3:5-8), and so much of our sanctification involves our being renewed in the spirit of our mind and putting on “the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness” (Eph. 4:23-24). This is a faith position that we work out in our lives by the grace and power of God’s Spirit and the instruction of His Word.
The work does not end with our sanctification but rather begins with it. There are so many more areas in need of the sanctifying work of God’s Word and Spirit, but the primary areas needing attention involve godly service, charity, and welfare. This is the thrust behind Rushdoony’s masterful, concise volume, In His Service: The Christian Calling to Charity:
[A]t one time Christian faith meant that the believer responded by actively working to bring God’s grace and mercy to others, both by word and by deed. This meant the proclamation of the whole counsel of God, the redemption of the lost, the release of the bondage of those captive to sin, poverty, disease, and to various evils. In such thinking man was never the dead end of God’s grace and mercy. The goal of God’s redeeming power and grace was not man’s soul but His Kingdom.[5]
The Restoration of the Diaconate
The work of charity and welfare is more and more the jurisdiction of the state, as the church retreats more and more within its buildings, and the believer retreats more and more into pietism. At some point, the state shall be bankrupt, but the church won’t have much to show for its cultural and social efforts other than expensive buildings, vast properties, and burgeoning staff. This is what consumes today’s tithes and offerings.
The answer, Rushdoony saw, was in a revival and restoration of the diaconate—the deacon ministry—and a more Biblical use of the tithe. This sort of emphasis upon godly service in the areas of charity and welfare would have to be funded significantly in order to offer any semblance of a challenge to the state’s rule:
As the church revives and strengthens the diaconate and makes it a vocation for those called to it so too will the church grow and society become steadily Christianized. Nothing is clearer from Acts than the fact that the seven deacons were not part-time workers but full-time servants of Christ. The Christian Levites were the functioning grace and mercy of Christ’s Kingdom. The deacons revealed clearly that Christ’s Kingdom is indeed a government. The works of charity carried on by the deacons were in marked contrast to the costly and evil welfarism of Rome.[6]
The Chalcedon Foundation represents a “Christian Levite” ministry—a teaching function designed to equip believers for Kingdom service—but we desperately need an army of deacons to establish the fact that “Christ’s Kingdom is indeed a government.” In other words, to show clearly by good works that the city of God is abiding among men:
Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid … Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. ~ Matthew 5:14, 16
The city of God is seen because of its light, and its light is seen in our good works, but how can such good works be seen without a clear display of charity, welfare, education, healthcare, and more?
The Work of Christian Pioneers
Does anyone have the spirit of a pioneer to help strengthen Levitical ministries and revive the social power of the diaconate? If not, let it begin within the circles of Christian Reconstruction.
We cannot all be Levites, and we cannot all be deacons, but we can all serve as pioneers by using our resources and families for the direct investment in effective Kingdom work. This is why God placed the power to distribute the tithe within the hands of the family, not the church:
The pattern is a clear one: a high degree of decentralization, with a strong emphasis on the individual and his family to govern in their spheres and to provide the necessary support to enable the Levites, or the deacons and their co-workers, to minister in God’s Name.[7]
This is a work we can all do, and it is a work we all must do. The humanistic age is in crisis, and a nearly forty-year investment by Christians in politics has seen the world grow even worse. Isn’t it time we realized that our emphases are misplaced? Rather than try to seize the reins of civil government, shouldn’t we work to take back government from the state by way of self-government and exercising Christian dominion? We already possess the primary tools for doing such things: God’s law and the tithe.
The law of God thus is a charter and constitution for a decentralized society in which the basic powers of government are exercised by God’s covenant people in their self-government in every sphere, in their families, their vocations, the tithe agencies they create to minister to a variety of social problems and needs, and so on.[8]

1. R. J. Rushdoony, A Word in Season: Daily Messages on the Faith for All of Life, vol. 2 (Vallecito, CA: Chalcedon/Ross House Books, 2012), p. 103
2. R. J. Rushdoony, Systematic Theology in Two Volumes, vol. 1 (Vallecito, CA: Ross House Books, 1994), p. xv.
3. A Word in Season, Vol. 2 p. 103.
4. ibid.
5. R. J. Rushdoony, In His Service: The Christian Calling to Charity (Vallecito, CA: Ross House Books, 2009), p. 145.
6. ibid., p. 160.
7. ibid., p. 158.
8. ibid., p. 4.
9. ibid.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017



In my most recent post I referred to R. J. Rushdoony as a "wielder of the Van Til Tool"

It has just dawned on me that in all these years I have actually said little about him and almost nothing about the organization he founded in 1965, called The Chalcedon Foundation, for the purpose of advancing what he called "Christian Reconstruction, his term for the wielding of the Van Til Tool! I am going to make up for that now by trying to keep you informed about what the Chalcedon Foundation is doing.  I would like to suggest, though,  that you visit their website and get on their mailing list and also on their emailing list to receive information from them.  Here is the latest word they have issued in the email I received today which I am posting below.


Chalcedon is Equipping You to Advance God's Kingdom...

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An Informed Faith: The Position Papers of R. J. Rushdoony
Our faith should be an informed one because the God who created all things speaks to every sphere of life, and all facts should be studied in light of the revelation of God in Scripture. This is the foundation of Christian dominion.
For R. J. Rushdoony, true government was the self-government of the Christian life in terms of God’s law, so he wrote his position papers to better equip Christians to apply their faith to all of life. His objective was not to empower the state, or the organized church, but rather to call every person and institution to God’s Word, which often put him at odds with both church and state.
By starting the Chalcedon Foundation, Rushdoony had created a “think tank for the self-governing Christian,” and his position papers are like “policies for Kingdom-living!”
Until now, Rushdoony’s position papers could not be found in one volume, and many of them were published in the massive Roots of Reconstruction book. The challenge was that Roots of Reconstructionwas not organized topically, and it had no indexes of any kind which made research difficult.
Problem solved! This beautiful three-volume collection of hardback books organizes ALL of Rushdoony’s position papers topically AND they include the most extensive indexing we’ve ever done on any series of books in the history of Chalcedon/Ross House Books including a general index, history index, Scripture index, and works cited index.
Our most comprehensive indexing ever with a general index, history index, Scripture index, and works cited index!
Buying books are a great way to support by Chalcedon by investing in yourself, so we strive to produce the most usable books we can to help equip you for greater Kingdom service. We believe An Informed Faithwill make a powerful addition to your personal library!
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Thursday, August 24, 2017



by Forrest W, Schultz

Probably the greatest wielder of the Van Til Tool was the late R. J. Rusdoony.   His thinking is not only Biblical but is very relevant for what is happening today.  Insufficient attention is being paid to the danger of mob rule.  It is not enough to critique the positions being held by the various protesters.  We need to critiques the very idea of mob rule itself.  This Rushdoony does in the article below.


Fear and Man
R. J. Rushdoony
“The mob is formed by men who herd together in fear of life, in fear of themselves, in fear of one another, and, above all, in fear of God.”
One of the deadliest of fears is the fear of man. It paralyzes the conscience and rules the heart, mind, and being of most men. Day by day, the world capitalizes on this fear in order to bring men into submission to the law of the pack, sometimes euphemistically called the will of the majority.
Men think and live as the mob dictates. When styles are changed by the pack, the individual all too often complies. When certain opinions, faiths, and men become unpopular, the individual too often follows the mob. The crowds that on Palm Sunday hailed Jesus of Nazareth as Messiah and Son of David, their King and Redeemer, before the week’s end cried out in savage blood lust, “Crucify Him! Crucify Him!”
When the mob sacrifices God the Son to its lawless whim and crucifies the Lord of glory, jeering and mocking Him in His dying agony, it cannot be expected to be merciful to mere man or to any follower of the Lord it despises. The power of the mob is real, and the power of the mob is deadly. It is devoid of any and all morality, of all faith and principle, and of all decency. The mob has usually ruled in history, and its rule has always been destructive and evil. The mob operates on one and only one basis, fear. The mob is held together by fear, and it rules by fear. The mob is formed by men who herd together in fear of life, in fear of themselves, in fear of one another, and, above all, in fear of God. Cain, the man fleeing from the presence of God, built the first city and organized the first mob. Cain’s city was not a community but a mob, because its basic tenet was not love and fellowship but mutual fear and a common hatred of God.
Ask yourself this question: Am I a member of the mob? Every person who is afraid of man is a member of the mob. No evasion, no contempt for his fellow men, no denial can ever change this fact: every person who is afraid of man is a member of the mob.
If you are afraid of people’s opinions and criticisms and allow them to sway you, you are afraid of man, and that fear makes you a part of the mob. If you are afraid to stand for the truth because you fear that men will destroy you for it, and you keep silent, you have joined the mob. If you allow the fear of man to guide and determine your actions at any point or in any area of your life, you are a member of the mob, and may God have mercy on your soul.
Every person on the face of this earth who is ruled by the fear of man rather than the fear of God is a member of the mob. Where do you stand in all this?
The only alternative and answer to the fear of man is the fear of God. If we are afraid of transgressing the Word of God, afraid of sinning against Him, afraid of being disobedient to Him, then we will not allow the fear of man to rule us. Whom do you fear most, man or God? Are you a member of the mob or a member of Jesus Christ?
Scripture tells us that the fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever (Ps. 19:9). It strengthens man’s soul against the day of adversity and fills him with the power of God and His Spirit. It gives to man the joyful and victorious faith that sings in Psalm 118, Luther’s favorite chapter: 
The LORD is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me?  The LORD taketh my part with them that help me: therefore shall I see my desire upon them that hate me.  It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man. It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in princes. This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. Thou art my God, and I will praise thee: thou art my God, I will exalt thee. O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. (Ps. 118:6–9, 24, 28, 29) 
Taken from the second volume of Rushdoony’s future release Good Morning Friends: A Collection of Weekly Radio Messages by R. J. Rushdoony. This chapter is featured here because of its relevance to contemporary political and social issues.

The Chalcedon Foundation was established by Rushdoony in 1965.  Its website is   

Saturday, August 05, 2017

John Bunyan's "The Holy War" Is A Textbook!! -- Review of Teresa Suttles's Book



Three years ago I learned that John Bunyan's The Holy War was intended to be a TEXTBOOK  !!  I was intending to post this here at that time but somehow it "slipped thru the cracks", as the saying goes.  OK, to substantiate this idea I present to you below my review of the book which sets forth this thesis. 

I know it sounds strange but please read this book review. Here is another strange thing about this.  The scholar I quote lives just several miles north of where I live in Coweta County, GA, which is one of the counties on the Southside of Atlanta !! This is how I found out about this!!



Reviews Of Books Recently Written By Southside Authors
Compiled by: Forrest W. Schultz 770-583-3258

November 4, 2014

"The Holy War" As Textbook

A Review of

Teresa Suttles John Bunyan's "The Holy War": An Updated                  Version, 2nd Ed.(Booklocker, 2014)
               244 pp $15.26 ISBN: 978-1-60910-491-7

Reviewer: Forrest W. Schultz

      John Bunyan, whose Pilgrim's Progress was a best seller in England and America for many years, also wrote another allegory, The Holy War. Literary scholar Dr. Teresa Suttles, who lives in Moreland in Coweta County, has produced an updated version of the language in The Holy War in the book under review. It still has a 17th century flavor but is easier for the modern American to read than the original.

      The Holy War is very important to Dr. Suttles because she used it in the education of her children and is promoting its use among other Christian homeschooling parents for teaching a practical application of the Christian doctrine of sin and salvation. This is a wise choice because it is a good textbook, and it is not unputdownable, like Pilgrim's Progress is. It needs to be put down for careful thought and study as you do with a good textbook. And Suttles has wisely added to each chapter questions and answers pertaining to the material in that chapter, as is generally done with textbooks.

      To sum up -- if you expect The Holy War to be a literary thriller, you will be disappointed. If you study it like a textbook, you will gain a clear understanding of the Christian view of life.